Darren O'Donnell

Organization Details


I'm a novelist, essayist, playwright, director, designer, performer and Artistic Director of Mammalian Diving Reflex. My books include: Social Acupuncture, which argues for an aesthetics of civic engagement and Your Secrets Sleep with Me, a novel about difference, love and the miraculous. My best-known work is Haircuts by Children, which was first created in collaboration with the children of Parkdale Public School in 2006. In addition to my artistic practice, I am currently an M.Sc. candidate in Urban Planning at the University of Toronto and plan to apply this knowledge to art-making. Mammalian Diving Reflex is a research-art atelier dedicated to investigating the social sphere, always on the lookout for contradictions to whip into aesthetically scintillating experiences, producing one-off events, theatre-based performance, videos, installation, theoretical texts and community happenings. Company members range in age from 13 to over 80 years old. Past work includes: Nuit Market, Eat the Street, Haircuts by Children, The Children's Choice Awards, Slow Dance With Teacher, A Suicide-Site Guide to the City, Monster Makers, The Best Sex I've Ever Had and Old Women Shooting Guns. Mammalian Diving Reflex's work has been presented around the world in Birmingham, Bologna, Brisbane, Brussels, Calgary, Chicago, Cork, Derry, Edmonton, Enschede, Greensboro, Iceland, Inverness, Kitchener-Waterloo, Kuopio, Lahore, Launceston, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Milan, Mumbai, Montreal, Newcastle, New York, Norwich, Nyon. Prague, Oldenburg, Oslo, Ottawa, Perth, Portland, Regina, Sydney, Tasmania, Terni, Trondheim, Vancouver and Victoria.

Thoughts About Art and Community