After Spectacularity published in Theater Magazine

Click to access theater_spec.pdf

In Print: Big Art Group’s THE PEOPLE – L.E.S. Featured in Exeunt Magazine

© Grant Shafer

© Grant Shaffer

“New York-based performers Big Art Group came home to Abrons Arts Center this month, with their show The People, an experiment in democracy-building as only this adventurous, tech-savvy company could imagine it.”

Click here to read the full article.

Big Art Group at PRELUDE13 Oct 3, 2013 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm (NYC) Free!


This coming Thursday, Big Art Group will be giving a presentation on our serial project THE PEOPLE at PRELUDE13. We will also show video from the 6 other installments and perform a short section of the work. Come by and chat with us afterwards. We are also looking for collaborators for the New York installment in MAY 2014.

Big Art Group at PRELUDE
Thursday, October 3, 2013
5:30 pm – 6:15 pm | Elebash Recital Hall
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
ph: 212-817-1860

The People – L.E.S. is the 6th installment of a serial project created by Big Art Group. It takes place as an hour long live performance simulcast in a 5-channel wide monument sized video on the outside of a public building to a audience viewing from the street. Incorporating Big Art Group’s virtuosic mix of live action/video, the narrative is constructed from interviews conducted with community members of the Lower East Side, who voice their thoughts about democracy, war, terrorism and justice as it relates to their personal retells a version of the Greek tragedy cycle The Oresteia to investigate the contemporary nature of democracy and justice and the relationship of the networked public to mediated information.

Artist StatementThe People serial project originated as a 2007 commission from Inteatro Polverigi in Ancona, Italy and the desire of the company to create a project that interacted deeply with the community as well as drawing its dramaturgy from local participants. It takes its narrative from the Greek tragic cycle The Oresteia, in which the citizens of Athens come together to arbitrate a solution to a series of murders precipitated by a bloody code of justice that demands revenge for every blood crime. The project has been co-produced and presented with Inteato Polverigi (Italy), Theater der Welt (Germany), Szene Salzburg (Austria), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), and TBA Festival (Portland, Oregon).

About Big Art Group: Big Art Group was founded in New York in 1999 by Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson. The company uses language and media to push formal boundaries of theatre, digital media and visual arts creating live performances, installations, participatory events and online works using original text and immersive technology. In its short history, the company has risen to international prominence through its Real-Time Film trilogy (Shelf LifeFlickerHouse of No More), and its collaborative, site-specific, and ensemble work (The SleepCinema FuryThe People, S.O.S.). It has toured extensively in Europe and North America (Festival d’Automne à Paris, Hebbel am Ufer, Wiener Festwochen, Szene Salzburg, REDCAT, Usine C and many others) as well as regularly presenting work in New York (Abrons Arts Center, The Kitchen, PS 122, Dance Theater Workshop).

Upcoming for The PeopleThe People – L.E.S. will be presented with Abrons Arts Center at the end of April 2014.

SOS Video’s at the Opera de Lille April 6, 2013 (France)


Big Art Group’s SOS videos are installed during Daniel Linehan’s Happy Days Carte Blanch at the Opera de Lille April 6, 2013. Other artists showing work are Michael Helland, Boglárka Börcsök, Stanislav Dobak, Anneleen Keppens,  Daniel Linehan, Eleanor Campbell, Pavle Heidler, Noé Soulier, the Ballet du Rhin, Miguel Gutierrez, Big Art Group, and Busy Rocks

The latest volley from his residence at the Lille Opera: a day entirely free to the public and giving free reign to the young American choreographer Daniel Linehan to inhabit the Opera and present a few of his works never before seen in France.

Artists involved in his first successes in New York and Brussels will also be joining the festivities, to concoct a Happy Day full of gaiety and surprises to see, hear, and dance! A playful and astonishing invitation to discover this exceptionally talented young choreographer.

