In 2020, global events created enormous instability and uncertainty for experimental practice. In response, Performance Space created LIVE DREAMS, a new platform for artists to share works-in-progress and ideas in development in a dynamic and responsive environment. Taking place all online, LIVE DREAMS enables artists and audiences to continue connecting with each other across borders and geographic space. LIVE DREAMS has offered us an exciting glimpse into current developments in experimental art, and has been a crucible for experimentation and conversation.
Performance Space has expanded this program as part of Liveworks 2021, inviting four Guest Curators from across the Asia-Pacific to theme each stream with powerful provocations as we navigate the turbulence of our current moment.
All LIVE DREAMS events will be live streamed on Vimeo, and embedded on our website. All the events in the LIVE DREAMS Series will be available on demand for 7 days after they air, through our digital experimental art channel LIVE ON-THE-LINE. Each event goes for 2 hours.
LIVE DREAMS 2021 LINEUP
A Japanese phrase used when answering the phone. A question to an unknown other. Works that deal with intimacy, voice or presence and absence of the body.
Roslyn Orlando (Melbourne)
Evasion Score II
Evasion Score II is the second in a series of graphic scores that propose ways of using the voice to evade detection from domestic smart speakers. The scores use various experimental vocal techniques to obfuscate words and prevent networked speakers from 'listening' to and understanding speech. For Live Dreams, Roslyn will present the graphic score and perform a ‘choral reading’.
Kate McGuinness (Sydney)
stand up comedy set
MindsEye Collective (Sydney)
Mystery Call is a participatory dance work that connects people near and far. How can our dancing be accessed through an experience of your own body, the history of our bodies and a relationship to the collective body isolated during this time? Mystery Call utilises a creative conversation to build an inclusive performance which is heard and experientially embodied instead of being visually seen.
Yudai Kamisato (Japan)
Yuta Hagiwara Kamome Machine (Japan)
Jarunun "Jaa" Phantachat (Thailand)
Emma Webb (Vitalstatistix)
Works that invite us to leave the current world behind, celebrating the liminal drift or the radical leap, the shapeshifter, the departure and liberation, an unbound break away from this time, politic or place.
Mrs Tan (Philippines)
Tandemonium is a virtual world that shows how chaotic the world can get, how power is purchased, and how oppression and killings, especially of those in the minority, continue while people are silent. A virtual world where its own creator is not the ruler. A chaotic world where the power to decide is given to those who you share it with. One has no voice, no choice, no control. One is there only for entertainment.
Jay Gardener, George Wohlfiel and Jeff McCann (Sydney)
Us, the Most, The Many (UMM)
Collaborators Jay Gardener, George Wohlfiel, and Jeff McCann will envision a utopia for the Live Dreams portal stream that radically reimagines our present. UMM asks, what would our world be beyond gender, beyond binaries, beyond our bodies and beyond human? Can this alternative present be captured in a ‘live’ experience?
Jenny Brown (Sydney)
Pick-up-needle-bottom-of-sea performs an apology to Iraq as a participant imagining of a water-energy postal system in the creek that cuts across my backyard down through rivers to the sea. The work responds to French-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s description of how America wanted to take control of the Chaldean writing system, the birth of writing, as its motivation for targeting Iraq, which led to the US-Australian-British-led invasion. The theft of the Gilgamesh tablets during the war and their relocation to Washington’s Museum of Bible entangles this drive further. In our ice-book form’s floating creekline release, the Christian bible melts away.
Too Close to the Sun (Perth)
At the End of the Land
At the End of the Land is a contemporary solo performance work about the liminal space between life and death. It draws inspiration from spirit photography, 18 dead school girls from the Victorian era, a red monkey who listens to death metal and David Lynch on the unified field. The work is essentially an experiment in seeing beyond our material existence and grappling with what cannot be comprehended. In making this work we intend to invest deeply in the mysterious and the uncanny and to reveal a glimpse of what is hidden underneath the living and the known.
Talya Rubin - performer/writer/co-devisor
Nick James - co-devisor/director
Sam James - hologram and projections designer
Hayley Forward - sound designer
Richard Vabre - lighting designer
Sally Craven (Adelaide)
Inspired by lost worlds and the unexpected utopias of golf, Sally Craven’s performance lecture and video will bend histories and anecdotes into Orchadian fictions, speaking to the last remaining island of a critically endangered orchid surviving inside a private golf club on Kaurna land. Sally will consider the site’s inherent contradictions and tensions, pasts and possible futures, and the complexities of capitalist public/private thresholds, underpinned by colonial ideologies. The work draws from art historian Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll whose research examines plants as both witnesses to, and dynamic agents in, history. She says that ‘even in “nature” we are not outside the world of neoliberal exploitation, but rather in a postlapsarian collapse of Eden into a colony. Plants are also in service of the global economic apparatus of extraction, accumulation, and acceleration—the quiet resistance that we sense from them as we become vegetalized by incarceration is also at least partly an illusion’ (Orlow 2018, 242).
