The Experiment

Last week, the Monster Valley guys (of Indiana-Jonesing-Crystal-Palace fame) sent me an email about their upcoming “urban arts carnival.” This prompted two questions: what the hell is an “urban arts carnival”, and, will there be candyfloss?


In response to the first question, those three words are probably the best way to describe a five-day clustermuck of music, dance, street art, multimedia experiences, performance art, theatre, and interactive installations. Each night hosts an entirely different line-up of artists, most of whom will be debuting new work.


This madness began last year, with the first attempt at ‘The Experiment’, when it was exactly that: a seemingly simple idea to bring artists together for a week in the Basement’s theatre space, and see what kind of collaborative havoc could be produced.


Our amazing lineup of artists is all locked in and ready to go for The Experiment NZ next week. And look how share-able this video is! Bring your mates. It's going to be a very cool week of very cool people doing very cool things. Exciting!

Posted by The Experiment NZ on Sunday, 2 August 2015


It was a success, and, this year, they’ve been given almost unrestricted access across the entire venue - upstairs, downstairs, and spaces usually off limits - ensuring that every inch of the space plays host to a unique immersive experience. The intention, the Monster Valley boys tell me, is to have you turn up, wander about, and find your new favourite thing you may never before knew existed. Oh, and then come back the next night to do it all again.


Whilst there will be a schedule dropped prior to each night of performances, that isn’t to say there won’t be surprises. I personally have been privy to insider-talk of punters needing to navigate darkness, lip-sync jukeboxes, sensory experiences, and hints of numerous other manifestations of culture.


The proof really lies in the fact that they’re intending to squish 45 acts and artists into it all. We’re talking homegrown superstars from across generations and practices, the likes of rappers Tourettes and Randa, sculptor Peter Roche, rock’n’rollers Chris Knox and Rackets, funny people Snort Comedy, and cracking-it-big playwright Sam Brooks. As the Monster Valley guys put it, “cool shit” is going to happen.


The Experiment, it would seem, simply has to be experienced.


All that said, will there be candyfloss? Well, no. There is, however, promise of a ghost train, part of Robin Gee’s ‘Fast Night Out’ installation.


You can catch a preview of the show this weekend at The Basement's 'Risk Anything', buy your tickets to the show itself here, find out some more here, and give some support over here.

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