Saturday, November 19, 2011, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Mocap studio, Intersections Digital Studios, Emily Carr University of Art + Design

MONKEY, new media performance
by Deke Weaver

A lean, haunting tale of a bottomless appetite and the beast within.

For “Interactive Futures 2011: Animal Influence” writer-performer/media artist Deke Weaver will present excerpts from MONKEY. Part of Weaver’s life-long project The Unreliable Bestiary, the work premiered on Darwin’s 200th birthday, weaving together myth, science, monologs and video. For this presentation Weaver includes his story A Small Leashed Monkey: A Peace-Corp-volunteer-turned-office-worker-drone transforms into a social superhero: conversationalist, chef, lover, compassionate corporate titan. He is unstoppable. And then, during a dinner party filled with heartfelt tributes, songs and transcendent dancing, the worm begins to turn. With a hint of Spalding Gray and a dash of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Weaver’s grapplings with shadow and light are simultaneously disturbing and hilarious.

“MONKEY shines in unpredictable ways. … a journey as holy and outrageous as the mythology of Hindu monkey gods or of 1950s Hollywood science fiction, redemption and sacrifice all rolled up like King Kong at the top of the Empire State Building. MONKEY offers a compact, nuggety mindblower…”

Deke Weaver is a writer, performer, and media artist. Experimental theater, film/video, dance, and solo performance venues have presented Weaver’s interdisciplinary performances and videos in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Europe and the United States. A resident at Yaddo, Ucross, and the MacDowell Colony, a three-time recipient of NEA regional film/video grants and a 2009 Creative Capital grantee, his work, described as “explosive” (San Francisco Weekly) and “brilliant” (The Village Voice) has “handcuffed a secure storytelling knack to a performance style that pushes the energy envelope toward hyperventilating madness” ( His life-long project, The Unreliable Bestiary is inspired by the literary concept of the unreliable narrator and the medieval bestiary, which gave every living thing a spiritual purpose. The project is an ark of stories about animals, our relationships with them, and the worlds they inhabit. In addition to a set of books and a website, The Unreliable Bestiary will present a performance for each letter of the alphabet – the letter representing a particular animal. Weaver is currently an associate professor in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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