CrossWalk

CrossWalk is a performance and fashion installation created by Torn Space, written and directed by Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola; featuring the work of audio visual collective Groupwork, fashion designers Chase Cobbina, internationally known as Billie Essco, and Kylie Priscilla, streetwear designs by Tim Stegner and featuring the public as models. The production explores topics of quantum mechanics, contemporary African dance and mob mentality.

These seemingly disparate subjects can be explored through the lens of complexity and unpredictability. Quantum mechanics deals with the fundamental unpredictability and non-linearity of the microscopic world, African contemporary dance often incorporates improvisation and spontaneity, mob mentality exhibits emergent behavior from individual actions. 

Audience members will gather at the intersection of Paderewski and Wilson Street for a live photoshoot featuring models washed ashore from the seventh dimension. The models sunbathe on rocks from 400 million years ago, prepare for a match and gather around a limousine that once acted as the party transportation for Studio 54. As the sun begins to set, the production moves inside Torn Space where the action and party begin.

Through performance movements ranging from Unity of Existence to Perception and Reality, a fashion line will emerge; designers Kylie Priscilla and Chase Cobbina aka Billie Essco will construct, shred, and manipulate garments, images will be captured and displayed on the streetwear line by Tim Stegner, the models will be transported through the audio visual wonder of Groupwork. These moments will be captured by photographers Colton Wright, Migella Accorsi and Mark Duggan, to be repurposed and sent back out into the world. When the production ends and the haze clears, a pop-up retail store designed by visual and tattoo artist Thea Duskin will remain and a conceptual clothing line will become real.

Participating Artists

Chase Cobbina, internationally known as Billie Essco is a contemporary artist, musician and designer from Buffalo, NY. The “man of many names” has been one of the leading forces in the surging renaissance of Buffalo arts and culture over the past 10 years, garnering affiliation and collaboration with prominent figures such as the late great Virgil Abloh, artistic director for Louis Vuitton, NEW ERA CO. and Buffalo’s own Griselda Records.

Tim Stegner, a user experience designer by trade, has spent over 20 years with Torn Space. Initially helping to develop the look and feel of promotional materials from posters to press packages. Gradually moving to a role in production design, he has worked to develop the symbology and aesthetics for many of the theater’s performances. In 2018, Torn Space produced his original work, Security, a “ready-made” performance involving 9 private security guards taking on the traditional role of actor. Now living in Portland, Oregon, Tim continues to contribute as a designer and dramaturgical consultant helping to weave together the complex mythology of the Torn Space universe. A recent and notable contribution, in collaboration with another long time Torn Space contributor, Frank Napolski, was the development of Decade, an installation for 2023’s Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design.

Kylie Priscilla is multimedia creative curator, fusing various mediums together to craft narratives that transcend boundaries, seeking to challenge conventional thinking. Kylie’s approach to art is an ever-evolving journey, where she draws inspiration from the world that surrounds her. From the bustling chaos of urban life to the tranquil embrace of nature, this dynamic interplay of influences infuses her work with a diverse range of styles and perspectives. Through her art, Kylie explores the essence of human existence, finds beauty in imperfection, and delves into the fragile connections that unite us all.

Migella Accorsi is a photographer and creative director dedicated to uncovering the hidden beauty within each individual. Specializing in the surreal and the anomalous, Migella captures authentic moments on film, preserving their authenticity and depth. Through her storytelling and creative direction, she inspires introspection and purpose, inviting viewers to delve into their own depths. Migella’s work celebrates the unseen and the unconventional, revealing the profound beauty that exists within us all. Join her on a visual journey where each image is a portal to a world of wonder and possibility.

Groupwork

Groupwork is a collective of Buffalo-based digital artists, DJs, and electronic music producers. Together they are pioneering new mutations in rhythm and feeling, curating unique events and creating immersive spaces primed for escapism.

Torn Space

Torn Space creates theater. Founded by Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola, Torn Space Theater aims to create original, aesthetically innovative performances; to introduce internationally-renowned, contemporary performance to Western New York; and to cultivate the collaboration of actors, composers, sculptors, video artists and designers within our productions. Drawing from the leading edge of the global avant-garde, TST offers both original drama and new interpretations of existing plays. Using vivid imagery that both entertains and challenges our audience’s theatrical expectations, TST fully incorporates other arts disciplines—e.g., media, music, and the visual arts—into our design aesthetic.

Colton Wright

With over 10 years of experience working as camera operator, director, producer, and editor, Colton began visual storytelling growing up around the action sports culture; pursuing a competive freeskiing career and eventually intertwining an active lifestyle with creativity. He has  shot and edited content, brand videos, and commercial videos for US Olympic Ski & Snowboard Team, The Smithsonian Channel (Ancient Mysteries on the History Channel), Sperry Top-Sider, The Americas Cup, The Buffalo Sabres, The Buffalo Bills, Professional Skier Dan Egan (Degan Media), Rolex, and HKD Snowmakers. He has also worked on live broadcast and created original content for The College Sailing Nationals, US Sailing, Sperry Topsider, The Newport Bermuda, NBC Sports, ABC World News, NFL Monday Night Football (Bills Stadium featured presentation on Thurman Thomas “Who Knows Best”) , FIS Ski World Cup, US Junior Olympic Sailing, Ironman Triathlon, and New England Sports Network.