Cloudism

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cloudism was a performance piece originally conceived for two performers. Based on the exquisite corpse concept created by the surrealists and popularized by the dadaists, cloudism was envisioned as a way to create a 3-dimensional group poem using the human form as the writing surface.

cloudism evolved into a collaborative effort that involved two actors (Graham Pilato and Allison Clapp Fuentes) and a cellist (Tina Hughes) with the express purpose of creating a spontaneous group project involving performer and audience in an attempt to blur or even eliminate the barrier between performer and audience member.  Participation by everyone was fundamental to the project with anonymity being the key to the piece that was eventually created.

cloudism was first performed at The Soundry (now defunct) in Vienna, VA in 2010 and later at the Capital Fringe Festival in 2011.  The performance featured a Still Man (played by Mike Maggio), a mime or Guide (played by Graham Pilato) and a mannequin named Bob. The set, which featured a huge cloud with an eye in the center and pens dropping from the ceiling, was designed by Allison Clapp Fuentes. It also featured a television set tuned to static and  a ladder which could be used to climb up into the clouds, an image for exploration and discovery which was meant to inspire the participants into creating text and images penned directly on Bob and the Still Man. Audience members were enticed to interact with the performers and to free-write and draw on Bob and the Still Man and on anything else that came their way.

The original performance was met with curiosity and acclaim. The Capital Fringe Festival performance was met with  interest and bafflement.

After these initial performances, the group went on to produce several other productions including Music for Mummies (the banner on this web page, taken by Allison Clapp Fuentes, is from a photo from this event) and I Always Wanted To Be An Artist.

Later, cloudism evolved into an interactive gallery exhibit hosted at Waddell Art Gallery at Northern Virginia Community College – Loudoun Campus which included artists Adam Lister, Matt Pinney and Ceci Cole-McInturff.  cloudism: The Exhibit allowed gallery visitors to create art on the spot, utilizing material placed indiscriminately around the gallery. Each day (and several times a day) the exhibit morphed and changed, providing gallery goers and artists with a dynamic experience.

Currently, cloudism as a performance group no longer exists except as a concept, though Graham Pilato has gone on to found Borealis Theater which has created such works at Crosswalk Wedding.

cloudism has a Facebook page which has historic as well as current information.

What do you think?