Harris & Ros Barron | Zone

Zone

The story of ZONE

In 1967, Ros and Harris Barron and Alan Finneran - a former assistant in Harris‘ sculpture studio - began talking about widening the sphere of their works to include elements of new technologies, to collaborate on what they saw as integrated "visual theater performance works."

What emerged was ZONE, a company of artist-technician-performers to realize full-scale visual theater productions. Thus the ZONE group was formed.

That Spring, at Boston‘s Institute of Contemporary Art‘s seminar in New Art, William Seitz, formerly Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the MOMA, then, Professor of Fine Arts and Director of Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, invited ZONE‘s initial production to take place at Brandeis University‘s Spingold Theatre.

« Ros Barron: The Eighth Coming

« Ros Barron: The Eighth Coming

ZONE has produced many full scale works, including an extended tour. It has been supported by foundations public and private.

« Ros Barron: The Eighth Coming
Full-scale light polarization set

« Harris Barron: Glide

ZONE‘s underlying philosophy is seen in their 1968 statement, quoted by the Boston Globe at the time of their first production:

The sense that life is mystery, forever elusive to the exclusively rational, is impetus to a celebration of events of visual emotional content which have the very particularized order of dreams and the subjective clarity of madness.

« Harris Barron: Glide

In the super-life of contemporary reality, intesity is frequently chaos. To define an intensity of meaning involves a presentation of highly specific images in various synchronized simultaneities. ZONE‘s live action, multiple film and slide images, cabalistic sound, and electronic sets combine in a kinetic ritual tableau to provide more than sensory involvement

« Harris Barron: Glide

For that October, initial production, each ZONE director presented one work of the three-part program. [The Eighth Coming; Glide;andWater Bodies]. The seven days of ZONE‘s first performances were sold out.

« Alan Finneran: Water Bodies

« Poster for Water Bodies
Posters were made for each of the three works.

« Alan Finneran: Water Bodies

WGBH television invited the ZONE directors to each accept a two-year, Rockefeller Artists in Television grant.

« ZONE at Plum Island, MA set for WGBH production: America Inc.

New York State Council on the Arts invited ZONE to tour thirteen SUNY colleges with a performance program. In 1970, ZONE toured for two months wth complex works, along with lectures-seminars.

« ZONE tour poster





« Zone on Tour: Space Strides

« Zone on Tour: Space Strides

That ZONE tour began with a performance at New York City‘s Automation House, a ‘new media’ center.

« ZONE 1970 Tour

Performance at Automation House, New York City

« ZONE 1970 Tour

Harvard University, The Architect‘s Collaborative, and Ise Gropius commissioned ZONE for a work to celebrate the first anniversary of Walter Gropius’ death. ZONE produced Beyond Bauhaus Theater

« ZONE: Silver Seconds

Harvard University, The Architect‘s Collaborative, and Ise Gropius commissioned ZONE for a work to celebrate the first anniversary of Walter Gropius’ death. ZONE produced Beyond Bauhaus Theater

« ZONE: Beyond Bauhaus Theater

« ZONE: Beyond Bauhaus Theater

« ZONE: Beyond Bauhaus Theater

« ZONE: Beyond Bauhaus Theater

The American Federation of Information Processing Societies [AFIPS], commissioned ZONE to produce Computer Theater, at MIT‘s Kresge Auditorium. This presentation‘s audio elements were electronic synthesizer compositions by Brown University‘s electronic music studio director, Gerald Shapiro.

« ZONE directors at MIT Lincoln Laboratory

« ZONE directors at MIT‘s Kresge Auditorium

« Vertical Element of ZONE: Computer Theater (1968)

« Zone: Computer Theater

« Zone: Computer Theater

« Zone: Computer Theater

« Zone: Computer Theater

« Zone: Computer Theater

The Guggenheim Museum commissioned Harris and Ros to produce a major work for the museum‘s 1972 Kandinsky restrospective exhibition. Harris and Ros created Das Gelbe Kláng – The Yellow Sound. They were awarded Guggenheim grants for their production. Alan Finneran had previously left the ZONE group to marry and move to California.

« ZONE: poster for The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound
Inflatable set ‘flower‘

« ZONE: The Yellow Sound

In 1970 Harris Barron, invited to teach at the Massachusetts College of Art, designed and founded the Studio for Interrelated Media [SIM] department, an outgrowth of the ZONE group.

The ZONE group, comprised of many individual artists, finally needed to dissolve in 1973 after its Guggenheim production ofThe Yellow Sound.