It’s a very exciting thing to develop a program that you believe in and have the public agree. For me, bringing people together for a common experience is incredibly important, and gaining the project management skills to assemble and guide an international team has only been icing on the cake!
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The Congress for Curious People
When we started a week long series of performances at Sideshows by the Seashore in Coney Island, it seemed clear to me that it wasn’t enough to simply reimagine the performance of “different” bodies. There was a wide world of scholarship about freak shows, dime museums, and the history of spectacle that wasn’t really talking to those bodies. Or listening much.
Private dinner at El Taxidermista, Salvador Dali’s favorite taxidermy shop in Barcelona, sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin (Organized by Felipe Trigo)
The Congress for Curious People evolved out of that need and became an annual event, eventually taking place in Brooklyn, London, Rome, and Barcelona. Once the brilliant Joanna Ebenstein and our visionary events partner in Spain, Felipe Trigo came on board, the event started to have a life of its own outside of Coney Island.
Albert Domenech lecture on Sex and Pornography in XIX Century Spain
Mat Fraser delivering his keynote address, “Natural Borns in the Modern Sideshow: From the Pornography of the Disabled to the New Rock and Roll” (Photo by Raymond Adams)
Not to mention the fact that my partners all over the world have now introduced me to some of the smartest people and most amazing places I can imagine.
Chris McDaniel, Wild West performer (Photo by Norman Blake)
“Freaks and Monsters: The Politics of Bodily Display”
Evan Michelson lecture on “incorruptible” saints (Photo by Norman Blake)
Saint Barts Pathology Museum, London
Lady Bonbon, half-man, half woman
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The Cosmorama of the Great Dreamland Fire
For the 100th anniversary of the destruction of Coney Island's largest amusement park, the Coney Island Museum built a small reproduction of a 19th century immersive environment. The Cosmorama was a panoramic painting in the round with a sound and light show that told the story of the fire. Leading that team was a great lesson in theatrical project management, with a skilled group of fabricators, lighting designers, scenic painters and sound designers making the whole project sing.
The Cosmorama from the inside. Audience members sit in the boat, perched above the shoot the chutes ride.
The Cosmorama in production at Rose Brands
A visitor’s view of the Cosmorama
The day before the fire
The night it all happened
The fire begins
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Always Looking for New Projects
Because I believe in the power of public interactions, I'm always seeking new projects to produce. Let me oversee the creation of your next exhibit, party, interior, or event.