In 2007/2008 I played the Infospherian character in SPEC.FLIC: Welcum 2 the Infosphere, the latest iteration of an ongoing creative research project conceived and directed by multi media artist Adriene Jenik.
Installation view at San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California
SPECFLIC 2.0 , 2006
In 2006 I played the Infospherian character in “SPEC.FLIC 2.0,”an ongoing creative research project in a new storytelling form called Distributed Social Cinema, conceived and directed by multi media artist Adriene Jenik.
I did a four hour improvisation during the public performance, projected on screens outside the library.
Performed at: ISEA/Zero One Festival, San Jose, CA
Adriene Jenik's intitial proposal to ISEA:
SPECFLIC2.0 is the second instantiation in an ongoing creative research project http://www.specflic.net. In SPECFLIC I'm developing a form called Distributed or Distracted Cinema, and for ZeroOne San Jose I am proposing another multi-nodal story event to take place on and around the Main branch of the San Jose Public Library. Similar to its 1.0 version, SPECFLIC will utilize the architecture and public space surrounding the building to both construct and reveal a story that is â€œnot just told, but experienced.â€ In continuing with the near-future, speculative fiction scenario that drives the overall project, SPECFLIC 2.0 will concentrate its story-layers on the future of the library and by extension the future of reading, writing and the printed word.
As in SPECFLIC 1.0, SPECFLIC 2.0 involves its public audience in its near-future story-world through a series of complimentary modalities. Each of these modalities exist in a different â€œzoneâ€ of experience, encounter by moving around the physical location or by tuning in or out a particular media form. Some encourage brief, â€œinstantâ€ encounters and otherâ€™s require more concentration. Furthermore, each modality is attached to specific performer/ringleaders. Like SPECFLIC 1.0, it is primarily through word, gesture and prop and costume clues that the audience is ushered into this near-future world.
The stories each reveal a different perspective on the themes, and do it in different ways â€“ appropriate to their form and environs. For instance, on the cityâ€™s main public entrance, one encounters SPECFLIC in several other forms. Ricardo Dominguez aka the NanoLibrarian can be seen & heard on a projection/amplification system located just above the entranceway. He is performing live via a Webvideo interface as the â€œlibrarian of the futureâ€ , and as such his character is engaging with people who are asking questions via SMS, email and chat from their phones and laptops (as well as a public station set up for this purpose). His responses are both performative and demonstrative, serving as an important anchor point to the project/story. Across the street (in the parking garage? On the sidewalk corners?) is visible a huge Photo/Text grid that refreshes constantly with public contributions. The images and text reflect the theme of the project (picture of a person and favorite book, or a self-id of reader or non-reader for instance â€“ to be developed more).
If one walks through/around the library to the SJSU side of the library, the HDV projection featuring actors Allison Janney and Richard Jenik relates an ambient narrative between a man and a woman that takes place inside a large public library (shoot inside MLK library if $$/permission ok?). The entire pre-recorded narrative is approx. 20 minute long and presented in 6 loops. One can just wander by this ambient loop and enjoy the â€œsilent movieâ€ effect, or one can tune in to a live pirate radio broadcast of 6 local writers who have written near-future story scenarios (about a man & a woman in a library) in a ZeroOne Education sponsored workshop and are performing them live in the SJSU courtyard as the local pirate radio broadcasters are mixing music & effects underneath. (Note: it would be nice if there were enough projectors to send this out to the front as well).
On both sides of the library are â€œbook sculpturesâ€ â€“ formed from carefully stacking used books (purchased en masse from swap meets) into tables and stools to sit and place laptops, beverages, etc. These are meant to be useful, attractive and resonant of the thematic questions being asked throughout the narrative.
Around the environs (as well as beyond San Jose) â€“ Call 2 Communicate (a cellphone voice & txt â€œpushâ€ technology which allows short text and voice messages to be sent simultaneously to unlimited phone numbers) will be creatively utilized to send a serial narrative to people who have registered their cell-phone numbers in advance of the event. In addition, newly released SONY eBooks (how many?) with the ZeroOne writing workshop stories published in e-ink
will be made available in the library reading room (?). This publication can include more than just the 6 stories performed that night, and can be made available beyond the â€œeventâ€ time for those who wish to grant the stories greater concentration or who cannot attend the evening performance.