Ajais creating art that produces real world change
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Becoming a $1 patron reserves your spot as one of the first 1000 fans and I will share updates about the altruistic projects that are in motion around the world! A big THANK YOU!
I will also invite you to alter the outcome of gameplay through survey participation.
- Videos of my personal journey as a Presentville player
- Clues about the happenings at live shows
- I will also invite you to alter the outcome of gameplay through survey participation.
- All Previous Rewards
Presentville emerged from action research I conducted in five continents between 2008 and 2010. My field research illuminated how different cultures tell stories using play in both education and social change. I conducted dozens of playful video interviews with people of all ages. I asked them to hold stuffed animals while we spoke and invited them to share a story of their life, the toys in hand, or something wholly out of their imagination. These interviews birthed a cross-cultural community storytelling modality. It also generated the basic structure that players in Presentville use to this day to share their stories and further their goals within the game.
One way Presentville players experience the game is through live art shows where they are invited to confront and experience their personal relationship to the world's most pressing problems. Every show is one of a kind, incorporating costume play as well as immersive and interactive technology. I use real-world performance, virtual reality, and augmented reality to address topics ranging from homelessness, gang culture, equality, animal welfare and solutions for a more sustainable future for all beings.
The Sammy Bear Home Free Project is an example of how my art births real-world solutions to hard to face systemic challenges. In 2009, a player in Manchester, UK offered his favorite childhood toy named Sammy to begin the journey of helping solve issues of homelessness. The toy literally traveled around the world collecting stories and ideas as it made its way to the US and across the Western United States. Dozens of players contributed to Sammy’s quest to discover the best solutions for homelessness and affordable housing.
In 2012, a homeless player in Colorado brought Sammy Bear to life after I cut the toy apart and turned it into a bear costume. He lived on the streets exploring the public's reaction to the bear costume. It was one of the first characters to “come to life” from toy form to human performer. That’s when Sammy Bear became a Community Character performed by players considered homeless or those seeking deeper insight into the experience of homelessness.
Dan, one of the most dedicated senior Presentville Players suddenly became homeless in 2016. He lost his retirement fund and house in the 2008 recession. His pure heart and dedication paid off when our Presentville community rallied for his well being in a gift that would keep on giving! We raised $65,000 to buy a trailer home in Boulder Colorado for Dan. He is now housing himself there and has also provided shelter for 6 other players in need, operating the first Presentville home of its kind. As part of the game, Dan will gift the home forward to another player once he is finished with it so it continues to create benefit within the community.
In 2018, I began the second Sammy Bear Home Free campaign. This time with Dave Swallow, a Lakota Medicine Man and one of the Headsman for the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Tribes. Dave lives in extreme poverty on Pine Ridge Reservation and works tirelessly to lift his tribe out of intergenerational poverty caused by cycles of injustice, racism, addiction, and abuse.
The Sammy Bear Home being built with Dave and his community incorporates modern eco-building techniques. Using aircrete we are working together with the community to construct a 1000 sq. ft. teepee. Intended to serve as a prototype for future affordable new-housing construction, this Sammy Bear Home is also designed with traditional Lakota wisdom and the mission to bring systemic solutions to the Pine Ridge housing crisis.
Every aspect of my art is driven by the lofty goal of freeing all beings from suffering and addressing modern challenges through storytelling and innovation. The Presentville Game proves that a community of willing players can change lives and affect real-world change through creativity, dedication, and innovation.
On my Patreon page, I share stories of the characters that have been birthed from the game, my process of creating avatars, videos about my art and altruistic projects, as well as access to my live art shows and one of a kind experiences.