YVR: The Remembered City was an installation artwork conceived and led by Radix Associate Andreas Kahre. The show was created for Vancouver's 150th anniversary, and designed in reaction to the city's fast state of development and change. (video demo here)
The project began with public workshops where participants were asked to recall things about the city that only exist in their memories now, and then re-create that memory in the form of an object made from one piece of 14 x 18 paper. The objects were then gathered into a ‘city of memories’ and presented with an immersive soundtrack in an exhibition space. The soundtrack was a collage of conversations recorded during the workshops mixed with Vancouver sounds from The World Soundscape Project.
Waterfront, conceived by Radix Associate Andreas Kahre and funded by the City of Vancouver Public Art Department, is a public art project designed to explore the geographic, social and political consequences of future sea level rise. UNESCO now predicts a 3+ degree rise in global temperature which would submerge the entire False Creek area by the end of the century. However, catastrophic changes also offer the opportunity to re-imagine a city.
For five Sundays in June and July we organized a series of free public interventions around False Creek in a ‘mobile sculpture’ with community participants using beach chairs and umbrellas. Utilizing a free app that indicates sea level, participants traced potential shorelines of the future in flash mob-style ‘beach parties’ designed to generate interactions between participants, home owners, and passers-by. The activities will be documented in photo and video and stored with Vancouver City Archives.
We have also been gathering messages on sea level rise for a time capsule to be opened in 2100, the year that many of the current predictions are focused on. Email us 200 words or less on sea level rise, or hand write a message on 4 x 5.5" paper. firstname.lastname@example.org or 1885 Venables, Vancouver BC, V5L 2H6.
Produced in partnership with the Vancouver Park Board, and Roundhouse, Creekside and False Creek Community Centres.
The goal of Waterfront is to stimulate discussion among the communities surrounding False Creek, raise awareness about sea level rise, and to send a message into the future. We know that our decisions today will change the future city. Our aim is to provide a focus for dialogue and a plea for action to mitigate what is to come.
Radix Associate Billy Marchenski lead art walk enthusiasts on a tightly choreographed early morning jaunt on Groundhog Day, accompanied by a meditative soundtrack that played on wireless speakers. In fitting with the day and popular movie named after it, there were many entrances and exits from shelter and a curious sense of deja vu as the walk looped through a 2-3 block area of downtown Vancouver. The event was also preceded by a live interview on local CBC Radio's morning show.
This event has been re-scheduled from its original date, and moved to a new venue. Register through EventBrite here
Radix Theatre, battery opera and Fight With a Stick present:
Rhetoric & Reality: Federal Arts Policy in Canada 1957 – 2014
Canadian artists are largely dependent on state funding constructs (Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council etc) to provide financial support for their ideas and projects and, indirectly, recognition of artistic status. Artists approach officers, and through grant applications, juries to clarify, explain, and hopefully champion their work and give it a particular kind of validation. In this way, their thoughts are often focused on "How do I get the grant?"
But how does the state created entity see itself, and how does the ever-changing rhetoric around it compare to documented reality? What is this beast, this contraption, that we seek so much approval from? What does it even look like from a broader, less immediately self-involved perspective?
This is the view that Duncan Low took in his recent PhD Thesis Federal Arts Policy 1957 – 2014 The Rhetoric & The Reality, and we invite you to join us in a spirit of curiousity to hear Duncan explain his research in a free short presentation. Our goal is not to be comparative, "complainative" or prescriptive, just informative: what did Duncan see in the history and diagnostics of this machine? What’s under the hood?
Friday April 6
1pm, Room B
Roundhouse Community Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC
(corner of Pacific and Davie)
Presentation to be followed by a Q&A session, and afterwards an informal retreat to a nearby bar for some stiff drinks
Free. Please register here
Duncan Low Federal Arts Policy 1957 – 2014 The Rhetoric & The Reality
The dissertation asks: what evidence exists to underpin the claim that 21st century Canadian arts policy is delivering the support necessary to maintain and build a vigorous and sustainable professional arts sector? The study begins with a retrospective examination of the Canada Council, the principal instrument of federal policy for professional arts, and also includes an intensive review of a recent multi-million-dollar federal program that funded arts festivals on the basis of their tourism potential. The dissertation shows how the formation and management of arts policy has moved away from an arms-length approach to funding the professional arts in favour of programs for which economic rationales were paramount. The dissertation exposes the increasing dominance of policy rhetoric over substance, with conclusions that may provoke a reconsideration of fundamentals in the design, implementation and evaluation of professional arts policy in Canada.
Full text at http://summit.sfu.ca/item/1
Duncan Low Bio
Duncan has degrees from Simon Fraser University in Urban Studies (M.Urb) & Communication (PhD). He has completed extensive work with diverse cultural organizations across Canada and the UK, and is experienced in analyzing and synthesizing arts organizations data. His research has been published in the International Journal of Cultural Policy, Canadian Journal of Communication, and Canadian Theatre Review and has been presented at conferences in Canada, US and Europe. In June 2017 Duncan was awarded a Canadian Science Policy Fellowship with the BC Provincial Government. He is currently a Policy Fellow with the Research and Analysis Section at the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training using data visualization.
