CHICAGO – Hyde Park Art Center is pleased to present Mycelial: Street Parliament by artist and choreographer Erica Mott, an interdisciplinary and interactive installation performance that explores social organization and civic participation in the age of digital connection and sociopolitical division. Developed through a series of one-to-one cultural exchanges between American and Egyptian composers, programmers, dancers, and new media artists, the installation draws from the experiences of activists during the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Egyptian Revolution in 2011. This American-Egyptian collaboration has implemented new and emerging technologies to dissect the collision and collusion of bodies occupying both digital and physical spaces.
Hyde Park Art Center visitors will be prompted by gaming technology to choreograph, collaborate, and mix different movements to questions exploring social media’s role in social uprising, creating an embodied response playing on the use of gifs and emojis in today’s society. Movement responses are then archived and fed into the gaming technology for the next audience member to view, mix, and respond to.
Furthermore, the gallery space will be activated by Egyptian and American performers during the run of the installation. At the beginning of the performances, visitors will be assisted with installing a mobile application to their phones, enabling content to be pushed through their mobile devices as they move through and around the installation. Rhythm, rate, and motional analysis of twitter feeds will inspire the performers’ movements, and create the sound scores heard in the installation space.
Mycelial: Street Parliament will culminate in live multimedia, and participatory events in both Cairo and Chicago, including community hubs such as Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Dance Theater Ensemble, and the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) to create a community-driven performance experience. Ultimately, Mycelial: Street Parliament strives to be an immersive platform where embodied experience can spark deeper a conversation around “otherness” and artistic practice as cultural diplomacy.
Mycelial: Street Parliament collaborators are: sound composer Ahmed Saleh; programmers Ziad Osama and Badr AlKhamissi; UI/UX designer Yasser Nazmy; program manager Shawn Lent; composer, sound designer, and electronic performer Ryan Ingebritsen; artistic advisor John Toenjes; audience interaction designer M. Anthony Reimer; creative technologist and new media artist Hugh Sato; and performers Nejla Yatkin, Silvita Diaz Brown, Ezzat Ismail Ezzat, Mounir Saeed, Christopher Knowlton.
About the Artist
Erica Mott is a choreographer, sculptural object designer and cultural organizer who utilizes body based sculptural forms and transforms discarded materials and disregarded spaces. Employing humor and surprise, she captures and heightens the magic and mystery of the mundane and invites communities to re-view and re-envision shared spaces and practices. She instructs workshops for Lookingglass Theater, Northeastern Illinois University’s Teacher’s Center, The Second City, and several independent venues and organizations. She has a masters degree in Psychophysical Theatre Practice with an emphasis on intercultural performance and Asian Martial Arts practice from the University of Exeter in the UK. For six years, Erica has served as the Director of Education and Community Programming at Links Hall, Chicago. She is a recipient of several awards including Amnesty International’s Patrick Stewart Human Rights Fellowship, The Santa Fe Art Institute Residency, Ragdale Foundation Residency, NES Artist, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Fellowship, the City of Chicago CAAP program and the Neighborhood Arts Program (NAP).
Generous support for the exhibition is provided by the ATHENA Fund and Ginger Farley & Bob Shapiro.
Hyde Park Art Center is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering and production space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect through expanded networks. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for today and tomorrow’s creative voices, providing the space to make, see, learn about, and engage art with freedom. The Art Center is funded in part by: Allstate Insurance Company; Alphawood Foundation; Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Foundation; Chicago Architecture Biennial; The Chicago Community Trust; City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; Creative New Zealand; Crown Family Philanthropies; David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation; Field Foundation of Illinois; Harper Court Arts Council; Illinois Arts Council Agency; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; Leo S. Guthman Fund; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; Polk Bros. Foundation; Reva and David Logan Foundation; Smart Family Foundation, Inc; Terra Foundation for American Art; Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation; and the generosity of its members and people like you.