Conceived by composer/performer/choreographer Grisha Coleman, echo::system is a series of imagined environments that can be explored as an installation or observed as a performance. In creating the work, the collaborators (including a biologist, an architect, sound and video designers, and performers) research the dynamic behavior of specific ecosystems, create a physical installation based on real and metaphorical data, and model this information with a computer program that governs events in the physical environment. The performance reveals a myth about the creation of the environment, which the inhabitants of the environment are attempting to rediscover. The myth is based on “natural” biorhythms of the environment as modeled in a computer-based system. In an environment made “live” by custom sensors, performers move within the full sensory landscape, and their interactions become a way to re-examine contemporary urban life.
Grisha Coleman has composed scores for choreographer Rennie Harris’ Facing Mekka, Laurie Carlos’ Marion’s Terrible Time of Joy and the Hartford Ballet’s X-Mass Illness/Mainframe Carols. From 1995-2000 she was Artistic Coordinator of the vocal ensemble Hot Mouth. The group performed at many venues, including Performance Space 122 in New York, The Dublin Fringe Festival, Sadler’s Wells in London and The Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. Hot Mouth was nominated for a Drama Desk award in 1998. Her previous works include Black Alice, Modem Love and Cab and Lena. A research fellow at Carnegie Mellon’s Studio for Creative Inquiry, she has also been awarded residencies at the Banff Center for the Arts, The Integrated Media Program at CalArts and Yaddo. She has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, Rockefeller MAP Fund, Franklin Furnace and The New York Foundation for the Arts, and has taught and guest lectured at universities widely.