Experimental Performance

Saturday, September 13, 2014
at 3:00 pm

Harrison Auditorium, Penn Museum
3260 South Street, Philadelphia

Penn Museum Press Release

Borneo Odyssey is an experimental performance with audience interaction based on
the 1896-1898 Penn Museum expeditions to Northern Borneo made by William H. Furness,
Alfred C. Harrison, and Hiram M. Hiller. The Museum Archives collections and Hiller’s
A Brief Report of a Journey up the Rejang River in Borneo
are re-interpreted into performance
with a talking orangutan, recounting the tales of discovery.


Skowmon Hastanan
Artist in residence at Penn Museum, Producer, Prop Maker
Born in Thailand and immigrated to USA, Hastanan creates mixed media works relating to Diaspora experience. She has exhibited at various venues nationally and internationally. Recipient of commissions from MTA Arts for Transit, Asian Arts Initiative’s with funding by The Pew Charitable Trusts and Pennsylvania Humanities Council, NYC Percent for Art, fellowships including Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Italy, Urban Artist Initiative, The Lambent Fellowships, BRIO/ Bronx Council on the Arts, and Brooklyn/BRIC. Her work has been written about in Art In America and The New York Times, in publications by NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute, Bronx Museum/Fordham University Press, and San Francisco State University and in collections of Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Italy, and Davis Museum, MA.

Joel Holub
Orangutan, Script Writer, Stage Direction, and Prop Maker
Holub is a writer, visual, and performance artist based in New York City. He exhibited nationally and internationally. Recipient of Gottlieb Foundation Grant 2002, and BRIO/ Bronx Council on the Arts 1993

Jeffrey Steven Gottesfeld
Gottesfeld is actor, artist, writer and musician, also known as Jefe aka Johnny Chiba. He publishes and edits the website TEST PRESS DOT and works with infamous underground comix artist Mike Diana; As guitarist and songwriter, his video/song "Hairball or Puke" with the band Budda-Bang! gained international prominence.
He also works as indie sales samurai at CMJ (College Music Journal).

Theodore Kersten
Principal Composer, Musician
Kersten is a musician and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited his paintings and drawings in New York and nationally, and was awarded a residency at The Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN in 2007. As a musician and multi-instrumentalist, he has performed and recorded with bands such as Imaginary Icons and Saucer. He is currently writing music and playing with Pepper Kings, New York City’s only autoharp punk band.

click for Pantomime Music

Stephen Gauci
Musician (Flute/Clarinet)
Stephen Gauci is recognized as one of the leading saxophonists on the New York City
improvised music scene. Stricken by a childhood illness that has left him with a profound hearing loss, Gauci was drawn to the clear, deep, tone of the tenor saxophone. This was the first step in a lifelong relationship with, and investigation of tone, timbre, and especially voice. The nature of Gauci’s hearing loss are that outer sounds require of him the utmost level of concentration and focus. The flip side, however, is that inner sounds, and the inner voice, are magnified… crystal clear and singing. The intense outward focus developed as a result of Gauci’s hearing impairment has been turned inward like a laser to illuminate, and manifest, the inner voice. In the past 10 years Gauci has released sixteen records as a leader. He has performed at the Creative Improvised Music Festival (Austria), Rochester International Jazz Festival (New York), High Seirra Festival (California), Bumbershoot Festival, Folk Life Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival (Seattle, WA), and the Vision Festival (NYC). Gauci has toured throughout Europe including Sweden, Germany, Austria, France, Hungary, and Portugal.


Leesa Abahuni
Composer, Musician, Video and Sound Editor
Leesa is an artist based in New York. She has exhibited and performed both
nationally and internationally, including The Stone, NYC; 6th International Arts Biennial of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; ICA, London; Redux Projects, London; Gallery Mouri, Tokyo; HalfMachine Festival, Copenhagen; Eyebeam, NYC; Siggraph, Los Angeles; Location One Gallery, NYC, D.U.M.B.O. Arts Center, Brooklyn. She is a recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Grant and has an MFA from Goldsmiths, U.K.


Karen Ostrom
Video and Sound Editor
Ostrom is a Canadian born Brooklyn based artist working in photography, installation, video and most recently, animation. She is the recipient of MacDowell Colony Artist Fellowships, Canada Council for the Arts Grants, the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography from the Canada Council, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.

Punans from Bungan River, Upper Kapuas River


Katia Berg
Video and Sound Engineer
Berg is a radio host, freelance journalist, and sound engineer based in Berlin and New York City

Harrison and Tegang-Kyan Chief

Eric W. Schnittke
Magic Lantern, Assistant Archivist, Penn Museum

Marti Cormand
Prop Maker
Barcelona born Cormand is New York City based visual artist, represented by Josee Bienvenu Gallery. He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. Recipient of New York Foundation For the Arts Fellowship, Emerging Artist Award from The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, a grant from Generalitat De Catalunya, Barcelona, and Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.


Celeste Fichter
Prop Maker
Celeste Fichter was born in New Jersey in 1965 and holds an MFA in Photography and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has exhibited throughout the New York metropolitan area and been reviewed in the New York Times and Village Voice.

Toma Fichter
Prop Maker
Toma Fichter is a conceptual artist and photographer living and working in New York City


An Orangutan. Sintang, Kapuas River

The Borneo Project

North Borneo Historical Society

Rain Forest Rescue

Human Rights in Borneo

Earth Island Journal



Borneo Odyssey is sponsored by