Lars Jan

Transmedia Director

About Lars

Bio

LARS JAN is a director, artist, designer, writer. He is the artistic director of Early Morning Opera, a multi-disciplinary art lab based in Los Angeles that specializes in live performance. Lars has made genre-bending artworks about TED talks, suicide bombers, Laika the Soviet space dog, land art, a downed fighter pilot, and the impossibility of outsiders ever knowing the relationship that two people have together. He has created an image-ballet with two Steadicam operators, choreographed seven women in burqas, and wrangled one giant panda with iPads for paws. Lars studied Bunraku-style puppetry outside Kyoto for a year and taught physical performance at Kabul University’s fledgling theatre department. As a Princeton Atelier Fellow, he recorded elder women in rural Ukraine singing in a vanishing polyphonic style. His original performance and installation works have been seen at The Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), Sundance Film Festival (UT), Symphony Space (NYC), PianoSpheres (LA), REDCAT (LA), The Kirk Douglas Theatre (LA), and The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. Recently he has created new work while a resident fellow at The MacDowell Colony, EMPAC, The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Princeton University’s Atelier Program, and Kabul University. Lars is the recipient of the 2008 Sherwood Award, granted by Center Theatre Group to an innovative theatre artist in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and CalArts. His new performance installation HOLOSCENES — a triptych of massive aquariums inhabited by performers — explores the evolution of human endurance and habitual behavior in the context of natural catastrophe, particularly through the lens of mythic, contemporary and coming deluge.

www.EarlyMorningOpera.com

Education

  • Swarthmore College; Theatre Studies & English Literature, 1996 - 2000
  • California Institute of the Arts; Directing & Integrated Media, 2005 - 2008

Job Titles

Director, Artist, Writer, Designer

Latest Tweet

1st day of #HOLOCENES install at Ringling Museum - hello Gulf of Mexico on #WorldWaterDay http://t.co/5hjdtKSE5y
22 Mar

About Lars Jan’s work

HOLOSCENES is a hybrid of performance, visual installation and public spectacle responding to our urgently evolving relationship to water and global climate cataclysm. From inside three jumbo, hydraulically-animated aquariums, a rotating cast of performers gazes outward, repeatedly enacting their everyday ‘rituals’ gathered from around the globe, as water fills and empties from each tank. Water pushes the performers to the top of the aquariums where they attempt to conduct their rituals in a modified form; as it drains, the performers continue, soaked by these mini-floods. HOLOSCENES is driven by my concern that our troubled relationship to water will become the central issue of the 21st century. I am referencing and repurposing the “popular entertainments” of 24-hour media disaster coverage and American aquatic spectacle (from Busby Berkeley to the Bellagio) in order to provoke conversation around our relationship to deluge, and to long-term challenges. In HOLOSCENES, I intend for the ebb and flow of water and the resulting modified behaviors to conjure mythic, historical, and coming environmental tragedies, and — through repetition — to gain a poetry of motion, becoming complex portraits of adaptation, myopia, and persistence. HOLOSCENES is currently seeking co-commissioning support and is being produced by MAPP International Productions.

Companies and organizations

Early Morning Opera, TED, Sundance, CalArts, Harlem Stage, Mapp International, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Uploaded photos

Projects

HOLOSCENES

Jan. 01, 2012 - Oct. 31, 2013

HOLOSCENES is a hybrid of performance, visual installation and public spectacle responding to our urgently evolving relationship to water and global climate cataclysm. From inside three jumbo, hydraulically-animated aquariums, a rotating cast of performers gazes outward, repeatedly enacting their everyday ‘rituals’ gathered from around the globe, as water fills and empties from each tank. Water pushes the performers to the top of the aquariums where they attempt to conduct their rituals in a modified form; as it drains, the performers continue, soaked by these mini-floods. HOLOSCENES is driven by my concern that our troubled relationship to water will become the central issue of the 21st century. I am referencing and repurposing the “popular entertainments” of 24-hour media disaster coverage and American aquatic spectacle (from Busby Berkeley to the Bellagio) in order to provoke conversation around our relationship to deluge, and to long-term challenges. In HOLOSCENES, I intend for the ebb and flow of water and the resulting modified behaviors to conjure mythic, historical, and coming environmental tragedies, and — through repetition — to gain a poetry of motion, becoming complex portraits of adaptation, myopia, and persistence. HOLOSCENES is currently seeking co-commissioning support and is being produced by MAPP International Productions.

Project website

ABACUS

Jan. 05, 2009 - Present

ABACUS is a baroque presentation delivered by Paul Abacus about the future of national borders, the workings of contemporary persuasion, and our evolving relationship to the screens in our public and private spaces, not to mention our pockets. In style, the presentation assumes a TED-talk fused with the grand gestures of megachurch media design, all while utilizing emerging technologies and stunning visual effects.

Project website

Lars Jan on the TED blog

Live From Ted

From 3D animated molecules to tethered kite-copters: A recap of the TED2014 Fellows Talks, Session 1

March 17, 2014

With the TED Fellows, expect the unexpected: 3D animated molecules, tethered quadcopter cameras, death row inmates turned lawyers, quantum chaos. It’s the fifth-anniversary edition of TED Fellows talks, live from Vancouver, and here’s what happened in Session 1. Usman Riaz, musician + artist The Fellows stage comes to life quietly with the melodic strains of […]

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Art

Daily rituals performed in a flood: A TED Fellow is crowdsourcing rituals for a unique performance

January 30, 2013

TED Fellow Lars Jan, the director of the multi-disciplinary art lab Early Morning Opera, is seeking everyday personal rituals from collaborators — perhaps, you? — for a work-in-progress called HOLOSCENES. This public-performance installation — inspired by humanity’s relationship with climate change and flooding — will be made up of three aquariums, each enclosing a performer […]

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Fellows Friday

Our strange relationship to screens: Performance artist Lars Jan explores our hyper-networked world

November 4, 2011

Lars Jan, a TED Fellow, creates multimedia performances that probe the ubiquity of screens and propaganda in our culture. Today, his show ABACUS—billed as “a multimedia talking tour of our hyper-networked world to come”—opens at BAM’s Fisher Fishman Space in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a show delivered by his invented persona, Paul Abacus, about the future […]

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