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Temporality: Mills professor collaborates with performance group collective

Photo courtesy of Stephen Ratcliffe
Photo courtesy of Stephen Ratcliffe

Experience Stephen Ratcliffe and the Thingamajigs, a performance group collective, in their collaboration of spoken word, projected images, choreography and live sounds in a multimedia experience of Temporality on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the Mills College
Art Museum.

The Thingamajigs Performance Group and poet Ratcliffe have been collaborating together for over 6 years. Together they create long multi-media works based on 1,000 of Ratcliffe’s poems and are approximately 14 hours in duration.

Temporality is the third part of a trilogy of performances, each piece based on a collaboration of Ratcliffe’s poems and the Thingamajigs Performance Group. Human/Nature, the first of the trifecta premiered at UC Davis in 2008 and the second piece, Color/Sound, premiered at Headlands Center for the Arts in 2010.

Temporality, written in April 2008-January 2001, is comprised of 1,ooo poems written in 1,000 consecutive days by poet and Mills English Professor Ratcliffe. The idea of Temporality was inspired after Ratcliffe read an essay by a French philosopher named Maurice Merleau-Ponty called Phenomenology of Perception and became interested in the concept of passing time.

The Thingamajigs (TPG), who were originally founded as an art project at Mills College in 1997, will be performing their music and art created with made / found materials and alternate tuning systems.

Their mission is to develop and nurture the exploration of alternate materials and methods of creating sound, and promote collaborative efforts with other artistic disciplines not generally associated with festivals of music.

Core members of TPG include Suki O’Kane, Zachary Watkins, Dylan Bolles and Edward Schocker. Key collaborators over the years include poet Stephen Ratcliffe, Visual artists Michael Meyers and Keith Evans.