We've created a blog for Night Walkers to share their thoughts and images about our walks or the art of walking in general. Join us on an upcoming walk and we'll give you the code so you can blog away too! https://nightwalk.blog/
Meanwhile, we recently scouted another route for a potential future walk. Along the way we were surprised and delighted to see an owl gliding across the night sky, much like this one...
After two Night Walks we're now going to explore the city at sunrise. Dawn Walk will start at 5am and include a one-hour stop for breakfast at 7am in a restaurant. The entire trek will take about 5 - 6 hours, beginning and ending at a SkyTrain station.
Meet at the Broadway-City Hall Skytrain Station at 5am,
or Marine Drive SkyTrain Station at 5:20 am.
-water and a snack
-transit fare for a return SkyTrain trip
-$10 - $15 for breakfast
Wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the weather.
You are also invited to bring a question to ponder during the walk. You are under no obligation to share this with anyone.
This is a long mostly flat walk, with some uneven terrain and one steep hill. You should be in fairly good physical condition. You are not obligated to go the whole distance and may stop at anytime, however you will have to arrange your own transportation home if you decide to stop early. We are never too far from public transit, but you may want to bring taxi fare just in case. We will assist you in any way as much as we can.
Register here or text 604-255-8211 to let us know you're coming.
The Radix Associates have had an on-going walking practice as a fun way to fuel creativity. We also learn about our city and stay in shape! Hopefully you will feel the same, and enjoy the route we've designed.
Radix presents the second in our on-going Night Walk series, featuring an evening excursion on an undisclosed route through the city.
Saturday, May 27
7:30 pm at City Hall SkyTrain Station
8:00 pm at the south exit to Marine Drive SkyTrain Station
FREE No registration required
Night Walk is partly inspired by the Situationist art movement and their term 'psychogeography,' a playful approach to the study of geography that encourages the exploration of urban environments. The walk includes some creative elements, but there is no performance per se. It is mostly just a long walk into the night, 3 to 4 hours (about the same distance as the Stanley Park Seawall).
Night Walk 2 will feature two routes, the first was featured in Night Walk 1 and the second is a brand new route. We will arbitrarily direct you to one or the other, unless you have already done the first one, in which case you may choose. You do not need to decide in advance, nor do you need to register. Just show up, either at 7:30 pm at the entrance to City Hall SkyTrain Station, where we'll board the SkyTrain and ride south to Marine Drive Station. You will need to pay transit fare.
Alternatively you can meet us at 8pm outside the Marine Drive Skytrain Station at the south exit. You do not need to enter Marine Drive station for the walk, just wait at the south exit for the rest of the group to arrive around 8pm. We will then all proceed from there, and soon be split into two groups.
Once the walk is underway, imagine a game of Follow the Leader, with Radix personnel leading. Your job will be to follow the people in front of you, but make sure people behind you don't fall too far behind. We want people to spread out, but not too much. You can walk in any size of group you like, but if you turn a corner, make sure people behind you are aware. If this experiment works we'll have a giant snake (quietly!) moving through the city--Radix personnel will be at the head and tail of the snake to ensure the beast stays on track.
Note the walk concludes with a SkyTrain ride and you will need to pay for transit. The cost is $2.75 or less with a Compass Card.
Bring: a snack you can share with someone, water, sensible outdoor clothing and footwear.
If you decide to quit the walk early it is your responsibility to get home, although we will help if need.
Questions can be emailed to email@example.com
Night Walk is an evening excursion where attendees are guided on a walk together along a pre-determined route through the city. While the walk includes some creative elements, there is no performance per se. It is mostly just a walk! A long walk, up to 10 kilometers (about the same distance as the Stanley Park Seawall.) If you get tired, you can stop early and we’ll make sure you get back to the beginning safely.
Our route will allow you to experience some hidden sites of Vancouver at night, in the company of others. Our test audiences so far call it “thrilling, intriguing,” and “an awesome adventure.” The location of the walk is hush-hush and will only be revealed as we journey through the terrain. You should be prepared to walk for 4 - 5 hours.
Register by texting or calling us at 604-255-8211 and we’ll tell you where to meet.
The first Night Walk takes place Sunday March 26. Rain or shine.
What to bring:
Water, snack, sensible outdoor clothing and footwear. We’ll meet in a café where you can purchase a light meal before we depart.
The event is free.
The walk is easy but sometimes covers uneven terrain. Mixed ability participants are welcome, however please ask us for details in advance.
Part of the inspiration for Night Walk comes from the idea of ‘psychogeography,’ a 1955 term from the Situationist art movement that offers a playful approach to the study of geography, a practice that encourages the exploration of urban environments to bring a new awareness to one’s surroundings.
Join us, bring a friend!
TBD takes inspiration from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. This traditional Buddhist text is an auditory guide to the process of dying and re-birth, and is read to someone for 49 days after their death. TBD is a multi-disciplinary event that uses the Tibetan Book as a structural anchor, and as a guide to the audience’s sensual and emotional experience, exploring notions of death and dying, living in the present moment, avoiding distraction, and non-attachment.
