Since July 2012, a group of Los Angeles performance artists (and international guests passing through town) have met regularly to engage in a practice called Encounter, organized by Mariel Carranza. Encounter is a space where we encounter each other, ourselves, and the space itself. We perform with and for one another within given conditions. There is no preparation, no agenda (and generally, no “audience”). Things unfold on their own. We agree that there will be no idle observers; everyone is active in the space.
We are comprised of a group of art makers from widely different creative and cultural backgrounds. We’ve established familiarity and a history of working together in this spontaneous, collaborative, interdisciplinary manner since 2012. With no regard for hierarchy of acceptable or preferred practice styles, we move fluidly between ritual, task, movement, theatrical and improv-based performance practices. We come to the space with our own histories. We are rigorous in our willingness to be open to the unplanned. We trust the unpredictability of the moment. We agree to fully commit to what is there.
Encounters are durational, improvised, action/time/space based performances that have run anywhere from 2 to 4 hours in length. Encounters have taken place in private studios, art venues and public spaces including: the Los Angeles River/6th Street Bridge; an alleyway off Hollywood Boulevard; Griffith Park; the Venice Pier; Salton Sea; the Bowtie Parcel; WUHO Gallery in Hollywood; and Highways Performance Space. In September 2016, we performed an Encounter in an empty lot on Mission Road in Boyle Heights, as part of global simultaneous performances by 275 artists worldwide, organized by Bbeyond (Belfast) called “Same Difference: Equinox to Equinox.” And in 2018 we were included in REDCAT's Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA with support from Human Resources and the Foundation for Contemporary Art. Encounters typically culminate in a shared meal with all participants and sometimes includes the audience.
Encounter is the practice of a constantly evolving group of artists including Allison Wyper, Mariel Carranza, Rafa Esparza, Rochelle Fabb, Doran George (RIP), Asher Hartman, Rebeca Hernandez, Carol McDowell, Rossen Ventzislavov, Samuel White, Dorian Wood, Douglas Green, Paul Outlaw, and John Burtle. Guest artists have included Rocio Boliver (Mexico City), Graciela Ovejero Postigo (Buenos Aires), Alastair MacLennan (Belfast), Gim Gwang Cheol (South Korea), Sheree Rose (Los Angeles), Sebastian Hernandez (Los Angeles), Benjamin Jarrett (San Francisco/Budapest), Lala Nomada (Mexico City/Vienna), Cecilia Stellini (Brazil), and Crystal Sepúlveda (Puerto Rico).