What is the value of a year in a life? We want to tackle this question through performance, conceptual art, a custom iphone app & more!
The Second Decade Project is an inter-disciplinary, multi-genre undertaking that is inspired by Beto O’Byrne’s work, year., a collection of 365 poems written daily over the course of 2011. This project is the flagship project of Radical Evolution, a multi-disciplinary performance company founded by Meropi Peponides and Beto O'Byrne.
These poems chronicle the roller coaster of struggle, joys, setbacks, thrills; of sustaining despite the odds; of what we all do to make it through a year of 21st century living. The text touches on these issues briefly and without judgment, similarly to how most of us would encounter them on a typical day. A graffiti tag scrawled on a building. A couple living at the end of a subway line. A group of teenagers passing their life on a street corner. A word, a sigh, a yell.
The Second Decade Project explores numerous creative disciplines through four unique Engagements, all stemming from Beto’s 365 poems, and designed to create multiple avenues for audiences and artists alike to examine their own answer to the fundamental question asked through the poems – What is the value of a year in a life?
These four Engagements are:
A Multimedia Performance Work
Through an environmental, multimedia performance that utilizes original poetry, performers, video and music we are examining the substance of our 21st century reality.
Originating from the series of 365 poems, the performance will feature a selection of poems as its written text, combined with videographic images, movement and sound to create a physical reality around the worlds of the poems. Our goal is to activate Beto’s original poetry in a unique and revelatory way, while also creating a meaningful live experience.
Following is a video experiment combining some of the elements that will be used in the live performance. Spoken poems, moving images, and sound are layered together and juxtaposed to heighten and expand the worlds of the poems.
An Interactive Gallery Installation
A conceptual installation based on the collection of poems. These poems refuse to take the city’s unspoken and unacknowledged boundaries and prejudices for granted, and attempt to investigate the lives of New Yorkers from divergent backgrounds. The installation will focus on five different categories:
- Cityscape poems that focus on a specific time and place
- Futurist poems that riff on the Italian Futurist Movement of the early 20th century
- Odes to public figures other artists or things that inspire hope and optimism
- Poems focusing on the internal, psychological struggles of modern life
- Poems uniting communities of people in a call to action or mutual feeling.
A brief video sketch of how the gallery could possibly be envisioned is below:
A Published Literary Work
An anthology of 365 poems titled “year.” Since these poems are not spoken word poetry, we want people to have an opportunity to engage with them in a visual way as language on the page. The layout and dimensions of the poems creates another layer of understanding that can further capture the overall themes, allow readers to return to the works multiple times and inspire them to examine their own lives and worlds through different perspectives.
Mobile Device App
We are in the process of developing an app for mobile devices that provides unique and thought-provoking opportunities to engage with the poems. We plan to develop this app at the same time as the performance and installation, and the app will remain a fundamental part of the overall artistic work. Some current ideas for the functionality of the app include:
- a QR Reader, mapping tool and GPS for a distributed-poem treasure hunt
- a Social Media Collector (Facebook, Twitter)
- News and Updates Information
- Donation Button
- Ticketing Options and Confirmation
- Live Video Streaming/Interactivity for multi-disciplinary performances
- Random Poem viewer (or searchable index via date)
Where You Come In
We need your help to make this epic idea a reality! We are in the process of assembling a stellar creative team (some of whom you meet in our video), and we are excited to step up the pace on this project. However, in order to make work of the highest quality, we recognize that we need to invest a certain amount of financial resources in these important first steps. Funds raised through this campaign will support much-needed equipment, travel expenses, artist fees and other artistic development costs. Our team of innovators will make your dollars go a long way!
From Jan. 3, 2011 through Jan. 3, 2012, Beto wrote the initial drafts of “year.” These were initially hand written in thirteen 4” x 8” moleskine notebooks (below) and were later inputted into a word document, which was the beginning source material for the work.
Jan – June 2012
Throughout the beginning of 2012, we have been applying for funding opportunities and residency programs, as well as building the creative team that will help bring The Second Decade Project to life. We have selected the initial poems that we will use to begin crafting the performance, and came up with concepts and ideas for the gallery installation and the mobile device app. Then, we selected an editor for our first collection of poems to be published in August.
