Big Art Group’s script from the 2017 work, OPACITY, presented at the Bard Live Arts Biennial is in Yale University’s Theater Magazine published by Duck University Press.
Opacity is built around the framework of the “interface,” specifically the threat of the increasingly opaque intermediation of algorithms between the real and the experienced. The performance uses sculptural, choreographic and computational models to hack, encrypt, spoof, troll, spam and camouflage our digital identities, and return these coded selves to the realms of the real. The performance consists of modular scenes of mundane life staged in sculptural abstraction, exploring desires and attempts to connect to one another online through opaque interfaces (social media sites, romance apps, image-sharing web apps), with their simultaneous abilities of cloaking, catfishing, fake accounts, bogus avatars, twitter bots, algorithmic responses and the system’s constant surveillance from behind the interface. Each scene alternates with synthetically produced contemporary songs, touchpoints to the obsolete and ‘warm’ technology that foreshadowed the all-enveloping cloud which entangles our daily lives of omnipresent data collection.
System, Installation, Sound, and Text: Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson
Performed: Kevin Ramser and Philip Gates
Code: Jemma Nelson and Sylvie Sherman
Assistant Director: Rachel Karp
Assistant Video: Adam Thompson
3D Modeling: Kevin Ramser
Developed with the Digital Devising Lab Class at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama: Caitlin Ayer, Stephen M. Eckert, Philip Gates, Rachel Karp, Sara Lyons, Kevin Ramser, Sylvie Sherman, Adam Thompson