Formed in 2013, A Wake of Vultures (WOV) is a project-based interdisciplinary performance company. WOV is a research, development, and producing vehicle for the works of its three members: Nancy Tam (music, sound design, theatre), Daniel O’Shea (film, theatre), and Conor Wylie (theatre). Switching between individual and collective project leadership, we connect with local, national, and international communities through collaboration and touring.
We began collaborating and bonding as friends over our shared fascination in social rituals, science fiction, anime, and questions of reality and perception. We follow our idiosyncratic curiosities, blending low-brow inspirations with highfalutin ideas, creating bizarre convergences that propose hybrid visions of the future. Our work is marked by formal detachment, ritual, playful misdirection, unstable perspectives, and a blend of retro and new technologies, taking diverse forms like audio walks, performative installations, and plays. WOV has been presented in Canada, the US, Germany, and Hong Kong.
Individually, we are freelance artists thriving inside Vancouver’s independent performance scene through fruitful and ongoing collaborations with Fight with a Stick, Theatre Replacement, Music on Main, Plastic Orchid Factory, MACHiNENOiSY, Radix Theatre, Justine Chambers, Rob Kitsos, Playwrights Theatre Centre, rice&beans theatre, Remy Siu, and many others. Each collaboration provides us with new methodologies, skills, and vocabularies to bring back to A Wake of Vultures.
In many ways, we three are hybrid people: we practice a variety of artistic disciplines; we come from a mix of settler backgrounds (Europe + Asia); we have differing relationships to gender and queerness. These notions of identity inform our work, but don’t define it. We prefer to live in the margins. It is natural to us that many of our collaborators come from marginalized or underrepresented communities, with regards to race, queerness, gender, and disability; we value collaborations with artists who are critical, interdisciplinary, and intercultural in their mindsets.
WOV is an ongoing, evolving collaboration bonded by an intense friendship: we eat together, dance together, work together.
Conor Wylie is a performer, writer, and director creating experimental theatre. He lives and works in Vancouver, BC, located on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples, including the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) nations. Conor regularly collaborates with Theatre Replacement, Hong Kong Exile, and many members of Vancouver’s esteemed Progress Lab consortium. He is the current COLLIDER Artist-in-Residence at Theatre Replacement.
In recent years, science-fiction and videogame aesthetics have figured prominently in his works. He co-wrote and performed Visitors from Far Away to the State Machine with Hong Kong Exile, about two aliens on an erotic honeymoon to Earth, performed live on webcams and featuring animations inspired by several generations of videogame graphics. He also collaborated on Theatre Replacement’s MINE, a cinematic performance investigating mythical, pop-culture, and personal stories of mothers and sons, performed in the sandbox videogame Minecraft. His works have played across Canada at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, The Cultch, Music on Main, Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), Uno Festival (Victoria), Summerworks (Toronto), and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival (Yukon), and toured around Iceland, the UK, and Hong Kong.
In 2017, he was selected as the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist by Marcus Youssef. In 2019, he was chosen as the Siminovitch Prize Protégé by his dear mentors James Long and Maiko Yamamoto. In 2021, Conor will join the writing team of a new videogame studio called sunset visitor 斜陽過客.
Daniel O’Shea makes theatre, designs projections, and creates films, using technology and design as a keystone to support narrative and deepen dramaturgy. In his own works PKD Workshow (2013) and Are we not drawn onward to new era (2018), Daniel employs a low-fi DYI aesthetic, exposing the guts of the performance machinery in parallel to the convoluting the ideas spectating. In 2020 he completed his first feature length film collaboration centred around pre-extradition bill Hong Kong. His work focuses on states of presence, unbalancing audienceship and novel constructions of light through design and new media. Daniel’s artistic research has explored the ephemeral nature of a ‘self’, interruptions of technology on human processes, and the results cognitive dissonance.
Daniel’s work has been seen in Canada and internationally. Daniel is engaged with Vancouver’s thriving contemporary performance scene and often engages in crossover with indie film and the digital arts.
Nancy is a sound artist who works and lives as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her work fuses sound and performance as primary mediums for the collaborative devising of interdisciplinary performances. Nancy is a founding member of the interdisciplinary performance collective A Wake of Vultures as well as the Toronto-based Toy Piano Composers collective. As a performance maker, Nancy works closely with Fight With A Stick performance company, having devised and collaborated on the Critic’s Choice Award winning show Revolutions in 2017. Her compositions, performances, and collaborations have toured in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, the U.S. and throughout Canada. An excerpt of her latest multi-media composition Walking at Night by Myself will be touring to Hong Kong in April 2019.