Happy Days Cart Blanch a Daniel Linehan 
Opera de Lille
Lille, France
April 6, 2013

The People – Portland at PICA’s TBA Festival

Big Art Group/ The People – Portland 2012 Time-Based Art Festival, PICA, Photo by Wayne Bund
Courtesy of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

This past September 6-8, 2012 Big Art Group presented The People – Portland as the opening for the 10th Annual Portland Institute for Contemporary Art Time Based Arts Festival (TBA). Big Art Group spent a week residency in Portland in May 2012 to scout locations and hold interviews with a cross-section of about 40 local participants. These interviews where then used to develop the script and edited into Greek choruses for the live performance. September 1-3, 2012, Caden Manson lead a three-day intensive workshop based in Big Art Group’s training and performance strategies with local performance makers. At the end of the workshop the group of 30 people creating a 2 channel video tableaux to be incorporated into the live work. Also at this time, Mr. Manson “cast” 9 local performers to be participate in the live performances. The final performances were created live inside an abandoned High School and projected in a 5 channel, 300 foot long installation on the facade of the building. As the audience watched from the ground, they could both see through the windows at the action unfolding inside and the live manipulate images on the exterior.

Below are some images of the performances. Later next week we will post the interviews.

“Big Art Group transforms Washington High School, inside and out, into a modern retelling of a Greek tragedy that’s epic both in scope and imagination” – Portland Monthly (Read Full Review)

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In Print: Big Art Group’s BROKE HOUSE featured in Artpress

Jennifer, Parker-Starbuck. “Le Théâtre Cyborg.” Art Press 2.25 (2012): 85-91. Print.

Big Art Group’s latest production, Broke House, is featured in Jennifer Parker-Starbuck’s article, Cyborg Theatre, published in the current edition of ARTPRESS.

“Big Art Group develops work that challenges notions of American cultural identity; their characters move through scenarios that cannot be divorced from their technological surroundings. Broke House is a Chekhov for the twenty-first century; a biting mediation on an eroding nation symbolized by the deconstruction of the skeletal frame of the characters’ house over the course of the show”  – Jennifer Parker-Starbuck, Artpress

In Print: Big Art Group included in “My Screens Are Killing Me, or Watching Hurts” by Sue-Ellen Case published in Theater Magazine

Pictured Jeffery Rose, Rebecca Sumner Burgos, Cary Curran

Sue-Ellen Case, Distinguished Professor and chair of the doctoral program in theater and performance studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, has included Big Art Group in her article “My Screens Are Killing Me, or Watching Hurts.” in the current Theater magazine 42.1. In the article she discusses the the genealogy of spectating violence on stage and the feminist critic built into several pieces.

“They Reveal how the body and a film are coproducing one another – what Jason Farman has described as a dialogic relationship between the real and virtual body.

Case, Sue-Ellen. “My Screens Are Killing Me, or Watching Hurts.” Theater 42.1 (2012): 21-31. Print.

Behind the Scenes: The Broke House Jump Cut Script

For the creation of Broke House the company spent a extended time creating the characters and narrative through improves based on a number of sources. The company built these “acts” in residencies at Abrons Arts Center, Big Art Group’s Performance Ranch in PA, and at The Spectrum in Brooklyn. At the end of the process, Caden Manson edited the movies into a jump cut script and Jemma Nelson created the text from this source.
We are happy to invite you to our new work, BROKE HOUSE, running its last three performance in NYC  April 20-22 at Aborns Arts Center in NYC! We have included a 25% discount code for our friends who buy the tickets online. Buy Yours Now! Tickets $20 Use Discount Code “AUSTERITY”