Pat Toh (Singapore)
Air Ways examines the breath as entangled territories of policies, ecologies and corporealities. Taking crises of respiration as the point of activism, this work is a chorus performance voicing on the affects of greenhouse gases and the precarious relationship of our lungs with the atmosphere.
Angus McGrath (Sydney)
The Tomb of Illusions, or, A Seance As A Play
A seance performed with a TV summons the spirits of artist Andy Warhol and novelist Yukio Mishima, blurring the lines of performance, play, lecture, and occult magic. The infamously performative men lecture about the meanings of beauty, fantasy, the body, sex, and death. Maybe the characters whose bodies they inhabit learn something too.
Choy Ka Fai
Works that explore the aspiration for self-transcendence, and the psychological phenomena of liminal spaces, expanding boundaries of oneself.
Rakini Devi (Sydney) and Karl Ockelford (Melbourne)
Rakini Devi and Karl Ockelford share their collaborative work in progress of a live-art performance film. Inspired by the Latin expression “solve et coagula”- “solve” meaning to disseminate, and “coagula” the process of joining (coagulating). In this short film, Rakini and Karl explore spiritual transmutation, female alchemy, and the body as mythological icon. Rakini Devi’s practice of transforming/embodying female iconography spans three decades. Rakini Devi has collaborated with sound artist and filmmaker Karl Ockelford for twenty years. This film collage represents their experiments during a 2019 Critical Path residency titled The Body as Archive and their 2017 collaboration on Devi’s multidisciplinary performance, Urban Kali.
Grace Marlow (Adelaide)
TWO MOUTHED PUSSEY BITCH
In TWO MOUTHED PUSSEY BITCH, disobedient and ungoverned mouths speak on the politics of sound and being heard. Drawing inspiration from Anne Carson’s analysis of the ancient (but persistent) idea that women have two mouths, both “best kept closed”, the work explores the club as a utopian transcendent space of excess and intuition, where desire, fear and transformation resonate as non-verbal sound, as bodily vibration, as beats per minute under neon glows and the haze of smoke machines—where these mouths speak. Here orifices become portals of transformation, leaking holes from which disobedient, vulgar, excessive and metaphorical words escape.
Sound production: Jon Santos
Luna Mrozik Gawler (Melbourne)
Presented in five short movements, Zero Point is a performance lecture that steps past the possibility of societal and cultural collapse and into a distant future populated by queer, hybrid bodies, flourishing in a posthuman pastiche, a rich ecosystem arisen from the compost and debris of an anthropogenic age. Collapsing the past, present and future, and queering the dystopia/utopia binary, Zero Point is an invitation to deeply listen to the periphery, to consider what is best left behind and to radically conjure what might come next. Looking to the more-than-human life and knowledge ways that refuse or resist human-centered thinking, Zero Point traverses the haunted territories between those places already gone and those not yet imagined, guided by Mollusks, Orchids, Volcano snails, Mycelium and one chunk of space Ice. Drawing on New Materialist, Posthuman and Queer theories, Zero Point languishes in the uncanny imbrications of non-human worlds and their knotty invitation to step through the fissures of the Anthropocene into a symbiotic world of collaborative survival.
Featuring sound work by Justine Walsh and Jake Steele
Chung Nguyen and Julia Santoli (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
In response to the current physical restraints of quarantine and social-distancing, Chung Nguyen and Julia Santoli embark on an exploration of imagining the dream-like space between waking reality and dream consciousness, dreamer and dream, lines and vocal/sound, and a sense of shared ‘reality’. How could we communicate with each other through sleep/dream states and what kind of space would that be? How would the mind and consciousness manifest themselves to transcend our physical experience? Bardo is part of Collective Consciousness | Collective Dreams; an ongoing research project and practice conceived by Chung Nguyen.
Joana Chicau and Renick Bell (Amsterdam)
Choreographies of the Circle & Other Geometries
Maria Judova (Prague)
Kykeon is an immersive virtual reality experience exploring shamanism as a way to reimagine our current society. Inspired by an ancestral knowledge and wisdom, it invites the audience to take a part in a new ritual.The VR trilogy reflects on loss of a sense of community and empathy, as well as lack of concern for others. A search for a path forward, examining tradition and the ways of the tribe. It takes ancient culture and civilization, ritualistic, folkloric practices as an inspiration, to re-examine them, and look at them as a way for us to move forward. Ancient shamans wearing a mask were considered to become a bearer of the spirit of the mask, the medium between the spirit and the tribe. The purpose of the mask was to communicate with ancestral spirits, celestial supernatural forces, the spirit of the forest to shed their importance and identity. They became a representation of a unity between men, ancestors and animals, symbolizing the tapestry that unifies the natural world. They became ‘one’ with nature and in return for the ‘sacrifices’ of the ego acquired protection from harm, disease and famine in the tribe. The shamans could speak the truth without fear. But nowadays we tend to wear a mask to hide our true identity.
