Restless Productions and Pioneer Works Present DECODER: TICKET THAT EXPLODED
Restless Productions, an OBIE and Bessie Award-winning theater company led by the director Mallory Catlett, presents DECODER: Ticket That Exploded, the second installment of their multimedia-infused trilogy based on William Burroughs' NOVA series which predicts our current online life. DECODER: Ticket That Exploded uses the Burroughsian cut-up technique to create a unique blend of literature, live music, theatre, and technology, developed by an all-star team of performers and designers - featuring actor Jim Findlay and sound artist G Lucas Crane - will be shown as a special one-night event at Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn) on Monday, July 8 at 9:00 pm. The presentation is a part of a month-long company residency at the venue and will be accompanied by workshops lead by G Lucas Crane and writer and Burroughs scholar Alex Wermer-Colan who devised dramaturgy for the piece. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at https://pioneerworks.org/programs/decoder-ticket-that-exploded/.
DECODER: Ticket That Exploded reimagines the second book of William Burroughs' cult sci-fi trilogy for the age of Trump, staging it as a live performance of broken media hallucinations, living text cut-up, and full-frequency psychedelia spun from mangled audio tape. The name DECODER comes from the 1984 German film inspired by Burroughs' manifesto "The Electronic Revolution" that explained how to employ tape recorders to cause civil unrest. DECODER: Ticket That Exploded uses disturbing and darkly funny images, words, and ideas to expose societal complacency in the systems that control us. At the center of the performance - directed with Mallory Catlett's trademark hallucinatory style - is the tape recorder, the analog device Burroughs himself used, which is connected to an array of digital sensors to create the cut-up machine he predicted. The cassette-tape DJ and sound artist G Lucas Crane and performer Jim Findlay bring The Machine to life, acting as both fictional characters and real-time systems operators, decoding the present by cutting in episodes of Burroughs' 1960s space odyssey. The work features noisey image meals and kaleidoscopic dreamscapes made from internet debris by video designer Keith Skretch, with interaction design by Ryan Holsopple.
"Burroughs has great insight into media and internet addiction," explains the director Mallory Catlett. "Junk is image, he said. DECODER cuts up the image prison to inoculate, like a vaccine against a virus, to strengthen your resistance to the media oversaturation that often tricks you into accepting injustice as normal, unavoidable and inevitable."
DECODER: Ticket That Exploded is the middle part of the trilogy in which Catlett and her team (known for their previous collaboration on the multiple award-winning Chekhovian show This Was The End) have been working on since 2015. The series is awaiting its NYC premiere in 2020 at the Chocolate Factory.
Restless Productions NYC is an OBIE and Bessie Award-winning production company that excavates the theatrical and literary record to engage the past in a dialogue about its life in the present. The dismantling and repurposing of stories that have already been told is a practice in transformation, an attempt to create openings, to find away, out, and forward. Lead by creator/director Mallory Catlett, the company's past work includes site-specific reconstructions of Shakespeare's As You Like It and Rii and a remix of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, called This Was The End and Archive, an installation based on that performance. The company has received financial, commissioning and residency support from The Watermill Center, Chocolate Factory, Gibney Dance, Theatre Conspiracy, Stony Brook University, CultureHub, Playwrights Theatre Center, the Collapsable Hole, Mount Tremper Arts, Nancy Quinn, Creative Opportunity Fund, MacDowell Colony, Performing Garage, Baryshnikov Arts, LMCC, Mabou Mines/SUITE, Jerome Foundation, Yaddo, NYSCA, piece by piece productions. DECODER is part of a larger project called M/F FUTURE, a diptych of pieces inspired by the novels of Burroughs and Doris Lessing (Dead Time of Plenty) about the perils gender and the prophetic imagination, which is a Creative Capital project. Restless is also working on a new opera, based on a Janet Frame novel called Rainbird, co-produced with Experiments in Opera for 2021, that will be in residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in the Fall of 2020. www.restlessproductionsnyc.org
Pioneer Works builds community through the arts and sciences to create an open and inspired world. The Brooklyn venue encourages radical thinking across disciplines by providing practitioners a space to work, tools to create, and a platform to exchange ideas that are free and open to all. We are driven by the realization that humanity is facing unprecedented social, intellectual, and spiritual challenges; our programs explore new ways of facing those challenges by using the arts and sciences dynamically as both a lens and catalyst. When humanity comes together and combines the ideas and talents of many, we have the ability to engineer what once appeared to be impossible. Pioneer Works values curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, and inclusion. At the core, Pioneer Works aims to improve how to understand and regard each other and the world. We believe our multidisciplinary approach creates a unique capacity to build bridges across ideas and communities, so that we may all think differently, together. pioneerworks.org
Photo Credit: Marina Oriente