The Interstitial Arts Foundation
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The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

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Indy Convergence Update
by Ellen Kushner | March 17th, 2011 | No Comments »

(Eds. Note:  We’ve just received this bulletin from IAF Working Group member Ellen Denham, who is currently attending Indy Convergence, the annual 10-day “make-a-wish foundation for artists” in Indianapolis.  We knew from her interview last week with Indy Convergence founder Caitlin Swihart that it was a fabulous event for interstitial artists – but reading Ellen’s report of this year makes some of us even more eager to apply for next year’s Convergence!)

I’m in the middle of the Indy Convergence, somewhat sleep deprived with an overstimulated brain so I’m not sure I can be completely coherent. But I did want to share a few examples of just how interstitial things are getting while it is fresh in my mind. Things that I personally or other participants in the Convergence have done since March 9:

–performed Civil War reenactments based on what we learned as children rather than based on fact

–created an interdisciplinary piece showing relationships between doctor, patient, hospital, insurance company, and president Obama, mostly through dance

–tried fire eating, tissue dancing, puppet making, improvisation through movement, singing, and acting, and all sorts of other things where participants could share our knowledge and skill with the others

–learned about sustainable theatre practices

Read more…

“Stop marginalizing yourself”: an interview with playwright W. David Hancock
by Mike Allen | March 16th, 2011 | No Comments »

(Eds. note: Interstitial March continues with an interview with two time OBIE Award-winning playwright W. David Hancock.)

A scene from the University of Rochester’s production of W. David Hancock’s ‘The Puzzle Locker’

W. David Hancock has built a career out of stretching the boundaries of theater. Two of his plays, “The Convention of Cartography” and “The Race of the Ark Tattoo” have won OBIE Awards (short for Off-Broadway Theater Awards.) The first play took place inside an art gallery, the second inside a flea market. Here’s how The New York Times review of the “The Race of the Ark Tattoo” begins.

If, at the end of ”The Race of the Ark Tattoo,” you feel you have to pick tatters of your own identity off the floor so you can try to stitch it back together some day, you have understood this profoundly threatening and vastly entertaining episode in W. David Hancock’s continuing campaign to create theater that puts the audience onstage and the performers inside the viewers’ heads.

And here’s what The New York Times had to say about another of his plays, “Deviant Craft.”

Watching W. David Hancock’s elaborate environmental theater piece, “Deviant Craft,” is like cutting into what looks like an ordinary chocolate cake and discovering that it has 20 layers, each with a different flavor and consistency. Don’t ask what kind of cake it is. Just dig in, chew thoughtfully, and decide for yourself what essence you wish to extract.

The play … mixes “The Tempest,” science fiction, “Marat/Sade,” and “The Snake Pit” into an intriguing open-ended meditation on art and chicanery, insanity and genius.

Some believe Hancock is suffering for his art. The Village Voice listed him in 2003 as someone whose plays weren’t being produced because of the pressure in New York to stick to more commercial fare. A pressure the man himself hasn’t bowed to.

A scene from the rehearsals for W. David Hancock’s ‘Booth’ at Studio Roanoke in Roanoke, Va.

Can you describe your approach to theater?
I try not to approach theater. I’m not being glib. I think the minute you write for theater you trap yourself in a theater — which is a terrible experience. And once you are trapped in a theater, you are trapped in a particular theater with a particular number of seats and a certain type of stage and an audience that you are comfortable with. But maybe that is my technique, not writing plays for theater, but writing them to escape theater. They real play for me ends when the Hamlet is over and you go out with your friends and talk only 5 minutes about Hamlet and then go on to how’s your mom doing and I’m sorry to hear about your cancer and did I tell you I don’t know how to talk to my kid and this steak is overcooked and do you think that waitress is a meth addict. Read more…

Interstitial Theatre: an interview with artist Kira Burge
by Mike Allen | March 15th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

(Eds. Note: Interstitial March continues as guest blogger Alex Dally MacFarlane brings us an interview with Kira Burge, a Seattle artist who operates a truly unique cinema, the Interstitial Theatre.)

