Big Art Group in TDR: The Drama Review Winter 2010 Issue

“Image Eaters”, a 36 page article by Jacob Gallagher-Ross about the work of Big Art Group, has been published in this quarters edition of TDR: The Drama Review.

Excerpt:

Theatre artists keen to investigate the theatrical possibilities of technological image-making must inevitably contend with the wearisome grumbling issuing from critics who see the invasion of screens, electronic sounds, and pop culture materials as heralding theatre’s surrender to predatory corporate interests and banal mass culture — relinquishing its supposedly sacral mission to present breathing bodies to a temporary community of other such bodies. But far from signaling the end of theatre’s vitality, Big Art Group’s innovations are renovating the art form for our media-baffled moment. Their theatrical methods are descended from Brecht: opening the apparatus of modern image-manufacturing to dissecting scrutiny, they take the discrepancies between live bodies onstage and their onscreen doppelgangers as a figure for media culture’s many forms of transubstantiation. Not content with staging simple binaries — live or recorded, image or material presence — Big Art Group graphs a spectrum: bodies that crave the hi-def perfection of the video image; images that long to be ratified by eliciting sensuous responses in the viewer. – Jacob Gallagher-Ross (TDR/The Drama Review Winter 2010, Vol. 54, No. 4 (T208): 54–80.)

TDR: The Drama Review is a quarterly journal focusing on performances in their social, economic, aesthetic, and political contexts. The journal covers dance, theatre, music, performance art, visual art, popular entertainment, media, sports, rituals, and performance in politics and everyday life. TDR is owned by New York University and is published in hard copy and online by the MIT Press.

CITYRAMA in Torino, Italy and Bern, Switzerland November 2010

CITYRAMA is a new performance created by Caden Manson / Big Art Group in collaboration with the students of HKB and the Teatro Stabile of Torino. CITYRAMA comprises a site-based theatrical and video installation that functions as a performance machine, asking the actor/participant to respond on stage to a flood of stimuli and make split-second responses in the context of a fragmented live movie. Multi-threaded stories, overlapping emotions, and conceptual actions that call attention to the physical occupation of the space combine into a portrait of the living city, of the city as a chimera created of voids and images, human stories and architectural constraints. In the interplay between occupation and transformation, CITYRAMA revels in the struggles of the ordinary hero to create her own world.

CITYRAMA – Torino
Castello di Rivoli / Prospettiva/ Teatro Stabile Torino (Italy)
Torino, IT
November 14, 2010 T 8:30pm

CITYRAMA – Bern
Bern University of the Arts (BAUS)
Bern, Switzerland
November 18, 29, 20, 2010

SOS published in Yale Theater Journal

Big Art Group’s 11th group work, SOS, is on the cover and inside this month’s Yale Theater Journal with an introductory article on the production by Jacob Gallagher-Ross.

IMG_4298“Presented at New York’s the Kitchen in March 2009, as the aftermath of the credit cataclysm continued to convulse the nation, Big Art Group’s SOS stages the theatrical equivalent of the financial crisis, a conflagration of the society of spectacles. The housing bubble, the company suggests, was a symptom of a more dangerous, and ongoing, process of inflation. SOS depicts an unmoored culture in which signs can only be exchanged for other signs, every radical gesture is already a marketing strategy, and “realness” is a value that arrives prepackaged for sale. Big Art Group suggests that, in addition to its gapped balance sheets, today’s America also has a reality deficit, an addiction to ever-increasing levels of abstraction. SOS revs America’s culture of headlong consumption to fever pitch, suggesting that renewal is possible only through destruction”
Jacob Gallagher-Ross, Theater Journal

For more than thirty years Theater has been the most informative, serious, and imaginative American journal available to readers interested in contemporary theater. It has been the first publisher of pathbreaking plays from writers as diverse as Rinde Eckert, Richard Foreman, David Greenspan, W. David Hancock, Peter Handke, Sarah Kane, and Adrienne Kennedy. Theater has also featured lively polemics and essays by dramatists including Dario Fo, Heiner Müller, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Mac Wellman. Special issues have covered theater and ecology, new music-theater, South African theater, theater and social change, new Polish directing, and theater and the apocalypse.

