Production Design, Public Art, Upcycling, Costuming, Electronic
I am co-founder and Director of the slow tech MAKER SPACE at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland. I will be teaching workshops, and inviting artists to share their knowledge. I have done award winning public art, worked as a sustainable production designer, created sets, made all the costumes for my performances through upcycling, and years ago ran my own successful hat business - De Pravant Garde Hats.
Production Design and Public Art
Underwater AR prototype, commissioned by Adam Zaretsky, 2018
ImmerSea: Subversive Submersibles is a project by Oya Damla, Kira deCoudres, Adam Zaretsky, Ryan Cotham of water-adapted augmented reality (AR). This included aquatic AR goggles, immersive AR environments and AR submergibles. In the summer of 2018, Adam Zaretsky design and create the gear that would hold the AR devices underwater. I created the prototype out of thick copper cabling, plumbing tube, pvc joints, duct tape and other garbage lying about the house. We used this prototype in the NO!!!BOT performance at Grace Performance Space in Brooklyn.
more info about project ImmerSea: Subversive Submersibles
Ganga Satellite Headgear, commissioned by Anuj Vaidya, 2017
I was commissioned by Anuj Vaidya as Production Designer for the Ganga Satellite element of his project, When Sita Was a Microbe. This project, produced as a fundraiser for SF Women Against Rape in the summer of 2017, featured two performances that brought together Deaf and hearing communities through dance and drama: I Have Never Known Two, based on a poem by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, and Ganga Satellite, which charts the journey of a million sitas – microbes in space who arrive on earth to become a sentient forest.
The primary element I worked on as Production Designer was a headpiece that had to meet the following parameters:
I was only allowed to use recycled material, garbage, or damaged materials.
The headpiece had to fully rotate 360 degrees, be fully stable, and the dancer had to be able to initiate and stop rotations at will.
Light enough to be on a dancers head comfortably
I prototyped 3 different versions. The first was based on a damaged tomato planter, but discarded as too heavy to wear. The second was based on a broken umbrella. The final one was made from the broken umbrella, plastic bottles from recycling bins, straws from the garbage at Starbucks, discarded x-rays of small animals, found cardboard, damaged textiles, a lazy susan, the dancer’s bicycle helmet, a small amount of LED lights, wire and duct tape.
Below is a short video of the final fitting of the headpiece on Dancer Lakshmi Sriraman, showing full rotation.
Set Designer for Liz Duffy Adam’s play DOG ACT, Shotgun Theatre in San Francisco/Berkeley, 2004
I was invited to design the sets for the premiere of Liz Duffy Adam’s play DOG ACT, which premiered at Shotgun Theatre in 2004. The primary element of the set was a modular cart that had to meet the following parameters:
Light enough for any of the actors to move about the stage easily
Had to open up to larger size and close back to smaller size effortlessly.
Strong enough to carry one actor at times, and unfurl a stage on which the actors could stand and perform mini-plays
Modular enough to be disassembled mid-run and moved on a very narrow truck from the Thick House Theatre on Potrero Hill in San Francisco to the Shotgun Theatre in Berkeley.
I asked instrument maker and master carpenter Stewart Port to work on this project with me, and we created the cart with a base made of rigid steel, which was both light, strong enough to hold the actors, and could be easily disassembled. Over this steel armature I used recycled materials and wood to decorate the exterior of the cart. Port created 3 musical instruments out of recycled materials.
This brilliant production of Liz Duffy Adam’s Dog Act was workshopped at Bay Area Playwrights Festival and premiered with Shotgun Theatre, directed by Kent Nicholson, set by Praba Pilar and Stewart Port, lights by Rob Anderson, costumes by Valera Coble and cast made up of: Beth Donohue, Richard Bolster, Eric Burns, Dave Maier, Dianne Manning, and Rami Margron. This production won the prestigious 2005 Will Glickman Award for best new play to premiere in the Bay Area in 2004.
Costuming from Upcycled Materials
Computers Are A Girl’s Best Friend
I created this costume from the hundreds of CD Roms mailed to me and my friends by AOL and Netscape. We received these almost daily in the late 1990s, and most people threw them im the garbage. I upcycled dozens of them into a reflective disco ball dress for my performance Computers Are A Girl’s Best Friend. I wore it during the performance in numerous locations, including the Museum of World Culture in Gothenberg, Sweden, and exhibited the dress at Galeria de la Raza and the Thoreau Center for Sustainability. In the Galeria de la Raza exhibition, I placed it in the window on a rotating base, which I created with help from the Tinkerer’s Workshop in Berkeley, California.