Body of Knowledge


‘absolutely beautiful and breathtaking to watch…I felt I was truly able to connect with the performance and become swept up in what I was watching.

ANNETA KONSTANTINIDES, The Aggie 2011 by Karl Frost

with performers Amber Cone, Atali Staffler, Zap McConnell,Keri Syndulko, Emily Abrahams, Rob Woodman, Linda Reinered, Zack Bernstein, Tom Kuruzovich, Karl Frost

video installation by Karl Frost, John Zibell, Sharmi Basu

an interactive performance work exploring how awareness and feeling live in our bodies, how knowledge of and debate on environmental issues and political issues exist alongside personal and private realities.

February 18-20, 24-27, 2011 co-produced with UC Davis Theatre and Dance at Mondavi Vanderhoef Studio Theater, Davis

March 4/5, 2011, in Berkeley

As a “post-dramatic” performance work, Body of Knowledge does not intend to give answers or present a clear narrative. Instead, the work is an event that can be observed from many vantage points, both physically and philosophically. It is a “happening” involving elements of dance, theater, music, soundscape, and video, as well as mundane (or not-so-mundane) conversation. Audience wander through an installation of video projections invoking environments both human and “wild” and meet the performers in encounters both ordinary and extra-ordinary. Sometimes the encounter is from the distance of the withdrawn observer. Sometimes, if audience members choose, the encounter is less mediated by intellectual or physical distance as audience members engage more directly with performers.

The work, involving a group of actors, dancers, performance artists, and musicians from around North America, will engage with interlocking issues of…

-how feeling and thought live in the body
-how the environment we live in affects how we live, think, and feel
-how private thoughts coexist alongside personal interactions and a global web of interaction. what is the place of intimate relation in a world of global processes
-how we process knowledge of the environmental and political realities that we live in… how much information we can process and how we choose how much to know
-how we tell the difference between utopian or dystopian fantasies and the world as it is
-what we choose to take as our responsibility, what we desire, what we decide is beyond our control
-what place art has in our lives in a world marked by constant signals of crisis
-how the personal, the social, the environmental, and the political are all threads of our lives known through our bodies

The piece is not an answer, but an opportunity to question. Many things occur simultaneously. We can never experience everything. Sometimes we choose to watch. When do we get involved?


The show is an interactive performance work. At the beginning of the show, we will ask audience members to take part in a simple behavioral experiment, investigating how we interrelate.

As we segue into the rest of the show, the formality of the experiment is deconstructed and dropped and audience members choose their level of involvement. You can stand back and watch from a distance, knowing that no one will interact with you, or you can put yourself deeper into the space and offer yourself as part of the action of the piece. You explore your own agency in what you want to see, how you want to see, and how involved you want to be.

Post event salon

Stay after the show for a convivial salon to meet other audience members and the performers and perhaps to discuss issues that arise during the piece. Tea will be served.

Click here for


Video excerpt

 Posted by at 10:00 pm