September 17, 2023 10:00
within Mappe del Nuovo Mondo
WOE/Wastage of Events is a hybrid work which takes place simultaneously in presence and on the streaming platform Twitch.
Inspired by the graphic novel The Cage by Martin Vaughn-James, it is the traverse of a polygonal desert transfigured by typical iconographies of the Digital Age. The title’s wastage of events is precisely this, the residue of a hyper-connected world caving in under an overload of inputs. Reality, whether virtual or not, remains an alien landscape to be processed by crossing it; but as in any waste land, the promise of a deluge is always on the horizon.
The scenic device sees at its centre a screen that, like a portal, opens onto a virtual reality where the human absence hovers over uninhabited places and scrapheaps. Around the screen stand three liminal figures: a performer in VR equipment, through whose eyes the exploration is carried out; a sound artist, playing scores for the changing environments; a speaker, whose distorted microphone voice lists file histories and digresses about memory. Occasionally, non-sequiturs break into his utterances. These are the messages left by online watchers on Twitch, reincorporated in the monologue through an improvised and unpredictable participatory mechanism, recycling and amassing the refuse of language.
The instrumentation overturns the stereotype of the three wise monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. The VR visor allows one to see more things, the headphones to hear more precisely, the microphone to speak louder. However, enhanced as they are, the performers remain unable to alter that imperturbable virtual universe.
From this apparent irrelevance, the human and the technological merge into each other. They discover themselves to be similar insofar as they are both destined to record and analyse events – in other words, insofar as they are both entities founded on memory.