A scene from Jesse Sugarmann’s RED STORM RISING

As well as being a multifarious artist, Kira Burge is co-curator of the Interstitial Theatre in Seattle, an ambitious and curious project which has, in the past, showcased works described as “a spatial and social reinterpretation of a car wreck” (Red Storm Rising by Jesse Sugarmann) and “a generative HD video work constructed, edited and subtitled by custom software written in Python” (A Shifting City by Nathan Wade). Hoping to learn more about the theatre, for the benefit of myself and other IAF readers, I posed her the following questions.

For the benefit of those reading who do not know much (or anything) about it, tell us what Interstitial Theatre is.
Interstitial Theatre is a monthly video art screening in Seattle, Washington. Interstitial Theatre’s goal or mission is to provide space and time in Seattle to artists making culturally relevant video work.

We screen all sorts of video art, from happens and documentation of performance works to videos that could easily be considered episodic or cinematic shorts. I think the criteria for screening work comes down to one question that my co-curator, Julia Bruk and I ask ourselves: “Is this worth screening?”

What’s showing next?
March we will be showing Starburst by Kjell Hansen, a Seattle based artist, and Wooden Horse by Portland, OR based artist and writer Alex Rauch. There will be an interview with Alex Rauch posted on our website, and a still from Starburst. You can check out our website to see both future and past artists who we screen.

How did it all begin?
Let’s see… I think it all started after I attended my first First Thursday Artwalk in Seattle, where there seemed to be an astonishing lack of video work. I voiced my concern to Paul Pauper, the owner of Form/Space Atelier (a local art gallery in Seattle), and he proposed that I curate a video series in his space called Interstitial Theatre. Of course, I said yes. My background is as a contemporary sculptor and video artist, and I spent three or four years establishing and running an open studio tour in Eugene, OR, so I think I was itching to start a new pet-project. Read more…

“Exciting, frustrating, fulfilling”: an interview with artist Rachel Perry Welty
by Mike Allen | March 14th, 2011 | No Comments »

"Lost in my Life (wrapped books)," 2010 pigmented ink print 90 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York and Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston. ©Rachel Perry Welty 2010.

(Eds. note: Interstitial March continues as IAF member Cecil Castellucci interviews multimedia artist Rachel Perry Welty, whose latest works fuse sculpture, photography and performance in startling ways.)

Rachel Perry Welty is a two-time winner of a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant for excellence in Sculpture and Drawing, a finalist for the Foster Prize, Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston) and a recent MacDowell Colony Fellow (2009). Welty has participated in group shows at The Drawing Center (New York), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art (Florida), Kunstmuseum Bonn (Germany), and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (Massachusetts) where her video Karaoke Wrong Number recently entered the permanent collection. (Click this link to read a news article about the video.) Solo shows include “Lost in my Life” at Yancey Richardson Gallery (New York), “Same Difference” at Barbara Krakow Gallery (Boston) and “Rachel is” at Gallery Diet (Miami).

Welty’s first solo museum show “Rachel Perry Welty 24/7” is currently at deCordova Museum + Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts through April 24, 2011.

Please talk about your latest project.
I work in many different media: drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, video, sound, social media, and photography, among others. Recently I’ve begun to pirate my own work to make new projects, turning sculptures created as discrete works into set-ups in the photography studio where I insert myself. Literally absorbed in my work, “Lost in my Life” references the endless shopping, cooking and cleaning up that form the business of living.

How has being interstitial (i.e. creating work that falls outside recognized easy genre or maketing categories) created difficulties for you?
People want a neat description so that they can attempt to understand and categorize. I understand the urge to do so but I find that labels can be limiting and ultimately more confusing.

What strategies have you used to get around this? What advice would you give to another interstitial artist in a similar position?
I often use beauty and humor as a strategy to bring the viewer to the work. More is there to discover if one is willing to sit with and think about the work.

If you could change one thing about the situation, what would it be?
I wouldn’t presume to do so; it’s the general unknowingness that I appreciate every day and which makes my job so exciting, frustrating and fulfilling.

The Once and Future King
by Ellen Kushner | March 12th, 2011 | No Comments »

Author Michael Swanwick (IMO one of our greatest living interstitial writers) posted over on Facebook recently:

Here’s a good trivia question, courtesy of [longtime influential book editor &  founder of NYRSF], David G. Hartwell. The best-selling fantasy novel of the 1950s was published as a mainstream book. What was it?

Guesses included Animal Farm, Charlotte’s Web, Earth Abides, The Hobbit, Player Piano and The Lord of the Rings.

