The art and act of photography permits me to see this world as a stage. From my first ‘brownie’ to ‘polaroid’ to my first ’35mm analogue’ to ‘digital,’ the camera remains that necessary medium through which I can better frame and contemplate the ‘confluence of things.’ Something R. Murray Schafer would often allude to in his compositional discussions of ‘soundscape’ when directing his music-theatre works. It is this ‘perspective of things’ which remains very much part of my artistic pursuits when conceptualizing in theatre and opera to installation and image-based arts. Space and its sensorial abundance is a negotiable element of creativity for my body as much as it is for my mind to respect and inspire my practice in this age of uncertainty.
“Ultimately, photography is subversive not when it frightens, repels, or even stigmatizes, but when it is pensive, when it thinks.” Roland Barthes , Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, 1980
Thom Sokoloski trained and worked in New York City and Paris in the early seventies (LaMama ETC in New York City, La Mama de Paris, L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Polish Lab Theatre, Edward Hawkins Dance, Open Theatre and NOW Theatre). His theatre experiments were presented in Paris, New York City, Buffalo, Munich Turin, and the Fringe Festivals of Edinburgh and Avignon.
Returning to Canada in the late seventies, he co-founded The Theatre Centre, the Native Theatre School and Autumn Leaf Performance. Besides creating original performance works, he directed, produced and toured theatre and/or opera by Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, Shakespeare, R. Murray Schafer, Claude Vivier, Rainer Wiens, Jean Piché, Alain Thibault, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Gavin Bryars, Wende Bartley, Christopher Butterfield, etc.
Presenters/partners included the Canadian Opera Company, Tapestry Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Biennale Musiques En Scène (Opéra de Lyon), Festival de Liège, Musica Festival (Strasbourg), Sound Symposium (NFLD), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), WorldStage Festival (Toronto) and The Banff Centre.
In 2004, he left the performing arts per se so to pursue more integrated concepts of performance. His experiential approach to site-specific public art installations and curatorial perspectives attracted new partners and commissions from Toronto’s McLuhan International Festival of the Future, Nuit Blanche Toronto, Art Toronto, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Open House New York, Socrates Sculpture Park (NYC), Galerie du Nouvel Ontario (Sudbury), Art Spin (Toronto), National Capital Commission, Nuit North (Huntsville), Le Labo d’Art (Toronto), Burlington Public Art, and with new projects in the works.
His residencies have taken him from the interior of Amazonian rivers, the Aboriginal Shire of Mapoon (western Cape York in Far North Queensland, Australia and Mandvi (Gujarat India).