THE PERSONAL EPIC: ICA'S EXPERIMENT AMERICA

BY MIKHAEL TARA GARVER and JOHN ANDRESS


The ICA’s Experiment America party returns for one night with the kick off to this year’s Emerging America Festival. It’s a crafted collision of technology, art, music, and performance all waiting for the final element: the audience. Immersive theater artist Mikhael Tara Garver will collaborate with her company The New Ensemble, designers, playwrights, local Boston artists, and the ICA to create a party like no other.

How many times have you been at a party talking to someone and realize they are subtly checking their phone? People are focused in their own physical space but are also engaging with people on the other side of the planet, all through that little device you hold in your hand every day. And these engagements are usually happening simultaneously! A very private moment could be happening in a very public space like the ICA. While at first the performers and technological component may be nearly invisible, as the night progresses, it all becomes more extraordinary.

What if you are part of a play and you don’t know who else is starring with you? What if an elevator ride becomes a transgression? What if a crowd of partygoers begins to dance and then just as quickly disappears? A night that may appear to be an amazing party becomes both epic and personal. Full of twists and turns on all four floors of the ICA, the performers will weave in and out of view, allowing the audience to craft and concoct their own story line.

Experiment America audiences will also be among the first to see the ICA’s summer exhibition Josiah McElheny: Some Pictures of the Infinite. Over the past two decades, the problem of infinity has driven McElheny’s efforts to represent the unrepresentable, as the infinite by definition must always elude stable grasp. The exhibition also examines images of time: archaeological time, linear and cyclical models, and the overwhelming span of cosmic time. All of this linked for Experiment America audiences through the performances that appear throughout the building: an explosion of the multiplicity of moments in time through exhibition and live experience.

Enjoy the art, follow the performances, and fortify yourself with a drink and a snack at the ICA’s Water Café because the dance party is next. Join the entire cast of Experiment for dancing that lasts well into the late hours of the night. Full of performances, art, music, drink, and dancing, Experiment America will be a party to remember.


Mikhael Tara Garver is the director and co-creator of Experiment America, and John Andress, Public Programs Coordinator at the ICA/Boston.