T.H. White’s The Once and Future King was the correct answer. (“All the other Fifties works mentioned were successes to one degree or another, but White’s book was a monster hit — and that, of course, was before they crafted [the musical] Camelot from it.”)

My comment:  Then as now, interstitial art is a moving target: When The Once and Future King was published, it was a unique mashup of genres, drawing from many while belonging to none, to create something original that must be read on its own terms. And now, of course, it’s a Fantasy Novel.

Which makes me wonder:  Can anyone write an essay on The Once and Future King for INTERFICTIONS ZERO?

Seems like it would fit right in; in the words of IF0 editors Delia Sherman & Helen Pilinovksy:  “The goal of Interfictions Zero is to begin to create a historical context for how interstitial writing affects the growth and development of various literary genres and to work towards a practical definition of Interstitiality.”

“Jubilant irreverence”: an interview with artist Brian Counihan, Marginal Arts Festival founder
by Mike Allen | March 11th, 2011 | 2 Comments »

(Eds. note: Interstitial March continues with an interview with artist Brian Counihan, founder of the Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival in Roanoke, Va., a long weekend celebration of arts that can be called marginal, liminal or even interstitial. Counihan has said that one of the festival’s goals is provide exhibit and performance space “for art that normally doesn’t have a place to show.” As of this writing the fourth annual festival in this small blue collar city has just concluded. All photos by Anita Allen except where otherwise credited.)

United Kingdom performance artists Zierle & Carter enact a new piece at the
2011 Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival. Photo by Dexter Lynn Kingery.

How would you describe the Marginal Arts Festival?
In a way the festival itself is an ongoing and collaborative attempt to answer that question. When we first started this four years ago, the festival was a response to the chronic cultural offerings that had become entrenched and institutionalized in this small Appalachian city. Not that there was anything wrong with the cultural offerings, in fact you could say Roanoke has more than its fair share of high quality venues, galleries and theaters for a city of its size. There was just so much more that wasn’t getting seen or heard. The Festival set out to provide opportunities for more experimental artists, less traditional art forms, and overlooked communities to be seen and heard. Now, I think the festival can be described as a fledgling community festival structured around a broad definition of the arts held during “Carnival season” and following the Mardi Gras tradition of social commentary, and jubilant irreverence.

What are its goals?
The festival’s primary goal is to educate the community about the powerful potential of art. Some high culture can be off putting, and takes some initiation to access. Some low culture can be equally off putting and seem too confrontational and negative to access. Marginal Arts Festival’s secondary goal is to build audiences and community by providing access to high and low culture. Art can transform lives.

The festival’s third goal is to begin a conversation between the regional cultural institutions about how their programming can affect local identity, and to show them that the work of raising a small city’s awareness of its civic identity is of international interest.

In what ways could it be called interstitial — that is, not falling into easily defined categories within the arts?
This festival would be so much easier to promote if it fell into an easily defined category. However, the festival was founded precisely as a reaction against easily defined ideas about the arts. The ambiguity and unexpectedness of art is now one of the few secular refuges our society has against the prevailing and oppressively polarizing media. Many of the events at Marginal Arts Festival and conflations or collisions of several art forms, like this year’s “Artists’ Masquerade Contra Dance Ball and Fashion Show.” This event educates the community about the traditional village dance. It builds audience by combining artists, the fashion lovers, contra dancers, and fun loving revelers in one event to experience each other’s art forms and hopefully find new common grounds and potentials for future collaborations. Exhibitions are not themed, they’re set up as conversations between artists and art forms. Music, performance art and visual art may show up where you least expect them: In churches, street festivals, commercial galleries, neighborhood parks.

Scenes from the 2011 Marginal Arts Festival Parade. Photos by Dexter Lynn Kingery (upper and lower left) and Anita Allen (upper and lower right.)

Read more…

Indy Convergence: An Interstitial Gathering of Artists
by Erin Underwood | March 10th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

(Eds. Note: Interstitial March continues as IAF member, singer and writer Ellen Denham provides us with this report on Indy Convergence, an interstitial art gathering in Indianapolis.)

Sara Bashor and Ellen Denham sing the Monteverdi/Kander & Ebb mash-up “Notes Across Time” that they created during the 2010 Convergence.

