A Digital Immersive Theatre and Gaming Experience
Work in Progress online showing May 15th and 16th, 2020
Please contact me for prototype event footage or to be a part of the next phase!
lookingGlass developed from a question NYC theatre company Mangeont asked itself late last September:
Can we, given today’s social, political, economic, and ecological realities, responsibly maintain hope?
Reading this back today, it strikes with different, but not dampened, significance.
Taking Murray Bookchin’s phrase “Demand the impossible” as a guide, the aim of the project was always to explore the possibility of a “better world,” whatever that may mean. The process was to be one of public engagement, wherein the artists involved would all participate in a personal interview with company members, and subsequently create a piece of art responding to that connective, imaginative experience, which would then be incorporated into a staged show entitled The Future is Not a Dream.
Though the performance dates for the theatre version were postponed, the project has been completely re-envisioned for the virtual world we currently inhabit.
The resulting project, lookingGlass, is an online immersive gaming experience, built with Unity, that functions as a site for virtual interaction with recorded artwork, giving the audience-player agency in their participation, much as would be encouraged at a live interactive show. This, combined with (secret) live elements and web interaction push the bounds of what a video game can be, offering a potentially unique digital art experience presenting the work of a wide range of visual, audio, text, and mixed media artists.
The interviews that are at the core of the process, held over the course of March and April, and the responses still being created, bear witness to the reality each day has brought with it since the onset of the global pandemic. They mark out space for pain, but also for joy, for longing, and
For hope as well.
Game and Interviews by Emily Twines
Theatrical Concept by Mangeront
Emily Twines is an interdisciplinary performance and technology artist with experience directing, writing, designing/programming interactive theatrical elements, and working both solo and in highly collaborative atmospheres. She earned her MA in Theatre History and Criticism at Brooklyn College where she is also a current Performance and Interactive Media Arts MFA pursuant. She is happy to present this piece as her graduate thesis project. Other notable works include writing for The House, a short film by renowned director Cyril Teste and team, as well as I heard an echo, a collaborative installation at The Weeksville Heritage Center, for which she provided video and interactivity elements. In addition to utopian imaginaries, her current scholarship explores tactics employed by political theatre during three eras of French history: the 1789 Revolution, the events of May 1968, and today, taking into special consideration the Yellow Vests’ protests and performances at the Festival d’Avignon, which she was able to study first-hand last summer as a Tow Fellow. emilytwines.com
Janine Renee Cunningham is a maker residing in Brooklyn. Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, The Prelude Festival, On the Boards, ESPA and the New York City Fringe Festival. She has collaborated in New York with Leimay, Yinzerspilen, Allie Pinel, and Liz Charky and regionally with Theatre de l’ange fou and Atlantic Stage. In 2018 she was an EmergeNYC fellow with the Hemispheric Institute. She is currently an associate artist with Culture Push and The Commitment Experiment. She is a graduate of the Atlantic Acting School Conservatory, BA in International Studies from Portland State and currently pursuing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard University.
Jon DeGaetano is a scenographer and artist focused on building environments that encourage genuine human interaction. His work is focused in design, performance, and collaborative making. Most recent work includes EXHAUSTED creator (The Tank), Love’s Labour’s Lost, set and lighting (Atlantic Stage 2/NYU), Will They Play Golf on Mars, designer collaborator with Janine Conningham (Dixon Place), Lacy Rose and her Starling Quartet, designer (HERE Arts). MFA Brooklyn College. jondegaetano.com
Jane Ashe is a New York based performance artist who works in an extemporaneous fashion, without a script. Her work is based on biographical material. Jane’s performances are formed on a theme inspired by either sound, location or audience. Something of Emily’s interview questions came into me, and something of me went out and into the world, I feel changed by its wake. Thank you, Emily, for this deep, unforgettable experience.
Inkyoung Bae is a video and performance artist who depicts a weird but heart-warming world through surreal and fun images. Starting her work with Mom, am I doing well? which was supported by National Geographic Channel Korea and KOCCA in 2013, she focuses on video works, interactive art and performances. The Dino Show, a video-sound performance & interactive installation art premiered in NY. She exhibited the newest interactive installation art Unreachable in Brooklyn and was also invited to the film festival Twisted Oyster Film Festival with her interactive documentary Never Be the Same. Recently she was invited to Andy’s summer playhouse in NH and worked on a project Drea-m-odd which explores kids’ nightmares. She’s working on The Weather Channel, which is a TV opera about the end of the world.
