Collaborateurs of IMPACT 2010 produced a theatre of new genre which might be referred to as multimedia. Unfortunately the commercial world of computing has distorted that term, which has come to mean a computer system with sound and video. Originally, the term referred to simultaneous and competing media in a theatrical or gallery setting in which the elements of media competed for attention, and the viewer/listener assembled these into a private assemblage that varied from viewer to viewer. This was in contrast to Intermedia, in which the media were carefully orchestrated by the creators for a predetermined effect and mixed media, which was inherited from visual art culture and rested somewhere between the two other genre, including competing and coordinated media.
IMPACT Director John Gilbert has been experimenting with these genre since the 1960s, including his "multimedia" opera Rotation, which tested these ideas in various combinations. But now concepts of collaboration, new digital technology, networking, social platforms, and intermedia, create greater textural and conceptual possibilities. To enable these collaborateurs to realize their conceptions, IMPACT 2010 assembled an excellent staff to help the IMPACTORS shape their dreams into reality. Incidentally, collaborateurs is a word coined by JoEllen Dolan. It is a very appropriate term since it describes people working together who are very focused and extraordinary artists. More than just collaborators, collaborateurs.
What has changed dramatically in recent years, is not only the technology, but the 21st Century notion of collaboration, which is still undergoing transformation and means much more than accepting compromise among competing ideas of collaborateurs. IMPACT 2010 puts everyone at a new entry point in using technology to appropriate and develop artistic expression through collaborative media.
While the genre may still be difficult to define, it was easy to experience on Thursday, August 5th at Loewe Theatre in New York City in a collaborative media production, Rhythm of Chaos. Participants of IMPACT 2010 created new media work in less than two weeks, and what emerged was perhaps a new medium in which in the disparate elements of media have melded into a new format. This is consistent with McLuhan's observation of the emergence of a new medium which absorbs the practices and content of previous media before synthesizing a new format with its own idiosyncratic features.
While the work was performed live, it was also streamed live on the Internet. What is provided here are thumbnail descriptions and critiques of the collaborative work which integrated scenes created by interdisciplinary teams into a sequence that generated contextual meaning as it unfolded moment to moment. The reviews listed below show the personnel as a historical record of the collaborative teams.
RELAY-TION-I'M was a masterful blending of Korean traditional culture, journey, connection, transformation, and individuality in the context of the whole. This work progressed seamlessly through three sections, with a strong stamp of professional stage awareness.
A ram Kim: Choreography
Min-Kyung Shin: Costumes, designs
Soon Taek Hong: Music & audio composition
Garam Kim: Video
Musicians: Garam Kim: Live jangu Soon Taek Hong: Live taegum
Live Dancers: A ram Kim, Min-Kyung Shin, Garam Kim, Soon Taek Hong, Abigail Louto
This piece explored the nature of empathy through different media and technologies. Showing only the back of the walker created a distance between the audience and the subject. Placing the audience at the point of view of the subject was an attempt create empathy. The world trade center footage added a new level of political awareness. The music created a window into the mind of the subject, revealing feelings of melancholy, despair and finally hope as she walks by the new construction site of the World Trade Center Museum. Outside the theater, was a message board for exploring empathy as a concept with the audience and members of the community.
Bo-Yeon Kim: Co-director, lead actor
Soo-yeon Choo : Co-director, sound recording, dancer
Chang In Baek: Filming and cinematography, editing and mixing video
Laura Dickens: Composer, mixer
Ji Hoon Oh: Photography, ending credits
A surprise appearance by Lianne Sheplar planted in the audience continued the practice of extending the theatrical space into the audience and the aisles. Performing with panache and flair, Ms. Sheplar connected with audience in a playful reference to Bollywood music and dance epics.
ETERNAL RECURRENCE AND THE TONES OF CHAOS
The scene traced the development of a person throughout different stages of life where color and light symbolize the person's relationships. An underlying scheme controlled movement and color with a shift from simplicity to complexity, staring with slow movement and flowing towards a more chaotic movement and dance. The work explored the repetitive and cyclical nature of human life and society, the life cycle as a microcosm of human evolution, and chaos, chance, and randomness.
