May 21 & May 22 | 7:30 PM + May 23 | 2:00 PM | FREE | Vimeo
Content Warning: Artificial Eden contains strobe lighting and touches upon themes of addiction and one’s mental state under isolation.
What does the landscape of the mind look like in-between states of being?
Artificial Eden was created and filmed on the unceded, traditional lands of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.
This work was originally written as a hybrid performance piece to be presented live. Due to the pandemic, we followed COVID19 safety guidelines and had 32 hours to film, working across 4 different countries, including: Hong Kong; Johannesburg, South Africa; Karachi, Pakistan; and Vancouver, Canada.
Inspired by Nasa’s HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) Experiment, which was an Analog Habitat for Humans on Mars designed to simulate the effects of isolation and group dynamics; the documentary Dogville Confessions; 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick; Solaris by Andre Tarkovsky; Paradis Artificial by Baudelaire; Charles Bukowski’s poems; the documentary Spaceship Earth about the Bisophere 2 experiment; and near death experiences and rebirth. We also kept in mind the alien forensic who might decipher the meaning of our existence, our continued concerns about the current state of the world, and our treatment of the environment.
ADAM WAKEFIELD / BUKOWSKI: Blake Hobson-Dimas
EVE WAKEFIELD: Halima Moola
LILITH: Eve Middleton-Meyer
GARY: Zack Faulks
FRONT DESK: Hassan Babar
HARDY / HOTEL HOUSEKEEPER: Sterling Weran
JAX: Garvin Chan
VIVIAN: Ami MacFarlane
EMILY DICKINSON / Paramedic 2: Tamlin Vetter
SILVIA: Sonja Tan
LAUREN / NEWSCASTER: Sabrina Yu
PARAMEDIC 2: Cande Andrade
Extra: Henry Ho as himself
UNDERSTUDY for / GARY & HARDY: Brett Hubich
Direction: Erika Latta
Assistant Director: Marina Buston
Director of Photography / Editor: Cande Andrade
Set Design: Marsha Ginsberg
Sound Design: Cristian Hobson-Dimas + Beni Hobson-Dimas (Sleepy Gonzales), Stefan Smulovitz, and Yiannis Christofides
Lighting Design: Jacob Ross
Script / Dramaturgy: Erika Latta in collaboration and co-written with the students of the School for the Contemporary Arts / Simon Fraser University: Hassan Babar, Garvin Chan, Blake Hobson-Dimas, Zachary Faulks, Ami MacFarlane, Eve Middleton-Meyer, Halima Moola, Sonja Tan, Tamlin Vetter, Sabrina Yu, Sterling Weran, Brynne Harper, Emma Savić Kallesøe, and Annabelle Egwalu. Colgate University Students: Rosie Coyle, Matt Cary, Sebastian El Abdellaoui, Clinton Obi and Lindsey Wiley, Brett Hubich, and Marina Buston.
Set Constructions: Great Northern Way
Sound Supervisor / Dialogue Clean Up: Stefan Smulovitz
Director GCA Productions / Events: Miles Lavkulich
Video / Sound Assistant / After Effects: June Hsu
SCA_Production Design (Supervisor): Kyla Gardiner
SCA Technician / Set Install: Paula Viitanen Aldazosa
Costume / Styling and Props: Suzie Zhong / Erika Latta
Stage Managers: Tanvi Doddihal, Yifang (Irene) Weng
Technical Direction: Claudia Chan, Lief Liu
Production Assistant: Brett Hubich
Sound / Audio technician: Rodney Fenske
Lighting / Video technician: Darryl Strohan
SCA Technical Direction: Ben Rogalsky
CA471 Teaching Assistant: Nicole Lamb
SCA Technician / Set Construction: Paula Viitanen
Video Consultant: Wladimiro Woyno
SCA Production Coordinator: Gillian Hanemayer
Film Equipment Supervisor: Corbin Saleken
Communication + Graphic Design: Brady Cranfield
Cantonese Translations: Derek Chan 陳嘉昊 from rice & beans theatre
URDU Translations: Hassan Babar
Quotes: Charles Bukowski, Carl Sagan, Salvador Dali, Beyoncé, Nina Simone, Emily Dickinson, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchhill, Heiner Müller, The Habitat Pod Cast Interview.
Text / Characters inspired by the documentary Dogville Confessions; 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Shining by Stanley Kubrick; Solaris by Andre Tarkovsky; the documentary Spaceship Earth, and the near death experiences of Adam Tapp.
I Don’t Want to Play in Your Yard by Peggy Lee. Sung by Eve Middleton-Myer, accompanied by Sterling Weran on the Ukulele.
Acapella version of Creep by Radiohead
Additional Video Clip
Excerpt of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat” with Tullulah Bankhead and Mary Anderson.
