John has frequently worked with Mammalian Diving Reflex where he has coordinated projects that explore the realm of social acupuncture with youth, as well as act in their theatrical production "Monster Makers" which was recently presented at the National Arts Centre of Canada. Last winter he supported the youth wing of Mammalian Diving Reflex in a residency at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Check out information about the Mammalian Diving Reflex residency at the Art Gallery of Ontario this winter. Mammalian Diving Reflex's work for the AGO is entitled The AGO Youth Receptiveness Assessment Initiative. This project will assess the gallery based on youth engagement principles designed by Mammalian. The Initiative’s aim is to examine “the openness of the AGO to unusual and innovative ways of including and engaging youth.” Mammalian intends this project to foster friendships between local youth and AGO staff, transcending the bureaucratic structure that often divides these two groups. Mammalian Diving Reflex will work in collaboration with the Torontonians, and the AGO Youth Council. This team will develop a series of research questions and design a series of research moments in advance of the residency, which they will use to conduct interviews with AGO staff and local community members. Mammalian Diving Reflex will then present their findings in a report presented to the AGO and the public.
Founded in 1993, Mammalian Diving Reflex is a research-art atelier dedicated to investigating the social sphere, always on the lookout for contradictions to whip into aesthetically scintillating experiences. We are a culture production workshop that creates site and social-specific performance events, theatre-based productions, gallery-based participatory installations, video products, art objects and theoretical texts.
Mammalian’s body of work is interconnected, varied and vibrant, reflecting our unique and growing body of knowledge and expertise on the use and function of culture. We create work that recognizes the social responsibility of art, fostering a dialogue between audience members, between the audience and the material, and between the performers and the audience.
In all it’s forms, the company’s work dismantles barriers between individuals of all ages, cultural, economic and social backgrounds; we collaborate with non-artists, and offer both participatory opportunities for the audience as well as the traditional option of simply watching the proceedings as they unfold.
It is our mission to bring people together in new and unusual ways, in Toronto, Canada, our home-base, and around the world, to create work that is engaging, challenging, and gets people talking, thinking and feeling.