Bond On Blonde at MOMA PS1 Wrap Up

This past Sunday, Justin Vivian Bond, Caden Manson and Big Art Group were invited to curate an afternoon of performance in MOMA PS1’s legendary Performance Dome. We invited some of our favorite performers in New York to present new work and the turn out and performances were amazing. Thank you to everyone that came out to PS1 and a very special thank you to the fantastic and beautiful performers Theo Kogan (Lunachicks, Theo and The Skyscrapers), Viva Ruiz (The Crystal Ark, Escandalo), Jack Ferver, Nath Ann Carrera, CHOKRA (Conscious Hoarding Of Kinetic Rage Associated), Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, DJ Sean B (Spank / Xanadude) and Jemma Nelson (Big Art Group)…. Not to mention  the technical expertise of Ana Mari de Quesada, Jeff  Ralston, Brian Bauman, and our new Italian intern, Simone Serlanga. Also a special thank you for the invitation and hospitality from MOMA PS1’s Jenny Schlenzka, Klaus Biesenbach, Jocelyn Miller. Nick Hung, and the super MOMA intern – Hendrik Bartels

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BROKE HOUSE at Abrons Arts Center NYC April 6-22, 2012

Broke House (New Group Work)
Abrons Arts Center (NYC)
466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street)
New York, NY 10002

April 20, 2012 8:00pm
April 21, 2012 8:00pm
April 22, 2012 7:00pm

Broke House is a new group performance from Caden Manson / Big Art Group and follows a narrative about the residents of a house and their hanger-on, once a documentary filmmaker arrives to capture their lives. On a skeletal set webbed with video cameras, the characters try to recall their given roles as inevitably the foundations of their dreams collapse, and they are thrown into the desert of their own futures. Part comedy, part ritual, part love spell.

The Performance explores the process of construction, when that process becomes sharply interrupted by historical events, and dissolves into the shapelessness of an aftermath. Those processes that were “building” previous to the play’s beginning include a life, a family, architecture, or a system of beliefs, an economy of values, and the creation of the performance itself. But when events intervene— events like collapse, upheaval, disaster, abandonment, forgetting, fear, and strife— all the raw materials and the players themselves become deformed into a new formlessness, and enter a transitional state of potentiality. Like the pause loop in a video game, Broke House takes place in this marginal time zone.

Like all of Big Art Group’s works, Broke House offers our meditation on the current states of America, which we believe have been in flux for at least as long as our ensemble has been up and running. Beyond the topical symptoms of foreclosure crises, credit crises, occupy movements and extremist rhetoric, we suppose that the metaphorical heart of the country has been suffering, and perhaps has decided to rebuild the body that surrounds it.

“True to their name, Big Art Group’s performances are big in every possible way: prismatic visuals hurtle across a panoply of screens, dazzling with flashing colors; strange conjunctions of video imagery captured live by a battery of cameras and spliced together in real time, ambush the eye; digital soundscapes thrum, groan, and roar at synesthesia-inducing volumes.” – Jacob Gallagher-Ross, The Drama Review

Press from the January Showings:

Editor’s Pick in Flavorpill
Interview in Culturebot
Write up in ARTFORUM
Critique by @performaddict
NYTheater Review
Write up in Design Envy
Write up in Performance Club

Images from Jan 2012 Showings and Rehearsals:
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Big Art Group is a New York performance ensemble using language and media to push formal boundaries of performance, digital media and visual arts creating culturally transgressive works using original text and technology. Big Art Group’s diverse ensemble explores, develops and produces innovative new performances. The company has produced eleven original works. and in its eleven year history, the company has become a nationally and internationally prominent and critically recognized ensemble with publications in major journals, PAJ, Theater, TDR, Theater der Zeit, Theater Heute and co-productions with Festival d’Automne, Vienna Festival, Hebbel am Ufer, Le Vie de Festival, Wexner Center For The Arts, MAC Créteil, Théâtre Garonne, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Twitter: @bigartgroup

Created by Caden Manson, Jemma Nelson, Big Art Group
Direction and Scenography by Caden Manson
Sound by Jemma Nelson
Assistant Director Kathleen Amshoff and Bradley Kal Hagen
Performed by David Commander, Nicholas Gorham, Heather Litteer, Willie Mullins, Matthew Nasser, Edward Stresen-Reuter, Rebecca Sumner Burgos
Lighting Design by Hillery Makatura
Production Manager Ana Mari de Quesada
Sculpture Caden Manson and Jeffrey Ralston
Video System Design by Caden Manson and Jared Mezzocchi
Video System Tech Dan Hansell
Interns Simone Serlenga and Dries Vandrope

