Looking for Karen Finley
May 23, 2010 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Help me find cool performance artists, performers, and festivals...

Help me find the latest in edgy performance art. Looking for shows more than installations, events that you go to rather than concept pieces.

Especially looking for events/shows/festivals in Berlin, London, Amsterdam, San Francisco, and New York over the next few months.

What's cool? What are the big names? Who is doing the best stuff?

Also interested in: burlesque, performance art that involves electronics or computers, schools that teach performance art...

(I saw the earlier post about street artists. What I'm looking for is more like theatre or participatory art.)
posted by metametababe to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have specific recommendations but I've been to some of Jeff Stark's nonsense nyc events that he posts and they seem like they would be right up your alley. You can't really plan 2 months ahead with his emails though, since they come out usually the day of the event. Take a look at the archives to see if you can find an event you like and google it to see if they're doing anything in the future.
posted by cm young at 8:28 AM on May 23, 2010

This is going to be a New York City centered answer. The Performa Biennial is a great way to see a lot of people who do performance art. They also have a pretty useful blog. The festival is run by the biggest name in performance art, Roselee Goldberg and her two books are an excellent way to get a sense of what's cool in the world of Performance Art.

People who do performance art with electronics: ITP.

Schools that teach Performance Art: School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
posted by geryon at 9:27 AM on May 23, 2010

Sort of a self-link, but hopefully okay: In San Francisco, Southern Exposure is doing an art/performance series called Extended Play. If you are looking for participatory stuff as you mention, I can't resist suggesting my own project - Terrible Noises for Beautiful People, part of Extended Play. It's a participatory sound-improv thing- there's a one-night event, and a longer series. (Mods, delete with my apologies if too self-linky...)
posted by ManInSuit at 9:47 AM on May 23, 2010

I recently saw Best Before, an excellent interactive theater piece from Rimini Protokoll.

Every audience member had a game controller at their seat. With this controller, each person controlled a seperate (small) character on a (big) on-stage screen. The actors then started asking questions and taking polls (e.g. "Should wealth in our world be distributed evenly of randomly? Move to the left for even, or to the right for random."). After many of these choices were made, the fun began with random events (e.g. a foreign invasion) and more complex decisions (e.g. an election).

It was a really teriffic performance. They're touring all around Europe and North America this summer. Check them out if you can.
posted by bruceo at 1:10 PM on May 23, 2010

in terms of schools in the UK, Dartington College of Arts was very good. I say was, because they are now in the middle of a controversial merger with University College Falmouth.

I did my MA at Dartington in 2005 and it was amazing then; there is little confidence that it will continue to be as good a school as it was. and, as an added bonus, their website is a nightmare to navigate -- go straight to the contemporary practice courses in fine art, theatre and writing. (of the three, it looks like the writing programme has fared the best.)

so with the exception of the writing programme, Dartington isn't so good as a current school, I suspect, but there are a lot of alumni from the golden days of yore who are worth looking into, especially if you're interested in theatre and participatory art. here are some people to start with (most of whom I know and am fond of, which makes this a decidedly idiosyncratic and self-linky list): Propeller (and Propeller members Augusto Corrieri and Neil Callaghan), Bryony Henderson (and her other projects: Hunter Gatherers and Leonard), Pandora Pop, These Horses (though I'm not sure that they're still active as a group) and Uninvited Guests.
posted by spindle at 1:31 PM on May 23, 2010

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but the New Orleans Bingo Show can really only be described as performance art, with some audience participation. They mostly play here in New Orleans but do go on tour occasionally.

It's part cabaret, part video, part mime, part acrobatics, all with a very competitive bingo game wrapped in the middle!
posted by radioamy at 10:40 AM on May 24, 2010

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