Meet the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure



The Ringling Museum continues its New Stages series this month with a transformative campus-wide performance arts tour curated by the Brooklyn-based Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure (IPA). Entitled Experiment #42.000 (RINGLING), the sprawling exhibition leads ticketholders by the ones and twos through a personalized exploration of some of the more than 50 performance art pieces arranged across the grounds and rediscovering The Ringling in the process.

Formed by four master’s students as the culmination of their studies, the IPA looks to revitalize community by reimagining the geography through performance. “Sites are really important to them,” says Ringling Museum Project Coordinator Sonja Shea. “They deconstruct the site and want people who maybe are there every day to see it in a new way.” Staging performance tours through downtown Brooklyn, colleges in the area and even the Brooklyn Museum, the work caught Shea’s eye and she knew she had to bring them to The Ringling. “I fell in love with them,” she says. “And they’re perfect for The Ringling because the Ringling Museum is a museum but we’re also a neighborhood in itself with the huge estate.”

Ticketholders arrive at the museum at the appointed time and are directed to an “intake space.” There they will be met by a surveyor from the IPA in a white lab coat, who will provide a form with questions ranging from childhood dreams to deepest fears. “Questions that start to open your mind and get you in the zone,” says Shea. Based on the responses, the IPA charts a personalized tour stopping at 12 to 13 of the performances. At the end, the separate tours, each comprising an IPA member and only one or two ticketholders, convene at the exit area to mingle and share experiences.

Featuring more than 50 local artists creating and performing at the various stops, sites span both the exterior grounds and interior buildings, including a few behind the scenes locations and areas typically off-limits to visitors. “It runs the gamut,” says Shea, with local participants ranging from the Bradentucky Bombers roller derby team to muralists like Grace Howl, who will be painting a mural with help from touring visitors. Across campus, aerialists twirl in the Banyan trees and somewhere Mabel Ringling is reading poetry and a 12-year-old aspiring baker decorates cupcakes with ticketholders. “I’m hoping that people will develop beautiful connections to the performers, to the other audience members, but also to the sites,” says Shea.

Experiment #42.000 (RINGLING) debuts March 16 at Art After Dark with more tours scheduled for March 18 and 19 throughout the day. Tickets are required and space is very limited. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling 941-360-7399, with a discounted rate of $10 for students.

Pictured: The Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure. Photo courtesy of The Ringling.

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