Reactor began life as an exhibition of the same name, staged in September of 2002, in which all the artworks focused around the active participation of the audience. The exhibition took place in the same warehouse building that also housed our two separate studio groups of Graze and Aldaran, and when we found out the building was doomed to be demolished to make way for student flats the core members of both groups banded together and formed something new: Reactor.

Reactor was both a collection of artists who worked individually but also an organisation that worked collaboratively to stage events and exhibitions, continuing the original ethos of interaction and involvement with the audience. This collaboration reached another level with the development of GHAOS: where previously we had generally worked individually on our own elements of Reactor projects, GHAOS projects were created entirely as a group under the sole authorship of Reactor. GHAOS methodology evolved an exuberant and darkly comic attitude, entwining complex systems with elaborate wordplay, often confusing and manipulating the audience but simultaneously encouraging them to involve themselves in the bizarre fantasies presented to them to make the leap from being passive spectators to ‘GHAOS Actors’. In October 2005 this cumulated in the event Total GHAOS: a totalitarian utopia ruled by the Reactor Party under the principles of GHAOS.

Post-GHAOS and following a period of assessment, Reactor decided to maintain the group practice and develop less frequent but more complex, large-scale events. Continuing to misdirect and confuse audience perceptions, initially under the secret identity of Ivan’s Dogs: a fake artists group from Northern Ireland, and then going on to develop events exploring social and group dynamics and psychological experimentation in The Geodecity Project and The Tetra Phase.

I left Reactor at the end of 2007 by which time we had staged over 30 events in 5 years and worked with numerous festivals, galleries and art organisations including the Angel Row Gallery, the NOW Festival, LIFT, Diskurs Festival and Castlefield Gallery.

IMAGES

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INFORMATION

Founded 2002, Nottingham
Presently located UK
Event Year Location
The Tetra Phase 2007 with Castlefield Gallery & Contact Theatre. Manchester, UK
Destination: Geodecity 2007 with Angel Row Gallery, QUAD & City Gallery. Leicestershire, UK
Ivan's Dogs, We Provide The Smiles 2006 with Sideshow. Nottinghamshire, UK
NAN-NANA, New Adventures In Networking 2006 with a-n magazine. Nottingham, UK
Function V 2005 at Spectacle, Birmingham, UK
Total GHAOS 2005 Nottingham, UK
Reactor Party Campaign 2005 Throughout the UK
Function IV 2005 Nottingham, UK
Ghouls & GHAOS 2005 with Screnplay Festival. Nottingham, UK
Trampoline II 2005 at Broadway, Nottingham, UK
Trampoline I 2004 at Broadway, Nottingham, UK
Reactor Russian Dancing (Shit) Bears 2004 at Duckie, London, UK
Not A Hope In GHAOS 2004 with diskurs 04. Giessen, Germany
Reactor Red Rooms Razzamatazz 2004 with You Are Here Festival. Nottingham, UK
Function III 2004 Nottingham, UK
The Reactor Party is for You, Comrade 2004 at Waygood, Newcastle
Reactor Barge Inn 2004 with LIFT. OXO Tower Wharf, London, UK
Horse Drawn GHAOS: The Barrel Organ 2004 with ...seen…04 & Q-Arts. Leicester & Derby, UK
GHAOS_ZX: Return of the Egg Box 2004 Nottingham, Leeds & London, UK
GHAOS Starts Here! 2003 with NOW Festival. Nottingham, UK
Toy and Dismantle 2003 at Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, UK
Function II 2003 Nottingham, UK
Function I 2003 Nottingham, UK
Reactor 2002 Nottingham, UK
Apocalypse Soon 2002 Nottingham, UK

ADDITIONAL

  • Amazingly Reactor continues despite my absence. To see what they’re up to these days go to www.reactorweb.com
  • A large proportion of past Reactor events have been funded by Arts Council England. Go to www.artscouncil.org.uk
  • Total GHAOS has it’s own website that extensively documents all the Reactor Party activities that took place, from LYNX sticker photos, to street actions and the final event itself. Go to www.ghaos.org
  • Ivan’s Dogs was a fictional Irish art group secretly created by Reactor to stage an event during Sideshow; the fringe festival of the Nottingham leg of the British Art Show 06 tour. To back up this subterfuge a website was created with faked documentation of previous events. Go to www.ivansdogs.com
  • Reactor curated the new media arts event Trampoline from 2004-05. Go to www.trampoline.org.uk
  • Reactor has worked with numerous other festivals, galleries and art organisations over the years including the NOW Festival, LIFT, Castlefield Gallery, Diskurs Festival, Angel Row Gallery, QUAD, The City Gallery, Broadway, Contact Theatre, a-n magazine, The Market Gallery and Waygood.

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