"First Storm" is the entrypoint for developing "The Storm In My House," part of a three-year project in progress led by the physical theater ensemble inkBoat. This is our first showing of this material and features the work over the course of 10 days by Dana Iova-Koga and Shinichi Iova-Koga in collaboration with composer-musician Suki O’Kane.
Performed February 22, 2019 at Chäslager, Stans, Switzerland.
The performance reflects a landscape, not a story, woven with sounds of field recordings and interviews with a displaced artist community (see below), text lifted from personal writings from members of the inkBoat ensemble, and movement expressing the precarious position artists, and all of us, maintain in the face of social upheaval.
The Storm In My House is a response to inflamed social issues in contemporary America: economic inequality, displacement, and deterioration of the social safety net. Throughout the piece you’ll hear field recordings and interviews from an extraordinary location in the San Francisco Bay Area: The Albany Bulb. For decades the Bulb was a place where construction materials were dumped, creating a peninsula that sticks out a mile into San Francisco Bay. On that peninsula, trees and wildlife have grown, and, in the late 20th century, a collection of artists began to make work and fashion dwellings there, a utopian alternative to Bay Area communities with skyrocketing rents, a shift in commitment to civic arts, and a narrow focus on consumerism. In its heyday, The Bulb was an unsanctioned park used by art-loving and culture-curious neighbors, allies, visiting scholars, and delighted dog owners grateful to have a rare, liberating place where their animals could run free.
By 2013, no less than three civil authorities banded together to evict the artists, and subsequently destroy their homes and their artwork. Today, the site continues to be used by new artists, allies and dog-walkers while authorities work to draft a new land use plan. inkBoat is collaborating with the nonprofit advocate Love the Bulb to create and present The Storm In My House as an outdoor performance in October 2019, part of the organization’s mission to see The Bulb officially sanctioned as an art preserve. From there, this work will continue to develop into a work for theaters, starting with a technical residency at CounterPulse in October 2019 and then moving on to the San Francisco International Arts Festival in May 2020 and finally to ODC Theater in 2021.