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Segue_feature

The perfect Segue

Beatrice Smith

In this digital age, what connects us? In this age of postal votes and plebiscites, what does grassroots democracy look like?

These are some of the lofty issues that Segue 2017 aims to tackle.

Taking place at The Street Theatre until this Sunday 3 September, Segue is now in its third year and in 2017 has been co produced by Segue 2017’s artist-in-residence Mikey Weinkove, co founder of The People Speak.

Segue, the idea of flowing from one state to another seamlessly, is a micro-festival investigating the Euro-Australian relationship right here in Canberra, home to the EU Delegation,” explains Artistic Director and CEO of The Street Theatre, Caroline Stacey.

Caroline explains that Segue is “A bespoke event project it embraces re-discovering that relationship through contemporary performance. Connecting cultures and continents Segue also explores the work of artists whose practices shift between these places.”

“Working in partnership with the Australian National University’s Centre of European Studies over the last three years we’ve been exploring what sort of platform we can create for this Euro-Australian conversation. And its been a rich and eye-opening  journey.”

So what’s on the menu for 2017?

In 2017 Segue positions ‘live art’ – a style of work by artists to open up process, presence and experience – at the centre of Segue 2017.” says Caroline. “Mikey was invited to be artist-in-residence to plant as many seeds as possible in Canberra around the idea of energising our collective imagination, our decision-making processes, conversations even through talks and experiences that use everything from arts such as event design, performance, architecture, game shows, and popular culture.”

So what exactly does that look like on stage?

Mikey

Mikey

Kicking things off tonight (Tuesday 29 August), The Culture of Participation asks, ‘How do you get the mood right for collective decision making? and ‘What can politics of the future learn from event design, service design, theatre, architecture, and psychology?’

Join Mikey as he investigates our collective imagination and explores the ways we can use performance and live arts to inspire and support all people perform our current discussions, debates, proposals in a way that is open and inviting.

Mikey will talk about creating an ambience in which people feel safe, are confident to speak and trust the outcome. He’ll also examine ways to rediscover democratic process’s remit to engage, to make bureaucratic and political processes inviting and compelling even.

Mikey explains that his background in fine art helped him realise that the creative journey was as important – if not more so – than the outcome.

“I studied Fine Art at Central St Martins College in London,” he explains. “While I was there, I realised that the experience of making art and being in the creative zone was more important to me than a focus on producing a valuable art object.”

“I set about designing performance situations where participants get sucked into the creative mind space. It was only when I was asked to scale down one of those performances to fit into a nightclub in 1997 that “Talkaoke” was created. The experience of taking part in the show was such a stimulating experience for everyone and I just kept getting booked to do more shows.”

The Slice Is Right?

The Slice Is Right?

“In 2002 I teamed up with artist Saul Albert and in 2003 we created The People Speak as an artistic partnership. We began to develop other formats which embraced the ethos of Talkaoke. We designed understandable structures where participants could take control and set the agenda.”

But it’s not just about “collective imagination”. Segue is about pizza too.

During The Slice Is Right? on Wednesday 30 August, Mikey will test new ways of making group decisions as he takes his audience on a very serious quest, not for the perfect pizza, but for the pizza that pleases all the people all of the time.

This innovative event puts you in charge of deciding what goes on your pizza and who get the biggest slice…And along the way discover what happens when everybody does their own thing.

An interactive live art event based on political systems that takes place around tables with kitchen action and a nosh-up. It’s a mash between “The Great Australian Bake Off” and a utopian vision of future pizza. What system creates the best pizza?

Multiple sauces, toppings, cheeses and doughs will be available including gluten free, vegan and vegetarian.

Finally, this Saturday 2 August, Segue will crank the ‘democracy’ up a notch when they allow the audience to decide how to spend the entire box office of the night. Yes, you read that correctly.

Who Wants To Be? asks: What happens when you ask a room of Canberrans to agree on how to spend a pool of funds? This innovative event offers a witty cocktail of power, people and passion that places the audience in charge of all the answers, all the questions and the rules. By the end of the show, the money must be spent and the decision must be unanimous. And the more people who come, the more money’s on the table.

Think you have a life-changing project? Or campaign? A brilliant giveaway scenario? An intervention that will change a life? Or do you just enjoy finding out what gobsmackingly brilliant or bonkers things other people want to make happen? Then you’ll want to be at The Street this Saturday.

the essentials 

What: Segue 2017
When: Happening until Saturday 2 September
Where: The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, City West
Tickets: Purchase them here

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author

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