Roam


Lars Jan is a director, artist, writer, and activist known for visually striking, genre-bending performance and installation works exploring emerging technologies, live gatherings, and unclassifiable experience.

Artist Bio

Roam is a performance set in a sports complex that speculatively traces one branch of the Afghan side of the artist’s family tree 70,000 years into the past. Performers will lead audiences wearing AR-glasses to roam around a stadium that transforms into a river-carved valley, where bleachers are tree-covered mountains and other participants become Sapiens and Neanderthals who evolve, migrate, and branch toward the arc of the artist’s complex family history in Afghanistan. Through emerging technologies and theater, Roam weaves themes of human migration, personal history, and ecological collapse on an epic scale.


Award Year
2021
Status

In Progress

The head of an Afghan Polish man with black hair and beard and brown eyes with clear glasses looks to his right, against a white background.

Lars Jan

Los Angeles, CA

The son of émigrés from Afghanistan and Poland, Lars Jan is a director, artist, writer, and activist known for visually striking, genre-bending performance and installation works exploring emerging technologies, live gatherings, and unclassifiable experience. With his performance and art lab Early Morning Opera, Jan’s original works have been presented by BAM Next Wave Festival, Whitney Museum, Sundance Film Festival, Under the Radar Festival, PICA’s TBA Festival, REDCAT, ICA Boston, YBCA, Wexner Center, On the Boards, Toronto Nuit Blanche, London’s Burning Festival, Poland’s Boska Komedia Festival, NYU Abu Dhabi, Istanbul Modern, and the Sydney Festival. His climate change-themed installation, Holoscenes, created a sensation in Times Square, coinciding with the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords. Winner of the Audemars Piguet Art Commission, Jan exhibited Slow-Moving Luminaries, a kinetic pavilion evoking sea-level rise during Art Basel Miami. He staged Joan Didion’s essay The White Album at BAM’s Harvey Theatre, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and other venues, which culminated in an open-forum conversation around themes of protest. He is a TED Senior Fellow and Sundance New Frontier Story Lab advisor. Jan is represented by Charlie James Gallery and on faculty at CalArts.

Photo: Kawai Mathews