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The Builders Association and dbox, SUPER VISION: PLAYING TECHNOLOGY

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.

Uploaded Image

left to right: image of John Jr. (Allen Hahn) on screen; Kyle deCamp (Carol) onstage; David Pence, John Fletcher Sr. onstage and mediated live in close-up
photo by dbox

Marianne Weems

Nick Kaye: One of the interesting things that has come up when I talked to some people, David Pence in particular, is this sense that he is very aware of his performance being extended into the media. He is very aware of the extension and modulation of himself and his performance through the technology.

Marianne Weems: Well besides the obvious factors of mediatization, one thing I have noticed about a lot of the people I have worked with over and over again - performers and technicians - is that people who have a musical background understand this. David is a rock and roll player and that is why he has a sense of this. Certainly, with the operators, I can tell in seconds if somebody has a musical training, because the way you play the technology in performance has so much to do that.

David Pence

David Pence: I don’t know if other performers have talked about this, but I feel a very intimate onstage relationship with Dan Dobson. As the group has gotten more sophisticated about technology, the tools have changed. We used corded microphones at the beginning, then cordless microphones. Now each of us performs with a tiny microphone on a stem attached to his ear. I feel Dan right here, almost at my lips—he’s right inside the tip of that microphone. That’s partly a manifestation of the technology, but it’s also specific to the way Dan works. He isn’t merely an operator up there in the dark behind the audience—he really feels like a performer to me, and there is continual give and take between us. I can’t see him from the stage, but I feel him reacting to me. I can hear my voice grow a little more present. I can sometimes feel him pulling me back a little. It’s very sensual. He is playing me, and I am reacting to him.

Dan Dobson

Nick Kaye: Do you play the sound live during rehearsals itself?

Dan Dobson: Oh yeah - and in the show. The technology is as much a player as the actors. They are cuing off us - we are cuing of them. Everybody is doing is their thing and it’s never just press play and walk away. That always allows it to expand - people pick up on new things and things can change. It is always interesting. That is why we can run this for two years and not worry about it.

Nick Kaye: How open is the performance itself to change or development?

Dan Dobson: At this point, because we have it run a certain way and there are cues, in a sense it is rigid. But I could throw in a completely different piece of music and it would probably be interesting for actors, but I wouldn’t do it without rehearsing it. We have that kind of flexibility.


Nick Kaye: In the performance how much are you playing off the performers themselves?

Dan Dobson: I could make things, except for the fact that, you know, it will change their timings. Over the course of watching them I can do a little something right there on that word - or something like that, so I do play it with them lightly. That makes it that much more interesting.

----- (August 2006) since our interview everyone has gotten very comfortable with their score and now subtleties have been developed in my running the show with the actors’ performances. Its fun working on these little things that are not so blatant but work really well in the overall flow of the piece ------

The process for me really is just trying to make things that are fun and interesting and seeing what works and it just means making a lot of media and drawing it out. When you are starting that first part of the process it is just very painful. And it has been the same through all of the shows. That is just the way that we work. The thing is that it works, and so this time I was fully prepared for that pain.

see also: interactivity | musicality | playing to camera | performer presence | score |


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Page last modified by nk Wed Dec 27/2006 03:56
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