With TBD we ask our audience to imagine they have died and that we are now guiding them through the afterlife. Much of the content is delivered via smartphones, however we also visit audience members at home, deliver packages to their door, put posters up in their neighbourhood, ask them to visit site-specific performance installations, and send them mail. We also locate them in public through a free app they download to their phone.
TBD only occurs with each participant’s full knowledge and consent, they may withdraw from the experience at any time. Prior to purchasing a ticket, audience members must agree to a few conditions, such as being mentally and emotionally stable enough to consider notions of death and dying, or willing to download an app so that we could locate them in public.
RADIX PRESENTS Andreas Kahre's sound installation
Created by Radix Associate Artist Andreas Kahre in association with the Roundhouse Community Centre. Named after the novel by Orhan Pamuk, the work was created in collaboration with Brigitte Potter-Mael, Irena Gancewska, Roger Stewart and Stewart Hall, along with voices from the local community. Part audio installation, part museum exhibit, and part science experiment, The Museum of Innocence was an unusual 'storytelling machine' featuring several objects animated by sound.
Enter a confessional-style booth and dictate your letter to a typist behind a screen. Your hand-typed letter comes with addressed envelope and stamp, ready for mailing!
Originally presented in 2011 during FUSE at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Letters is a fun and interactive way to share your thoughts with anyone on anything. Suggested topics include:
Letter to a Loved One
Letter to the One I Cannot Have
Letter of Revenge
Letter of Resignation
Letter of Apology
Letter to My Future Self
Letter to a Vanishing Species
Dear Stephen (Letter to the Prime Minister)
"I was at an event the other night & Radix Theatre had this little performance that tickled me in many ways..."
Read more about what Blogger Amoeba had to say about the show:
Celebrate the End of Summer in Style!
Do a little something different on Labour Day weekend – saunter into Commercial Drive’s Grandview Park for Silent Summer Nights, three fantastic evenings of the best in silent (and not so silent) film. Park your blanket under the stars and enjoy outdoor films with original live musical accompaniment by Stefan Smulovitz’s brilliant Eye of Newt ensemble, and invited guests. A Labour Day classic.
We launched our 25th season with the premiere of Slowpoke. This powerful work was performed and created by Radix Associate Billy Marchenski and Vancouver dance artist Alison Denham, with direction by James Fagan Tait and music by Beverly Dobrisnky. The show used theatre, dance, and projections to tell the sometimes harrowing-sometimes humorous story of a journey inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Billy was inspired to create the exploratory work after visiting the Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum in 2010. In the fall of 2011 he and his partner Alison packed their cameras and bags to visit the Exclusion Zone and begin developing a show about Billy's experience.
Performed in the intimate Russian Hall, the Slowpoke narrative played out on two levels: the first recounted Billy and Alison’s trip to the zone itself. The second meditated on the enormous time scale the incident plays out on and what it means for humanity to possess the power to alter the environment so drastically. The work’s title is both a nod to this timeline and a reminder of Canada’s connection to nuclear energy as manufacturers of the Slowpoke reactor, built in the 1960’s and still in use in parts of Canada today.
Graphic design by Andreas Kahre
Presented at HIVE, March 2010.
Fever, Radix's contribution to HIVE3, took place in a specially constructed quarantine zone established in the parking lot. A totally immersive theatre experience, audience members were treated as patients and ushered individually into an emergency room setting. While lying on an army cot and with the attendants providing hands-on care, "the patients" listened through headphones to a lyrical narration inviting them to contemplate their own mortality and life's accomplishments.
The show was critically acclaimed and proved extremely popular with audiences.
"Radix's Fever I adored. In this piece, which refers to H1N1, masked doctors lead you to a field hospital that's been set up in a shipping container in the parking lot. There you are invited, lyrically and tenderly, to consider your own death. I don't want to give too much away. Let me just say that I was moved- and completely ready to pass over." - Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
"The trance-like state evoked by this piece left me in a strange and vulnerable state and once it was over, returning to the chaos of the main venue was a shock." -Sebastien Archibald. PLANK Magazine
"A stunning show about mortality, community, and the ethics of care..."-Peter Dickson. Performance, Place and Politics
Co-creator/Writer Andrew Templeton
Co-creator/Director Paul Ternes
Emelia Symington Fedy
Sound Recording and Design
Technical Director/State Manager
With a special thank you to our team of volunteer Doctors who ushered patients to the compound.
Based in Vancouver, Radix Theatre Society has been producing innovative and exciting performance events locally and nationally since 1988. Our mandate is to foster the creation and production of original and socially relevant work. The company primarily creates interdisciplinary performance but also ventures into other media, focusing on experimentation and collaborative creation. Radix is comprised of eight Artistic Associates who collectively determine company projects and direction, facilitated by Artistic Producer Andrew Laurenson who is also one of the Associates.
Radix Theatre has created many ambitious performances over the years incorporating dynamic physicality, seductive visual design, and provocative content. The company has created a new production at least once every year since its inception, inspired by issues such as environmental degradation, sexual repression, car culture and terrorism.
