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Thread Waxing Space

Scry Agency by Constance DeJong

Founded in 1991, Thread Waxing Space (TWS) is a non-profit arts and education space that promotes and presents works of art not ordinarily accessible to the public. It originally had a mandate to explore issues in abstract painting but has shifted its focus to include a variety of media.

Through developing its exhibition program, experimental presentation program and education services, TWS has become a progressive venue for contemporary art, music and performance. Previous exhibitions include The Ascent of Western Civilization: American Independent Music 1976-1991 (1997), Peter Kotik and the SEM Ensemble (1997) et Beck and Al Hansen: Playing with Matches (1998).

As part of its 2000 programming, TWS produced and presented Scry Agency by artist Constance DeJong. Scry Agency is a two-character performance set in a real-time virtual environment of interactive computer projections. The characters are Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and Nikola Tesla, electronic pioneer, in a meeting after death. This performance complicates notions of traditional theatre, confusing preconceptions of set and stage, the electronic and the live. DeJong performs alone, interacting with a CD-ROM from which prerecorded performances are projected in the theatre, affecting her responses. A mouse-controlled system offers a unique performance each night since the sequences of the CD-ROM can be randomly changed during every show. A variety of performers play the parts of Tesla and Shelley including Tony Oursler and Vito Acconci.

"The content of the work, Shelley and Tesla meeting after death, is most relevant today. Their A.D. union embodies the rich iconography of current charged love and intellect, and makes real the bond shared by passion and technology: electricity. In physical life, Shelley and Tesla developed notions of science and technology so progressive that they have only been manifested recently: genetic engineering and medical ethics (Shelley), telecommunications (Tesla). As characters they are treated as ghosts living in a continuum that crosses the border of death." (1) 

Scry Agency premiered at TWS on April 5 and 6, 2001.

Angela Plohman © 2000 FDL

(1) Thread Waxing Space, project proposal submitted to the Daniel Langlois Foundation, January 31, 2000.