On October 4th, we were invited to be part of Urbanspace’s The Shape and Form of the Future, an installation at site 68 (401 Richmond) during Nuit Blanche. Shape and Form was all about getting an audience to play and the importance of play in our artistic practice.
ON AND ON AND ON was designed to be a drop-in, all-night, indoor campfire where people were invited to sit around and tell us a story in whatever way they knew how. We offered a pianist, a guitarist, percussion, sharpies and paper, some dancers and actors to help bring these stories to life. We even had Nicole Ratjen participating via twitter all the way in Berlin; every now and then she’d send photos of landmarks and ideas from another time zone.
Our overarching question for the night was, How do you tell a story to a room full of strangers? With the answer being, We’ll help you.
We ensured a steady group of artists to be present throughout the night, to keep the improvisation moving and to keep the dynamic shifting as new artists and new audience came in.
Participating artists included:
- Rob Schuyler
- Nicole Ratjen
- Jeff Giles
- Alexi Pedenault
- Christian Quaresma
- Evan Harkai
- Oliver Georgiou
- Thomas McKechnie
- Jesse Byiers
- Kitty Orsten
- Damian Norman
- Kallee Lins
- Colleen Snell
- Fiona Sauder
- Andrew Gaboury
a field of crowns is pleased to bring together a talented group of artists to host a night of improvised storytelling. The piece, ON AND ON AND ON, is part of Urbanspace’s “THE SHAPE AND FORM OF THE FUTURE” at 401 Richmond, Location 68, during this year’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche!
ON AND ON AND ON is an experiment in large group storytelling that challenges any audience member who wants to take part to try something they have never done before. How do you tell a story to a room full of strangers? I’m not entirely sure, but with a room full of actors, dancers, visual artists and musicians, I’m sure we can find a way.
This summer I took an opportunity to discard any sense of established safety, or comfort in my life and wander, or explore the different vantages defining it. One vantage was from a completely different angle of Toronto, the East End, the Danforth. Another was my, what I generally and defaultly entitle “home” because of my parents in Oshawa. The third was Hamilton, a city I had a romantic vision of because of its rough but so inspiring sense of promise and revitalization. I put all of my belongings in boxes and into storage or on the side of the curb and lived the last three months out of two pieces of luggage and my backpack. Some really interesting moments of realization came out of this choice, both artistically and personally.
I began writing with a pen in a notebook. This is a big deal for me. My fingers don’t like pens. They want to move individually to express my thoughts. They do not want to operate as a whole hand-unit. But I forced it, and recognized a difference in my writing style, something about having to focus on moving and creating each letter, something about not being able to relate my thoughts quite as fast as on a computer made me think about them a bit more, made me contemplate their sentence structure and the information within.
From this notebook, I began picking entries I believe spoke the most to my experiences during this time and created a blog to chronicle it all.
hill & harbour is what emerged. It is composed of a series of writings and pictures. And not much context. Because of this simplicity, I am happy of its ability to be a somewhat naked relation of existence and contemplation.
On top of this:
hill & harbour has been developed into a short performance, using some of the theatrical research and training I underwent during this time and will be presented at the James North Studio Gallery as part of SUPERCRAWL in Hamilton. This weekend!
The performance is free and will happen three times over two days.
If you’re in Hamilton, please come by and experience what it’s like under hill & harbour.