News: One Night Only: William Burroughs Adaptation "DECODER: Ticket that Exploded" at Pioneer Works July 8

G Lucas Crane and Jim Findlay. Photo credit: Marina Oriente
On Monday, July 8, 2019 at 9 pm, OBIE and Bessie Award-winning Restless Productions and Pioneer Works will present DECODER: Ticket That Exploded, the second installment of their multimedia-infused trilogy based on William Burroughs’ NOVA series (the full series - Soft Machine, Ticket That Exploded, and Nova Express - is being commissioned by the Chocolate Factory, where it will premiere in 2020). The production is part of a month-long company residency at Pioneer Works that includes workshops with writer, teacher, and scholar, and organizer of the Burroughs Centennial Conference at CUNY Alex Wermer-Colan,  who devised dramaturgy for the piece (July 15, 7-9 pm), and Brooklyn-based sound artist, performer, and musician G Lucas Crane (July 20, 1-5 pm).

DECODER: Ticket That Exploded uses the Burroughsian cut-up technique to create a unique blend of literature, live music, theatre, and technology, developed by a team of performers and designers – featuring multi-award-winning actor Jim Findlay and sound artist G Lucas Crane – will be shown as a special one-night event at Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn). The play reimagines the second book of William Burroughs’ cult sci-fi trilogy for the age of Trump, staging it as a live performance of broken media hallucinations, living text cut-up, and full-frequency psychedelia spun from mangled audio tape. The name DECODER comes from the 1984 German film inspired by Burroughs’ manifesto “The Electronic Revolution,” which explained how to employ tape recorders to cause civil unrest. “Burroughs has great insight into media and internet addiction,“ explains the director Mallory Catlett. “Junk is image, he said. DECODER cuts up the image prison to inoculate, like a vaccine against a virus, to strengthen your resistance to the media oversaturation that often tricks you into accepting injustice as normal, unavoidable and inevitable.”

DECODER: Ticket That Exploded uses disturbing and darkly funny images, words, and ideas to expose societal complacency in the systems that control us. At the center of the performance – directed with Mallory Catlett’s trademark hallucinatory style – is the tape recorder, the analog device that Burroughs himself used, which is connected to an array of digital sensors to create the cut-up machine he predicted. G Lucas Crane and Jim Findlay bring The Machine to life, acting as both fictional characters and real-time systems operators, decoding the present by cutting in episodes of Burroughs’ 1960s space odyssey. 

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at

DECODER: Ticket That Exploded
Based on a novel by William Burroughs
Created and directed by Mallory Catlett
Performed by Jim Findlay and G Lucas Crane
Sound and video manipulation by G Lucas Crane
Video by Keith Skretch
Interaction design by Ryan Holsopple
Dramaturgy by Alex Wemer-Colan
July 8, 2019 at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NYC


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