Big Art Group is a New York based experimental performance ensemble founded by Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson in 1999. Big Art Group uses language and media to push formal boundaries of theatre, film and visual arts; it creates culturally transgressive works and innovative performances using original text, technology and experimental methods of communication. Big Art Group has produced 12 original works: CLEARCUT, catastrophe(1999), The Balladeer(2000), Shelf Life(2001), Flicker(2002), House of No More(2004), Dead Set (2006-Serial Project), The People(2007-Serial Project), The Sleep(2007), The Imitation(2008), SOS(2008), Cityrama (2010-Serial Project), Broke House (2012). In these pieces founder and director Caden Manson invented the integrated spectacle ‘Real-Time Film’, a hybrid of film and theatre in which actors recombined formal ideas of performance through the use of simultaneous acting on stage and for live video using complex choreography, digital puppetry and live video framing. The company’s works exists in the contemporary stream of postdramatic performance, wherein traditional narratives and established performer-audience relationships have been opened up to create possibilities of innovative discovery. The work blends high and low technology, marginal and mainstream culture, and blunt investigation to confront complex issues about contemporary experience.
In its history, the company grew from a small New York underground performance group to an internationally prominent and critically recognized ensemble with essays in performance literature (PAJ, Theater Journal, Mouvement, Theatre Heute), grants from The Jerome Foundation,The Greenwall Foundation, DNA (Andrew W. Mellon foundation and Arts International), Florence Gould Foundation, MAP Fund, étant donnés, and multiple invitations from leading festivals and presenters of experimental performance (Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Festival d’Automne à Paris, La Vie de Festival Rome, Desingel Antwerp, Wexner Center for the Arts, REDCAT, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Kitchen).