In March of 1997, Audart began planning an exhibition to merge art with technology, within a series of interdependent installations. Creative Director, Audrey Regan, had been researching performance structures and concepts, including promenade theater, the carnival and even the history of Vaudeville. During April, she invited five artists whose work she had discovered on the internet, to take part in the (as yet) unnamed art and technology exhibition.
By the end of May, the developing exhibition had fifteen participating artists. It soon become clear that the planned installations and art works had common denominators. Each was interdisciplinary and relied upon, or included technology, in one form or another, but the "circle" was appearing everywhere -- in the individual works of art (both physically and spiritually) and in the spatial format of the installations, where the concept of creating tents around performance areas was taking hold. Without conscious intention, the exhibition was assuming the characteristics of a circus before it actually became one by name.
The artist, David Dienes, was designing the "Spaceship Isis", with an interior grid for dance and performance, and a gossamer screen for video projection. Performance artist, Vanessa, would assume the role of the Goddess Isis, with costumes and body decoration, and her images would line the walls of the installation. Timothy Young proposed a sculptural installation titled "The Forest of Arragon" as a performance space for the life-sized puppet, Granath. Liz Whitney Quisgard was also preparing to transform the gallery's main corridor into an "Orient Express" passageway, by covering the walls with thousands of brilliant circles - a huge body of work which included paintings, mixed media assemblages, murals and weavings. Audrey Regan had also been meeting with Ragnar Lagerblad and Scott Graeber, who hoped to participate in the exhibition by building a shrine to display a medical research specimen - the perfectly preserved body of a baby girl with the condition known as "cyclocephalus" (a cyclops baby or a baby with one central eye). The Ragnar/Graeber exhibit presented the circle in new and important ways and the spiritual implications of birth and death reached out into other installations.
Once officially named, "The Art & Technology Circus" welcomed other artists with circus-specific proposals. John Toth began a series of fabric installations, for live dance and movement performances. He created "In a Circle", which became one of the exhibitions most prominent "stages" for dance, music and theater. Through a combination of paintings and sculpture, C Bangs depicted the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, with her late-father in the image of The Green Man, a male archetype of oneness with Earth, and herself as the Earth Goddess Gaia. An altar, at the center of the installation, held a clay sculpture of her father as he approached death, or the end of his life on earth. The ensuing months brought over fifty additional artists, composers, musicians, dancers and performers into the creation of the circus.
By August, four additional technology companies had joined the list of sponsors, by contributing technology equipment and funding. Audart's co-founder, Neil London, worked closely with each corporate sponsor, as well as with John Toth, to ensure the smooth integration of the technology into the Circus.
Audart contacted the Humane Society of the United States and requested one of its most important petitions (an outcry against ivory poaching and the inhumane treatment of elephants in circuses around the world) to be placed in a prominent circle in the exhibition. Several hundred signatures were gathered over the course of "The Art & Technology Circus" exhibition.