Filmed on Location
Adam’s Hotel Room: Delta / Marriott Hotel, Vancouver, BC
The Pod: Studio T – School for the Contemporary Arts, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Front Desk: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
Second Unit Director: Hassan Babar
Director of Photography: Wamiq Aziz
Additional Director of Photography: Zara Imran Hassan
Sound Equipment and Consultant: Anser Soomro
Sound Capture: Wamiq Aziz
Production Co-Consultant: Salar Jatoi
Drone Footage by: Suleiman Sethi
Set Designs, Props and Costumes: Hassan Babar
Extras: Zain Imran Hassan, Shariq Imran Hassan, Wamiq Aziz and Shahzad Aziz
Special Thanks: Mom and Dad
No camels were harmed in the filming of these scenes.
Newsroom filmed in HONG KONG
Writer’s Hotel room filmed in SOUTH AFRICA
2nd Unit Direction: Halima Moola
Videography: Ayesha Moola
Props and Costume: Halima Moola
Little girl in Lemon tree scene: Yaseerah Ally Kotty
Special thanks: Fahm Supplies
Delta / Marriott Hotel, Vancouver, BC, Canada
To the amazing team and to the students who devised Artificial Eden, Hassan Babar, Garvin Chan, Blake Hobson-Dimas, Zachary Faulks, Ami MacFarlane, Eve Middleton-Meyer, Halima Moola, Sonja Tan, Tamlin Vetter, Sabrina Yu, Sterling Weran, Annabelle Egwalu, Brynne Harper and Emma Savić Kallesøe. First Exploration at Colgate University Students: Rosie Coyle, Matt Cary, Sebastian El Abdellaoui, Clinton Obi, and Lindsey Wiley.
Elspeth Pratt, Stefan Smulovitz, Cande Andrade, Marina Buston, Kyla Gardiner, Miles Lavkulich, Paula Viitanen, Rodney Fenske, Corbin Salekin, Brady Cranfield, April Sweeney, Anna Labykina, Cristian Hobson-Dimas, Carmel Amit, Anabella Alfonzo, Chris Bouris, Greitje Van Dijk, Arts Club Theatre Company, Delta Hotel Managers: Allison Knott and Amber Douel, ….. and the camel.
For my daughter Marlowe Wilder McMahon
In Memory of Maverette Butler
From Karachi, Pakistan, Hassan Babar is your fellow neighbourhood coffee connoisseur, devourer of all things delicious, and a man sometimes out of time. As a Muslim and as an immigrant, he aims to provoke that which is deeply visceral by incorporating writing, directing, and performance into theatre and film. Though based in Vancouver, Canada, he is currently on an alien planet attaining mastery in his crafts.
Garvin Chan is a theatre artist and wannabe poet from Hong Kong. His usual interest in exploration is in combining body, language, and the passage of time, drawing from personal and political histories and thrusting them into imaginary realms.
Zack Faulks is an actor born and raised on the unseated kʷikʷəƛ̓əm, Tsleil-Waututh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories, now called Coquitlam. He has steadily been going insane during the pandemic, and so he very much appreciated this chance to express some of that. He looks forward to developing his devising process and creating work with all of the incredible artists surrounding him.
Blake likes the climb up rivers and float down the stairs.
Eve (she/her) was born in Calgary, Alberta on the traditional territories of the Treaty 7 people. She currently lives, works and plays on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations also known as Vancouver, British Colombia. Eve is an interdisciplinary artist with training in performance, dance, music, visual art and writing. She is currently working on new projects with several SFU student collectives and is looking forward to graduating soon.
Born and raised in the countryside of the vibrant Johannesburg, South Africa, Halima Moola is an international student. Known for its world-class hospitality and the most humorous folk, South Africa overflows with diversity. Coming from a land that is rich in religions, cultures and traditions, she is an Indian, Muslim woman. taking her knowledge and experiences to South Africa and giving back to local communities is close to her heart. Through her art, she aspires to educate and bring about impactful awareness of her heritage, cultures and religion.
Sonja Tan was born and raised on the Indigenous homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh First nations, in the place now commonly known as Vancouver. She was always curious about the film world and being in this project gave her a little taste of what it’s like. She hopes to further explore the world of film and television in the future.
Tamlin Vetter was born and raised in Salmon Arm B.C. on the lands of the Secwepemcúl'ecw (Secwépemc) nation. Though her background training has been extensively in dance, she has recently taken a dive into the world of film and theatre. Her current endeavours revolve around the intersection of film and theatre and the creation of new mediums in this pandemic gripped world.
Collaboration Team Biographies
Marina Buston | Assistant Director
Marina Buston (b. 1996, Calgary) is a writer, director, performer, theatre-maker, and occasional barista living on the stolen lands belonging to the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Indigenous Peoples. She makes up one half of Lo-Fi Spectacle Club, a new performance collective, and graduated/emerged from Simon Fraser University’s Theatre Performance program in the spring of 2020. Her interests in the theatre include, but are not limited to queering form (as a political and aesthetic act), drag and clown as forms, as well as the aesthetics and implications of mess, indulgence, excess, abundance, cheapness (out of necessity and choice). Past works include collaborating on the adaptation of Eddy Van Wyk’s award-winning Fringe show into a film, adaptation and direction of THE LEVEE AND AN OBLATION based on The Levee by Taylor Mac and An Oblation by Taylor Mac, adaptation and co-direction of notnothamletmachine, a clown performance based on Heiner Müller’s Die Hamletmachine, which is itself an adaptation.