Joining us in the office for the next couple of weeks is Sandra Carluccio. She is pulling together an interactive, locative theatre piece for the Anywhere Theatre Festival, and I sat down with her to learn a little more about it.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
I am a Brisbane based emerging performance artist. I studied Performance Studies at QUT with honours and graduated in 2010. This is around when I began my interest in outdoor, participatory, performance journeys. My first contact with this was from working as an artist’s assistant/audience guide with Melbourne based company One Step At A Time Like This and their piece called en route in 2010. Then I saved my money to complete an internship with world-renowned digital artists Blast Theory in Brighton for a few months last year. This year I was lucky enough to receive a JUMP mentorship to make my own participatory, technology and urban space driven performance piece and get some guidance from my chosen mentor, Steve Bull from the PVI Collective in Perth. The piece is titled This is Kansas City and will have its first public showing at the Anywhere Theatre Festival May 17-19.
How did you get involved with JUMP mentoring?
After getting some experience with more advanced artists, I decided it was time I put my learning into a consolidated project. I also wanted an outside eye to assist with the artistic shaping of the performance. I searched for companies with similar objectives to mine and got an idea of who to choose as a mentor. I was lucky enough to meet someone during my internship in the UK who was on the board of my mentor’s company – The PVI Collective, so she put me in contact with them. I approached Steve and put together an application of what I wanted to achieve with through the program. With some of the grant money I took a short residency in March in the CIA studios to work on my piece and have daily contact with my mentor. As Steve lives in Perth we do a lot of remote mentorship. The Youth Arts Queensland team, who I seek support from for my state, help with marketing and organise other career development opportunities. The end result is really up to you though.
How did you become interested in performance?
Throughout highschool, Drama class was always a place where I expressed opinions, feelings, personal and meaningful stories, while at the same time having fun. From then until now, my research, teachers, peers, and other artists have radically changed the way I view and create performances.
How did you end up at The Edge?
I approached Daniel Flood last year when I was still in the UK about possibly having some support for a performance I was creating when I returned home. The concept was driven by an interest in using mobile technology so The Edge seemed like the most appropriate place to put my feelers out. At the start of this year when I was back in Australia, I met with Daniel and explained that I wanted to do a location triggered performance journey with mobile technology. He suggested two wonderful people I should talk to, that were around on a Thursday night at an event called Hack The Evening. I met Luke Atherton, and Clinton Freeman (now a Catalyst at The Edge) and have been hanging out at The Edge and working with them since.
Tell us a little more about your show and what makes it different?
This is Kansas City asks participants to enter an augmented reality where a series of phone calls to their mobile phone direct their body, gaze, and imagination around the cultural centre to unravel the story of a criminal only known as The Monster. I would call this piece a performance experience. There are no performers, although audience members who opt to come to the show act as performers by carrying out actions, being involved in the fiction, and also witness the urban space around them with a heightened engagement. The piece guides solo participants through two voices, The Authorities (the voice of the city) and The Monster (the voice of the River, also known as a criminal) who pose moral obstacles, and deliver their versions of reality of Kansas City. The voices were chosen to personify natural, political, cultural, and social events that have occurred in Brisbane’s recent landscape of history.
A performance experience on a mobile phone is not a new form, but it is different because this fiction is my interpretation of this city and its story on a heightened level. I hope that by participants experiencing this story they will take away a new perspective of this city, either physically or imaginatively.
How did you go about pulling together the technology used in the show?
I had a vision, and then I asked the hackers Luke and Clinton to realise this vision. I had them create the location based trigger system for mobile devices. The program works by using the GPS coordinates where I would like key phone calls to occur. When a participant arrives with their phone at the programmed location, a server sends a pre-recorded phone call from “The Monster” or “The Authorities”. This is how the fiction is delivered.
How can people get a ticket?
This is Kansas City is part of the Anywhere Theatre Festival, and is on from the 17-19 of May. You can purchase a ticket through the website. The performance experience goes for approximately 30 minutes and each session is for a capacity of 6 participants.
First three tabs you open in a new browser window: Gmail, Facebook (just as important for communication as email these days), and ArtsHub for browsing the news articles and reviews.
First mobile phone you ever owned: Nokia for sure. Miss you, Snake game…
The one piece of technology you couldn’t live without: My phone! Basically it’s the handiest tool for creating a site responsive performance, as it is ‘mobile’. It is my Internet, my voice recorder, note taker, picture taker, video taker, locator, and people communicator.
Geekiest habit or hobby: I hang out at the Library far too much, or maybe not enough