Most of our work is site-specific, experimenting with the audience’s relationship to the performance. Performance locations include an inner-city field, a tour bus, a diner, an underground garage, a downtown office building, a parking lot with audience members in their cars, and IKEA.
Radix has carved out a distinctive role in the Vancouver performing arts community by reaching across disciplines and pushing boundaries. The company harbours an experimental approach to both process and form, creating work that is fresh, engaging, and invigorating, while maintaining accessibility. The Radix experiment is an attempt to lay bare our shared humanity, and above all, inspire.
Radix is supported annually by the City of Vancouver and the Province of BC through the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch. Donations are tax deductible and can be done on-line securely here through Canada Helps
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Board of Directors
Jason Gratl (Chair)
Radix was co-founded by Belinda Earle, Michael Hirano and Jud Martell, whose boldness and vision laid the groundwork for the company's current achievements. Radix Theatre Society was incorporated in 1991 and two years later attained federal charitable status. The company is regularly supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, B.C. Arts Council, the Province of B.C. through the Gaming Commission, the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Foundation, and Hamber and Koerner Foundations.
Radix is a registered non-profit society with federal charitable status. We gratefully accept financial donations. Your support will assist our exploration of new territories in performance, and help us continue to employ a diverse range of talented and committed artists. Donations can be done securely on-line through Canada Helps; amounts over $10 will receive an official income tax receipt. Thank you for your contribution.
Assembly and The Performance Art Trap at BC Scene National Arts Centre, Ottawa May 2009
Assembly is a an artistic exploration into the themes of wholeness and fragmentation, gathered around contemporary notions of the body, mind, and soul. The work began with Experiment #1: The Abandoned Body, presented during LIVE: Vancouver's Performance Art Biennial in November 2005, and was followed by Experiment #2: The Fractured Mind at the Vancouver Art Gallery's FUSE March 2006, and Experiment #3: The Shattered Soul, presented as part of HIVE November 2006. The three parts were then brought together to form Assembly, which premiered March 2007 at the Pacific Palisades Hotel. The show was adapted for the stage and presented at Montreal's Theatre Lachapelle in February 2008, in Vancouver at the 2009 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and in Ottawa for The National Arts Centre's BC Scene.
Assembly is a surreal self-improvement seminar that confronts the desire for unity in an increasingly divided world. Four seminar leaders share the secret to becoming whole as they gradually fall apart. Bizarre breakout sessions offer equal parts tongue-in-cheek parody and absurdist drama, as we unlock our deepest desires and try to remember what getting together is all about.
Winner of the Vancouver Sun Critics' Choice Award for Innovation
at the 2007 Jessie Richardson Awards
One of Vancouver's best live shows in 2007
A collective creation, featuring Katy Harris-McLeod, Andrew Laurenson Billy Marchenski, Emelia Symington Fedy (above)
Paul Ternes, Direction
Andrew Laurenson, Direction, Video Design
Andreas Kahre, Scenography, Graphic Design
Stefan Smulovitz, Sound Design
Sean Lang, Video Design, Photography
Robyn Volk, Costume Design
Rachel Peake, Lighting
Janet Baxter, Photography
Justine Fafard, Production Management
Andrew Templeton, Publicity
Kaja Tvedten, Volunteer Coordinator
Montreal version directed by Alex Ferguson
Lighting Design by Itai Erdal
Thank you to our many volunteers who assisted so greatly. And to the staff and management of the Pacific Palisades Hotel.
Presented during FUSE Vancouver Art Gallery June 2007
and at The National Arts Centre's BC Scene April 2009.
Radix returned to the VAG for another edition of FUSE. Taking a page from similar events in Paris and Toronto, the VAG opened its doors all night for the first time ever on the shortest night of the year. "Sleepy Vancouver" turned out to be not so sleepy as thousands took the dare and partied til the wee hours.
The Performance Art Traps offered metaphors for the trappings of life. The traps were giant custom-built cardboard boxes, 6 feet high and 8 feet long, propped up with a stick like a rudimentary rabbit trap. The 'bait' was a performer inside, with an empty chair for the 'catch' to sit in. With the victim seated a nearby security guard, dressed identically to VAG security, pulled the stick and "whump!" the trap was released!
Four boxes offered metaphors on the trappings of career, love, fame, and death. A fifth box was the trap you wanted to get into but couldn't--an exclusive party raged inside all night (on CD). Marie Lopes, Interim Head of Public Programs at the VAG, said "Radix stepped up to the plate with work that was visually startling, completely engaging, and rigorous and provocative in its presentation... Radix played an enormous part in making this event a night to remember."
Created and Performed by
Emelia Symington Fedy
Presented at HIVE, June 2008.
HIVE 2 had us reunited with our fellow Vancouver theatre associates in a large warehouse--where we put our audience to work in the XIDAR (radix spelled backwards) Shipping Department.
Audience members filled out application forms and successful candidates were then given a series of repetitive tasks, filling orders and packing boxes. Live music was provided by Ian Beaty, whose groovy jamming and soulful crooning provided the necessary rhythm and atmosphere to get the job done.
