The Wooden People layers ancient myths on the familiar melodrama of the telenovela, while grappling with ideas of queer existence, love, and a connection to the cosmos. The work expands on a central theme of a pre-Columbian origin story, which tells of pre-humans—“the wooden people”—who were eventually destroyed. The Wooden People is an episodic cinematic 360º series that was filmed at REDCAT in Los Angeles, where the theater took on a metaphorical role in the central narrative. TWP live event presented live scenes along with projected episodic content. The work has yet to be premiered in a VR viewing context.
Bustamante brings together luminaries of the Los Angeles performance art world, featuring live performances by Bustamante, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, San Cha, Dorian Wood, Pamela Martinez, Jose Guadalupe Sanchez lll, Sophia Alana Stevenson, Heather Acs, Leigh Ann Hahn, Sybil Mosely, and Michelle Juliette Carr. Projected episodic content also featured artists Ron Athey, Rafa Esparza, Gabriela Ruiz, Anne Bray, Steeg, Cassils, Cristy Michel, Hermes Pittakos, Pony Lee Musgrave, Young Joon Kwak, Sebastian Hernandez, Noé Olivas, and Barry Morse. Original score by Nick Hallett and costumes by OLIMA.