Name, Meaning, Misson

The name The Ransom Corp. arrived on the scene in mid-1998, a couple of months after the founders had co-hosted a five-day festival called Remain: 5 Days of Myth and Ritual that had introduced and inspired many of the people who would form its nucleus. It is rumored, but has never been fully substantiated, that the name was discovered during a hallucinogen-inspired, absinthe-infused reading of The Last Ransom Note by a member of the Assault Poetry Unit at the Roxy Theater in Prague at 3 am. If this did happen, it was after a long-delayed train ride through the Slovakian country side that canceled a DJ assignment for that night, opening the evening for inner voyaging to the naming land.

ransom n. a price paid for the release of a prisoner; v.t. To redeem from captivity (O.Fr.L. Redemptio, buying back)
corporation n. united body (L. corpus, body)

How are we bound, rather than freed, by our physics, our society—economically, socially, politically, culturally--and our individual minds? What is the ransom that will free us from that captivity?

The Ransom Corp. was a united body with a mission to extract the ransom that will free the human spirit.

In the context of theater and art, "Ransom" plays on the idea of a "captive audience." The theater or gallery or carnival, wherever this kind of theater or gallery or carnival is called into existence, is a highly-charged setting and context for discovery, transformation, catharsis and other fruits of heightened awareness. Brought or drawn to this setting, the audience is captive until some resolution or insight has been reached.

Use of "Corporation" invoked the dark, symbolic and TOO-OFTEN-TO-BE-REAL vision of the hierarchical funneling of power, greed, the bottomline drawn by those at the top, ends before means, the environment as raw material, individuals reduced to customers and life force reduced to work force with all the compromises this entails. We appropriated Corporation in order to serve as the antithesis to this dark vision. We imagined a Corporation dedicated to the remediation and prevention of the damage done to the human spirit by ascribing to, internalizing and participating in this kind of mass culture. The main method of remediation and prevention was to create the conditions for celebration, creation, collaboration, artistic exploration and actions and performances that break the stale norms of daily life and daily mind.