Creative Incubator Artist of the Day: Savanna Harvey

Get to know an artist! Today’s Incubator spotlight is on Savanna Harvey (she/her) 

Savanna is an interdisciplinary creator-performer with broad experience in a variety of alternative theatre practices. From mask, puppetry, clown, collective creation, immersive, interactive, site-specific, installation, and intermedia performance, she’s done it all. Design and build is an essential part of her creation practice. She has a hands-on, DIY, build it yourself, fix it yourself approach that shows the spark of innovation in all she does. Tonight, Savanna’s work in the Incubator culminates in a live-stream performance called, “Interaction Design for Digital and Hybrid Performance.”

cSPACE: What inspired this virtual event? 

SH: In my experience of the pandemic, we have seen quite a few collectives and organizations take their work online, but much of Canada’s performing arts community has struggled to find the capacity and expertise to explore interaction in streamed performance. The experiments needed to adapt my own show, Wastelands, for digital-live hybrid performance are a great opportunity to share that knowledge into the wider arts community with the Interaction Design for Digital and Hybrid Performance liveshow tonight, May 25th!

cSPACE: What can we expect from tonight’s livestream event? 

SH: Definitely not another Zoom room, this theatre-nerd-meets-Bill-Nye-the-Science-Guy event hopes to inspire with user-friendly, accessibly-priced technologies, demonstrating what’s possible with a little robot brains!

cSPACE: Who should see it and why?

SH: Suitable for beginner to intermediate digital and performing arts creators and either adapted-to-digital or designed-for-digital projects. Great for improving audience connection and engagement within adapted-to-digital work, and a fantastic opportunity to inspire new projects originating in physical-digital performance spaces.

cSPACE: What’s your imaginary autobiography called? 

SH:  “The Next Spectacle.” I push my artistic boundaries and my knowledge limits, testing out new ways to express the work and really wow an audience.  I’m addicted to new ideas. And even though I take the art and the research very seriously, I love a little bit of bonkers bamboozlement in the mix, too.  I come into a project wondering how I can do something completely new and outside my comfort-zone – and how I bring the audience along for that journey.

cSPACE: What excites you about the Creative Incubator?

SH: Residencies are invaluable time for research and development. So often the only time performing artists are enabled to be in process (funding, resources) is when there is a full-scale production at the end of the tunnel. The stakes of a final-product production are not a conducive environment for risk-taking and curiosity-driven exploration. It sets the wrong priorities: success and perfection. When there is no room for failure, there is no opportunity for learning. We need more of this kind of programming!

SH: In my experience of the pandemic, we have seen quite a few collectives and organizations take their work online, but much of Canada’s performing arts community has struggled to find the capacity and expertise to explore interaction in streamed performance. The experiments needed to adapt my own show, “Wastelands”, for digital-live hybrid performance are a great opportunity to share that knowledge into the wider arts community with the Interaction Design for Digital and Hybrid Performance liveshow tonight!

cSPACE: At cSPACE we live by the 4C’s: Creativity, Community, Collaboration, and Change. Which of these resonates the most with you right now?

SH: While I believe my project embodies elements from all those values, creativity and change are the two I consider the most prevalent. Part of the challenge of moving into a digital setting is the loss of traditional audience interactivity points found in physical and in-person performance. But, rather than abandon these traditional interaction points when we go digital, I think creators can work with technology to create entirely new engagement points for audiences – or even approximations of the old participations dynamics. It’s challenging testing out something so new, but there’s actually a lot of knowledge from our physical practices that transfers. It’s not as scary as it seems!

cSPACE: “Interaction Design for Digital and Hybrid Performance” will be broadcast tonight live on Twitch. To learn more and to register for the livestream, check Savanna’s website https://savannaharvey.com or visit her on Instagram (@savanna_c_harvey) and follow the link in her bio. The show will also be archived on her YouTube channel after tonight.

Need more Savanna in your stream? Follow her on these channels:

Facebook: savanna.harvey.art
Twitter: savanna_harvey
Instagram: savanna_c_harvey
Tik Tok: savanna_harvey
Website: www.savannaharvey.com
YouTube: Savanna Harvey

cSPACE gratefully acknowledges the support of the Calgary Foundation for the Creative Incubator Initiative

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