We take an elevator that is just an elevator, a metal box that transports weight up and down, no fancy light or mirrors here, nor doors that open and close by themselves. Arrived at the last floor the smell of iron and oil tells us this is not a place for the general public, we go then through rooms with big ventilation, water and electricity machines as if one would be going inside the belly of a large cruise ship and could see the raw reality of what keeps the fiction of luxury up there.
We finally reach the roof of Robna kuća RI, we walk to the edge and meet Rijeka.
I have always here the same feeling: Wide perspectives are a challenge, a stress test for anxiety. I am there, standing in front of the view of an entire city and each wall, each roof and sidewalk is aking me to include them in my narrative, in my emotional memory, I briefly look at the horizon to find peace again, but then again a group of people on the street or a train that passes just in time bring me back to this game of “focus-out of focus” that decides the direction of my gaze, and the relevance of these elements within my mental story.
MaM begins, we go little by little from the general to the particular, from the broad perspective to the close up, from the group to the individual, and vice versa.
We take the elevator down and we have already changed, there is nothing like playing with fiction to enjoy reality again.
After a sudden change of plans due to bad weather the previous day, we began our trip to Inis Oirr on the morning of the 27th. We stepped on a double-decker bus that took us to the ferryboat, and after a bumpy 45 minutes, we were finally on the island.
Arrival, hotel, lunch, and again in movement. Walking between stone walls to the cultural center, where we had an afternoon of interesting technical information regarding VR, mapping, and sensors, followed by rotation of practice with the material.
Especially illuminating was Brian and Tom’s explanation on the use of sensors, starting with a basic demonstration with two of them that were triggering different videos, continuing with infrared cameras and live examples of their use. Niall’s VR presentation was quite straight forward, going directly to the goggles, experiencing different types of interactive videos on them.
A good piece of advice to take into account: do not use technology if it is not really relevant to your performance, or if what the sensor does is easily replaceable by a technician pressing a button.
On the 28th, we started dividing the group in 4 teams, objective: to produce a small performance in 3 hours using the materials we saw the day before.
GROUP A: Made a nice VR movie involving a horse in a wide-open space that worked very well, great decision also to place the audience outside.
GROUP B: The use of the masks gave this VR film a whole new atmosphere of theatrical flavor.
GROUP C: (our group) Played with an infrared camera creating interaction in between a dancer in front of the audience and 3 participants located in another room, hidden to the public.
GROUP D: Their work had good dramatic development exposing the “on-off” nature of the sensors, closing with an old-style end of the game in vintage computer style.
The afternoon found us following the energetic tourist guide Kathleen who took us to the castle in a non-stop mix of good historical information and ecological awareness.
A Special mention to the fantastic gift that Lorand gave us for his last night, sharing 5 magical dance movies.