I’ve been fortunate to be a participant for the past three years in the Indy Convergence, a unique gathering of performing artists taking place annually in Indianapolis since 2008.  The Convergence is difficult to describe, as it doesn’t fit neatly in one genre or artistic discipline, which means—you guessed it—it is interstitial.  I sometimes describe it as a “make-a-wish foundation for artists.”  If you have a dream for a project, however crazy it may sound, the Convergence can be a place for you to try it out, complete with the space, collaborators, and materials you need to make it happen.  Projects presented at the Convergence have included experimental theatre, dance works, dramatization of poetry, a short opera, and workshopping of new plays.  Everyone participates, regardless of his or her artistic niche:  dancers act, singers dance, and all participants share in the creation and strike of the set and in an “Umbrella Project” created around a particular topic.  Two years ago, we explored the poetry of Kenneth Patchen through movement, music, and dramatization.  This year’s project is called MYTHistory, an exploration of the relationship between mythology and history and how they intersect.

The Indy Convergence was founded by Caitlin Swihart, a professional dancer who has spent five years with Indianapolis’s modern dance company, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Robert Negron, an actor who has performed at theaters including South Coast Repertory, the Old Globe Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  They are currently gearing up for the 2011 Convergence, which runs March 9-19 culminating in an open laboratory performance on March 19.  I talked with Robert and Caitlin recently about their inspiration for the Convergence and their dreams for its future.

ED:  What inspired you to start the Indy Convergence?

RN: We worked together at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival when Dance Kaleidoscope spent the summers in residence there.  Because we had lots of open space and free time, several of us started doing workshops teaching what we knew to each other.  Then we produced a play.  That led to brainstorming ways to create this environment somewhere else.

ED:  In what ways is the Convergence interstitial?

CS: We select artists who can share their knowledge with everyone in a workshop, so that all of us can learn from others who are at the top of their profession.  The aim is to get people out of their “box” and have them look at things through a different lens.

RN: We make an effort to bring a wide variety of performers, for example, not just actors or dancers. Read more…

Meet the IAF: Ellen Denham
by Mike Allen | March 9th, 2011 | No Comments »

(Eds. note: Continuing our series of profiles of IAF people, Ellen Denham is a member of the IAF Working Group. Previous profiles in this series have included Cecil Castellucci, Matthew Kressel, Mike AllenChristopher BarzakLarissa N. NiecStephen H. SegalFelice KuanWendy EllertsonDeborah AthertonErin UnderwoodEllen KushnerDelia Sherman and Geoffrey Long.)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Ellen Denham, primarily a classical singer and voice teacher, though I also write and direct. I live in Indianapolis with one husband and two cats. I’ve loved to sing since I was a wee thing and studied opera at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the New England Conservatory of Music. Since then, I’ve appeared in numerous performances, mostly in Baroque oratorio and in opera. I’m an avid reader and writing has been a long-time hobby. I started to take my writing seriously in the early 2000′s when I began work on a ballet libretto that turned into a critically acclaimed production, “The Willow Maiden,” performed by the Butler Ballet in 2003 in collaboration with my husband, Stephan Laurent, Artistic Director, composer Frank Felice, and numerous designers, dancers, and musicians. I attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2006 and have had a few stories published since then. I’ve continued to write for the stage, including a definitely-not-for-children one-act opera, “Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater,” performed at the Indy Convergence in 2009, and this year I’m working on a musically improvised opera based on my short story “Homo Homarus–” a gender-bending twist on the Little Mermaid/Rusalka-type fairy tale.

What first attracted you to the interstitital arts?

I’ve never liked feeling boxed in by labels. I kept my music and my writing in separate compartments for years until I combined the two interests working on the ballet, and since then I’ve never stopped. When artists cater to a perceived desire of an audience (to fit into a narrow sub-genre, for example), their work may become stale and creativity can be stifled. When I have a crazy idea, I like to ask myself, “why not?” rather than assume it’s too weird or not doable. Classical music is, by and large, a conservative art. I’m not a conservative artist. While I love singing Bach or Mozart as much as anyone, I’m attracted to experimental forms and improvisation. When I heard [IAF co-founder] Ellen Kushner talk about the IAF salons, I emailed to ask how I could start one in my city. I suddenly found myself delegated, and have been hosting the Interstitial Indy salon since early 2010.