The show was a fun exploration of a couple of life's basics: the camraderie of work and necessity of purpose. XIDAR enterprises was revealed to be a compassionate but quirky organization, providing care packages for the dearly departed to take on their trip 'to the other side.'
Andrew Laurenson and Paul Ternes: the workers
Ian Beaty (sub. Patrick Pennefather): the musician
Sean Devine (sub. Sean Lang): the shipping guy
Katy Harris-McLeod/Jenn McLeish-Lewis: human resources
Created by Sean Devine, Andreas Kahre, Sean Lang, Andrew Laurenson, Paul Ternes Costumes: Kirsten McGhie Sound: Stefan Smulovitz
This performance installation took place in the cloak room of an old funeral home during an evening of short theatrical installations by 10 of Vancouver's most adventurous theatre companies (and one from Victoria!). HIVE was a unique and unprecedented collaboration between these eleven producing companies joining together in a spirit of community, innovation, and celebration.
Exp #3: The Shattered Soul was an emotionally charged encounter designed for one audience member at a time. After putting on a pair of wireless headphones, you are confronted with a man's voice inviting you to come inside. You enter a room occupied by a coffin. The voice attempts to explain himself. He desperately tries to tell you what this is all about, but is unable to do so, and instead lists off all the things this is not about. This is not about death, or the fear of death, or loss, or grief, or anything else he can think of for that matter. He invites you closer to smell the flowers. Inside the wreath of lillies is a view finder hidden from view. Looking in you see life flashing before your eyes, and a man's face appears out of the void. His eyes gaze deeply into your own. You share a moment together in silence. He smiles, and thanks you for coming.
Created by Andreas Kahre, Andrew Laurenson, Billy Marchenski, Elliot Neck, and Paul Ternes
Performed by Billy Marchenski
Directed by Paul Ternes
Andreas Kahre, Co-Creator and Graphic Design
Stefan Smulovitz, Sound Design
Andrew Laurenson and Sean Lang, Video Design
Elliot Neck, Camera Obscura and Coffin Construction
Presented during FUSE at the Vancouver Art Gallery, March 24, 2006.
Four “teams” of three performers each roved through the gallery space, representing our divided selves. A ‘severed’ head was featured in a rolling display case, dragged by an exhausted, mute and blindfolded figure. An imposing security guard stood by, (dressed identically to the VAG security staff) occasionally whispering something in the figure’s ear. Each display case had a laptop computer inside, enabling the performer to play pre-recorded audio or speak through a live audio program designed by Stefan Smulovitz. The result was a distorted audio collage of the often confusing internal soundtrack of contemporary life.
finally released of their boxly burden to climb the stairs of the rotunda in search of ascendancy, hampered by the Security Guards on their journey. At the top of the stairs the bodies enter into a momentary blissful waltz with the guards, only to be cast back down to resume their futile Sisyphean task.
Marie Lopes, Adult Programs Coordinator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, said “The Fractured Mind was a model of interdisciplinarity in the arts; theatrically and visually stunning, intellectually provocative and conceptually rigorous.We have been inundated with positive feedback from a very enthusiastic audience since your performance!”
Experiment #2: The Fractured Mind (quicktime video, 2:40 minutes)
Created by Andreas Kahre, Andrew Laurenson, and Paul Ternes with the performers.
Performed by Thomas Anfield, Kevin Bergsma, Katy Harris-McLeod, Sean Lang, Andrew Laurenson, Billy Marchenski, Dan Paterson, Tanya Podlozniuk, Paul Ternes, Andy Thompson, Monica Trejbal, Bessie Wapp
Directed by Andrew Laurenson and Paul Ternes
Andreas Kahre, Co-Creator and Graphic Design
Stefan Smulovitz, Sound Design
Andrew Laurenson and Sean Lang, Video Design
Elliot Neck, Display Case Design
Robyn Volk, Costume Design
Final Viewing begins at a wake, where audience members gather with philanthropist Dan Goodman (Andrew Laurenson) to commemorate John Doe (Paul Ternes), who one year prior sacrificed his life pushing Goodman out of the way of a speeding taxicab. Now, to honour his anonymous saviour, Goodman has created "The International Centre for Active Goodness," to reward and publicize extraordinary deeds. After a drink and sing-a-long at the wake (in the Lamplighter Hotel pub), audience members travel down the street to an office building for a tour of the International Centre. The tour soon derails, and we find ourselves inside Goodman's mind, travelling through the haunted corridors of the Centre, which speak of Dan's memories and his dying wishes: if only someone had pushed him out of the way of that speeding taxicab, if only someone had performed an act of goodness...
Final Viewing was presented to critical acclaim in Vancouver as a satellite show at the 2005 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and toured to standing ovations in Quebec City during Recto-Verso's Mois Multi Festival.
Directed by Heidi Taylor
Created by Andrew Laurenson, Paul Ternes and Heidi Taylor, with Stefan Smulovitz (Sound Design)
Video Design: Sean Lang
Stage Design and Management: Adam Stokes
Photos by Janet Baxter
Presented during LIVE: Vancouver's Performance Art Biennial, 2005.