IMG_4302

Editor:
Tom Sellar, Yale University

Associate Editors:
Miriam Felton-Dansky
Jacob Gallagher-Ross
You can purchase your copy in NYC from St. Marks Book Shop or online at dukepress.com

Big Art Group discussed in Chris Salter’s new book ENTANGLED: Technology And The Transformation Of Performance

ENTANGLED: Technology And The Transformation Of Performance explores technology’s influence on artistic performance practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Entangled, Chris Salter shows that technologies, from the mechanical to the computational—from a “ballet of objects and lights” staged by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1917 to contemporary technologically enabled “responsive environments”—have been entangled with performance across a wide range of disciplines. Salter examines the rich and extensive history of performance experimentation in theater, music, dance, the visual and media arts, architecture, and other fields; explores the political, social, and economic context for the adoption of technological practices in art; and shows that these practices have a set of common histories despite their disciplinary borders.

[amazonify]0262195887[/amazonify]

Culturebot says “This is the theater of the future”.

Its the last two days to catch Big Art Group’s take over of Abrons Art Center in NYC. Culturebot says “This is the theater of the future.”

Read the full article here.

Ticket, press, video and sound below…. Hope to see you there.

xo,
BIG

Tickets:

THE SLEEP (NYC Premiere)
Experimental Theater @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 7:00pm
Buy Tickets $15

FLESH TONE (Preview)
Playhouse @Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm
Buy Tickets $15

4 Channel Video Installation
Underground @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 All Day
FREE

In the News:

Think Big in The New Yorker

New Yorker
Big Art Group is the brass-band name of the experimental theatre party founded by Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson in 1999….The group’s new piece “Flesh Tone” (at Abrons Arts Center, April 15-18) will no doubt further italicize their credo: theatre not only shows our inner selves at work; it makes us better for having experienced it. Out loud. Read more–>

Village Voice

Big Art Group Celebrates 10 Years of Multimedia Weird in The Village Voice
Caden Manson wants you to know that Flesh Tone, Big Art Group’s new multimedia performance, does not end with the destruction of the Earth and the theater, too. That was their last piece,S.O.S.—in which survivors of an epic economic catastrophe got engulfed in a mountain of exploding balloons. The last couple of shows before that one went out with a bang, too…. read more…

Brooklyn Rail
Caden Manson: I’m proud of the company, and how it’s grown and the talent of everyone that’s been in it, and how they all have grown in those ten years, too. Also where we’ve been and the audiences we’ve reached, because I think it’s a unique opportunity to be able to have played the places that we’ve played in Europe and in the United States on both coasts, because the audiences are different in each place.

IMG_9388

Nelson: The idea of the weekend at Abrons Arts Center is that it’s past, present, and future. You can come see these video installations that represent past work, “SOS Animals” and “The Imitation.” And then there’s the present, which is “The Sleep,” which is the musical collaboration that we’ve been working on with Theo Kogan and Sean Pierce. And there’s the future in “Flesh Tone,” which is our new group work, which is still in development.

Rail: I was at your very first casting call, and have seen your process: cultivating actors, and training them and getting them into the mindset and the physical exertion that it takes for the complexity of the choreography of your pieces. The first one we did, which was “CLEARCUT, catastrophe!,” had a certain amount of choreography, but it really jumped from there to the next piece, which was “Shelf Life.” With the amount of choreography and the complexity of what you had your actors do, there was probably a huge learning curve for you. But now, bringing the new actors in, I would imagine that it’s exciting for them. read more…

This Hearts on Fire
In short, we loved it: the show was an amazing blend of fringe art, pop culture, and thought-provoking dialogue all wrapped into one and done like nothing we’d seen before. read more

Spank Zine
Hugely talented artists and frequent Spank collaborators Big Art Group are staging a TAKE OVER of Abrons Art Center in Lower Manhattan to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with two shows and two video installations. We got director Caden Manson to give us a run down of some of the best moments of the last ten years. Don’t miss this chance to see their shows this Thursday April 15th through Saturday April 18th at Abron Arts Center, ticket details at the end of this post. read more…

10 Years of Big Art Group:

Big Art has releases a short video montage of our works with commentary by Under The Radar Festival’s Mark Russell and The Kitchen’s Matthew Lyons.

[hdplay id=1 playlistid=2 width=720 height=480 ]

The Sleep CD free song online:

Click below to listen to the newest track “Bronze”. Music is by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce and Jemma Nelson.

06 Bronze

Big Art Group’s TAKE OVER starts tomorrow in NYC

Hello, Tomorrow is the big celebration of our 10th Anniversary. Below are links to buy tickets, pre-press, video, and music streams.

