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The Builders Association and dbox, SUPER VISION: DATA ENVIRONMENT

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 5 (The North)

David Pence

Nick Kaye: Dan Dobson talked about the presence of the birds. The scene in the north when the birds are finally seen, however distant, is very powerful. You seem to go to the north to escape, but also to be in a ‘real’ place. The appearance of the flock of birds in the distance, then coming closer, relates visually to the dbox imagery of the data breaking up and coming back. So there is something there about an overlapping of imagery and references about all the webs—the web of virtual imagery, the web environment, the data environment in which everybody in the show is somehow being constituted. Then you find—in this beautiful simulation of a natural environment, in the visual score—that they are just there. There are all those implicit references, but then it is not really resolved. The birds appear, and then they are gone. There is some kind of equation the piece is making—in the way it’s told as well—between this virtual landscape and the natural.

Uploaded Image
Onstage: David Pence (John Fletcher Sr.)
Video still.

David Pence: I’m fascinated that he talked about the birds. They seem to be there in one form or another in all of the important moments of our narrative. Carol and I talk about birds in the first scene. Then there’s that beautiful passage with John Fletcher Jr. and Carol calling, ‘I’m here, I’m here.’ From my character’s point of view, Carol has a very important speech in the first scene in which she talks about ‘the dread.’ It’s a scene in which essentially I’m trying to get her to leave the house and go to the park so I can get back on the web. I am urging her out the door, and she has this speech about the dread. Even though I need to turn away from her to the computer, I made a choice as an actor to really listen to that speech and really take it in, because I allude to the dread after I go north. In the Arctic landscape, I see birds through the binoculars, and I remember Johnny and apologise to him. I use myself as a model for him, saying ‘You will find a new way, just like me—like your warblers. They get the signal and they go.’ The dread. So that extraordinary moment of regret and guidance is delivered through the imagery of the birds.

see also: data birds | data body | immersiveness | the family |


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