Who We Are
Obvious Agency creates interactive, experiential art that ranges from the personal, to the institutional, to the ridiculous. Blending theatrical and digital arts, we create spaces where participants can co-create their own experiences through first-hand exploration of the worlds we create. Always serious, always silly, we believe that by helping create and define culture, we can create systemic and interpersonal change.
Our commitment to co-creative work stems from a dissatisfaction with “immersive” models of live performance. Instead of being pulled under and subject to other’s creative currents, we start from the assumption that people innately have both artistic impulses and the capacity to create art, and that our art is enriched by both their impulses and capacities. We create models of audiencing that help us think about familiar spaces in unfamiliar ways, that empower us to act in ways that might feel too transgressive in less controlled circumstances, and that imagine worlds in which we are empowered to make decisions on the bases of pleasure, not necessity.
Inherent in this imagining of new ways of being and creating is our governing and administrative structure. We are a worker-owned cooperative grounded in anti-capitalist, anti-racist, non-normative, liberatory, and feminist frameworks. Obvious Agency’s work is collectively authored and owned. We split labor and remuneration transparently and unanimously, on a project-by-project basis. And we love what we do.
Arianna Gass is an intermedia artist and scholar whose interests lie at the intersection of digital and embodied play. She explores embodiment from a technical perspective, examining the interface of on-screen and off-screen bodily performance in video games, as well as from a creative perspective, through the production of interactive multimedia performances. She is a PhD student in the English and Theater and Performance Studies programs at the University of Chicago. http://www.ariannagass.com.
Joseph Ahmed is a Philadelphia-based multidisciplinary performance artist whose work spans theater, dance, circus, and interactive design. He is a company member of Barrymore Award-winning physical theater company Tribe of Fools, and has worked in collaboration with companies such as Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation and Enchantment Theatre Company. As a teaching artist, he performs nationally with Foodplay Productions, instructs in circus and theater, and holds a Teaching Artist Certification from the Teacher’s College of Columbia University.
Daniel Park is a queer, bi-racial, theatre and performance artist based in Philadelphia. His work is interdisciplinary, combining live performance and game design to create hybrid experiences that explore the boundaries of human agency. He has presented and performed nationally and internationally, collaborating locally with companies like The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Applied Mechanics, and Orbiter 3. His artistic practice is deeply tied to his work as an organizer and facilitator, focusing on racial justice in the cultural sector. He has provided his services as a facilitator and consultant with organizations such as The PA Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, ArtPlace America, and The University of the Arts.
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