How do you consider your work interstitial?

Ellen performing in the Indianapolis Opera's production of 'Falstaff'

Much of what I write in terms of short story or novel projects falls into the broad category of fantasy and isn’t terribly interstitial, and the singing that “pays the bills” is usually pretty traditional too. I feel the interstitial part of my work comes when I collaborate with other performing artists on something I’ve written. I do my most interstitial work at the Indy Convergence, where I’ve participated for the past three years. It’s a great place for artists to come together across artistic disciplines and learn from each other and just play with new ideas. My teaching is interstitial as well. I use elements of tai chi, yoga, improvisation, and just about anything else that works to help students find and improve upon using their voices. This is exciting work and I’m lucky to get to have so much fun for a living.


Ellen Denham’s interview with Indy Convergence founder Caitlin Swihart appears on the IAF blog March 10th, 2011.

Reflections from a Clockwork Phoenix
by Mike Allen | March 8th, 2011 | 2 Comments »

(Eds. note: Interstitial March co-editor Mike Allen, previously profiled in our “Meet the IAF” series, shares reflections on assembling Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, the anthology series he edits that toys with interstitial elements.)

As I help to compile this year’s batch of Interstitial March entries, the words of a number of artists resonate for me on a personal level. When Colette Fu writes, “It’s not easy to explain what I do to other people, even artists,” I’m reminded immediately of my own halting attempts in early 2008 to explain to other writers and editors what the Clockwork Phoenix anthology series would be about. When Cecil Castellucci writes of her interest in “playful artistic games,” I think, Bingo!

As I write this, the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies are on pause. I took a sabbatical after the third volume came out to finish my too long neglected first novel, and in the meantime, the kind of thing you hate to see happen happened. My publisher, Vera Nazarian of Norilana Books, who has been very good to me, was beset with severe financial difficulties that for now make a solid commitment to a fourth volume unwise. These things happen in the world of publishing and in the world of the arts. Companies and non-profits cut back, editors change jobs, government grants get discontinued. That’s just how it is, and we deal with it as we have to.

All things considered, this does seem like a good time to reflect on what can be done with an interstitial project. Get rich? Heck, no! Get starred reviews in Publishers Weekly? Stories reprinted in Year’s Best volumes and nominated for awards? Those things, we managed, and I suspect we’re not quite done yet. Offer discerning readers some refreshingly different and thought-provoking fodder? I’d like to think we pulled that off.

Beautiful subversions

Mind you, I don’t claim Clockwork Phoenix is capital “I” Interstitial. The volumes don’t challenge anyone’s notion of what a book is, or what an anthology is. They might, however, challenge someone’s notion of what a story is. I offer as anecdotal evidence this reaction from Ian Randal Strock, a veteran genre editor, once on staff at Analog: Science Fiction and Fact, then editor of the hard sf magazine Artemis, now editor of the news site SF Scope, where this appeared.

Perhaps the anthology would be better served (or at least better described) using its subtitle, “Tales of Strangeness and Beauty” as the title. These stories are definitely the opposite side of “a picture is worth a thousand words”; that is, the authors are all quite adept at drawing lovely pictures with their words. And if you’re looking for beautiful word pictures, this is an excellent collection. But if you’re looking for more stories, you may find the content suffering a bit. Several of the contributors were able to combine the two, drawing lovely pictures and telling captivating stories, but not all.

Norilana Books markets Clockwork Phoenix as fantasy. If, for you, the term “fantasy” encompasses all possible literature of the fantastic, or “fantastika” as the Russians say it, then I suppose that fits. The boundaries I set had to do with avoiding or subverting conventional storytelling techniques, avoiding conventional settings, avoiding conventional plots, rather than telling one particular kind of story particularly well. I wanted an anthology that would blur and ignore boundaries without making any assertions about what the reader should expect from the experience. (Try explaining that to a writer who asks at a con what sort of story you want.) Read more…

Shapeshifting prose: an interview with writer Nicole Kornher-Stace
by Erin Underwood | March 7th, 2011 | 6 Comments »

(Eds. note: Booklist called Nicole Kornher-Stace’s debut novel Desideria “an exceptionally well-crafted debut [that] delivers a spellbinding tale of deception, betrayal, and the darker possibilities of playacting,” while Realms of Fantasy opined “It’s unlikely you’ll read a more unusual novel this year.” Among other genre-bending tactics, her novel contains a full-length play. We asked her to talk about the trials and triumphs of writing the unclassifiable.)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Nicole Kornher-Stace. I’ve been reading and writing since I was two, and I haven’t really figured out how to stop. As well as a bunch of poems and short stories, I have three books out: Desideria (Prime, 2008), Demon Lovers and Other Difficulties (Goblin Fruit, 2009), and The Winter Triptych (Papaveria, 2011).

