Project Description:
The Meta-Parade is a serial performance project that investigates the forms and components of parades and public spectacles. The project uses performers to visualize data, considers the characters and roles that make up a parade structure, and explores the cultural and social reasons for public celebration as manifested in a procession.

“Even when the space is already marked (the avenue), another space is created within it, this one used exclusively for Carnival. … It forms a microcultural step that structures and modifies the space.” Monica Rector, “The Code and Message of Carnival”

Meta-Parade from Michelle Kasprzak on Vimeo.

The first Meta-Parade performance took place at Pride 2003 in Toronto. This iteration of the Meta-Parade focused on performers being used to visualize data – in this case, the data set was representations of parade routes. An overhead balloon, with an attached video camera, documented the aerial view of the marching group. The group walked in formations that suggest current and former parade routes of the following parades:

* Calgary Pride 2001 – formation shape: “Square”
* Johannesburg Pride 2003 – formation shape: “Big Dipper”
* Johannesburg Pride 2000 – formation shape: “Ski Boot”
* Toronto Pride 2003 – formation shape: “C”
* Halifax Pride 2003 – formation shape: “Open Ski Boot”
* Oklahoma City Pride 2003 – formation shape: “Hair Pin”

The second Meta-Parade performance took place at the Grey Cup football parade in Regina, Saskatchewan. This iteration of the Meta-Parade focused on the use of voice – in this case, chants and cheers traditionally associated with football were transformed into cheers that promoted the arts, and celebrated local and international arts heroes and philosophers. We also used custom footballs stencilled with the word “Meta-Parade”, that we passed back and forth to members of the crowd.

Sample cheers:

* “Rah, rah, Derrida!”
* “Hey, hey, Nietzsche!”
* “Working for a victory, striving for a win
Reaching for the top, the arts can’t be stopped!
We’ll never give up, we’ll never give in
We’ll fight till the end!
The arts are here to win!”
* “What do we want?
High-concept art!
When do we want it?
* “H-U-S, T-L-E, hustle for a victory!
Hustle, arts, hustle!
Art wants action!
Art wants action!
A-C-T, I-O-N!
Art wants action!”

Meta-Parade Pride Toronto 2003 Team: Michelle Kasprzak (Concept/Design), Kathleen Pirrie-Adams, Amanda Ramos, Shawn Micallef, Gabe Sawhney, Daniel Cockburn, David Newton, Caitlin O’Donovan, Nick Stedman, Todd Irvine, Mark Bondyra, Willy Le Maitre, Evan Schiller, Anna Bowness.

Meta-Parade Grey Cup 2003 Team: Michelle Kasprzak (Concept/Design), Rachelle Viader Knowles, Lisa Rae Vineberg, Maureen Bradley, Josée Jacques, Alicia Toscano, Mark Wihak, Brette Gabel, Robert Bos, Dustin Gabel, Ketsia Ly, Durdona Botinova, Deirdre Eustace, Marie Berwald, Adolf Rogoschewsky.

Project Support: Meta-Parade was produced as part of Open Source City – a commission developed by Kathleen Pirrie-Adams. Meta-Parade Grey Cup was also supported by the Intermedia Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Regina.