Digital Theatre for a Post-Humanist Age.
The False Peach is a computer play based on Hamlet. It's a literal "hamletmachine" which mixes artificial intelligence software and live performance. Scott Shepherd (of The Wooster Group and ERS' Gatz) performs alongside a variety of softwares, and does some of the programming.
We chose to work with Hamlet because it is in a sense the ultimate text for theatre, and the most celebrated disquisition on a certain kind of humanist discourse, in which the pure consciousness of man wrestles with the inevitability of death.
During the course of the piece, the computers generate their own “production” of the play, new scenes and songs and scores and visuals using the original text of Shakespeare as source material.
Here's Ophelia's Speechsong, which was made by inserting her "what a noble mind" speech into three pieces of software, all linked up automatically:
In the final piece, the language itself, digitally manipulated and rendered, will trigger a complete theatrical apparatus. The result will be an entirely realized computer-generated performance.
In The False Peach we stage replication and mortality, flow and interruption, and the pleasure we human bodies take in regarding the decay of others.
We're working with an international team of programmers and designers. Mark Hansen will do the systems design - he is formerly of Bell Labs and currently partner of Ben Rubin, with whom he's made work like Listening Post and lobby installations for the New York Times building and NYU Law School. Greg Beller joins us from IRCAM, the renowned electronic music institute in Paris (the sound wing of the Pompidou Center). And Bruno Pocheron and Ruth Waldeyer from Berlin design the automated and very groovy lighting system. NYC superstar Jim Findlay is designing the set. It's an amazing team, who we need to transport, house and equip!
We are just starting development on the project, in anticipation of a late 2012 premiere. Your support, large or small, is so necessary for us to continue working and developing this piece. Thank you, really. Love, Annie
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