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This project was successfully funded on June 11, 2013


by Emily Mast


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      B!RDBRA!N is a series of vignettes that form a “live collage” based on the juxtaposition of an accumulation of various, highly-aestheticized details that all relate to channels of communication in which language is problematic, challenging and/or inappropriate.  Seven performers ranging in age from 8 to 68 years, explore language as a prop onto which we project meaning, language that hides or deflects meaning and all-out rebellion against words.
      The performance was originally conceived of as a live response to the legacy of the historical French artist Guy de Cointet for the Getty Museum's Pacific Standard Time Public Art & Performance Festival in January 2012. It was later developed and shown at the NOW festival at REDCAT in L.A. in August 2012. I set out to investigate and interrogate Guy de Cointet’s work while incorporating the true story of Alex, an African Gray parrot who was the subject of a thirty-year avian language experiment. What interested me was the curious overlap in the ways that both the artist and the experiment dealt with the imprecision of language and the myriad ways it can be delivered and understood. In the piece we see a stuntman, a stutterer, a sign-language interpreter, a comedian, a child, an auctioneer and a theater director describing, transcribing, interpreting and gesturing within a landscape of vivid colorful forms that are reminiscent of de Cointet’s sets, elementary school classrooms, signs, semiotics and minimalist art.
      I was invited by Machine Project, a non-profit LA-based organization to present the piece at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation 19th Street Project Space in New York City on September 5th, 6th & 7th. The Foundation seek[s] opportunities that showcase the qualities of being fearless, innovative, collaborative and pattern-breaking. [They] strive to encourage a dialogue that is a voice for positive change."
      The foundation has already donated generously to the project. However, I still need to raise a minimum of $10,000 to cover air fare for seven performers and one guardian, transportation of props, artist and technician fees, rental lighting and sound equipment and some basic set construction. If we raise more than our initial goal, we will use the funds for rented rehearsal space, printed programs, new costume elements and photo and video documentation. 
      All donations are 100% tax deductible minus the production cost of perks. (If you choose not to receive a perk, your donation will be 100% tax deductible). We hope you will consider making a contribution. Thank you so much for your support -- we salute you!

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    • August 12, 2013 Christian Mayeur Community Member

      I'm so glad that the NYC "Birdbrain invasion" can happen ! Congrats and BIG SUCCESS to all of you ! XO Christian Mayeur

    • June 03, 2013 Emily Mast Artist

      we have one more week to raise $4,694! big thanks to all our supporters for getting things rolling -- now let's spread the word!

    • May 17, 2013 Emily Mast Artist

      big thanks to JEFFREY EVANS for being our very first supporter!