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The Builders Association and dbox, SUPER VISION: THE 'CRUSH' SCENE

SUPER VISION tells three stories

1. As he crosses successive borders, a solitary traveller gradually is forced to reveal all of his personal information, until his identity becomes transparent, with no part of his life left outside the boundaries of datasurveillance.

2. A young woman (Jen), addicted to the white noise of constant connection, maintains a long-distance relationship with her Grandmother. As she makes efforts to digitally archive her Grandmother's past, the Grandmother slips into senility.

3. A father covertly exploits his young son's personal data to meet the demands of the family's lifestyle. This ploy escalates beyond the father's control, until he is compelled to disappear. His wife and son are left with a starkly diminished data portrait, and his escape is shadowed by the long reach of the datasphere.

Video streaming: Family Scene 3 ('Crush' Scene)

James Gibbs

Nick Kaye: Were there specific issues that you needed to address in bringing the family sequences to resolution – in developing the relationship between the virtual room and the work of the actors?

James Gibbs: They were developed simultaneously with the performance and it is very hard to say what drove what. The example I would give in the family scene is this idea we had of making the den – this created abstract computer space - and then using that to enmesh John Fletcher Sr. in his data activities. That came fairly early on after being in meetings with Marianne Weems, Constance DeJong and Stewart Laing and finding ourselves over and over again looping back to the den or study as being the place he created these manipulations - but wanting to physicalise electronic activity. We gave him a space on stage that looks like a part of his activity with the computer. Then came the idea of creating what we always referred to as ‘the crush,’ where his den expands and starts to destroy or crush part of the living room set. It came out of interactions - and perhaps out of David Pence’s performance as the father – as the volume got turned up on that, the set could respond to it. So finally we have this moment where a virtual space overwhelms a physical space, but the idea emerged from the process.

Uploaded Image

Uploaded Image
The ‘crush’ scene: the projected grid moves left diminishing the projection
of the room. Onstage, left to right: Owen Phillip (John Fletcher Jr.), in projection;
Kyle deCamp (Carol); David Pence (John Fletcher Sr.) live and in mediated
Video stills.

Nick Kaye: That very directly goes into the notion of the architecture articulating the narrative. Yet, at the same time, because there is a filmic quality to the integration of the projected and live sequences, there’s a kind of naturalness when you watch it.

James Gibbs: I think when we first put the family kitchen up as a still image and tried to rehearse some of the lines, all of us - Marianne most of all - were a little concerned about the traditional theatre or drama – about having this family talk around some as yet un-stated problem in their kitchen. Then we had the grid/study space slide on - and the immediate impulse came to have David Pence sit down and bring the screens and grid to the front. In that whole moment we were all tremendously relieved, because of setting this thing up and then breaking it. Like you say, there is something fluid about what is happening on stage - and I think that is what made us feel comfortable about pursuing this.

see also: architecture | musicality | narrative architecture | the family room | virtual architecture |


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