LA Live Arts Exchange - HERD: Ways /walls + windows

How exciting! HERD was selected from dozens of proposals to be a feature performance at this year's Live Arts Exchange Festival in LA. And boy, did we perform. The audience did not know what to think.

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Once they realized they were part of the performance, though, they (mostly) embraced the opportunity. 

HERD: Ways/ walls+windows is an interactive experience rooted in the physical and psychological qualities of herding behaviors - in both animals and humans. Audiences are captivated by the aesthetically beautiful set and movements, and compelled by questions of control, isolation, collective thought & behavior, and personal space within the group. HERD: Ways/ walls+windows instigates a primary experience of herding and being herded. This risky, edgy, and hilarious take on art + science evokes equal parts thoughtful curiosity and wide-eyed surprise.

After delivering two full performances, the team learned A LOT. The LAX Festival showcased such a diversely talented group of artists; keep your eyes out for tickets next year. And what a perfect chance to prototype some new ideas in preparation for the big show at YBCA next month! See you there... October 4.

Weave Warp

A competitive weaving game? Well, of course!

Here are some prototypes using yarn, though the vision is to test various colorful yet durable materials that will withstand the outdoors so that a finished game may remain as a gazebo-like sculpture. Maybe we could even incorporate vine-type plants to wrap around the piece, and we could throw a picnic table underneath. Corporate courtyards... you know you want it!

Playtest 1

Playtest 1

Playtest 2

Playtest 2

Weave Warp is a competitive weaving game of speed, strategy, and art. Weave Warp adds some quick thinking to the fast fun of tag, but with a twist. Using boldly-colored weather-proof webbing (like the material used for backpack straps) as a strategic weapon, players race to score points by wrapping their own color around opponents posts. When play is complete, a beautiful canopy structure has been co-created, and becomes a colorful focal point and gathering spot. Weave Warp gives players a chance to engage in a sometimes chaotic, always hilarious collaboration that boosts the urban environment with something new - a  sculpture that conveys the unique aesthetic of the players’ actions, and invites connection, contemplation, and relaxation.

Mad Libs in Motion - at Autodesk

The Marketing team at Autodesk in San Francisco wanted to shake things up a bit... and shake they did! To meet management's goals of opening minds to fresh ideas and unifying the employees into a cohesive working group, LUDIKA designed "Mad Libs in Motion."

Mad Libs in Motion is a movement-based, add-on game, wherein each participant takes a turn being the "Director." The Director draws a card that prompts the creation of a new movement, group formation, or other element of choreography. The Director also is invited to choose a Qualifier card, which shapes the first element with descriptions like "slow as molasses," or "5 times fast." 

The Director performs his/her newly-created movement, and then the group copies it (while the Director makes any desired refinements). The music starts up again, and all players start the co-created choreography from the beginning, adding on the newest Director's addition. 

The result? An impromptu performance of a synchronized, whimsical dance that defies rules or expectations... co-created by a group of colleagues who arrived silently from their respective cubicles with stressed expressions, and walked out together as activated creatives still laughing while rubbing their jaws from smiling so much.

A 6-Month Course in the Art of Play

What if ten people in a class speak ten different languages? How do you find a common method of communication? One answer: Play!

For six months, Kate Spacek facilitated weekly "experiments" to explore what Play is and what it is not, what is required for people to enter a playful state of mind and body, and how perceptions of Play differ across cultures. 

Using games as a foundational tool to integrate art, movement, story-telling, sound, non-verbal communication, team challenges, and all sorts of spontaneity, the course content was a surprise to every student, every time. To find each student's own definitions and parameters of Play, occasionally the activities triggered some discomfort, which in itself was a powerful learning experience for all involved. And Kate pushed her own boundaries as well, making it a rule to add at least one newly-designed game or untested activity to the curricula each week.

Most frequently, classmates who entered the studio as strangers were crafting lunch plans together after class. Middle-aged men and women became teary-eyed, confessing they had not felt these sensations since childhood. Students entered as adults busy with the rigors of daily routine and walked out calm, liberated, and wide-eyed to the possibilities of creative potential around them and within them. 

HAPPY Bootcamp!

With the Grand Jury Prize from the Amsterdam Film Festival and a slew of awards and accolades from international festivals and top film critics, HAPPY: The Movie has gone beyond a compelling documentary; HAPPY: The Movie is a movement. The film's producer invited LUDIKA's founder, Kate Spacek, to add some pizazz to his newest creation - HAPPY Bootcamp.


One small detail... none of the campers speak English. Another opportunity to reveal Play as a common language! This crew of shy yet kind and eager individuals opened slowly but surely to the freedom brought about by collaborative art and games. By the end of the day, our faces hurt from smiling.