“The Primal concentration and willful physicality of the Ransom Corp’s performance was mesmerizing.
The audience was moved, both metaphorically and literally, as it broke and reformed
around the fluid unbounded performance. It was a powerful, site-specific use
of both vertical and horizontal space. Weeks later
the images and visceral traces still pass through me.”

-Andrew Boyd
Author of life’s Little Deconstruction Book,and Daily Afflictions


The Ransom Corp. performances embraced inner and outer risk.
We sought to scramble and unscramble the senses, to explore spatial and perceptual possibilities
in order to give birth to new and sometimes very ancient experiences.
We cultivated personal and collective mythologies to enable and inspire
understanding and transformation within our species
and our brother and sister organisms.

Two large scale touring shows:



Sky Plots: A Chaos of Ritual
 Presented by La Mama ETC

Smack Melon Studio in Brooklyn, November 13, 1999 (original title Hyperbolic)
La Mama ETC Annex Theater in NYC December 17-19, 1999
Physical Arts Center, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, October 5-7, 2000.
Central European Tour, Fall of 2000, with 13 performers at venues including: Kabelwerk in Vienna, Austria, Casa De Schock in Neuchatel, Switzerland, Die Klubbaus in Saafeld, Germany, The Hirsh in Nueremberg Germany, N.S. Stubnitz in Rostock, Germany, The Spannwerk in Berlin, Germany

In Sky Plots (a name taken from an Andre Breton poem) everything happens at once: A mosaic of simultaneous stories told in a surrealist language with multimedia tools. Born in the dynamic overlapping world of the city, Sky Plots was a work that celebrated, explored and cultivated an awareness of how our lives, raised to the vocabulary of dreams, intimately and impersonally tangle and unfold. We abandoned a set stage in favor of using the totality of the warehouses and theaters where we performed, including the exterior of the theater itself. A poem “inside the outside” led people to the door. Once inside they were gathered closely together in a waiting area then taken back outside by four members of the cast (Death, Jesus, the Normal Man and the Master of Ceremonies, a whigged and zoot suited gameshow trickster), for a series of spirited competitions–a tug of war, a race, a firing line. These games and the reversal of “going inside to the show” engaged and disrupted, introducing conflict and choice, while also introducing several of the archetypes in the piece. Returning to the inside, everyone was fingerprinted at the gate.

As the main act began, performers on bungis, trapezes, cargo nets, ladders, pulleys, and clotheslines, within geodesic sanctuaries, with fire tools, on television stages and roaming in the crowd each lived his or her own independent story. Chance encounters between these elements created layers of surreal interactions. A momentum and suspense was born of coincidences from the overlapping of those performances. From a sense of chaos, patterns emerged and stories converged. From performance arose ritual. Throughout the piece, an audio score composed of environmental sounds untied the performers’ spacial sensibility and moved the mood from highways to deserts, from night to day, sun to rain. The audio, performed live over a quadraphonic system, acted as the universal atmosphere and timekeeper. The audience, freed of chairs, began as if bystanders on the streets, bearing witness to the world before them. From inside the performance, they brought it new life, able to effect the progression of the piece at any one time. Based on their own vantage point, their choice of attention, and the dynamics of each unique night, each person would see as well as create a different story than another. The piece resolved into the most ubiquitous of all rituals: the presenting of a cake and the entire cast and often the audience singing “Happy Birthday” to the white whigged master of ceremonies who’d greeted all comers at the door by demanding their fingerprints.

Traveling Cast: Zemi17 (The Timekeeper), Kaesha KvK (The Ballerina), Agent mT Geoff Kuffner (Master of Ceremonies), Sean Clute (Jesus), Despina Stamos (Gameshow Dancer), Fumiko Rose (Gameshow Dancer), Erin Kelly (Girl in White), Kendra Floyd (Country Wife), Tim Schettino (Death), Evelyna Dann (Web Woman), Mara Smaldone (Leaf Dancer), Stephano Zazzera (Web Keeper), David Alexander Siegel (The Normal Man)
NYC Additions: Wenn Shun (Gameshow Dancer), John Sully (Web Keeper), Keren Shani (Web Woman), Victor Attar (Krapp’s Last Tape), Victoria Hanna (Singing Bride), Kirk Peterkin (Bungeed Flier), Kogomo Dsi (Drum and Gongs), Loud Josh (OX), Chris Doorley (Secret Agent), Loki Kevorkian (God of Mischief), Nayouli



Fractal Seed

GALA opening, Kultur Im Spannwerk, April 16, 2002
Schloss Brollin, Brollin Germany May 19, 2002
The Resonant Wave Festival, K.I.S. Berlin June 1 – 5, 2002

The Fractal Seed was conceived as a mythic exploration into the nature of resonance, the intuitive necessity (beyond logical forms) of the inner warrior’s path and its impact on the depths of the receptive world. The performance commenced with an outdoor parade composed of quirky, mischievous, jovial and childish characters. The parade led into the performance space to a barrier of metal strings,styled as giant full-body harp. As the flying seed in the form of the meek man passed the barrier, the characters broke through the resonant sound of ht harp and joined the prophet on the northern wall, all the characters began their unique pilgrimage to the south. Passing through an alien field of light characters ascended sound-producing monolithic steel sculptures with the eyes of surveillance cameras, the ridge fo the 12 meter high rafters, before making a slow inverted descent into burning symbols on the found painted in fire. Others danced with suspended rocks, than were hung by their ankles and dragged by anthropomorphic jaguars into the rites of fire. As the characters all lay in a virtual death within the symbols fo fire, the barefoot seed walks through the flame. The characters ascend and follow him to the great trees of the south in a procession of silence and darkness. They transform into a weightless dance, flowing into the an open celebration of light posing around an ancient charred tree.

