WHO WE ARE
Obvious Agency creates interactive, experiential art that ranges from the personal, to the institutional, to the ridiculous. Blending theatrical and digital arts, we create spaces where participants can co-create their own experiences through first-hand exploration of the worlds we create. Always serious, always silly, we believe that by helping create and define culture, we can create systemic and interpersonal change.
Our commitment to co-creative work stems from a dissatisfaction with “immersive” models of live performance. Instead of being pulled under and subject to other’s creative currents, we start from the assumption that people innately have both artistic impulses and the capacity to create art, and that our art is enriched by both their impulses and capacities. We create models of audiencing that help us think about familiar spaces in unfamiliar ways, that empower us to act in ways that might feel too transgressive in less controlled circumstances, and that imagine worlds in which we are empowered to make decisions on the bases of pleasure, not necessity.
Inherent in this imagining of new ways of being and creating is our governing and administrative structure. We are a worker-owned cooperative grounded in anti-capitalist, anti-racist, non-normative, liberatory, and feminist frameworks. Obvious Agency’s work is collectively authored and owned. We split labor and remuneration transparently and unanimously, on a project-by-project basis. And we love what we do.
Arianna Gass (they/she) is an intermedia artist and scholar whose interests lie at the intersection of digital and embodied play. She explores embodiment from a technical perspective, examining the interface of on-screen and off-screen bodily performance in video games, as well as from a creative perspective, through the production of interactive multimedia performances. They are a Postdoctoral Researcher at Georgia State University in the department of Film, Media, and Theater, and have a PhD in English and Theater and Performance Studies from the University of Chicago.
Joseph Ahmed (he/they) is a Philadelphia-based theater artist whose work sloshes over into dance, circus, and interactive performance. Their solo work, Half Magic, is under development through Philadelphia Performing Artist's Mini-Residency program and was featured as an Exhibition Screener at the first annual Mixed Asian Media Fest. He directed IKantKoan’s Chaos Theory which won Immersion Nation’s Best Social Immersion Award in 2019. He has worked for companies throughout Philadelphia including Theater Exile, the Philadelphia Artist's Collective, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, and Tribe of Fools, and toured nationally as a teaching artist through Foodplay Productions.
Daniel Park is a queer, bi-racial, theatre and performance artist based in Philadelphia. His work is interdisciplinary, combining live performance and game design to create hybrid experiences that explore the boundaries of human agency. He has presented and performed nationally and internationally, collaborating locally with companies like The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Applied Mechanics, and Orbiter 3. His artistic practice is deeply tied to his work as an organizer and facilitator, focusing on racial justice in the cultural sector. He has provided his services as a facilitator and consultant with organizations such as The PA Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, ArtPlace America, and The University of the Arts.
Cat Ramirez (they/he/she) is an award-winning Philly-based theatre director and performance producer. They love giant logistical puzzles, community meals, and bisexual lighting. Recent collaborations include Villanova University, Temple University, Asian Arts Initiative, Philly Young Playwrights, PlayPenn, Lxs Primxs, Theatre Exile, and Hedgerow Theatre Company. Cat currently serves as the Creative Director for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA), the Staff Producer for the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and a board member for the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation. He is an alumni of the National New Play Network’s Producer-In-Residence Program and her work has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.