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Renata Zhigulina

Launching GPS

Ziferburg Cafe

Since 2007, Third Rail Projects has had multiple opportunities to engage in creative process sharing around the world, from Europe to Central Asia and the Far East. The types of projects that have resulted from these opportunities have allowed us to develop a unique way to collaborate internationally, working with local artists in each location to share tools and methods while applying them to new site-specific or immersive theater works. In working together in these formats, we are able to establish a system of cultural listening and artistic practice-sharing which allows for a deeper mutual understanding during our time and work together.

Participants in St. Petersburg experimenting on site during week one at the Ziferburg.

I have been excited for so long to organize and launch Third Rail International and GPS as a forum for sharing and expanding our programs worldwide.  It's such a pleasure to do so now while in the midst of a creative residency here in Russia.  We are fortunate to continue our very productive relationship with CEC Artlink, and we are currently the beneficiaries of their wonderful Back Apartment Residency here in Saint Petersburg. Already, we have a week of exciting work and exchange under our belts, collaborating with the local artists at the Ziferburg Time Cafe, where we started our program last Tuesday with a site visit, myself and Josh Reaver (Third Rail, NYC) and our two collaborating and organizing artists here in Saint Petersburg, Yulia Bylenok and Renata Zhigulina.

Last Wednesday we gathered all twelve participants together for the first time and have had four productive creative sessions since.  We've also been able to attend performances of some of the participants' work at Skorohod, an amazing experimental theater here in the city. Tonight, we are preparing to present our own work at the Museum of Russian Ethnography where Susan Katz (CEC Artlink) and I will discuss some of our past projects together. Throughout the next two weeks, we will speak with a number of other student groups and colleagues about the culture of site-specific and immersive work in Russia and the U.S. and the models of support for this type of work. Finally, next week, March 25-27, we will show the final culminating performances of our workshop experiments. Our schedule of events is now live on our project page in both English and Russian (thanks to Yulia and Renata). 

In the coming days we will share more photos and video with you so you can follow the development of the project and the resulting performance, as well as our other activities.  The museum presentation will be filmed and streamed here as well as other excerpts from the process. Meanwhile, we have included information on many of our past international projects which serve as models for our current and upcoming endeavors. Thanks for dropping by, and stay tuned. We look forward to sharing more with you, and again are so excited to introduce you to Third Rail International and our Global Performance Studio.  Have a look around...

– Tom Pearson (Saint Petersburg, Russia)