1999-2002

The new Pocha Nostra troupe tours The Living Museum of Fetishized Identities internationally. The next step in our performance research is to develop large-scale interactive performance/installations that function as "intelligent raves and art expos of Western apocalypse". Every "living museum" is site-specific and involves a different group of local artists. Live music, video and computer projections, cinematic lighting, taxidermied animals and twisted ethnographic motifs help enhance our high-tech "robo-baroque aesthetic." In these intoxicating environments, we exhibit ourselves on platforms as intricately decorated "ethno-cyborgs" and "artificial savages" for 3 to 5 hours a day. The structure is open and non-coercive, allowing the audience to walk around the dioramas designing their own journey. They can stay for as long as they wish, come in and out of the space, or return later on, fully participating in our performance games or keeping to the sidelines as voyeurs.

In the first hour, the experience is typically voyeuristic. The "ethno-cyborgs" create slow motion tableaux vivants that sample and combine radical political imagery, religious iconography, extreme pop culture, fashion and theatricalized sexuality. The audience members are confronted with a stylized anthropomorphization of their own post-colonial hallucinations, a kind of cross-cultural poltergeist in which the space between self and other, "us and them," fear and desire, becomes blurry and unspecific. As the evening evolves, the experience becomes increasingly more participatory. We include a diorama station where audience members can choose a "temporary ethnic identity" and become "their favorite cultural other" using make-up and costumes provided by us; after this, they are encouraged to integrate themselves into our living dioramas. Both audience members and performers make political, ethical and aesthetic decisions on the spot. In this sense, the performance becomes an exercise in radical democracy. In the last hour, we step out of the dioramas and cede total control to the audience, as the post-colonial demons dance all around us.

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*Radio Free Pocha