CalArtians Awarded 2020 Automata Artist Residencies

Performance and art space Automata recently announced the six grantees of its 2020 artist residencies, all of whom are CalArtians.

In light of COVID-19, the Los Angeles-based Automata devised a new series of individual artist residencies, created to serve artists while group gatherings are put on hold. The recipients will be granted 24-hour access to Automata’s facilities for uninterrupted work time. Throughout the residency, each artist will share their processes through informal virtual offerings, as well as answer audience inquiries about individual projects.

Ray Chang (Film/Video MFA 20) is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work investigates automation, visual phenomena and feelings of alienation. His 2018 installation Manufactured explored the “intersection of early cinematic principles and the early innovations pertinent to the Industrial Revolution.” Chang collaborated with School of Theater colleagues to showcase their toy theater project Ubu Roi at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial, and was named a 2019 Princess Grace Award recipient

Moira Lael MacDonald (Theater MFA 12) is a multidisciplinary theater artist who studied puppetry and Integrated Media at CalArts. Her double overhead projection performance Selkie had its run at Automata in February 2020 and previously at the Skirball Puppetry Festival. Also an educator, MacDonald currently teaches at Pasadena City College, Moorpark College, and the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.

Marsian De Lellis (Theater MFA 09) (they/them) is an LA-based interdisciplinary artist whose installations explore “forms of animism, desire and neurodivergence.” De Lellis was granted an Automata artist residency in 2019, during which they developed Model Killer: Giant Crimes & Tiny Cover-Ups, a dark comedy about a disgruntled dollhouse maker turned investigator. De Lellis has also been an artist-in-residence at the Eugene O’Neill Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist, poet, writer, and current faculty in the School of Critical Studies. She showcased her performance art at Wild Beauty at Velocity in Seattle earlier this year, and won the 2019 Gold Line Nonfiction Chapbook contest for her forthcoming (ghost gestures) performance writing. Civil was named a 2019 LA Emerging Artist from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation.

Patrick Michael Ballard (Art MFA 14) utilizes installation, performance, sculpture, sound, creative writing, and more to “develop the shifting ground of contemporary narrative form.” His works include ENDBRINGER (2018), a sculpture-oriented work written and directed by Ballard for the closing of LA art venue Jace Space, and Return to FOREVERHOUSE (2015), a fantastical performance installation and maze room. Ballard has also exhibited public sculpture on the facade of the Gamble House in Pasadena, Calif. 

Kendra Ware (MFA Theater 09) is a writer and director whose works meld puppetry, video, sound, and spoken word poetry to “critique existing societal norms and challenge the notion of otherness.” In 2019, Ware collaborated with playwright and fellow CalArtian Virginia Grise (MFA Theater 09) on Their Dogs Came With Them, a play about Chicanx life adapted by Grise from Helena Maria Viramontes’ novel of the same name. Ware’s works have exhibited at REDCAT, The Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art, La Mama Theater, and other venues.

Automata, located in LA’s Chinatown, was founded in 2004 by artists Susan Simpson (Film/Video MFA 99) and School of Theater faculty Janie Geiser.

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