A hybrid of visual art installation and theater
performance that unfolds over an extended 8-hour interval. Beginning on an empty stage, we and our crew work obsessively to first construct, then dismantle and remove an elaborate fabricated forest. This worksample shows time lapse footage of the entire 8 hours on the left; on the right hand you will see specific close up moments. We show both to give you a feel for the whole event: It was designed for audience members to experience both
from theater seats (observing the forest from a distance) AND going onto the stage to experience the forest from the inside. Please note that the text you hear on the video was spoken quietly from the audience and only
occurred occasionally during the eight hours - the text snuck in, quietly, for 3-5 minutes at a time. When an audience member went inside the forest, they would visit a gatekeeper who gave them a detailed map of the
installation which showed them the origin of each material we used to build it (90% of it could be traced back to oil, a significant fact for the build team, who all live in or have close ties to New Orleans). Over the course of the first 6 hours, the forest comes together in ways that range from
intimate (the team quietly sitting around one builder as she raises the smallest, most delicate tree using a string and a pulley), to large-scale spectacular (the entire team lifting the many-branched “big tree” using an elaborate rigging system). For one-half hour, the forest is “complete”. Over the course of the final 90 minutes,
the forest disappears. HOW TO BUILD A FOREST was built for its premiere in the large black box space at The Kitchen in New York. Audience were encouraged to come and go throughout the 8 hours, staying with the evolving
installation as long as they pleased.
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