SHUTTLE framework

mobile desert performance

17 June – 7 July 2013

Ten crew. Four thousand miles from Tucson to Tucson. Twenty days. A Chevy van. Sonoran, Great Basin and Mojave Deserts. Knowns and unknowns. Open to encounters.

A collection of international artists, designers, performance makers and researchers journey through the deserts of the American south-west performing an exploration of the aesthetic, political, cultural and environmental resonances of desert ecologies. As a temporary travelling community interested in movement, environment, and performance, the project crew intend to generate new creative practices and works that shuttle between registers of knowing and unknowing by exploring performances of mobility. In a journey through seminal land art works, ancient settlements, desert conditions, and transit spaces, SHUTTLE will perform daily processes of creating ephemeral conditions and encounters. An initial ‘landing’ and subsequent ‘return’ event in Tucson, Arizona, welcome public interaction – including collecting offerings from Tucson residents to carry forth. SHUTTLE pauses to present an ‘interval’ at the Performance Studies International ‘Now Then’ Conference (PSi 19) at Stanford University in Palo Alto, and will inform the development of PSi21 ‘Fluid States’ globally distributed events planned for 2015, in particular the Australian deserts project ‘Movement Forms of an Island Continent’.

SHUTTLE encounters

open creative practice investigation

SHUTTLE is self-organised to move, to camp on-site, and to afford hospitality in situations encountered en route and by chance along the way. Passages through diverse landscapes and between the crew and local communities will elaborate relationships between enduring geological temporality and fleeting social temporality; between non-human performative forces and human performance; between performing mobility and stillness in location.

  • June 17  SHUTTLE conversation encounter + SHUTTLE landing in Tucson
  • June 18-20  Chaco Canyon
  • June 21-24   Spiral Jetty, Sun Tunnels and Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), Wendover
  • June 26-30  SHUTTLE interval at PSi 19 Conference at Stanford
  • July 1  Culver City’s CLUI
  • July 2-4   Joshua Tree area landscapes + cultural laboratories (CLUI, High Desert Test Sites)
  • July 5  SHUTTLE returns at Tucson Museum of Art
  • July 6  SHUTTLE conversation encounter in Tucson

a detailed map can be downloaded here.

SHUTTLE encounter: a projective conversation

crew present themselves – Tucson presents local desert knowledge

3.30-5.30pm Mon. 17 June, Exploded View, 197 E Toole Ave., Tucson

The SHUTTLE crew present themselves to each other through a sharing of their previous creative works and their individual aspirations for creative practice during SHUTTLE. Special invited Tucson residents present ways of knowing, understanding, and learning from desert landscapes and cultures through which SHUTTLE will make passage, and speculate on grounds from which to creatively explore deserts.

SHUTTLE  landing

grounding contributions to carry forth

5.30-6.30pm Mon. 17 June, Exploded View, 197 E Toole Ave., Tucson

We need your help to give SHUTTLE grounds from which to explore! The crew warmly invite Tucsonans to bring local knowledge, forms of guidance, and items of pragmatic or symbolic value that SHUTTLE may take forth. Contributions become part of the mobile SHUTTLE performance kit and cargo. Remote crew will contribute creative works. You might tell us a story, give us a recipe or draw a mud-map of where we should go. We hope to accept good-luck trinkets, bumper-stickers, culinary items, scholarly materials, unique local sound tracks, creative surprises, gestures of homecoming or farewelling and running alongside as we take off into the sunset. Come partake in this performance installation event of hospitality in-transit. Imagine what returns in twenty days and place your bet. Everyone welcome!

 SHUTTLE interval

morning performance installation breakfasts

7am-8.30am Thurs 27 to Sun 30 June, Toyan Courtyard of Stanford University, Palo Alto, for the Performance Studies international #19 conference ‘Now Then’

Mid-way in a three-week / four-thousand mile / ten crew journey through American deserts, a camp on-campus is set up offering hospitality for the inhabitation of interval conditions. Explore evidence of encounters amid performances in-transit.  Shuttle registers of knowing and unknowing, timing and spacing. Between sleeping and waking, you are invited to linger at an early morning breakfast lacuna.

 SHUTTLE returns

one-night performance installation event

5-8pm Fri. 5 July, Tucson Museum of Art

After three weeks of desert passage, SHUTTLE returns to Tucson to perform evidence of encounters. A performance installation in the Museum courtyard invites an exploration of that which lingers and endures, the patterned and the orbiting, the haunting and the beautiful, the practiced and the improvised. What returns to performance practice and returns to mind? What remains in the SHUTTLE performance cargo?

SHUTTLE  encounter: a reflective conversation

crew unpack their creative practices – Tucson responds

1-3pm Sat. 6 July, Exploded View, 197 E Toole Ave., Tucson

Join the crew in conversation with special invited Tucson respondents to explore the fallout of desert performance practice and the future opportunities SHUTTLE may afford.  What is the residue that may be carried forth via SHUTTLE?


ten international artists, designers, performance makers and researchers aboard

  • Grzegorz Brzozowski is a director and script writer working on a PhD at University of Warsaw researching modern festival communities through the lens of anthropology of performance and sociology of religion.
  • Mick Douglas is an artist making socially-engaged art and performance, senior lecturer at RMIT University, Melbourne, and initiator of journey-based projects that critically explore the performance of mobilities.
  • Andrea Haenggi is a New York-based choreographer, visual artist, performer and artistic director/founder of Dance Arts Company AMDaT, who recently established 1067 PacificPeople in Brooklyn New York.
  • Fiona Harrisson is a landscape architect, horticulturist and senior lecturer at RMIT University, Melbourne, exploring the role that citizens’ relation to landscape plays in the crisis of our times.
  • Didier Morelli is an interdisciplinary performer and artist investigating the body as a site for change, exchange, identity and belonging. He is an MFA student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
  • James Oliver is an artist-researcher and Graduate Research Coordinator at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships of Melbourne University developing performative methodologies of practice-as-research.
  • Unknown Persons may be given passage during the course of SHUTTLE.
  • Meredith Rogers is a performance-maker who taught at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and is an executive member of the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance.
  • Sam Trubridge is a performance designer, artist, scholar and artistic director with New Zealand company The Playground who is currently researching nomadic philosophies and practices.
  • Beth Weinstein is an architect and Associate Professor at the University of Arizona working between architectural and choreographic practices, and research of American Southwest land art and water issues.

remote crew

artists contributing from distant locations

  • Annalea Beattie is an artist in Melbourne, Australia
  • John Vella is a visual artist in Hobart, Australia
  • Alex Von Bergen is a visual artist in Tucson, Arizona
  • David Williams is a writer / performance maker in London, UK


mobile desert performance

by Mick Douglas and Beth Weinstein

We gratefully acknowledge the support of University of Arizona, Tucson Museum of Art, Exploded View,  RMIT University, University of Melbourne, PSi Performance Studies international