In May, we received the exciting news that The Second Decade project was selected for a fully-funded, one week artists’ residency at the prestigious Tofte Lake Center!
From July 16 – 22, The Second Decade Project creative team will embark on a one-week retreat to the forests of Minnesota! Here, we plan to further develop concepts for musical composition and video design within the piece, as well as begin working with performers to stage key moments.
We also look forward to allowing this new environment to expand our thoughts and perspectives on the project and being surprised by where this exciting opportunity takes us!
July – August 2012
Freshly invigorated from our trip to Tofte lake, we will return to the city for a three-week rehearsal/lab process during which we will continue staging, and experiment further with how to weave sound and video into the storytelling of the performance. During this time, we will also be in intense conversations with our gallery consultant and developer to complete the first pass at designs for the gallery installation and the mobile device app.
Finally, we will begin producing limited edition copies of our first collection of poems.
A 15 – 20 minute sketch of the performance will be shown at an invited reception, along with our first round designs for the gallery and app. We will be giving away limited edition chapbooks to donors and have them for sale online to the public.
Current Members of The Second Decade Project Creative Team are:
Beto O'Byrne (Brooklyn, NY) is an Artist from the pine forests of northern East Texas. He holds a BA in Writing from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the University of Southern California. Among his many and varied experiences in the theater profession, he is most proud of his work as Artistic Director of Austin Latino Theater Alliance, where he created the ALTA Performing Arts Showcase and directed La Pastorela. As a playwright, his work has been performed in San Antonio and Austin, TX as well as Los Angeles, CA and New York City. He was a runner up for the National Latino Playwriting Award (Into the Pines, ’06), and a participant in the Texas Black and Latino Playwriting Festival. In the past year he was accepted into INTAR’s Maria Irene Fornes Hispanic Playwrights in Residence Laboratory, and participated in the Lincoln Center Theater’s Director’s Lab as well as the Tofte Lake Artist Residency. As a musician, he has collaborated with several projects and has created a solo EP, 1388 and is working on an upcoming EP and concept album. Beto is the co-founder of Radical Evolution, a multidisciplinary performance company based in Brooklyn.
Meropi Peponides (Brooklyn, NY) is an NYC-based artistic producer and founder of Radical Evolution, a multidisciplinary performance company committed to producing live events that embolden citizens of the 21st Century. She has produced and served on the creative team for numerous artistic events in the city including the devised works 4 Sustenance (Dramaturg/Producer), Birthday Triage (Dramaturg), and the creative development of Port Cities NYC at the Waterfront Museum Barge (Dramaturg). She has also worked on several new plays including Enter Your Sleep (Producer/Dramaturg) Brave Ducks at FringeNYC (Dramaturg), and Gutter Space at the Comic Book Theatre Festival (Dramaturg). Additionally, she serves as the Producing Assistant at the nationally recognized Public Theater. Meropi received her BA from UCLA’s school of Theater, Film and Television and is currently pursuing an MFA in Dramaturgy at Columbia University, where she is a Dean’s Fellow.
Simón Hanukai (Brooklyn, NY) is a director, performer and educator. He has recently relocated to New York City from Oakland, California, where he was a founding member of headRush Crew and the Co-Artistic Director of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company. Working with both companies for six years he was instrumental in creating original full-length dance theater pieces, which toured nationally and were seen by over 25,000 people per year. Since arriving in New York his directing credits include My Artichoke Heart (Theater for the New City), Can't Stop, Won't Stop (2010 Hip Hop Theater Fest), The 6 Project (Brooklyn Arts Exchange/Toured to over 10 cities nationally) and Birthday Triage (Horace Mann Theater). He has also had the privilege to assist Anne Bogart on the remounting of Death and the Ploughman (Skidmore College), Robert Woodruff on directing Festen (Hungarian Theater of Cluj, Romania) and observe Robert Lepage work on Siegfried (Metropolitan Opera). Simón has a Masters degree in Education from the University of San Francisco’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Social Justice and is currently attending the MFA program in Theater Directing at Columbia University.
