September 5th - 7th, 8pm each night // FREE // SOLD OUT
Emily Mast’s B!RDBRA!N, will be the first work of Machine Project's year-long project at the Rauschenberg Project Space. By exposing the shortcomings of communication, Emily Mast’s provocative piece sets the stage for a year-long field test of projects meant to propose and explore new modes of cultural experience and exchange in the heart of the commercial art market.
In B!RDBRA!N, seven performers, ranging in age from 8 to 68 years, perform in a series of vignettes that expose the problematic nature of communication and the ways in which words serve as objects onto which meanings are projected. Working at the intersection of visual art and theater, Emily Mast casts a stuntman, a stutterer, a sign-language interpreter, a comedian, a child, an auctioneer, and a theater director who describe, transcribe, interpret and gesture within a landscape of vivid colorful forms that are reminiscent of Guy de Cointet’s sets, elementary school classrooms and minimalist art. With allusions to the true story of Alex, a verbally skilled parrot who was the subject of a thirty-year avian language experiment with controversial findings, B!RDBRA!N questions whether our understanding is, as one of Alex’s critics wrote, simply a “complex discriminative performance.”