Kai Custodio (aka radar dark) is a queer trans latinx multi-disciplinary artist and musician born and based in Brooklyn, NY. Their work interchanges and converges audio, video, mixed-media, and performance as a path to reconnect with their afro latin indigenous roots. As a 2nd generation Peruvian and Puerto Rican artist, their work is an ever evolving exploration of identity, self-expression, and relationship to ancestral heritage through analog and digital emotive sounds and visuals. You can find them on IG: radar.dark and SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/radardark
Julia Frey is an actor, deviser, projection designer, and video programmer working in New York and Philadelphia. She co-founded the new media theater duo Casual FreyDay with Sam Day Harmet. Together they wrote, programmed, and performed A People’s History of Silicon Valley (ANT Fest 2019 at Ars Nova) and Containertopia (Jalopy Theatre, Brooklyn and Philly Fringe 2017). She is a company member of the Obie-winning experimental ensemble New Paradise Laboratories (O Monsters, The Adults, 27, Prom, 10 Unnameable Spectacles) and the classical repertory company Quintessence Theatre Group (Uncle Vanya, The Wild Duck, and more). In addition to her work with Casual FreyDay, recent video design credits include Medea (BAM – 2020 Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Projection Design), Starlight Express (Marymount Manhattan), The Jungle (St Ann’s Warehouse, associate designer), as well as projects at the Public Theater and MassMoCA. For over a decade Julia has performed, hosted, and taught comedy improv in her two cities, across the country, and on a giant boat. MFA: Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) at Brooklyn College. BA: Bard College. juliafrey.net
Ben Gorodetsky is a theatre maker, improviser, movement artist, writer and dad based in Waterloo, ON. His performance work has been presented by Movement Research at Judson Church, The Tank NYC, Brian Webb Dance Company, Expanse Festival, Living Things, and Rubaboo Festival. He is the former Associate Artistic Director of Rapid Fire Theatre (Edmonton) and has performed and taught improvisation in Atlanta, Detroit, Austin, NYC, LA, Reunion Island, Vienna, Ljubljana, Montreal, Toronto, Yellowknife, and Vancouver. He’s co-creator of political comedy duo Folk Lordz (VICE). He holds a BFA from the University of Alberta and an MFA from Brooklyn College – CUNY. www.bengorodetsky.com
Gus Farodetsky is a kid. He was born in Brooklyn, but now he lives in Waterloo. Gus likes to jump off stuff and do balance beams and flying lifts called “самолет” (which is Russian for airplane) with his Papa. Gus understands English and Russian, but mostly just speaks English. Gus has never had a haircut.
Erica Kermani (b. 1983, Los Angeles; New York City) is an Iranian-Jewish queer femme artist, educator, and community organizer. Her work focuses on rituals for resistance, collective care, and technological sovereignty. By creating speculative fictions and alternative histories, she puts forth her vision of liberation and transformative healing. She has presented her work internationally at spaces including Mona Bismark American Center (Paris), the Science Gallery Dublin, and Musée des Arts Decoratif. Erica has designed curriculum, research and public programs at organizations including Digital Equity Lab, Data & Society and Eyebeam, and is adjunct faculty at Parsons the New School Design and Technology where she teaches about ancestral and emerging technologies. She is also co-founder and organizer of the festival Radical Networks, a Board Member of Global Action Project (GAP), and a member of Raha Feminist Collective. Erica holds a BA in Visual Arts (Media/Computing) and Political Science at the University of California, San Diego and an MFA in Design and Technology from the Parsons School for Design (NYC/Paris). http://kermani.work/
Deborah Latz is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist. She is a vocalist, musician, composer, actor, improviser, theater/film maker, voice teacher, and educator. In 2015 she received a four-star DownBeat review for her fourth jazz vocal release, sur l’instant. In 1999 she won the best actress award for her one-woman performance of Juliet at the Jerzy Grotowski Theatre Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. Deborah is co-founder of the neo-folk, jazz fusion vocal duo with Pat Wictor. She curated the VoxEcstatic Series at Cornelia Street Underground in Greenwich Village from 2016 to 2018. For over fifteen years Deborah has been a facilitator of vocal and communication workshops at the Cooper Union School of Engineering in New York City. Deborah holds an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College and a Bachelor of Science from CUNY BA Brooklyn College in Music and Performance Art Studies.
Su Wang immigrated from China to New York City at the age of twelve. She is the first in her family to hold a bachelor’s degree. After graduating from Hunter College in 2016, she became a school instructor and has since enjoyed teaching and broadening students’ social perspectives.”
No Proscenium listing here