YOMO/Intermedia is an experimental dance, music, media and visual art performance featuring dancers and musicians onstage, with a larger virtual cast appearing in video projections, integrated with footage of ocean and coastal locations, evoking aspects of natural beauty and environmental degradation. A related series of animated films also are presented in a multi-channel video installation. Following a successful run at UC Irvine's Contemporary Arts Center in February 2019, YOMO/Intermedia will be presented at Brown University's Granoff Center on April 1 and 2, 2019.
Your Ocean, My Ocean (YOMO) is an ongoing art and technology project concerned with environmentalism, climate justice and community engagement. Produced by UCI’s Institute for 21st Century Creativity in collaboration with the Brown Arts Initiative and the Rhode Island School of Design, YOMO brings together a transdisciplinary group of artists and designers to create a series of experimental performances and exhibitions responding to the natural beauty of oceans and coastlines, as well as to detrimental human impacts on ocean ecosystems. We observe that inattention to crucial values combined with unquestioning acceptance of decisions based upon rational thought can create an unhealthy dependence on ill-considered technological “solutions.” In this context, YOMO uses aspects of the human-ocean relationship to demonstrate and illuminate ways in which the human desire to transform our environment is unleashing destructive forces that endanger the world and everything in it, including ourselves.
Currently in development, YOMO/ME is a new experiential public art project incorporating media materials derived from the YOMO performances and exhibitions, featuring a crowd-sourced social media interface through which visitors can submit their own images, short videos and text messages. Submissions to YOMO/ME and associated workshops will create an evolving online presence connecting YOMO creators with voices and perspectives from a diverse mix of community contributors.
We are seeking opportunities to further develop the YOMO concept through workshops, exhibitions and performances in other coastal centers.
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean
The oceans cover the majority of the planet’s surface and are a primary line of defense against the effects of anthropogenic climate change. If carefully managed, our oceans’ wild fisheries offer an essential resource for feeding Earth’s continually growing population. But the oceans face potentially catastrophic threats due to human activity, including the effects of pollution, marine debris, hypoxia, destructive fishing practices, rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification. With a sense of foreboding we note the developing planetary crisis driven by the rapidly evolving human capacity to alter planetary ecosystems, particularly our oceans and coastlines.
As artists deeply engaged with 21st-century technologies, we have a passionate desire to respond to these crucial issues. We know (all too well) how a lack of attention to crucial values combined with unquestioning acceptance of rational thought can create an unhealthy dependence on ill-considered technological “solutions.” One of our primary goals in this project is to contribute to climate justice by developing a creative framework that honors diverse voices and cultural perspectives. We recognize that environmentalism is not a new movement – environmental activism has played a central role in the cultures of indigenous peoples and of brown, black and other disadvantaged communities for thousands of years.
The YOMO creative team is inspired by the profound natural beauty of our oceans and coastlines, including the aesthetics of human involvement. At the same time, we feel the need to respond to the existential threat posed by the rapidly escalating degradation of ocean systems. While we are privileged to be operating within an elite university research environment, where we can draw upon the knowledge and experience of leading researchers, scientists and scholars, we also want to engage with a wide range of communities around this theme, eliciting insights from a diverse mix of participants including different cultures, ages, races, genders, income levels and life experiences.
Considering these ambitious goals, how can we engage with these diverse communities most effectively? Our creative team collectively has strong grounding in traditional aesthetics and craft, including musical composition, choreography, visual media, architecture and design, plus experience with in performing arts projects that integrate all these areas. We also all have considerable expertise in the use of advanced digital technologies for artistic performance. The deployment of such technologies in our creative process will provide fertile ground for connections with diverse communities. Using participatory workshops as well as social media, we want to reach out to individuals and groups, inviting participation through online submissions of images, short videos and text reflections, which will be carefully curated and integrated into the YOMO performances and exhibitions.
Our heartfelt objective is to honor and respond to diverse voices from different communities, nourished and enabled by our strong individual and collective commitment to artistic creation, performance and exhibition.
Director & Media Design
Composer & Violinist
Jesse Colin Jackson
Spoken Word Director
Media Design Assistant
Costume Shop Manager
Edgar Aguirre, Hannah Albin, Emma Andres, John Barclay, Jacqueline Campos, Emily Coan, Elise Holmes, Katherine Lingle, Emily McKeon, Morgan Rice, Jessica Richards, Sadie Sandoval, Bailey Spelman, Sophia Vangelatos
Lighting Design & Production Assistant
House Manager & Scenic Design Assistant
Scenic Design Assistant
Brandon PT Davis
Lighting Design Assistant
Sarajane Bradford, Eriel Brown, Robin Buck, Erika Clark, Ebett Cruz, Marcy Froehlich, Anica Garcia-DeGraff, Tyler Garcia, Sena Hernandez, Leah Jackson, Amilcar Jauregui, Kayla Kearney, Crystal Kim, Jalon Matthews, Sophia Metcalf, Robyn O'Dell, Molly O'Donnell, Malik Proctor
Costume Design Assistant
3D Printing Assistants
Tucker Moody, Ivette Morales, Josh Park
Brenda Chow, Victoria Gallegos, Brandon Garcia, Adonijah Green, Rebekah Li, Aaron Miller, Melody Ni, Veronica Preciado, Kathryn Robles, Xion Rose
UC Irvine and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are establishing the Art & Design Collaboratory, an educational exchange program connecting the two institutions, with coursework and other activities centered on specific topics and themes. UCI and RISD students and faculty are working together online, and also traveling between the two campuses for workshops, exhibitions and performances. In Fall 2018, the YOMO Studio course in RISD's Architecture Department, led by Professor Kyna Leski, studied unintended consequences of human interventions in the ocean environment, with coursework and student projects centered on the YOMO concept. RISD students created scenic elements for YOMO/Intermedia and produced a series of animations derived from their investigations of the chains of human activities that affect marine ecosystems.
YOMO Studio 2018
Anushka Bansal, Yinru Chen, Eleni Contis, Anya Drozd, Lisa Marie Gerdes, Yong Jin Jo, Dewen Ju, Madison Russ, Danni Yang, Yi Qin Zhang
Image credit: Besir Oz