In March of 2017, seated in the fourth row from the back of the Laemmle Theatre, I knew I was witnessing something unlike anything I had seen before. It was a screening of the acclaimed production of Woolf Works that had premiered live two years earlier in London. Woolf Works was a triptych ballet inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf choreographed by Wayne McGregor on the dancers of the Royal Ballet in London and set to an original score by Max Richter. The power of literature, its wisdoms and its histories, was brought to life through the human form and its inhuman talents, in conjunction with a score that transmuted this visual representation into an aural one. Costumes, sets, and lighting designs that pushed the boundaries of what was possible for a stage performance pervaded the entire multi-sensory experience. All I could think of while I was watching the screening was how I wished I could have seen it live. In short, Woolf Works affected me. It inspired me to bring innovative art like this, and moreover, art that surpasses Woolf Works in its reach, diversity, and representation, into the world. Woolf Works was successful, in large part, because several great minds came together due to their shared networks to think outside of what they might have initially thought possible, to converge artistic fields in a transdisciplinary way, to create something different and innovative. But they were already huge names in their respective fields, and they were all geographically located in the same place. Thus arose the founding mission for CAPER™, The Convergent Arts Platform, to foster artistic expression through virtual co-location.
There is a need for the convergence of artistic fields and the collaboration of diverse artists to achieve a collision of ideas that result in breakthrough artistic expressions.
CAPER™ is a web-based platform designed to bring together artists from all different geographies, cultures, and artistic modalities into a virtual space where they can be inspired and challenged through the use of a patentable option generation aid technology and the crowdsourcing of ideas in order to think in more creative, innovative ways collaboratively. Through this guidance in creative ideation, exploration, and experimentation, artists will be able to work together to create unprecedented multimodal, future-thinking art that will transform how cultures perceive and respond to the arts. Today, there is a need for the convergence of artistic fields and the collaboration of diverse artists to achieve a collision of ideas that result in breakthrough artistic expressions. Rather than being solely an artistic social network or merely a guided collaboration virtual environment, CAPER™ offers both, driven by the insight that the convergence of different fields can often yield innovative artistic expressions.
Currently, CAPER™ is beginning to build the community of artists who are interested in converging fields and collaborating with one another. CAPER™ has started the facilitation of innovative art collaborations by utilizing well-researched theories and concepts behind the platform’s technology to engage the currently small community of artists to demonstrate the kind of art that will eventually spring from this platform. We are refining our business model, establishing an online presence, and developing key marketing strategies. By the end of this workshop, we plan to present a website that will serve as an advertising brochure as well as a prototype for how CAPER™ will function, what value proposition it offers, and what its impact will be.
One year from now, we plan to have the underlying technology so that we may present it to an initial small community of artists. These individuals will use the platform as intended and provide feedback for how it could be improved. Three years from now, we would like to officially launch CAPER™ and connect artists worldwide to showcase the unprecedented works of art that they have created. Six years from now, we would like to see CAPER™ as a powerful force in the artistic world, a catalyst for innovation, utilizing new technologies to make the experience of collaboration and convergence among the arts simpler, more effective, and more personal for users worldwide. Overall, we hope to see the revolutionary results of what happens when great minds think unalike.
What happens when great minds think unalike?
A visual artist, a dancer, and a musician are currently collaborating to create a multimodal piece of art that plays with referentiality, re-presentation, and emotional translation. Their objective is to take the complex idea of loneliness and imagine how it can be represented visually by converging all of their areas of expertise. They plan to bring the two-dimensional drawing into the three-dimensional space of dance. Finally, the drawing in combination with the dance will be the foundation of the musical score for the piece. The visual artist, currently located in Montenegro, has drawn the piece above as the first iteration of loneliness. The dancer, currently located in Los Angeles, will use a screen recording of the drawing process to choreograph a synergistic dance, and both short videos will be blended. The musician, also currently located in Los Angeles, will then craft a score in response to the feelings evoked from this second iteration of loneliness to create yet a third. They hope the result will be a complex visual melding of forms into one cohesive evocative artistic experience of a feeling that everyone knows and inhabits uniquely.
Ashna Madni is a writer and artist born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with an Emphasis in Psychology. She received the Dean Joan Metcalf Schaefer Travel Award from USC to study at the University of Cambridge in the Pembroke-King’s Programme during the summer of 2016. Ashna has been published in Palaver Arts Magazine and will be published in California’s Emerging Writers by Z Publishing House and Semantics Magazine. Ashna has also trained in classical and contemporary ballet since the age of four and just completed her term as Co-Director of the Chamber Ballet Company of USC.