olive theory is an interdisciplinary duo formed by Shion Skye Carter and Stefan Nazarevich.

Together, their work seeks to investigate the roles they have conceived for themselves as artists, and actively challenge them. To re-define these roles, they cohabitate the performance and studio space as equal partners and performers, rather than “dancer” and “musician”, and extend this negotiation of shared space to the technology that assists them. The technology that they work with is also a collaborator and performer, rather than simply an external element that highlights the performing bodies. This shared space was first realized in olive theory‘s debut performance, Tripwire (2018) at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. Through building their own structural spaces and instruments, they forge a higher level of intimacy with the materials that they work with. It is this level of intimacy that allows them to suspend time and space, and invite their audiences into the sensory atmospheres they create.

Their ongoing project, reach-close, exists at the intersection between live sound, embodied performance, and installation art. Featuring an interactive, sculptural, amplified piano wire installation, the artists activate the wires by plucking, using violin bows, and scraping their buzzed haircuts, creating an interactive performance for both performers and audiences. olive theory envisions an adaptation of this work as a public art installation, as well as a youth workshop series where they can share the skills they’ve gained on instrument-building and contact microphone technology with young, creative minds. The duo has worked as artists-in-residence at What Lab and Left of Main in Vancouver, as well as LEÑA Artist Residency on Galiano Island, BC. reach-close premiered with two sold-out shows at Left of Main in Vancouver in October 2019, co-presented by plastic orchid factory, and recent iterations of the work include a digital screening in February 2021 co-presented by VIVO Media Arts Centre, and streaming as part of CAPSULE by the National Arts Centre.

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(Photography: Bee Kent)