'Empire' by Nature Theater of Oklahoma is a project inspired by Andy Warhol's 1964 silent, black-and-white film. Have you seen it? It’s eight hours and five minutes long. You can watch a ten minute excerpt here.
Nature Theater of Oklahoma is well known for for setting out on seemingly impossible tasks. So… they’re going to remake this film! All eight plus hours of it! But instead of filming the Empire State Building, they’ve decided to create an animated version.
We will build this animation via drawing or other two-dimensional graphics ten 4x6’’ index cards at a time. Each index card is stamped with a black impression of the Empire State Building and those contributing may create whatever they choose with two stipulations: 1) Please try to recreate the same image 10 times. Even though the goal is to recreate the same exact image in each card, the natural details and imperfections reveal movement in what initially seems static. And 2) please only use 2D techniques. We will scan these in order to make the film, so 3D submissions, while I‘m sure would be awesome, will be unusable.
We’ve been working on this project within the company and during our time spent in Berlin this past summer. For a better idea of what we’re doing, you can watch an eight minute clip of our work so far: https://vimeo.com/75550776.
If you are interested in participating, please email your name and mailing address to [email protected] We will send you an envelope of 10 cards and you can work your artistic magic and send them back to us. While you will receive credit for helping us, these cards will not be returned to you.
As of now, there is no deadline to your requesting cards. Due to our touring schedule, we will mail the first cards out on October 14th. Then next batch will go out in late December. So if you don’t get your info in soon, don’t fret! We still want and need your help!
Please note: This is a multi year project that will require help from thousands of people. We’re talking over eight hours of scanned images here, people. It’s going to take a loooong time to collect all of the material and piece it together. And you can of course contribute more than 10 cards, but we will only send them out 10 at a time.
Again, please send you name, mailing address and any questions you might have to [email protected]
Let’s do this!
"Personnel is being hired for the Theater in Oklahoma! The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma is calling you! It's calling you today only! If you miss this opportunity, there will never be another! Anyone thinking of his future, your place is with us! All welcome! Anyone who wants to be an artist, step forward! We are the theater that has a place for everyone, everyone in his place! If you decide to join us, we congratulate you here and now! But hurry, be sure not to miss the midnight deadline! We shut down at midnight, never to reopen! Accursed be anyone who doesn't believe us!" -- Franz Kafka, Amerika
Nature Theater of Oklahoma is an OBIE-Award winning New York art and performance group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. Since Poetics: a ballet brut, their first dance piece created as an ensemble, Nature Theater of Oklahoma has been devoted to making the work they don’t know how to make, putting themselves in impossible situations, and working from out of their own ignorance and unease. Nature Theater uses readymade material, found space, overheard speech, and observed gesture, and through extreme formal manipulation, and superhuman effort, they affect in our work a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live.