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apophänie (2016/17): for video-puppetry-instrument

“Apophänie” refers to the tendency of the human mind to find patterns in random data, which can be as harmless as recognizing shapes in clouds, or a form of delusional psychosis which sees meaningful connections in events that may or may not have any relationship to each other. In the piece, we are introduced to a performance environment composed of multiple layers of movement at different scales. Actual-size human performers on stage are connected to biological entities performing in a microscopic theater. The action is right in front of us but just beyond our view, perceivable only through incomplete, implied information from the stage, and the digitally magnified sound amplification and video projection.

Shifting through a sequence of contrasting vantage points in the miniature pseudo-organic environment, a narrative grows between the microscopic entities. The organisms of the miniature Apophänie world are born, mutated, absorbed, and consumed within the virtual ecosystem. They are artificial components of the video-instrument apparatus, yet are alive, brought to life through sonic organization and the performer’s gesture. The score for the piece thinks musically about the lifeforms appearing within the physical materials, but the material is unstable organic matter — to discover the entities hidden in the material, the performers must recognize the connections and emerging patterns in an ever changing field of interactions. A dramatic form is hidden behind a surface of semi-abstract vignettes, yet piece by piece the plot is exposed, and in the end an overarching system of control is confirmed.

Video: Excerpts (3:24)
Full Performance (25:43)
Score:PDF
 
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apophänie (2016/17): for video-puppetry-instrument

Oakland 2017 performance (revised version)


Stephanie Sherriff & Scott Rubin, objects
Rama Gottfried, camera/computer/direction

 
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apophänie (2016/17): for video-puppetry-instrument

Excerpts from scenes 1 & 2


Stephanie Sherriff & Scott Rubin, objects
Rama Gottfried, camera/computer/direction