About the Grant

$25,000 to support Everyday Uses for Sight No. 6: Disfarmer (MAP 2008), a new piece of puppet theater by Dan Hurlin, that examines the contradictions in the life of an American hermit. Alone but not despairing, longing but not lonely, outsider artist Mike Disfarmer is represented by a series of puppets, each an exact reprint of the last, except 2 inches smaller. During the course of the play, Disfarmer shrinks like the rest of rural America, until he is completely gone, and we are left with the quiet and nervous expectancy of standing perfectly still for a long exposure.

About the Project

Using the direct manipulation style of American puppetry known as “table-top puppetry,” and antique optical techniques like Magic lantern slides and 8mm home movies, five puppeteers show us Disfarmer in his studio as he categorizes his every possession, barricades himself from the outside world, and compulsively measures constantly expanding distances between things. Set to oddly funny music from old Edison Wax disks and haunting Ozark Mountain music, re-contextualized by Dan Moses Schreier, and with text by playwright Sally Oswald, Everyday Uses for Sight No. 6: Disfarmer is a portrait of a portrait artist. As technology and urbanization continues to distance us from our neighbors and our humanity (think Enron, think Iraq, think Wal-Mart), the portrait artist is inevitably a dying breed. Using his dinosaur technology, Mike Disfarmer was ahead of his time and his peers in his race to extinction.

Everyday Uses for Sight No. 6: Disfarmer premieres February, 2009 at St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY.

Related Websites

MAPP International Productions


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