You Are My Zooplankton — Come Closer

I created the “snack theater” You Are My Zooplankton—Come Closer for the Burning Man festival held in Northwestern Nevada. A cross between Edo period Japanese decadence, cabaret, children’s theater, and drag shows, it was co-produced by Steve Miller, Steven Stone, Andi Piel and Ashok Mudholkar and had a cast of twenty five. The three jellyfish were made of muslin, resin, fabric and lights, seventeen feet in diameter, suspended seventeen feet in the air. During the daylight hours solar-powered sound equipment located in each of the jellyfish generates a continually changing hum of found and self made sounds mixed with a tri-tone produced by the wind blowing through perforations in the tubular plastic tentacles that hang from each fish. Each evening the fish transform into a cabaret-style dinner theater where 50 lucky diners are subjected to a butoh Titanic zombie wait staff serving a five course sushi diner, cunnilingus-seeking octopus, a kabuki pirate marching band, on-land synchronized swimming, and a fashion show called Big Poppa’s Muddy Hole (which precedes the serving of a chocolaty dessert). This essentially self-funded Fitzcaraldo-level event was made primarily to give an extraordinary experience; to interact with viewer/participant at such a highly unusual level that it chips away at preconceived notions of what it is exactly that we do, where real and dream blur, not in the silly on-screen way, but in life and in a powerfully un-scripted way, allowing the viewer/participants to begin to see themselves as also profoundly unusual.