This conversation among a trio of interdisciplinary practitioners moves nimbly between a palace, a shed, and a kitchen—with a trickster spider as totem. Reflections on a new opera based in African folklore produced as a multimodal collaboration in Europe extends to the DIY-DIT principles of independent art spaces and the backyard appeal of a tiny space for big ideas, and concludes with a thought experiment for a new kind of urban incubator that might better attend to the stubbornly nested complexities of the city the contributors all call home: Cape Town, South Africa. The conceptual flies caught in their dialogic web include building new infrastructures to sustain polyvocal vocabularies, the necessary art of burning down and building up, opting for messy over linear time, and coming with your hands full to instantiate multimodal platforms of making.

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