Hope to see you there!

xo,
Big Art

Tickets:

THE SLEEP (NYC Premiere)
Experimental Theater @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 7:00pm
Buy Tickets $15

FLESH TONE (Preview)
Playhouse @Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm
Buy Tickets $15

4 Channel Video Installation
Underground @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 All Day
FREE

In the News:

Think Big in The New Yorker

New Yorker
Big Art Group is the brass-band name of the experimental theatre party founded by Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson in 1999….The group’s new piece “Flesh Tone” (at Abrons Arts Center, April 15-18) will no doubt further italicize their credo: theatre not only shows our inner selves at work; it makes us better for having experienced it. Out loud. ♦ Read more–>

Village Voice

Big Art Group Celebrates 10 Years of Multimedia Weird in The Village Voice
Caden Manson wants you to know that Flesh Tone, Big Art Group’s new multimedia performance, does not end with the destruction of the Earth and the theater, too. That was their last piece,S.O.S.—in which survivors of an epic economic catastrophe got engulfed in a mountain of exploding balloons. The last couple of shows before that one went out with a bang, too…. read more…

Brooklyn Rail
Caden Manson: I’m proud of the company, and how it’s grown and the talent of everyone that’s been in it, and how they all have grown in those ten years, too. Also where we’ve been and the audiences we’ve reached, because I think it’s a unique opportunity to be able to have played the places that we’ve played in Europe and in the United States on both coasts, because the audiences are different in each place.

Rehearsal Still from the upcoming preview of Flesh Tone

Rehearsal Still from the upcoming preview of Flesh Tone

Nelson: The idea of the weekend at Abrons Arts Center is that it’s past, present, and future. You can come see these video installations that represent past work, “SOS Animals” and “The Imitation.” And then there’s the present, which is “The Sleep,” which is the musical collaboration that we’ve been working on with Theo Kogan and Sean Pierce. And there’s the future in “Flesh Tone,” which is our new group work, which is still in development.

Rail: I was at your very first casting call, and have seen your process: cultivating actors, and training them and getting them into the mindset and the physical exertion that it takes for the complexity of the choreography of your pieces. The first one we did, which was “CLEARCUT, catastrophe!,” had a certain amount of choreography, but it really jumped from there to the next piece, which was “Shelf Life.” With the amount of choreography and the complexity of what you had your actors do, there was probably a huge learning curve for you. But now, bringing the new actors in, I would imagine that it’s exciting for them. read more…

This Hearts on Fire
In short, we loved it: the show was an amazing blend of fringe art, pop culture, and thought-provoking dialogue all wrapped into one and done like nothing we’d seen before. read more

Spank Zine
Hugely talented artists and frequent Spank collaborators Big Art Group are staging a TAKE OVER of Abrons Art Center in Lower Manhattan to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with two shows and two video installations.  We got director Caden Manson to give us a run down of some of the best moments of the last ten years. Don’t miss this chance to see their shows this Thursday April 15th through Saturday April 18th at Abron Arts Center, ticket details at the end of this post. read more…

10 Years of Big Art Group:

Big Art has releases a short video montage of our works with commentary by Under The Radar Festival’s Mark Russell and The Kitchen’s Matthew Lyons.

[hdplay id=1 playlistid=2 width=720 height=480 ]

The Sleep CD free song online:

Click below to listen to the newest track “Bronze”. Music is by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce and Jemma Nelson.

[soundcloud url=”http://soundcloud.com/user8663173/06-bronze” 06 Bronze by user8663173

Think Big in The New Yorker

The inimitable Hilton Als writes up Big Art Group in The New Yorker

Big Art Group is the brass-band name of the experimental theatre party founded by Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson in 1999….The group’s new piece “Flesh Tone” (at Abrons Arts Center, April 15-18) will no doubt further italicize their credo: theatre not only shows our inner selves at work; it makes us better for having experienced it. Out loud. 

Read more–>

Tickets:

THE SLEEP (NYC Premiere)
Experimental Theater @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 7:00pm
Buy Tickets

FLESH TONE (Preview)
Playhouse @Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm
Buy Tickets

10 Years of Big Art Video

With our upcoming 10th anniversary weekend TAKE OVER at Abrons Art Center (NYC) happening in less than a week, Big Art has releases a short video montage of our works with commentary by Under The Radar Festival’s Mark Russell and The Kitchen’s Matthew Lyons.

