CalArts Plays Itself is part of the Ruhrtriennale, directed by Willy Decker. The central theme for this year is Buddhism. Michael Darling and Colin Honigman of CalArts' Machine Orchestra brought a brand-new drum-bot to Essen: it's modeled after the Hindu deity Ganesha, with its elephant head and multiple arms.
Scott Barry and Neil Doshi's project, The Expanding Archive, draws on the "timeless" work of early CalArts students to create a historical backdrop for the current show at PACT. By re-presenting these earlier works in a dynamic context, which will grow to include work produced and shown this week, The Expanding Archive, hopes to explode the notion of a fixed archive to form a more complex dialogue on how we experience art.
For those of you who speak German (which includes pretty much all of us by now): Fritz Bender visited the house yesterday and reflects on CalArts Plays Itself as well as some specific student projects here.
Another article, also in German, focused on dance and performance:
One more review article, also in German, was published here.
Tech day: those in the performance and music program are meeting with the PACT tech team in the main theatre to decide on the other of the performances, and discuss their technical needs. Meanwhile, others are setting up their work: an inflatable trailer, a wall with fifteen black bandanas, an expanding archive, a summer house…
Various forms of tech are involved, ranging from the high tech of the technicians’ laptops to the low tech of ventilation fans to the even lower tech of a simple needle and thread—and all of this in a heavy tech context, the Zeche Zollverein where a 19th-century coalmine is located.
Since 2001 the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Zollverein is known for its 12th shaft, which opened in 1932 and had a daily output of 12,000 tons of coal. Designed by architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer, the shaft, with its Bauhaus style and massive production capabilites, quickly became a symbol of Zollverein. The concrete block structures reinforced with steel trusses provide a backdrop for PACT which was at one point the shower facilities for the colliery. We were able to explore a bit of the Zollverein site and museum this morning.
Critical Studies faculty Arne De Boever, who was also in Zollverein last year on a fellowship, spoke more about the historical context of Zollverein in a Q&A for our 24700 Blog.
We arrived in Essen last night around 17:00 and headed over to PACT to get a tour of the space. In typical CalArts style, one of our students missed the plane--despite having arrived and checked in at the airport on time. Overall, it was a successful travel day! Students will have the next three days to install and rehearse their projects in preparation for the show's opening on Thursday. Today students will be organizing a shopping trip to pick up materials. They'll also be meeting with the PACT tech crew to finalize their production needs.
Welcome to CalArts' International blog, where we'll be posting about CalArts Plays Itself, a festival that was named after Film/Video faculty Thom Andersen's film Los Angeles Plays Itself (excerpt below). We are extremely excited about our upcoming show at PACT Zollverein which is part of the larger Ruhrtriennale 2011. This event will feature an amazing body of work from students and recent graduates representing all six schools at CalArts. Students, faculty, and staff from Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater will be participating in a four day event which will emphasize the experimental and collaborative aspects of our community.
Both the work and the individual artists/performers will be featured here. Check back often for coverage of the entire program, including interviews with the artists and footage of the exhibition. Access a detailed schedule of the events here.