Feb 25 - Mar 12, 2021

14-day collaborative research on Instagram
February 25 / 10:00am -to- March 11 / 10:00am EST

Showing on Instagram Live
March 12 / 7:00pm EST

An online research and performance project by Michael Caldwell,
featuring music/sound by Shamik Bilgi, James Bunton, and Melody McKiver

Supported and hosted by lemonTree creations

Occurring exclusively on lemonTree’s Instagram platform, all within a 15-day time period, Subject Virtual seeks to lay bare the ingredients and frameworks of a collective choreographic process, in the midst of our shared and distant isolation.

Starting on February 25th, Michael will ‘takeover’ our Instagram feed for fourteen (14) days, to create posts and stories that encourage response from the viewers; exploiting the options that are native to the platform.

Questions related to movement and composition will guide the viewer towards response and comment. As well, questions related to music/sound, the architecture of Michael’s personal space, the lighting, costumes/wardrobe, and camera positions intrinsic to the limitations and opportunities of creating in isolation, will also be in play. 

Subject Virtual culminates in a public showing of the research on Instagram Live on March 12th, from Michael’s condo apartment in downtown Toronto, immediately followed by a post-showing conversation between Michael and lemonTree Associate Artist, Ryan G. Hinds.

Michael will retain autonomy over certain aspects of the work, in respect to appropriate content, transitions, duration, and production/technical elements. As well, Instagram poses its own restrictions on content, within which the project must abide. Though as much as possible, the content of the work is guided and directed entirely by the viewer.

In this moment of social and physical isolation, where can we gather and how do we create together? Subject Virtual is a process-driven explorative research project, which asks questions about ownership and authorship, within the context of collaborative choreography. Who owns ‘movement’ and when does artistic inspiration turn into copying or appropriation? This questioning is amplified, as it sits within Instagram as a social platform, with its nebulous privacy and ownership policies for artistic works. This project also brings private vs. public into hyper-focus, while raising questions about the 'performative self' on social media - what we choose to reveal or conceal online.


Subject Virtual is supported and hosted by lemonTree creations, with additional support from Buddies in Bad Times, Nightswimming, and Volcano Theatre, through the Ontario Arts Council’s Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators.
Cast & Crew
created and performed by
Michael Caldwell
SOUND / Music by
Shamik Bilgi
James Bunton
Melody McKiver
Q&A Hosted by
Ryan G. Hinds
Online Project Assistant
Jonathan Homsey
Michael leaning on the side with longer hair and his arms reaching on the opposite side.
Photos of Michael Caldwell by Aria Evans and Kristi Kennedy.