Zero1 2010

This project uses live projected drawing in an outdoor urban setting as a medium for contemporary story telling. The work’s title alludes to its dual starting point: “Exquisite Corpse” is a method by which groups of words or images produced by different authors are collected to synthesize a single composition. In the drawing game named after this method, each collaborator adds one section of a themed composition (often a figure) without complete knowledge of what the other contributors are producing. At the end of a round, these sections are assembled into a single image in order to produce a complete figure. “Lavish Martyr” refers the significant and evolving trope of the martyr in Iranian religious, political, and civic discourse; from Shiite Imam’s Hassan and Hussein, to the millions of fallen soldiers and civilians of the 10-year long Iran-Iraq war, to the victims of the recent opposition movement like the immortalized Neda Agha-Soltan whose death during a protest in Tehran was captured on film and viewed widely on the net.

This works is an attempt to create a textual and pictorial conversation among four parties. A team of artist in Iran enter into an audio-visual visual dialog with a group of artists in San Jose through real-time collaborative drawing and animation. MAW’s existing live projection software (mawLib) will capture each completed collaborative drawing, accumulate a series figures, and animate these figures in real-time as they find their roles in the on -going and -growing story. These animations will be projected large-scale and outdoors using a custom mobile broadcast unit (MBU) that MAW will develop on site during the 01SJ residency period. The public event surrounding these projections will open this conversation to festival attendees in San Jose as not only witnesses of the trans-national performance, but also as contributors: MAW’s custom MBU will allow festival attendees to add another visual layer to the projection by drawing–if inclined–or a textual layer via Simple-Messaging-System (SMS). The techno-political obstacles to this attempt (national Internet firewalls, bandwidth limitations, censorship, etc.) will give life to a fourth character in the projected narrative. Real-time analysis of the bidirectional cross-Atlantic network traffic will guide this characters behavior.

The custom broadcast unit that MAW will build during the Out of the Garage Into the World residency will be a bicycle towed miniature theater with internal/micro and external/panoramic projection capabilities. The contraption will include the necessary hardware (computers, projectors, batteries/generator, drawing station, digital camera, wireless devices) and software (for projected live drawing and animation, network traffic analysis and visualization) for deploying the proposed form of mobile theater with local and remote participants.

 

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