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The Builders Association and dbox, SUPER VISION: LIGHTING

SUPER VISION tells three stories

1. As he crosses successive borders, a solitary traveler 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.

Allen Hahn

Allen Hahn: It was clear from reasonably early on that we were talking about a very shallow playing space, which was the whole width of the stage, and the technicians and performers would be part of the stage picture are throughout.

So that presents very strict parameters to work from with the lights and then, once we got into rehearsal at St Anne’s (St Anne’s Warehouse, New York, summer 2005), it was a question of trying to provide opportunities to play with and, at times, against, what James Gibbs was doing – which is to say experimenting with how to integrate the performers into the video… whether suggestions of directionality of the light within the video could translate convincingly into a directionality in the light on the performers and at other times when it seemed more appropriate to pull the performers out from the background.

Uploaded Image
Left to right: Kyle deCamp (Carol), David Pence (John Fletcher Sr.)
Video still.

Uploaded Image
Left to right: David Pence (John Fletcher Sr.), Kyle deCamp (Carol).
Video still.

Uploaded Image
Left to right: David Pence (John Fletcher Sr.), onstage; Kyle deCamp
(Carol), onstage; John Fletcher Jr. (Owen Phillips) in projection.
Video still.

Nick Kaye: Peter Flaherty was talking about the complexity of lining up the relationship between the light in the garden, the light in the video projection of the room, and the lighting of the performers to create this sense of unity in the family scenes, because of the direction of the sunlight.

Allen Hahn: I think two things happened. We tried experimenting with directionality and the light on the performers to reflect the apparent directionality of the light in the video - and we were able to do that successfully to an extent, but it didn’t work to the extent we imagined it might. And to do that convincingly would require an investigation on its own terms. So what ended up happening is that the video imagery of the spaces in the family scenes moved to less strongly directional light in the rendered images of the room- and the light sort of met them half way, because it just worked better on stage. I am actually going to be teaching in the spring and I hope to do a kind of laboratory type project where the students can explore that.

Nick Kaye: Where are you doing that?

Allen Hahn: At Carnegie Mellon– but it is something that I know a bit about and gotten deeper into. New design problems have presented themselves to me in doing all these different projects with the company, which is one of the reasons I keep coming back. And, of course, it is certainly an increasingly popular choice to include video in stage presentation and it’s very much to Peter Flaherty’s credit and to Chris Kondek’s credit before him that video is so well integrated into the stage action. Its very sexy stuff – video - all the interns want to be a video intern, and only the real stragglers and idealists want to be lighting interns for instance. But it is very easy to get carried away with the technology and the medium and the sexiness of it. I think the company’s work has moved over time in a direction of really integrating the technology with the performance. And that has come in no small measure from having Peter Flaherty and Chris Kondek as the people responsible for video - and both of them being people who would rather have their work make a case for itself as part of something greater than like ‘ hey look at me’.

see also: costume | material presence | projection | visual language |


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Page last modified by nk Tue Dec 26/2006 09:14