[hdplay id=1 playlistid=2 width=720 height=480 ]

Information:


THE SLEEP (NYC Premiere)

Experimental Theater @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 7:00pm
Buy Tickets $15

FLESH TONE (Preview)
Playhouse @Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 @ 8:30pm
Buy Tickets $15

4 Channel Video Installation
Underground @ Abrons
April 15-18, 2010 All Day
FREE

Big Art Group Interviewed by Justin Bond for Brooklyn Rail

Recently Big Art Group sat down with Justin Bond to talk about the 10 years of Big Art Group.

Caden Manson: I’m proud of the company, and how it’s grown and the talent of everyone that’s been in it, and how they all have grown in those ten years, too. Also where we’ve been and the audiences we’ve reached, because I think it’s a unique opportunity to be able to have played the places that we’ve played in Europe and in the United States on both coasts, because the audiences are different in each place.

Rehearsal Still from the upcoming preview of Flesh Tone

Rehearsal Still from the upcoming preview of Flesh Tone

Nelson: The idea of the weekend at Abrons Arts Center is that it’s past, present, and future. You can come see these video installations that represent past work, “SOS Animals” and “The Imitation.” And then there’s the present, which is “The Sleep,” which is the musical collaboration that we’ve been working on with Theo Kogan and Sean Pierce. And there’s the future in “Flesh Tone,” which is our new group work, which is still in development.

Rail: I was at your very first casting call, and have seen your process: cultivating actors, and training them and getting them into the mindset and the physical exertion that it takes for the complexity of the choreography of your pieces. The first one we did, which was “CLEARCUT, catastrophe!,” had a certain amount of choreography, but it really jumped from there to the next piece, which was “Shelf Life.” With the amount of choreography and the complexity of what you had your actors do, there was probably a huge learning curve for you. But now, bringing the new actors in, I would imagine that it’s exciting for them.

Read more at Brooklyn Rail

The Sleep Album Release

Big Art Group’s 10th Anniversary TAKE OVER at Abrons Art Center is 2 weeks away (April 15-18, 2010) and we are releasing The Sleep album online! Click below to listen to the newest track “Bronze”. Music is by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce and Jemma Nelson.

06 Bronze

Buy the full album here.

Picture 21

Tickets on sale now for The Sleep and Flesh Tone – Part of the Big Art Group TAKE OVER at Abrons Art Center April 15-18, 2010.

THE SLEEP in the Experimental (NYC Premiere)
April 15-18, 2010 at 7:00pm
Click here for Tickets – $15

The Sleep mixes early cinema techniques, magic lantern, concept album and Big Art Group’s Real Time Film technique into a live see-though movie adapted from M. P. Shiel’s 1901 story, “The Purple Cloud,” in which a lone explorer races to the North Pole while a poison purple cloud covers the earth. His subsequent return to the remnants of civilization drives him into a crisis of being, in a classic “last man” adventure that eerily presages catastrophic climate change. Live music by Theo Kogan, Sean Pierce, and Jemma Nelson. Supported by the Greenwall Foundation.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

FLESH TONE in the Playhouse (Preview)
April 15-18, 2010 at 8:30pm
Click here for tickets – $15

Big Art Group’s new project Flesh Tone is told through hybrid, hallucinatory storytelling influenced by steely Hollywood thrillers and filtered though the company’s breathtaking mediated performance techniques, Real Time Film and Green Screen Performance. A character-driven critique of the American way of looking at the world, Flesh Tone turns the visual economy of the US into an acid bath of self-exposure. Confronting social issues of economic and environmental degradation, a war-scarred national psyche, and transformed bodies, Flesh Tone queries Image-America about a possible path to reconciliation with its own monstrous reflection This live performance spans cinema, visual art, and spectacle in an utterly unique, compelling event.

Flesh Tone returns to the conceptual and performative model of Real Time Film and Live Green Screen Performance technique the group pioneered in 2001 with its trilogy of works Shelf Life, Flicker, and House of No More. Flesh Tone delves deeper into the techniques and the questions these hybrid forms raise, moving beyond the Film-Theatrical hybrid of the group’s earlier works to create a theatre of mediated information in which action, re-enactment and special effect create a participatory spectacle with the “active editor” audience member. For Big Art Group, the theatrical event is based not on illusion, but on a synthesis of simulation and impersonation, on the ritualized action of recreating a readable, multi-layered Image Theatre.