A show about technological innovation, invention, group-process, and creativity.
Check out these initial sources of inspiration:
- The Idea Factory
- Where Good Ideas Come From
- Radiolab Podcast "What Technology Wants"
- Vintage Science Ads Article from Brain Pickings
- Erik Nitsche Posters for General Dynamics
- Ted Talk: "How I built a toaster -- from Scratch"
- Ted Talk: Where Good Ideas Come From
- Ted Tak: "When ideas have sex"
- New York Times Article "True Innovation"
- The New Yorker Article "GroupThink"
Make Toast with us through Incubator Series. All the details here!
Special thank you to Victor Shargai, Toast developmental sponsor.
An Article from our January 2013 Newsletter:
"Before electricity, how did people make toast?
It feels a bit like a trick question every time I ask it, and I know it feels even more so when it is posed to you. When technological historian, Dr. Robert Friedel queried me, I answered tentatively, just waiting for "the catch." What followed was more awakening than stumping. Following my timid description of holding bread over fire, Dr. Friedel talked about early electric toasters and, in the process, painted a simple, yet profound picture of a unique moment in history when technology fundamentally changed "everyday life" and humans crossed a technological threshold into the era of electricity.
It is this question and the story that follows it which has inspired dog & pony dc's next project, Toast.
Well, that, and the growing desire in the ensemble to cross our own threshold--finding new expressions of Audience Integration. Think back to our last two shows. Both Beertown and A Killing Game "cast" audiences into a story or narrative. While there was ample room for individuals to grow into and "own" the roles, there were inevitable constraints put in place by the ensemble, which determined the breadth and scope of audiences' interaction. Certainly, we could continue exploring the possibilities this particular expression of Audience Integration provided us, but new shows only come once every-other year and we itched to traverse new territories; explore opportunities, in which the "balance of power" between d&pdc makers ("artists") and receivers ("audience") was tipped more equally... or even in the favor of the receivers. We also wanted to respond to your curiosity (and ours) about our methodology.
So for Toast, we seek to publicly explore and share our devising process and, while doing so, involve the audience as co-creators throughout the devising and performance of the show
Like when we started devising Beertown, we have no clear idea what Toast will look like in full production. But we do know that you will be a part of determining it. If there's one thing that's surfaced in our initial "basic research": good ideas grow from a curiosity-rich environment where "different kinds of thought [can] productively collide and recombine." Or so says Steven Johnson in Where Good Ideas Come From, one of our sources of inspiration. We'll be involving a range of scientists to poke and prod at ideas with us. Inspired by "hotbeds" of cultural and technological innovation -- literary salons of the Enlightenment era; basic and applied research methods at Bell Labs in the 20th century; current-day TED talks -- we'll be opening up our devising process.
More details will emerge in the next few weeks but if you want to get a head start, we highly recommend checking out any of these sources of inspiration listed here. If something pops up for you, whether lightly browned or seriously singed, make a note. You never know where the answer will come from." - Rachel Grossman, Ring Leader