First it was a Rainforest

Presented as part of the Performance Arcade 2021 with support from Wellington City Arts Trust

The Amazon rainforest has been a life-giving source and habitat for millions of integral native species. Still, an internet search for “Amazon” brings up a multinational company whose blue-collar employees earn below the minimum wage, and are forced to work in unsanitary and unsafe conditions; while its executives increase their personal wealth by $24 billion in the year 2020 alone.
First it was a rainforest is a physicalized search-engine experience into the embodiment of labor. Visitors are welcome to order a movement from a touch screen interface where more than 200 gestures are warehoused. This 8-hour installation reflects the human cost of a consumer landscape where everything is just a click away. By reducing the degrees of separation between workers and consumers and giving physical expression to the exhaustion wrought by the need for instant gratification we make the true cost of our patterns of consumption visible.

Concept + Choreography: Katrina E. Bastian

Design: Charlie Treefrog

Programming: Flinn Gendall

Performance: Katrina E. Bastian, Eliza Sanders, Katie Shaw