John C Gonzalez & Thomas Ray Willis––from "Adventure Department" at Socrates Sculpture Park for skowheganPERFORMS 2017

Adventure Department

Collaboration with John C. Gonzalez
skowheganPERFORMS, Scorates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York

Drawing inspiration from role-play structures, fantasy, and gaming culture, the performer’s actions were created within an unstructured cognitive social space. During the event, performers were dressed in improvised costumes and shift between various roles, creating a context that facilitates a dialogue amongst each other and with participating visitors. Utilizing adlib and impromptu strategies, the performers and park visitors formed a collective imagination where things were changeable and arbitrary.

Some actions that took place-

  • Narrative tour(s) through specific regions of the park based on a makeshift map.

  • Hiding/finding things and people.

  • Creating and playing impromptu games with teams of participants.

  • Getting lost in the park.

  • Creating fictional incentives for the participants (i.e. make believe treasures, power-increases, top secret information).

  • Taking a collective nap.

  • Trading objects: Starting with a pinecone, a visitor can trade it for something else with one of the performers.

  • Mind battles with sculptural features and installations.

  • Psychic healing of damaged portions of man-made structures.

  • “I-spy” challenges.

  • Cooking and serving make-believe meals.

  • Assigning fantastic roles (i.e., president, head surgeon, animal god, etc.) and acting them out with each other.

  • Pretending we were trapped in an unbearable weather conditions.

  • Etc…