Alternative Dramaturgies: Marginality, Senses and Technologies (Alt|D)

January 2, 2024 Postmarginal

Postmarginal begins a new series of performance research labs, “Alternative Dramaturgies”. Inspired by The Centre Cannot Hold’s ideas on the hybridity of artistic disciplines and marginalities, the first edition — “Marginality, Meaning and Technologies” — takes place between October 2023 and March 2024. Participants are united around the idea that atypical physical and neurological experiences create unique perceptions of reality and new theatrical possibilities.

Four artists working with or between different psychological, artistic, physical and ethno-cultural perspectives will be called upon to develop and test new dramaturgical ideas in three distinct laboratories involving interactive, immersive and other technological devices. Based on their creative projects in development, they will examine such topics as:

  • How can technology refocus marginal perspectives in chosen dramaturgies?
  • What creative opportunities or challenges does technology offer artists?
  • What sensory experiences can technology communicate to audiences?
  • What new dramaturgies might emerge?
  • What is shared between artists as physical and emotional experiences?
  • What are the relational aspects of their experience?

Eastern Bloc kick-off meeting August 21-25, 2023

The project was launched in August 2023 with a 4-day workshop at Eastern Bloc.From August 25 to 29, 2023, Alt|D partners, researchers and artists came together to present their artistic visions and research possibilities. Together, they defined the beginnings of a working methodology based on the exploration of vibration, video tracking and 3D sound technologies. At a presentation on Friday August 29, hosted by Shrina Patel, the audience was invited to listen to the project’s objectives and its relationship with the artists’ marginalities.

Lab October 23-27 COHDS

The project continued with a five-day lab organized by Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. Artists and researchers came together for five days of hands-on exploration of technologies and their use in dramaturgies. The aim of the lab was to prepare and understand artists’ technological needs and how best to meet them.

Below are two video compilations of the research by photographer Helena Vallès Escolà

Lab2M – February 12 to 25th, 2024

Work continues in February with two weeks of exploration at Lab2M, Théâtre les 2 mondes. We’ll be getting together in the space for hands-on explorations with our dramaturgical material to propose working drafts. A public presentation will take place on Friday February 23 at 2pm ET at Lab2M with a hybrid online broadcast. We’ll be presenting excerpts from performances using the various technologies, as well as discussing explorations in terms of the senses and the experiences of neurodiverse and Disabled artists.

For more information, see the Facebook event (Coming soon).

The Artists

The four artists are Audrey-Anne Bouchard, Jean-François Boisvenue, Peter Farbridge, and Kagan Goh: 

Audrey-Anne Bouchard is a director and lighting designer who lives with a visual disability. She creates multi-sensory, immersive shows for audiences with and without sight.  

Jean-François Boisvenue is a multidisciplinary artist who explores facets of his neurological uniqueness, such as synesthesia, in his work. 

Peter Farbridge is an artist and creator interested in art inspired by the experiences and practices of so-called marginal artists.

Kagan Goh is a Vancouver-based multidisciplinary artist: published author, spoken word poet, screenwriter, performer, mental health advocate and activist. 

Researchers

Nicolas Berzi (Project collaborator | Researcher | SIT) is a researcher-creator in the field of performing arts and interdisciplinarity, director, author, playwright, audiovisual designer and producer. For over fifteen years, Nicolas has been developing hybrid and technological stage designs. Nicolas will be working with the group as dramaturge during the laboratory phase. 

David Bobier (Project collaborator| Researcher | VibraFusionArts) is a media artist, educator, arts administrator and curator. He is the founder, director and curator of VibraFusionLab in London, Ontario, a public arts-based studio that investigates multi-sensory artistic modalities in the creation and presentation of art by and for people of all abilities. David will demonstrate the potential of haptic devices in the intersection of sound and vibration in performance. 

Florian Grond (Projet Collaborator | Researcher | E2IAN) is an associate professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, a media artist and sound interaction designer. His research focuses on participatory design in the context of disability, the arts, immersive media and assistive technologies. Florian will introduce the group to binaural and immersive technologies. 

Armando Menicacci (Collaborateur | chercheur | SIT), director of research and development at Scènes interactives technologiques, is a researcher, artist and teacher.  His work takes the form of visual, performative and editorial productions that revolve around the relationship between the arts, expressive physicality and technology. Armando will introduce the team to telepresence and video mapping technologies. 

Melissa Park (Collaborator| Researcher | E2IAN)is an associate professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine, with a background in art history, occupational science/therapy, medical anthropology and psychology. With Florian Grond, she will explore the impact of technologies on artists and their creative work.

The Partners

The project has been made possible by a partnership between Postmarginal, les Scènes interactives technologiques and VibraFusionLab, and is financed by Conseil des arts de Montréal the Canada Council and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Associated research partners include Centre for Circus Arts Research and Knowledge Transfer (CRITAC) and E2IAN (Tracing Ephemeral Experiences, Immersive Technologies/Techniques Aesthetics and Neurodiversity), Eastern Bloc, and Kokoro Dance (KW Studios).