Behind the curtain of our everyday reality exists a sprawling and constantly evolving world of dream and inspiration… It’s a back door to energy which has an independent existence, relying on it’s own laws of myth, archetype, desire, and story. These elements motivate all of our thought and action at the conscious level. Understanding these laws and their connection to our interests and actions is a key to creating durable moments.
Using media and interactivity in engagements consciously mixes the immediacy and fidelity of the present live experience with the ingrediants of these unconscious influences. “Onstage” we can see the objective world, the actual players. From the layers of media and interaction we have a window to the inner life, and the underlying structure of narrative. Our inner voices…
Art exists in this synthesis of dreams and reality. It’s where tension that demands attention is created. Destiny is foretold. Struggle unfolds. Love blooms. Journeys begin. Guides are encountered.
Media and interactivity is the loudest voice, If it speaks a different story than the target narrative it wreaks havoc on a coherent audience experience.
Mixing media with ‘live’ experience is an old form. For well over a century we have used this technique in western forms of art. It goes back further. It is primal. The shadows of performers on the wall, cast by fire, inspiring dreams and nightmares, began it…
It made mythology real. The humans in those caves glimpsed their gods.
Michaelangelo said that beauty is the purgation of superfluities. A stage setting or immersive installation is not merely a background. It is not simply a picture. Ideally it avails itself of ingenuity, but to feature the ingenuity is obvious and dangerous. It demands enormous effort in order to appear effortless.
In a live and interactive experience all that is actual must go through a metamorphosis. It must become truth. It must feel, inevitable. This sounds hyperbolic, but it is SO important. Our outer eye observes, our inner eye sees. Evocation speaks to this inner eye.
“It is beauty I seek, not beautiful things” – Plato
So… Setting is presence. It is mood. It is the ticking sound of hot metal under the sun. A feeling of something just around the bend. Foreboding. Tension. It spells out nothing, leaving the space in our imaginations for anything.
In Romeo and Juliet it is not the knowledge of the atmospheric conditions of northern Italy that count, but the scenic response to the amazing verse created by Shakespeare.
Two amazing Lighting Designers of the 20th century, Jeannie Rosenthal and Tom Skelton both observed that when design is totally successful, it totally disappears. Striving for this is critical. Otherwise our audience is watching television with a puppet show in front of it.
Plays, concerts, operas, environments are living dreams. Don’t exhibit. REVEAL.
We are artists of occasion. We understand architecture, but we aren’t architects. We can paint pictures, but we aren’t painters. We speak using the language of film, but we are not film makers. We are all of those things. Primarily we are poets.