Broke House is produced by Big Art Group with support from King’s Fountain and NYSCA

Supported by James Davison, Desi Santiago, Ted Henigson, theARTcorps, Ryan Davis, Alan Cumming, joan Raspo, Drew Brody, William Lynn, Julie Tolentino, Hill Family, Ivan Gothner and Betsy Davison, Alyssa Fannick, Robert Litteer, Jen Parker-Starbuck, Sean Pierce and Lucy Pierce and Theo Kogan, paul gardner, John Issendorf, Grant Shaffer, Jill Emerson, Brian Bauman, Amy Sadao, Mambo Movers, Ryan Sorkin, Linsey Bostwick, Mikeah Ernest Jennings, Ilaria Mancia, Hillery Makatura, Justin Vivian Bond, Davis Freeman

Thank You to Barbara and Henry Pilsbury, James Davison, Culture Hub, Abrons Arts Center and Staff, American Realness Staff and Crew. Diane White, Theo Kogan and Sean Pierce, Nathan Carrera, Sean Bumgarner, La MaMa, La Galleria, and

@CadenManson #cofounder @BigArtGroup #curator #editor @pformart #director #VisualArtist #scenographer #teacher #FromTheFuture

#JemmaNelson #cofounder @bigartgroup #writer #painter #SoundDesigner #teacher #cinematographer #published #TheaterJournal @TheaterHeute @Mouvementrevue

#KathleenAmshoff #assistantdirector @bigartgroup #director #upcomingwork #womencenterstage

#DavidComander @MouthCommander #writer #performer #director #showswithdolls #12yrswithbigartgroup #onyoutube #onvimeo #nowebsite #findmeonFaceBook

#AnaMarideQuesada @adqnyc #GeneralManager #FreelanceProductionManager

#NicholasGorham #actor #performer #artist #creatorofthespectrumartspace #canadian #onyoutube #andfacebook #upcomingjan30th

@Dan_Hansell #lightingdesigner #backstagetroll #draftsman #computeraddict #worldtraveler #politicsarguer #loveroffastfood #loverofbadjokes

#HeatherLitteer @redrabbitnyc #Actress #PerformanceArtist #Chanteuse Film #RequiemForaDream #BalladofBettiePage #IntheCut #NewTwenty. #DanceSingle #Apokalips #Curated W.O.(e).R.D. #LegendJackieFactory

@HilleryMakatura #TechnicalDirector @BigArtGroup #TechnicalDirectorActorsStudio #TechnicalDirector @trishabrown #LightingDesigner #MasterElectrician @NS4DRAMA #Organizer #BikeRider #LoveroffineBBQ

@JaredMezzocchi #VideoProgramsDesign @BigArtGroup #MediaDesigner @ThreeLeggedDog #MultiMedia_Director&Designer

#WillieFarradMullins @FarradMusic #actor #singer #dancer #songwriter #popstar #leftbrainrightbrain #makingmoves #peaceandlove

@MattNasser #actor #singer #director #filmmaker #curator @lamamagalleria #performanceartist #companymember @LaMaMaETC #singleandlooking #availableforhire

#JeffreyRalston #VisualArtist #Teacher #CoProducerandDj #InstallationsandLighting #Lighting

#RebeccaSumnerBurgos #PerformedWith @Carmelita Tropicana #Chicas2000 #MemberOf #DazzleDancers #ChillingSocialRealist #CocoFrio #VoicedActed #CocoFusco #IncredibleDisappearingWoman #FilmWork #LatinBoysGoToHell #FoundingMember @BigArtGroup @MastersIn American Studies @NYU #Translation @UniversidaddePuertoRico

#EdwardStresen-Reuter #actor #filmmaker #editor #photographer #formergapmodel @neddershred