YT//ST was founded in late 2007 by performance artists alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood, born from the ashes of the late Lesbian Fight Club. Armed with mixed-race identities, mad illustration skills and a whole pile of home-brew junk electronics, alaska and Ruby wrote and performed the first mini 'Noh-Wave' Opera, 'YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN I' in April 2008. YT//ST continued to perform short homebrewed operas, eventually forming a network of Asian and Indigenous artists through collaboration and formed the current YT//ST collective. Montrealers had come to know YT//ST by their dazzling musical theatre performances in giant monochrome paper sets, sometimes in far out places, like the Montreal Eaton Centre Food Court at 2AM. Aesthetically, they blend the poorly appropriated styles of Noh, Chinese Opera, Chinese, Japanese and First Nations Mythology, Black & White Television, Psychedelia & Rock Operatics into a sensory feast of nigh-monochromatic costuming, unique hand-built musical instruments and their own mangaesque cardboard 'NEVERFLAT' style of 2.5D set design. YT // ST continues based in both Montreal & Toronto
2011 is a big year for YT//ST, as they complete their first full-length Opera, 'STAR', and release their first full-length LP on Psychic Handshake this summer. Several music videos are in the work, as well as a Canadian tour. Look forward to numerous projects coming to fruition.
The collective functions as a mutating and constantly evolving art cult that brings together individuals of Asian, Indigenous & Diasporic identity to perform/create as a collective. Working in multiple mediums including Installation, Theater, Music, Video, Animation, Illustration and Design, YT//ST negotiate cultural clashes between dominant cultures and those whose traditions are oppressed, erased or being eclipsed. We retell the mythologies, customs and stereotypes of our ancestors with our cartoon bodies as their vessels. We choose to replace colonial representations of ourselves and our histories with our own self-identification. We might dabble in pseudo-occult practices on occasion but they don't seem to do anything.