Heart and Minds — Final’s pitch
Designing for Live Performance — Assignment week #9
Trying to translate the immersive experience of virtual reality gadgets such as the Samsung’s Gear VR and the Oculus Rift to the context of theater while offering a collective experience, I looked back to the Panopticon as my main inspiration and creative framework for the play Hearts and Minds.
The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow all (pan-) inmates of an institution to be observed (-opticon) by a single watchman without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. [source: Wikipedia]
The aesthetics of the Patnoticon is broadly associated with prison’s architecture, which is already connected to the context of war by itself. In my vision, the audience will walk in to a center tower, from where they would watch the actions happening 360º degrees. The tower would have many floors to accommodate a greater number of guests and would be sit free allowing people to move around its borders to focus in different parts of the surrounding stage.
At the borders of the cylindrical architecture, a huge screen will set the background for all the actions. This screen would allow projections of 360º videos during moments that the history portraits the first person perspective of a character.
As an interactive piece, I imagine using the projection canvas also in a sliced fashion. This would allow to delivery the story with small snippets that the audience would have to connect to find a greater understanding and eventually unfold the solution for the conflict stablished. For this part that call for active participation of the audience, I would use a very minimalistic visuals, potentially playing with silhouettes and shadow effects.
At certain points of the history development, the audience would come down from the tower and interact with actors in the “negotiation field”, more specifically the space between the tower and the projection canvas.
[Will update soon after finish readings]