Adam Boyd Gibbs (Austin, TX) is a musician and music producer based in Austin, Texas. The son of a piano and voice teacher, he studied music from a young age, eventually settling on percussion as his first musical passion, performing in rock bands beginning in his teens. At the age of 25 he delved into more electronic music, taking on synthesizers and programming. At the same time, Adam worked on building a working studio and the knowledge to use it while earning a degree in Music Engineering. Throughout his career, he has performed professionally in half a dozen groups in most of the major venues in the Austin area as well as performing three times in the Vans Warped Tour. In 2011, he produced his own solo album under the title Adam Boyd, as well as recordings for several other bands including Born to Lose, The Riot Scene, and The Stampede as wells the Austin ISD school bands. With playwright Beto O’Byrne, a former band mate, he has created music and soundscapes for two shows produced in the Austin area. In the coming year, he is broadening his reach to Chicago and New York, and pursuing ventures creating music for visual media.
Casey Eastman (Austin, TX) is an Information Technology Specialist who began programming at the age of 12 and has over 8 years of professional experience. He holds a degree in Computer Science and has extensive knowledge in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. In 2010, he started DATA-S Productions with the goal of offering innovative software solutions to small and medium sized businesses at affordable rates. Through his company, he has published iPhone apps, Point-Of-Sale reporting systems (complete with iPhone interface), system designs for a web-based Clinical Laboratory Information System (LIS), and a promotional iOS tool for Encore Wire. He also enjoys developing games and exploring space via the History channel.
Megan Breen (Los Angeles, CA) Megan Breen received her BFA in dramaturgy at The Theatre School at DePaul University in 2002, and was a dramaturg/literary manager in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in 2007 to pursue her MFA in Dramatic Writing at USC’s School of Theatre. Her play with songs, Sing Me a Song to Swim To, was directed by the legendary O-Lan Jones at USC’s 2009 Blueprints Festival. Her USC thesis play, My First, My Fist, My Bleeding, Seeded Spirit, a contemporary sequel to Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, was a part of the 2010 MFA Playwrights’ Workshop at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C., and was also selected for the National New Play Network’s Showcase of New Plays in Denver in December 2010. Her newest play, Serpentine Pink, had a workshop reading as a part of the Western Edge Salon of New Plays in March of 2012 in Los Angeles. Her playThe Dirt And Its Harp In Her Mouth, about a girl who falls dangerously in love with her harmonica, will be produced by OC-Centric: Orange County’s Festival of New Plays this August. Ms. Breen teaches English literature at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.
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pledged of $2,800 goal
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Jun 11, 2012 - Jul 31, 2012
Pledge $10 or more
Word Cloud - Your name (or name of choice) will be added to our Word Cloud of donors! The Word Cloud will appear on our website and at every produced function of The Second Decade Project. We'll also give you a shoutout on facebook.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $25 or more
Exclusive Invite to our First Showing - You will be given a chance to witness the first iterations of The Second Decade Project at an invitation-only event in August! For our out-of-town friends, we will be live streaming the event and will also have digital copies available afterwards.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Showing and Gift Bag - All of the above plus a custom created gift bag, specially created to complement The Second Decade ProjectEstimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Individualized Poem - Beto, the writer and conceiver of The Second Decade will write a poem just for you. You will receive an electronic copy in addition to a handwritten copy signed and dated by the author. A copy of the poem will also be on display at future workshops and performances of The Second Decade Project.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $250 or more
Collector’s Edition Chapbook - A collection of Beto’s poems just for you with your own unique introduction! This will be a one-of-a kind item and will be hand-tailored to either your specification or to a design by one of the amazing artists on our team.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $500 or more
1 backer Limited (4 of 5 left)
Video Thank You - An individualized 45-second video will be created in your honor and sent to you. Designed by our team in the same collaborative fashion as our work, this will be a one-of-a-kind gift! This video will include performers from the The Second Decade Project, will utilize your individualized poem and will also be displayed at future Second Decade Project events to show how awesome you are for supporting this exciting project! The video will be premiered and presented to you at the home of the co-creators*, along with a delicious, home cooked meal. *Out of town transportation not included.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012