The Another Language Performing Arts Company presented a fascinating and unique performance on April 23 - 25, 2004. InterPlay: Hallucinations featured local performances by actors Tony Larimer, Aaron Henry, and Elizabeth Miklavcic in a theatre/video work titled The Surface of Things. The Surface of Things incorporated three video streams and was combined with two video streams from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks featuring percussionist Scott Deal and animator Miho Aoki, and two video streams from the University of Maryland, College Park featuring dancer Brian Buck and video artist Nadja Masura. The seven video streams will be assembled simultaneously and mixed live by director Jimmy Miklavcic. The theme of this performance centers around the idea of a societal collective brain washing. Each artist has created works that are influenced by this theme.
Another Language Debuts:
One of the works debuting this April, as a part of the distributed tapestry of artistic pieces that will become the assembled puzzle of InterPlay: Hallucinations. The Surface of Things focuses on the stereotypes we encounter when first impressions, based on the way we look, are in direct conflict with the sum total of our experiences that define our real selves. The old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover," comes into play as a strong motivation for the creation of this work.
The work consists of a younger man, played by Aaron Henry, and an older woman, played by Beth Miklavcic and in between the two, a judge, played by Tony Larimer (described in the featured artist section above). The man and woman make assumptions about each other based on outward appearances and as the exchange continues, the judge, as an outside observer, sees the stupidity of what is happening. The judge becomes the glue that allows the two to drop their assumptions and see each other for the first time.
The work is complicated by the fact that the man and woman each hold video cameras and use the images projected by the cameras as ammunition for their assumptions. The images are projected on hanging frosted plexiglass, on the scrim, as well as, streamed directly over the Internet. Mirrors are incorporated into the work as a way for the man and woman to check their own surface about what is being said. Three different Flash MX animations are played during certain moments when the exchange has paused. The animations serve as an abstract apparition of the inner voice.
Being judged by outward appearances is a universal experience that most of us have had in one form or another, creating missed opportunities of many kinds. It is my hope that The Surface of Things will serve as an artistic statement that gives pause to our human tendency to make assumptions, before getting to know the real person underneath the surface.
University of Alaska:
Scott Deal, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, will perform recent percussion compositions as well as new work for this performance. He will also, along with Miho Aoki, present "Klaatu", an audio driven computer animation designed by Ms. Aoki. Ms. Aoki is Assistant Professor of Computer Art at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is on the faculty at Arctic Region Supercomputing Center in Alaska
University of Maryland:
Nadja Masura, an instructor at the Department of Theater and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, at the University of Maryland, will debut a new theater and video work dealing with misconstrued images of today's politics and government. Brian Buck, an independent choreographer & dancer will debut a new dance work that focuses on the many social hallucinations that we encounter in our daily lives.