The public anatomies of the 15th century revealed an entirely new way of looking at the human body – the body as corpse. Previously, the body was a mysterious vessel, not to be desecrated by human hands. These events pre-dated early theatre, crowds gathered and tickets were sold to feed a public fascination for spectacle and knowledge.
According to author Robert D.
Romanyshyn in his book Technology as Symptom and Dream: “The corpse is an image of the abandoned body and a way of imagining the body as abandoned. It is a vision of the body, a specific way of looking at the body. It is a perspective, which, in focusing on the body itself as a spectacle for observation, isolates the body from its living context or situation and fragments the body which it sees.” For Experiment #1, Radix will use Romanyshyn’s text as a point of departure to create a performance installation that looks at how our understanding of the body as anatomical object separates us from the lived, personal experiences of the bodies we inhabit.
“The body… as corpse upon the stage of the dissecting table is as much a piece of created fiction as it is discovered fact. The body observed on the stage of the dissecting table belongs as much to the realm of art as it does to science.” (Romanyshyn)
Andrew Laurenson & Paul Ternes
Created by: Katy Harris-McLeod, Andreas Kahre, Andrew Laurenson, and Paul Ternes
Katy Harris-McLeod, Tanya Marquardt, Andrew Laurenson, Paul Ternes
Andreas Kahre and Elliot Neck, Set Design
Elliot Neck, Lighting Design
Andreas Kahre, Graphic Design
Stefan Smulovitz, Sound Design
Andrew Laurenson and Sean Lang, Video Design
Experiment #1: The Abandoned Body (quicktime video, 3:57 minutes)
Part drive-in theatre, part live radio show, Half a Tank is a spectacular meditation on our relationship with the automobile. The show takes place in a large parking lot, with audience members seated inside their cars, parked in a large circle facing inward. (Those without cars are encouraged to car-pool or car share on-site.) Inside the circle a 1978 Dodge Diplomat rotates endlessly, with expert driver Cameron Shaft (Sean Lang) at the wheel.
Audience members listen to their car radios as radio station CKAR is on location to cover an historic occassion: the Diplomat is about to pass 500,000 miles on the odometer. CKAR's Bob Piston hosts a celebration of the life of the Diplomat, originally owned by Tommy Dankson of Enderby, B.C., with a collection of stories, samples and songs created and presented by Andreas Kahre, Andrew Laurenson, Ron Samworth and Paul Ternes. The event also features the Good Lookin' Roller Team who provide exciting choreography and window service to patrons, the Pit Crew who keep windows clean and ensure our supply of gas, with additional appearances from Pedal Power, Thomas Anfield and other special guests. (Full Cast List below)
Half a Tank was critically acclaimed in Vancouver and Toronto, and achieved national coverage with a preview story that was picked up by several newspapers across the country. The show was a suprising hit with families, offering entertainment for all ages (the kids had permission to honk the car horn all night.) The show reflects our dysfunctional relationship with the automobile: we love our cars but they are killing us. Half a Tank culminates in a lavish ceremony as the Diplomat dies and is towed away to 'the next lot,' crammed with a teeming mass of humanity. The audience is left to ponder a flaming oil drum as the show comes to an end. (Photos by Janet Baxter)
Watch a Quicktime .mov document of HALF A TANK
Half a Tank
Bob Piston--Andrew Laurenson
Sparky Gallagher--Paul Ternes
Cam Shaft--Sean Lang
Austin Healy--Ron Samworth
The Good Lookin' Roller Team:
The Pump Jockeys:
The Bouncy Spirits:
Tommy Dankson--Thomas Anfield
Death on a Segway--Thomas Anfield
The Backseat Lovers:
SexMachine was inspired by Wilhelm Reich, one of the most controversial thinkers of the twentieth century. A pioneer of body centred psychotherapy, Reich studied the inextricable link between our physical and mental health. His early studies into the nature of the orgasm led to his later claim of having discovered cosmic life energy that he called 'orgone.' This energy was common knowledge to healing traditions of the East, known by various names such as chi or prana, but to the North American medical establishment his claim was heresy.
Created by the Radix collective, SexMachine looked at the themes surrounding the life and work of this "mad scientist" to examine some of our contemporary attitudes towards sex, power, and freedom of expression.
This site-specific show was set in the beautifully restored Shelly Building at 119 West Pender. Upon arrival, audience members were treated as though they were coming to a sex clinic for a tour and possible treatment. They were met by 'staff' dressed in lab coats, asked to remove their shoes and wear hygenic surgical socks, and given a 'treatment' on a 60's era hip-shaking belt machine. From there they were led through a series of performance installations in several of the offices on that floor, enveloping them in a surreal atmosphere of poetically charged and viscerally stimulating imagery.
Watch a Quicktime .mov document of SEXMACHINE
Created by Alison Dowsett, Noah Drew, Emma Howes, Andrew Laurenson, Billy Marchenski, Tanya Marquardt, John Popkin, Paul Ternes & Sarah Wendt.
For a little while, the world cared about a rat!
Take the tour that everyone's talking about! Now you can travel on a luxury tour bus for an in-depth examination of the story behind Vancouver's most famous rodent. Was it art, or was it simply insane?
