Mammalian Diving Reflex

Mammalian Diving Reflex, led by Darren O’Donnell, Eva Verity and Jenna Winter, is a prize winning Canadian research and performance art company from Toronto. Since 1993, it has been realizing projects in collaboration with schools, companies, senior citizen’s homes, and festivals. They are interested in the relationship between power and powerlessness and questions of the equity, marginalization, and dignity of children. With surprising shifts of perspective, they introduce a new quality to well-rehearsed relationships between the individuals and their community. Their best-known works included Haircuts by Children, The Best Sex I Ever Had, and the manifesto The Mammalian Protocol for Collaborating with Children. Mammalian Diving Reflex received several awards such as the Toronto Arts Foundation's Arts for Youth Award in 2009 and most recently the Harbourfront Centre's Fresh Ground New Works Award in 2010. Mammalian Diving Reflex develops ideal entertainment for the end of the world.

With the project Children’s Choice Award, Mammalian Diving Reflex opened the Ruhrtriennale’s program series No Education in 2012. At the center of this project is the notion of the competent child. This year artistic director Darren O’Donnell and the members of the children’s jury from 2012 will engage in a new, staged experiment where a handful of spectators become the subject of artistic long-term observation. In this project, entitled Small Talk in Daft Hell, rituals, rules, and roles are put to the test.