The sixth Saari Invited Artist Kevin Doyle has settled at Saari

Photo: Zarmina Rafi

The sixth Saari Invited Artist, New York-based writer and director Kevin Doyle works at the Saari Residence until the end of April 2019. We asked Doyle what he has been up to for the first six weeks of his residency.

Doyle tells that lately he has been thinking about the structures and arrangements which media conveys, and how they are the same regardless of the country or culture. “The 15 second ads I see on YouTube in Finland in Finnish utilize the same comedic/absurdist elements, camera angles, and cinematography as social media ads in Russia or Croatia or Belgium or the USA,” Doyle explains. “The same goes for crime noir dramas on television, or how we advertise clothing or groceries in print.” Doyle points out e.g. the basic, underlying arrangements one finds in the store layouts or menu choices at McDonalds in America, or Hesburger in Finland, or Jollibee in The Philippines – they are identical. “What does this say about us? What is supporting this arrangement that we do not immediately perceive?” the artist ponders.

These observations align with themes Doyle has been exploring lately related to the compression and consolidation embedded within our media and electronic devices. “What we initially conceive of as liberating technologies and their empowering applications – only to discover their ultimate effects on society are quite the opposite,” Doyle states. “If our electronic devices – our remote controls, our smart-phones, our game consoles – could speak to us, if they were assigned speaking roles on stage in a theatre– what would they say? What would their sentence structure sound like? What vocabulary would they use? Do they limit our own vocabulary?” he considers.

In addition, Doyle has been sorting material for a new project: “I have been pouring over footage, research, and interviews from my time in Dhaka, Bangladesh during last August.” Doyle is collaborating with several Bangladeshi garment workers who survived the 2012 Tazreen Factory Fire on a new theatre/film project that contrasts their experiences with the nearly identical 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City. “I’ve making decisions on what aspects of this material can be realized on stage in performance, and what could be better suited to film or installation,” Doyle tells.

In the midst of work Doyle has also had some time explore the Mietoinen Bay area. “I have been getting in a lot of rowing on the Saari boat, Lovisa, while the weather is still good,” Doyle adds.

Read more about Doyle’s work here.