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John Malpede_

While at CAVS, John Malpede is examining the free software distribution model as a metaphor for other endeavors. Malpede is not looking at free software as a business strategy, but how socially engaged artistic/performative work has provided antecedents to this model. Additionally, he is investigating “reverse engineering” of various web strategies for non-cyber communication. Malpede writes, “I am interested in an active public versus an unreasoning herd, two contrary pictures of citizenry that give rise to contrasting views of governance”. Malpede will produce a public project to be viewed on MIT campus in the fall of 2009. His residency at the Center is made possible through grants from the Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAP Fund) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

John Malpede is an eminent performer, director, and activist who often uses governmental, legal, and media sources as found texts. In 1985 he founded Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), an organization that engages the homeless population of Los Angeles through performance. LAPD’s current touring project, Agents and Assets, 2001-, recreates a House of Representatives hearing on the importation of drugs into the United States in the 1980s by Nicaraguan contra rebels with the CIA's complicity. In 2002-05 he performed as Antonin Artaud in Peter Sellars’ production of Artaud’s For an End to the Judgment of God, in Vienna, Rome, London, Brussels, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In 2004, he directed RFK in EKY, a site-specific regional recreation of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 inquiry into poverty in Appalachia. Malpede has received the Bessie Creation Award from Dance Theater Workshop, New York; San Francisco Art Institute's Adeline Kent Award; and a Theater LA Ovation Award, as well as numerous government and foundation grants. He has taught at UCLA, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, the Amsterdam School for Advanced Research in Theater and Dance, and the California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco.

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