Chris Hardman, Artistic Director / founder, Antenna Theater, 1980-present.
Since 1980, non-profit Antenna Theater has produced all audio, experiential, and performance works conceived by Chris Hardman. Internationally recognized for “Walkmanology” experiments — the use of the portable audio player as an actual performance tool — Antenna has produced more than thirty of Hardman’s original interdisciplinary pieces. Antenna’s “audients” have found themselves inside immersive mazes, carnival-like environments, interactive installations, site-specific performances, radio programs, guided tours and giant walk-through sculptures. Past works have combined cutting edge audio technology with interview-driven sound designs, puppetry, masked movement, 3D projections, sensor-tripped animation, sculptural objects, features of the natural landscape, and prefabricated environments.
Hardman’s Antenna has also transformed the audio tour into an artistic medium by applying Walkmanology principles to museum exhibitions and historic sites. Nearly all large museums world-wide and most prominent historic sites use Antenna Audio for their sound interpretation. This former division of Antenna is now owned by Discovery Communications.
Chris Hardman grew up in Los Angeles and went to Goddard College in Stowe, Vermont. There he worked with Bread and Puppet Theater, creating giant masks for street performances. His first commission was in 1970 re-designing and fabricating the fun house at Coney Island, New York. He then moved back to Los Angeles and then to Sausalito, California where he co-founded Snake Theater in the mid-seventies. Snake Theater was one of the pioneers in the Bay Area of site-specific performance with such productions as Somewhere in the Pacific, Ride Hard Die Fast, Auto, Her Building, and 24th Hour Cafe.