In 1990, Vancouver performance artist Rick Gibson declared he was going to crush a live rat named Sniffy onto a piece of canvas in a free public performance. The announcement spread like wildfire and made headlines around the world!
Find out how Rick Gibson managed to escape the clutches of an angry mob! See the sites where the Sniffy story happened, watch the video, meet the people! In-depth interviews, fascinating unknown facts, plenty of photo opportunities! Is Sniffy still alive? Is it true that Sniffy moved to Port Coquitlam? Learn about Sniffy's dramatic rescue and his ultimate fate.
A stunning display of human compassion and stupidity - all at once!
Watch the archived CBC TV news report. (originally broadcast Jan. 6, 1990)
Watch a Quicktime .mov document of The Sniffy Bus Tour
Watch 22 Short Films about Sniffy the Rat
Santor, K.T. Shores, Kate Siddall, Brahm Taylor, Paul Ternes, Vic Ustare, Bessie Wapp, & Sarah Wendt.
Presented at IKEA Richmond in May 2002, The Swedish Play was part radio play, part guided tour, part scientific experiment and part Greek tragedy. Conceived by Andreas Kahre and developed with the Radix Collective, The Swedish Play explored the collective dreams that lie beneath the surfaces of BILLY and AKROBAT, in the realm of desire and the poetry of object relations.
The Swedish Play (originally titled The IKEA Plays until we Head Office asked otherwise) was designed as an experiment in 'invisible theatre'. With the help of Vancouver artist Bobbi Kozinuk, Radix built small FM radio transmitters that were situated inside the store. The performers and audience members—indistinguishable from other shoppers--carried portable FM receivers that allowed them to listen to a soundtrack of 'inner' voices, music, and sound effects, while following the catalogue like a treasure map--one group following the "Comedy" channel in one direction while another followed "Tragedy" in the opposite direction.
Moving across the store, the audience encountered scenes, ideas, and objects activated by the soundtrack's narrative 'channels', discovering new layers in the fascinating mixture of sense data, social experiment and collective dream that IKEA represents to most of us.
The Swedish Play was created because IKEA transcends the idea of a furniture store, it has become an iconic presence for generations of Canadians, creating links to a European heritage and a global society that reaches into everyone's life. Everyone must by now have at least one IKEA item in their home, and the different choices and styles that are reflected in IKEA's product lines offer an ideal environment for an examination of both our individual and collective dreams.
Featuring (in alphabetical order): Nneka Croal, Allison Dowsett, Tara Fynn, Katy Harris-McLeod, Clay Hastings, Andrew Laurenson, Heather Lindsay, Jennifer McLeish-Lewis, Billy Marchenski, Tanya Marquardt, Dan Patterson, Laura Quigley, Gosia Santor
A further development of the themes and ideas behind Box, Box2 returned to the the Templeton diner to offer up a whole new menu, well mostly. This new production included a video segment that followed the busboy down Granville Street and into a XXX shop video booth where he gets transported 'outside the box' into a strange and distant forest before returning to the diner forever altered. Box2 was nominated for six Jessie Richardson Awards for excellence in Vancouver Theatre, including Best Production and Best Original Play,ultimately winning for Significant Artistic Achievement for Video, as well as for Best Actress (Kendra Fanconi). Box2 also successfully toured to Victoria, and most recently was presented at The Stem Diner during the inaugural Free Fall Festival in Toronto, October, 2002.
Created and performed by Kendra Fanconi, Andrew Laurenson and Paul Ternes. Directed by Craig Hall.
Exploring the question "Having been tamed, is there anything wild still left in us?" Bewildered set out to examine untamed regions of the psyche: hidden obsessions, uncontrollable urges, acts of violence, insanity and suicide. Staged in a rarely used, split-level underground parking garage beneath the ballroom of an old dance hall, the peformance began with the audience descending into the dark underground space of the lowest parkade. As lights were turned on and off by the performers, different corners of this spooky basement appeared in and out of the darkness where eerie scenes were played out amongst the abandoned furniture and rusty appliances stored there. After climbing the stairs to the next level, an empty garage with a haunting echo, the audience listened to the gentle singing of one character until the garage door flew open and the man's song was cut short by the terrifying entrance of a speeding truck trying to run him down. The performance culminated on the next floor up where the audience took up a position on a balcony overlooking the ballroom. Complete with disco ball and dry ice, the ballroom performance included a spectacular video projection of hundreds of crows amassing in the sky while a 20-foot tall dark angel sang to a bewildered tap-dancer.
Winner of the Vancouver Sun Critics' Choice Award for Innovation at the 2002 Jessie Richardson Awards.
Watch a Quicktime .mov document of Bewildered
A Radix collective creation
Directed by Sherry J Yoon
Performed by Tasha Faye Evans, Brahm Taylor and Paul Ternes
With Lighting, Set Design, & Dramaturgy by Jay Dodge
Video by Andrew Laurenson
The creation of Box began as an exploration of feelings of uncertainty about the future, contextualized by the awareness of the end of this millennium (the familiar) and the beginning of the next (the unknown).