Frank Spigner: Music, audio, props
Young Jae Chon: Video, props
Eun Byowl Song: Stage performance, props
Hyo Jung Suh: Stage performance, props
Bo Eun Kim: Stage performance, props
Bo Yeon Kim, Heeyoung Lee, Yong Woong Won, Jee Yun Hong, So Hee Jeon
Set between the bustling streets of NYC and a dream world where the rules of daily life our turned upside down, the main character goes from dreaming about her future in her present day life to an upside down dream world where she struggles to make sense of the unusual characters that she meets. The work moves from confusion and chaos into harmony between the characters when the main character resolves herself to being part of this strange new world and all of the characters celebrate together.
The group used several elements to show the struggle between chaos and order. The metaphor of a grocery bag and fruit shows the struggle between the dreams of the future (the fruit) and the desire to contain them or "order" them (the grocery bag). The use of projections, electronic and recorded music, as well as live video effects, enhances the viewers experience and understanding of this original work.
Grace Choi: Lead actress, vocal recording, music design
Seunghwan Hwang: Lead actor, film director, film editor
Yoonseon Choi: Choreographer, music editor, dancer 1
Jaehyun Kang: Costume design, set design, dancer 2
Lianne Sheplar: Director/ C flute, alto flute, music design, dancer 3
This scene explored "what if we can choose our relationships…?” Three projections reveal the past, the present, and the future. These become the entanglements that trap us. This scene produced some of the most stunning images, revealing a character struggling with inner chaos in a search for order.
Charlotte Ahlstrom : Shooting video, making sound, editing video, dancer
Hyo Eun Jang : Shooting video, making sound, editing video, dancer
Hyun Joo Kim : Shooting video, editing video, making materials, dancer
Hyun Ji Lim : Shooting video, editing video, making materials, dance
Jae Hwang Lee : Shooting video, making sound, editing video, main character
The scene began with everyday life as a repetition from God’s perspective, then added relationships among people to change the direction of the narrative. It also shifted to the perspective of a girl. The effects move realistic background scenes to abstract shapes that react in real time to the sounds generated on the stage, the drum, the basketball, the sounds of a newspaper, painting, and feet stomps. We see a girl painting, and suddenly a girl, who is video taping in the park, focuses the camera at the painting and the audience sees the work as it is completed.
Yong Woong Won: Basketball player
Li Shiyao: Tourist
Hee Young Lee: Drummer, God’s voice
Jung in Hur: Painter
Hanaro Kim: Girl , girl’s voice
PROGRESSION INTO THE FUTURE
The artists sought take the audience on a journey from present to future. Along the way, the performers show some of the obstacles that we still face that pose a threat to ourprogression. The performance illustrates that overcoming such challenges will unlock an era of endless possibilities.
Jingya Liu: Live music, choreography
Eun Young Jeo: Costumes, choreography
Hye Won Han: Visuals
Sohee Jeon: Visuals
COLORS OF CHAOS
This explores a painter (chaos) from the past whose lover is a singer (order). To brainstorm his future with her, he draws a colorful picture of the singer’s wedding dress which is sewn by a seamstress on stage. Thus commences the chaos and chase…which unfolds as a delightful parable that might be from a Rossini opera or a Saturday Night Live skit.
Heakyung Woo: Singer, bride, audio editor
Yee Seul Ok: Dancer
Jiwon Park: Dancer
Robert Chen: Painter, video editor, groom
Sunghyun Kim: Fashion designer, minister
These works are kernels of ideas that have been nurtured through interaction, discussion, and use of technology to articulate and illustrate concepts.The composer Tan Dun observed this work and experiments going on at NYU in integrating and extending media and technology as narrative. He described the work as being an extension of opera, the fundamental narrative form that was first to integrate media. Film is simply an extension of opera, and now this new medium absorbs those practices and creates new ones.
Their focus is on collaborative technology, the tenet that technology extends the reach of humanity. The new technologies of the Internet, the social networks, and the professional alliances have increased the range and speed of communication. Yet the IMPACT workshop demonstrates that much more is needed to achieve understanding. Communication is just the beginning of developing mutual understanding and appreciation. IMPACTORS have discovered that technology can extend the range of human and artistic expression, but deep understanding across cultures and languages continues to challenge us.