What does it mean to be on (or be) and island? Works that interrogate counter-currents of isolation, paradise, protectionism and sovereignty amidst shifting weather patterns and uncertain futures.
Jonny Seymour (Sydney)
Sela Vai (Sydney)
Plastik Island will be an introduction to innovative urban-Pacific storytelling, aimed to speak to the present generation who explore, reinvent and redefine what it means to be Pasifika in 2021. A one-womxn show, this work uses dance, projection and verbatim to investigate the individual rite of passage of a Pacific womxn in Western Society.
Luke John Campbell (Hobart)
is with the island
it is a part of our self
the sound is in our self
it is the bond to our voice
to be with our voice
we must share together
sound sculpture in the space
Amy Zhang, Billy Keohavong, Jeremy Santos and Reina Takeuchi (Sydney)
Holding Lightness is a contemporary dance performance by Amy Zhang, Billy Keohavong, Jeremy Santos, and Reina Takeuchi exploring articulations of cultural lineage and imagination. Reflecting on collective and personal histories, the dancers enact sites of reclamation across three vignettes. They work in collaboration to carve out spaces for one another to be held, to speak, to dance, and to tell their stories.
Nisha Madhan (Basement Theatre, NZ)
Works that channel forgotten, stolen or repressed creativity through remembering one’s ancestry.
Forest V Kapo (Bendigo, Victoria)
A conversation between myself and my ancestors, and the ancestors whose land I reside on, becomes the canvas of renegotiation from where we discuss the impacts of migrancy, indigenity displacement and home. With the human need for flight,'we' slip stream, between the present and the past- A past that often feels like a burden to carry in present time yet is the birthplace of heroic risks and transcending opportunities. With sound and poetics, with images and installation, is it possible to lay down without fuss new stories around belonging?
Marc Conaco (New Zealand)
SYOKES: Mahiwagang Chorvalyn (Magical Ephemera)
What does pre-colonial Bisaya queer identity look like in the future? What would our future look like if we reclaimed our powerful birthright as ritual specialists, healers and culture bearers? What does it look like for us to mindfully centre our joy and magic, despite trauma?
Louie Bretana (artist)
Dennis Sayat (fashion designer)
Magic and Diesel (performers)
Arjunan Puveendran (Sydney)
This interdisciplinary work is centred on how we come to terms with 'mrityu', the Sanskrit word for death (and a cognate of the Latin word 'mort'). It draws on personal discomfort in grappling with funerals and a fear of losing loved ones, juxtaposed with Hindu philosophy where death marks the soul seeking detachment from the body. Mrityu explores this paradox: death as a moment of tragedy whilst also a pathway to release us from bondage to earthly suffering, through a distinctive merging of music, movement, ritual and spoken word.
Choreographer - Amrita Hepi
Development Dramaturgs - Victoria Spence and Jiva Parthipan
Raina Peterson (Melbourne)
An experimental dance work exploring the trans experience through the lens of Hindu philosophy.
Score: Marco Cher Gibard
Morgan Hogg (Sydney)
Māmā is one of a two-part series named Ariki Vaine. The work is a collage of a Cook Island dance reflecting the story and importance of mother nature. Narrated by my mother, the video creates a conversation toward future generations and the importance of cultural lineage to represent our ancestors. Women in my family have been vital models in my upbringing, and Māmā displays a graciousness toward the leaders of our culture. The work engages with the disconnection of being biracial, and the cultural language barrier between our heritage and understanding oneself. Additionally, dance is an ode toward our connection to Mother Earth, the video layered with visuals of nature within the islands reflecting the movements of the dance. Overall, the work aims to educate the audience upon the importance of cultural lineage and hold onto the cultures that are being lost through a colonised world.
Amit Noy (New Zealand)
A Big Big Room Full of Everybody’s Hope
‘A Big Big Room Full of Everybody’s Hope’ is a performative imagining in three parts. Created by an intergenerational triad of family members that span from Aotearoa/New Zealand to Israel/Palestine, the work includes a wrestling with the Holocaust’s afterlife, a queer (as in strange) re-imagining of George Balanchine’s 1957 ballet ‘Agon’, and a song for the future from a young person living with OCD. How can we love the bad object? How do we reside at the crossroads of many stories? What elephants are we living with, and how can we welcome them in?
Collaborators: Maytal Noy, Belina Neuberger (co-creators and performers)
Jahra Wasala and Ooschon Masseurs (New Zealand)