A multi-media performance installation by Vessel (Rachel Bowditch), Verbobala (Logan Phillips and Adam Cooper-Terán) and Glenn Weyant (SonicAnta). 2010-2012.
An original site-specific devised work that explores the beauty, poetry, and fragility of the desert, the reality of water shortage, and the prospect of Phoenix becoming one of the largest ghost towns in the world when our water supply runs out–Phoenix as a mirage. Title inspired by T.S.Eliot's The Wasteland.
In collaboration with Verbobala (Logan Phillips and Adam Cooper-Terán) and Glenn Weyant (SonicAnta), we transformed the Great Hall of the Phoenix Art Museum into a durational environmental multi-media performance installation where the spectators could come and go as they pleased. The floor of the Great Hall was covered with white paper and the white sticks with charcoal held by the performers left traces of their movements through the space. The works were presented in both a "raw" and "compositional" state via collage and manipulation with fragments of original poetry by Logan Phillips. The live remix of ambient soundscapes was linked to the live video remixed with old Arizona maps projected onto two performers (Logan Phillips and Rachel Bowditch) moving at a glacial pace for three hours.
Inspired by Japanese playwright/director Ota Shogo’s The Water Station (Mizu no Eki), the non-verbal script offers of point of departure to investigate the complexity of water shortage in a poetic, non-literal way. Ota founded Tenkei Gekijo or Theatre of Transformation to create suggestive, non-verbal theatre and visual poetry. Ota, who died in 2007 at the early age of 67, was interested in creating “the drama of silence” and “staging living silence.” He wrote, “I want to explore the depths of silence which occupies 90% of our lives…Moving gracefully, but with glacial slowness, the people are frozen figures...During those rare moments when there is a quick gesture by one of the actors, one is startled out of what has become a trancelike state (Ota).”
Over 2,180 people filtered through the installation over the course of the evening.
**Made possible by a Research and Creative Activity Grant from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.