Dance Performance: Kathi von Koerber, Erin Ellen Kelly, Evelyna Dann, Kendra Floyd, Despina Stamos, Enrique Lunaholder, Oren Ber-Noy, Juan Merchan
Sound Performance: Gregory Sciullo, Taylor Kuffner, Shazad Ismily, Qasim Naqvi, Kevin Daly
Video: Eyal Ben-Zwi and Kathi von Koerber
Sculpture/Set: Ryan O’Connor, Touch
Aerial Design/ Rigging: Taylor Kuffner


Noted Performances 2001 – 2002

During the course of researching and developing The Fractal Seed, the Ransom Corp. performed a series of smaller works in 2001 before devoting their focus to the large-scale project for all of 2002.

Mythos Lunatarium in Brooklyn October 27, 2001
A four-person ritual involving two homemade electric cellos, a series of large scale flaming symbols and two battling aerialists on bungi cords.

Emergence Studio 111 Jersey City and Smack Mellon Studios in Brooklyn Summer 2001
A Butoh Choreography set inside of plastic Larve with live mixed video projections, and audio from scrap metal instruments attached to bungi flying acrobats.

IN ME, ABC NO RIO community art space, May 3, 2001
A butoh improvisation using video projection on white bodies and audio composed from scrap metal instruments.

5 Performances of the Body, 23 Windows, April 14, 2001
A 5-hour ambient happening with four separate overlapping butoh performance culminating in a two-hour suspension of 2 inverted bodies accented by surveillance audio manipulations.

Noted Performances 1997 – 2000

Sky Plots Tour previews, Physical Arts Center, North 8, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. October 5,6 & 7 2000.
Before embarking for a European Tour, we staged Sky Plots three nights and threw a benefit party in Brooklyn. The Physical Arts Center had a lower ceiling than the show ultimately required but it offered a spring loaded floor and great setting for a send off with a little help from the Hungry March Band. The show was billed as follows: “Inside the outside, everything happens at once. Sky Plots is an experiment in simultaneity, a mosaic of stories told to the elastic and unpredictable ticking of the imagination’s clock. Everyone is a participant in a moment flowing towards an uncertain end. Will time stop? And if it does…?

Hyperbolic, Smack Mellon Studios, DUMBO, November 1999.
Smack Mellon was a vast white walled former spice factory still with inches of cinnamon and paprika caked to its top timbers. The RC hosted this night in collaboration with the Williamsburg Chamber Orchestra, an upstart ensemble conducted by Michael Arenella, hoping to raise funds for a full season of premieres. This was an ambitious, eclectic, in some sense groundbreaking night. It began with a performance by the 32 piece orchestra followed by live electronic acts including Himawari and Amoeba Technology. At midnight, the space went dark and silent and a 45 minute piece, then called Hyperbolic, began. The audience, at 500 capacity, was contained within a performance environment of 8 simultaneous pieces played out on suspended pods, a trapeze hung from the rafters, a massive cargo net turned into a web, ladders and elevated floor sets. Half of the action took place overhead, ending with a climb up a 30 foot rope to discover a lost rose on the overhead beams. The midnight ritual unleashed a celebratory energy that spun for hours as the party resumed. The RC was invited to evolve this piece to be performed at the Annex at La Mama ETC. It eventually became Sky Plots.

Riddled with Holes East and Central Europe and Israel, Summer Tour 1999
An improvisational work based on the I Ching and surrealist distortion of form involving modern and aeriel dance, video projection and electronic sound. Touring crew included: Zemi17, Kathi von Koerber, Sean Clute, Maurice Abnez, Hiroko Yo, Victoria Hanna.
Bulgaria: The Black Sea Solar Eclipse Shabla Sun & Moon Festival
Florence, Italy with M.A.C. crew: Art Rave in Massive abandon space
Kischkemaischa, Hungary: Discomaicha
Prague, Czeck Republic: The Roxy
Nuremberg, Germany: The Desi
Zurich, Switzerland: The Neon Bar 486
Tel Aviv, Israel: Dynamed Dwasch and Timuna Theater

Augenblick directed by John Sully, August 2000, DUMBO Theater.
This first installment in the Augenblick cycle, hosted by Mephistopheles in full regalia, was served in two parts: the first, a dense multi-layered, multimedia, sense-scrambling cachet of stories told in the interior which reached a climatic whirl as the massive loading dock door shimmied open, revealing the dark streets under the Manhattan Bridge. The audience exited to an enactment of Lions, Hyenas and Vultures and the calamity of a car accident turned battlefield. Members of the RC accounted for half the cast.

JFK Relays, late summer 1997, John F. Kennedy International Terminal, Queens, NY
Well before homeland security, this relay race to the death pitted two priests against two 70s era basketball jocks as played by the Brothers Coelius (Bill and Robby, aka Kass and Schaefer) and the Brothers Kuffner (Geoff and Taylor, aka agent mT and Zemi 17). We mapped a half mile course around the concourse. Mehuman Johnson sang the anthem as spectators gathered then the brothers were off. Water stops were manned by Erin Kelly. Full reporting and interviews, now sadly lost tapes, provided by xxxxx. Who won, after Schaeffer and Zemi dove and collided at the finish, is still in dispute.