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Mammalian Diving Reflex. Ideal entertainment for the end of the world. . History. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Mammalian Diving Reflex

Mammalian Diving ReflexIdeal entertainment for the end of the world. HistoryMammalian Diving Reflex was founded in 1993. Up until 2003, it focused mostly on stage-based performances of its Artistic Director, Darren ODonnell. After that, the company started expanding the ways in which the artists worked and the means they used, focusing on social acupuncture, playful, provocative, site and social specific participatory performances from non-actors of all ages and backgrounds.

The company now works with an array of collaborators, such as art festivals, galleries, seniors homes, schools and other institutes and city administrators, and through different approaches like photography, video, acting, urban planning and industrial design.

It is worth noting that the company also has younger members, mostly in their teens although they have collaborated with children in the past, too that are an active community within the company. Artistic MissionAccording to them, Mammalian Diving Reflexs artistic mission is to bring people together in new and unusual ways to create a work that is engaging, challenging, and gets people talking, thinking and feeling. It is a research-art atelier and culture production workshop that aims to turn contradictions into aesthetically pleasing experiences through a number of means, such as site and social-specific performance events, theatre-based productions, gallery-based participatory installations, video products, art objects and theoretical texts.

To summarize, Mammalian Diving Reflex applies the knowledge and expertize of its members, which is vast due to the variety of age, ethnic, professional and other groups that make up its foundations and body, onto projects to create socially responsible art. The work urges the audience to engage in dialogue among themselves, with the material, and with the artists. They also bring people from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, both artists and not, to create art, giving the audience the traditional option to watch or the option to participate in the creation. Social AcupunctureThe company utilizes social acupuncture, a method that examines social dynamics and looks for patterns of inequality, not only in the material world, such as for example the unequal distribution of wealth, but also in the immaterial, such as the unequal distribution of loneliness, culture and representation. Through small, temporary and unusual performances, the artists aim to create new social dynamics and redistribute material and immaterial wealth.

OntologiesMammalian Diving Reflex bases all of its performances on the assumptions of social generosity and resource abundance. Therefore, they expect their audience and collaborators to show generosity and kindness, believing that people usually reserve kindness for strangers. Especially within the frame of large-scale international performances, there are connections between the company and the local artists and between the artists and the audience that are based on social generosity. One of the companys main goals is to make this temporary kindness last even after the end of the performance.

OntologiesThe companys second operating principle is that there is abundance in the world, enough for everyones social and material needs to be met. This partly means that the company tries, through its work, to achieve that equality and partly that their projects rely on the hypothetical existence of unlimited funding. In reality, there is always enough funding from the company itself and from various funders to create and complete the performances.

Furthermore, through social acupuncture, the performances poke at resources with a dual purpose; to disrupt holding patterns and, therefore, create more resource equity and balance, and dissipate and distribute energy, creating new ways of relating to and being with one another. Succession Plan and Young Mammals Mammalian Diving Reflex has a Succession Plan, which was announced in 2011 and will last 25 years. According to the plan, The Torontonians, a group of neighbourhood kids that had collaborated with the company before, are mentored and will succeed the current art makers and directors at the end of that plan, in 2025. The control of the whole company will be handed to them then, and as many of them had been working and training with the company since they were ten years old, they probably are the best choices the current directors and art makers have.

The Torontonians are part of a larger group, the Young Mammals, which basically includes every young member and collaborator of the company. They create, organize and take par in performances, workshops, education programs and mentorship schemes. ProjectsThe Beautiful Hungry City, Over, radio rooster says thats bad, naptime, dare night, accepting the possibility that I may ruin my eyes: reading in darkness, horizons youth ambassadors at ucc, ballroom dancing, floating curator, how to be a teen, slow dance with a teacher, a suicide-site guide to the city, please allow me the honour of relaxing you, pppeeeaaaccceee, farmers market 2050, [boxhead], the talking creature, white mice, beachballs41+all, small talks, west coast mammals, who shot Jacques lacan?, home tours, diplomatic immunities, free skipping, parkdale public school vs. queen st. west, out of my league, nuit market, monster makers, playgrounds on fire, Toronto strategy meetings, the producers of parkdale & dare night: lockdown, faith exchange, dada data, Q&a, ask a teenager, nightwalks with teenagers, ameliorating the amalgamated, small talk in daft hell: new work in development, future tastes of Toronto: at the kids table, socialist* games, get out of my room: Toronto, awks dance party series, eat the street, how to hook up: Toronto, these are the people in your neighbourhood, all the sex Ive ever had, the childrens choice awards, haircuts by childrenHaircuts by ChildrenHaircuts by Children is one of the companys most famous performances. It has toured in European cities and also in the United States and, of course, the companys hometown. For that performance, Mammalian Diving Reflex utilized the creativity and learnt skills of ten-year-old children to give free haircuts to anyone who was interested. The main idea behind it is that it empowers children and shifts the traditional dynamic between them and the adults. Trusting children with this also evokes the same leap of faith and understanding that is essential to grant children deeper citizen rights, such as voting.

Haircuts by Children

Out of My League Another Mammal Diving Reflex project is called Out of My League. This project is ongoing and occurs during workshops and it is a basic social acupuncture exercise, but it tends to agitate participants, as they are asked to approach strangers who the participants think are out of their league and see how they react.

Out of My League confounds propriety in two planes: the embargo against talking to strangers in public and the prohibition against assuming low status.

Get Out of My RoomThe Torontonians have used room 201 at the Gladstones Hotel annual alternative design event, called Come Up to My Room. However, they chose to apply a hyper-teen aesthetic and call the project Get Out of My Room, requesting privacy during this very public moment. They decorated the room with trash, piles over piles of paper and homework, balloons, blanket forts and every other quintessential teenage item.

Get Out of My RoompppeeeaaccceeeThis is one of the companys most traditional performances, in the sense that it is a stage play. It is the story of three souls floating and chatting among them after the revolution. Which revolution? Good question.

pppeeeaaaccceee examines the being and it is a vast glide through Life and Power.

Socialist* GamesSocialist* Games calls participants to engage in summer camp style activities with complete strangers. The result, of course, is awkwardness at first, but as the night comes to and end, every participant is much more sweaty, much less of a stranger, and much more of a socialist*.

Socialist* Games

All the Sex Ive Ever HadThis performance offers the audience the experiences of a generation. Older adults open up to other participants and strangers about their personal lives, their first crushes, their affairs, unexpected pregnancies and deaths of loved ones. The performance offers an opportunity to acknowledge that even in our youth-obsessed society, older people have valuable experience and a lot to share. All the Sex I've Ever Had Interview


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