On Friday November 30th and Saturday December 1st, 2012, I presented a reading of Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust, an excerpt from Object of Her Affection at Automata in Los Angeles. In Ashes to Ashes, Rust to Rust, a woman who desires intimate relationships with inanimate objects discovers that the bridge she has come to love has been cheating on her.
The reading was part of Cabaret Automata’s evening of short-form puppetry for adults presented by Automata. The line up included Marsian DeLellis, Matthew Fielder, Gina Napolitan,Liz Toonkel, Megan Rippey, Eli Presser with Jesse Kingsley, Lee Lynch, and Joel Kayack with Matt Johnson.
Automata is an arts organization located in the Chinatown District of Los Angeles, dedicated to the creation, incubation, and presentation of experimental puppet theater, experimental film, and other contemporary art practices centered on ideas of artifice and performing objects. Automata stands at the fulcrum points between objects and performance, artifacts and ephemera, magic and mechanics, artifice and interface.
Automata is dedicated to creating and nurturing new work that is engaged in cutting edge art practices, and in deep conversation with our contemporary culture of simulation and mimicry while embracing the aura of the handmade and hand-operated. They seek to radically redefine and re-contextualize the notion of object performance, locating it at the intersection of contemporary performance, media, visual art, sound art and experimental writing.
Automata has a particular interest in intimate viewing situations, similar to those that have been the provenance of traditional puppet theater and early film: living rooms, storefront windows, and tiny theaters. They are interested in the intimacy and informality that exists when the artists and audience can actually see each other.
Automata was founded in 2004 by artists Susan Simpson and Janie Geiser. Since that time, they have been presenting intimate performances of original work, film screenings of contemporary and historical avant-garde film, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions in a variety of spaces in Los Angeles. They have invited playwrights and composers, puppeteers and designers, visual artists, and new media experimenters to collaborate and create new works using performing objects. From 2007-2009 Automata operated The Manual Archives, a micro performance and exhibition space dedicated to newly invented folklore for the city of Los Angeles.