M. Mara-Ann is San Francisco, California based American writer, vocalist, media artist, and artistic director of Flying Deer Theater and WOOD Press.|
Born to a family of nature enthusiasts, M. Mara-Ann spent much of her young life growing up on the back of a horse in the wilderness. Summers were spent exploring the Colorado Rocky Mountains on horesback with her family, which fostered a strong affinity for nature and matters of the environment. While other girls were learning to use their curling irons and talk on the phone, she was learning how to build a fire in the rain, fly fish for dinner in an alpine lake, and navigate the rugged beauty of the Colorado wilderness. During the urban school year, Mara played flute in the school band, devised elaborate science faire projects, and ran cross-country with her journalism teacher. Once at college, she started listening to public radio, discovered critical theory, and began protesting injustice.
Via undergraduate studies in Boulder and Sweden, Mara moved to San Francisco in the summer of 1991 to join the avant-garde arts community and coincidentally dropped in for a new era in electronic music and the emergence of the world wide web. Spanning more than a decade, her work has been inspired and influenced by San Francisco Bay Area experimental writing, music, and performance ; trans-world explorations through Asia, Europe, and the Americas — including India, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam; mindful practices in yoga and meditation; and a continuously evolving love affair with the wild beauty of California's flora, fauna, and her endlessly innovative West coast culture. This rich combination of people, places, and experiences has tempered Mara into a multi-media collaborator integrating text, music, dance, video, and theater. She has studied with Lyn Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, Katherine Mezur, George Lakoff, Carla Harryman, Juliana Spahr, Stephen Ratcliffe, Walter K. Lew, Maggi Payne, Molly Holm, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Kathleen Fraser, Gino Robair, and Pauline Oliveros. Mara holds an MFA from Mills College in creative writing with cross disciplinary emphasis in music, media, and performance.
As an artist working with language, M. Mara-Ann expresses her creativity through writing, singing, and media installation-performance. Inspired by the musical qualities of language, the architecture of text and meaning, her love of theory and science, and the interplay between nature and technology, Mara's creative process combines a passion for *hybridity* and *experimental forms*. Focusing her work largely on the topic of environment, from the personal to the political, Mara's artistic process often involves the creation of a core manuscript such as lighthouse, or more recently Containment Scenario, from which a family of related multi-media works emerge both as excerpt and exponent. This constellating dialogue can be seen with the CD Luminous, the audio-visual installation the mirrorrim, and the multi-media installation-performance Containment Scenario as they relate to the book Containment Scenario: DisLoInter MedTextId entCation: Horse Medicine (OBooks). As a poet that sings, a writer who performs, and a storyteller creating immersive multi-media experiences, Mara's latest installation-performance work, The Containment Scenario Project, focuses on the current environmental situation through the lens of improvisational music-dance-media-theater and explores the language used to discuss climate change as we attempt to name and un-name the ineffable.