Desideria is a sort of darkly magical realist, alternate-17th-century, not-quite-a-murder-mystery novel with actors and thieves, a madhouse, a city-as-character, and a full-length, five-act play embedded inside. Demon Lovers is a chapbook of poetry exploring the crossroads between folkloric motif and real-life application: the places where those two worlds dovetail gently and the places where they collide. The Winter Triptych is a very, very oblique dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty but also a sort of mash-up of various fairytale tropes, where the witch leads a revolution, the huntsman is the monster (and the princess is too), and the scullery-maid rescues herself. Oh, and also there’s time travel. And shapeshifting. Hmm. I seem to write a lot of shapeshifting in general. Also revolutions. But one of the things I really love working with is the whole mythpunk movement, which I’ve been doing since I was twelve or so, all unknowing that in another few years it’d become a Thing. I like to look at myths, folktales, fairy tales, ballads, and flip them upside down and look into the guts of ‘em. See how so many perfectly mundane human issues are caught up in their depths. And then get in there and mess around.

I also have a Changeling, two ferrets, and an imaginary friend. Never had one as a kid. I guess I’m making up for lost time. Read more…

I ate a chunk of bread off the heads of these performance artists
by Mike Allen | March 5th, 2011 | 5 Comments »


Meet the IAF: Cecil Castellucci
by Erin Underwood | March 4th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

(Eds. note: Continuing our series of profiles of IAF people, Cecil Castellucci is a member of the IAF Working Group. Previous profiles in this series have included Matthew Kressel, Mike Allen,Christopher Barzak, Larissa N. NiecStephen H. SegalFelice KuanWendy EllertsonDeborah AthertonErin UnderwoodEllen KushnerDelia Sherman and Geoffrey Long.  Cecil Castellucci’s  blogposts for IAF include a Q&A with composer Michael Fiday, and upcoming interviews with Rachel Perry Welty,  O-Lan Jones and Andrea Kleine.)

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Cecil Castellucci and I write stories, all sorts. My main writing has been contemporary Young Adult novels and comic books.  But I also write plays, librettos, performance art pieces, short stories and songs.  I joined the IAF in 2008 when I submitted my short story for Interfictions 2.  I live in Los Angeles, California and have thrown a few IAF soirees here.  (more to come!)

What first attracted you to the interstitial arts?

I think that my heart was born that way.  For me, interstitial arts is the best part of art, the borderlands.  The unexplored.  The cracks.   I  am so interested in such playful artistic games.  I think its because I love art of all kinds and putting them together seems absolutely right to me.  I love to see it when it is in action and I am always delighted by it, even when it fails.  Perhaps it sings to me because I am the daughter of scientists and I have always believed that art and science are intertwined.  After all, I consider all of my projects artistic experiments.

How do you consider your work interstitial?

I am very interested in marrying and playing with all kinds of artistic ways of telling stories.  While my YA novels are fairly traditional, I always have a project or two on the go that is pushing narratives and story telling in new ways. Recently I wrote my first libretto for an opera called Les Aventures de Madame Merveille.  It was commissioned by ECM+ (Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal.) They put together artists and composers and commission new works of classical music. My opera was a live three dimensional comic book opera that married comic books and music. Currently I’m working on a play based on a play based on my Interfictions 2 short story “The Long and Short of Long Term Memory. It was a story that married a real neuroscience lecture with a story about a man who wanted to remove a traumatic memory. I see great interstitial potential in this as a play and am very excited about it. I also just wrote a hybrid prose / graphic novel called the Year of the Beasts due out on Roaring Brook in 2012 where I was interested in marrying the two forms.  And finally this year I am working on my first conceptual art piece called the Literary Diaspora, where I am interested in engaging words, art, narrative and readers.