The Virtual Embrace
What fascinates digital artists is the ways in which their embodied existence is redefined in cyberspace. So they use digital technology to examine the interaction between the physical and the virtual…
–Dixon, Virtual Bodies
I was very inspired by the convergence of spaces in the third dimension. I find that the virtual embrace engages a different set of senses while other senses like touch stay dormant. Perhaps it is empowering and physically safer to interact in the virtual world. However, while there are no physical scars in the virtual world, there is also the chance that one may be hurt psychologically. It seems like people are unknowingly latching onto the idea of their disembodiment that they use it as a form of escapism from reality. My concept of the performance would portray a dystopia where the world is so chaotic and unlivable that people search for better living conditions in the virtual world. This causes a birth of a new civilization. The colony of a new race find and create a new life and take refuge in the third space.
In the third space, there is a new language in which people communicate. This is similar to how we communicate in Adobe Connect where we consciously/unconsciously look for visual clues and body language to understand the other person. It is like how the different movement of bees mean differerent things.
The timeline would be non-linear but if it was linear it would start where the leader and protagonist (Angeline) is depicted solely in the first space. After which, we the worker colony (NTU students) would be portrayed solely in the second space.
The convergence of both spaces sparks a change in the environment where it is first dark and ominous. Only sounds are heard and though the dancers are moving, they cannot be seen.
There is a struggle between the colony in the first and second space. Movement would be abrupt, fast and would convey the emotions of frustration and anger. For instance, dancers will begin in a state of disorientation, not knowing which direction they are going as the virtual world is in mirror image.
The dance would continue with images being constructed and broken down more increasingly but the colony is undeterred and they become bolder.
In the end, the colony remains a colony but they realise the need for both the first and third space. Instead of finding a utopia in the virtual world, the colony finds ways to address and accept their problems in both realms.
The more I think about the plot, the more I feel like it is similar to the chronicles of Narnia. No matter how big and safe the closet(Third space) is, one day you have to come out eventually.
Perhaps towards the end, Angeline can either move out of the stage towards the audience and engage the audience in the theatre to be part of her background. Simultaneously, the audience becomes initiated into the colony and they become performers in their own right.
Glitch here would translate into sound. There would be regular sound inputs where commercial music is played. When people in the first and the second space touch, there is a change in the sound. For instance, when a person maintains contact with the other, a phrase of the song would loop. This is intended to represent the rejection of perfect media and the empowerment of people to create their own content out of the works of others.