The concept concretized in the image of a box inspired by Erwin Schroedinger's infamous thought experiment, in which a cat is placed inside a box that at some random moment releases a poisonous gas. According to quantum physics, since we cannot see the cat to determine if it is alive or dead the cat enters a kind of limbo, both alive and dead simultaneously, until the box is opened up to check. Originally, Radix imagined performers inside boxes, but the limitations of this idea sent the collective looking on the outside. They visited Vancouver's Templeton Diner and had a 'eureka' moment when their eccentric waitress delivered an on-going monologue about her life while serving customers. This was the box they were looking for. The company was trained as staff and operated the diner normally; many unsuspecting patrons were surprised when a performance emerged before them. Soon the entire diner was turned upside-down with lights, video projections, movement and song. One unsuspecting patron was so impressed by the production he funded a re-mount of the show for the 1999 Vancouver Fringe festival.
Created by Tasha Faye Evans, Kendra Fanconi, Andreas Kahre, Andrew Laurenson, Stephen O'Connell, and Paul Ternes
Performed by Tasha Faye Evans, Kendra Fanconi, Andrew Laurenson, and Paul Ternes
Directed by Andreas Kahre & Stephen O'Connell
Lighting design by George Scott
A field trip into the vegetable mind, All Flesh is Grass was an outdoor adventure drama that took its audience on an archeo-cultural dig for hope among the ruins of history. The stage was an empty lot just north of the city's train station, a six acre field grown over with weeds, tall grasses, and wild flowers. Gathering at the station just before sunset, the audience was asked to grab hold of a long rope and then follow their group leader across the train station parking lot and through a hole in the fence surrounding the empty lot. Here they encountered three lost souls trying to make their way through this absurdist urban wasteland with agricultural promise. Along the way they discover a surreal landscape complete with buried treasure, a bathtub full of love letters, and a garden of human-plant hybrids swaying in the dusk breeze.
Created and Performed by Kendra Fanconi, Andrew Laurenson and Paul Ternes With supporting cast members Hope Corbin, Tasha Faye Evans, Caroline Farquhar, Tanya Woloshen, Monica Trejbal, & David Flewelling.
Watch a Quicktime .mov document of All Flesh is Grass
The performance began in the crosswalk at the corner of Hamilton and Georgia, with a movement piece timed to the changing lights. A large and diverse audience was snared by the spectacle, people coming out of shows from The Vancouver Playhouse, The Ford Centre for Performing Arts, and The Monster Truck Show at B.C. Place. The audience was then led around the perimeter of the Vancouver Public Library for an inspired performance on memory and history, featuring monologues, playlets, movement sequences, 8mm film and slides, culminating in a giant three-projector 16 mm film loop.
The event was covered by CBC Television in a feature story on Broadcast One.
Created and performed by Elizabeth Burr, Andrew Laurenson, Stephen O'Connell, Lucy Simic, and Tamara Ulisko
The Blind Musician was an interdisciplinary performance that used a hybrid of media to examine power relationships in ordinary experiences contributing to social injustice. Drawing on terrorism as a staring point, the company explored the correlations between extreme acts of violence and personal responsibility, in the hopes of constructing a deeper illustration of the flattened documentation of violence that permeates history.
So far the only Radix production presented inside a traditional venue, The Blind Musician was a “performance installation” at The Firehall Arts Centre. The stage was covered in fresh lawn turf, a linoleum floor was installed among the seating, and several window frames hung around the space, catching looping film images from a dozen film projectors. Performers hung from the ceiling by nooses, the audience had to walk past them, on the grass, to get to their seats.
The Blind Musician was first presented in 1996 as a studio piece in the Firehall Arts Centre’s Dancing on the Edge Festival, and then re-mounted in 1997 during the Firehall’s regular season. Firehall Artistic Director Donna Spencer was a key contributor to the success of Radix, booking them every year for the Edge from 1992 to 1999. The regular booking inspired the company to continue to create new work.
In an odd twist, text from The Blind Musician re-surfaced in 2002 when an organization in Omaha, Nebraska published Molecules, a monologue written by Andrew Laurenson, in their anthology of alternative responses to terrorism.
Created and performed by Tara Cheyenne, Andrew Laurenson, Jud Martell, Stephen O'Connell, Lucy Simic, and Sara Whitford. With support from Elizabeth Burr, Jeff Corness and George Scott.
Made with Radix's first Canada Council grant under the Explorations Program, Instruments of Torture examined issues of addiction, desire, and revolution in an increasingly technologically-driven society. Set beneath the Burrard Bridge, audiences swelled for this production to approximately 200 people by the end of the run. Admission was a donation to the food bank.
The foundations of Radix's inter-disciplinary aesthetic were laid during this production, as the group set out to re-assess rehearsal techniques "to combine dance, theatre and music in an organic way by examining the relationship between their fundamentals: movement, text, and melody."
Created and performed by Elizabeth Burr, Stephen O'Connell, Angus Whyte, Sarah Whitford, Richard Windeyer, Jud Martell, Laura Crema, Elaine Avila
Clips from Instruments of Torture are contained within this 1990-96 video compilation