By: Andrew Mrozowski
Stop. Take a second and look up from this article. You’ll most likely see everyone around you on some form of technology, be it on their phones, tablets or computers. We now live in a world where we are so heavily dependent on technology. According to Yvonne Lu, people should be more conscious about how technology affects their identity.
Originally starting off her undergraduate career in commerce, Lu realized her passion laid in a different faculty. Lu began working in marketing and communications but felt like something was missing. She decided to take on a double major between multimedia and theatre and film.
Now in her final year at McMaster, Lu decided to combine her two disciplines into one overall thesis, taking the form of an interactive multimedia installation and a physical performance called interFACE, as part of the School of the Arts Honours Performance Series.
The concept for interFACE came to Lu over this past summer when she was employed by a music video company to be their social media coordinator. Although typically not very active on social media in her own life, Lu found herself getting jealous from the various platforms that she managed as there was an overall feeling that everyone was doing better than her.
“Although there definitely were positive and negative experiences, always being on social media and seeing that people younger than me were doing cooler things than I was, working with huge producers, big companies and getting more responsibility than I was… a lot of the times I felt jealous. It’s why I felt I was a step back, I understood why others were successful and a lot of it was trying to catch up with people,” explained Lu.
interFACE examines how young women interact with technology and how this oversaturation impacts their identity as they grow up. Stemming from a vignette of experiences, the multi-disciplinary art experience allows attendees to delve into the development of identity to look at similarities and differences between how we portray ourselves online versus in person.
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“The question to consider is whether or not social media and digital technology enables us to do more things, or if it consumes us and we are at the whim of the mass media,” explained Lu.
This form of installation is experimental as it features two parts. Viewers will first embark through an audio-visual capsule, which is an audio-sensory experience that saturates the audience in a world that Lu and her team have designed to convey the importance of why we should pay more attention to our own identities. Next viewers will be seated to enjoy the physical portion which expands on what they have observed in the audio-visual capsule.
“This is not something that you would see in traditional theatre. It’s not a narrative or linear piece. We are creating a visceral experience for both our collaborators and audience. We want them to feel that they are in the belly of the beast,” said Lu.
For the thesis student, what the audience takes away from the experience is the primary objective of this piece.
“There isn’t a specific message I want people to walk away with. It’s live theatre and it’s all about interpretation. For us, that’s kind of what I want audiences to walk away with. Questions of what they felt. It’s an emotional journey rather than a narrative,” said Lu.
Show times for interFACE will run on March 28 at 12:30 and 8 p.m. and on March 29 and March 30 at 12:30 and 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre in L.R. Wilson Hall. Admission is free.
Q: Why MSND?
A: I think it is one of the funniest plays ever written. I also felt it would be a good vehicle to explore issues of gender and sexuality in our times.
Q: Why do you think Shakespeare’s work continues to resonate with modern audiences?
A: Shakespeare wrote for his time, not for all time. His work has lasted because throughout history theatrical buy cialis producers have edited his plays to suit the tastes and morals of their day. In 18th century productions, Hermia and Lysander were accompanied into the woods by a chaperone because no respectable lady would go alone to the woods with her lover. We are simply following in that tradition. Shakespeare’s plays are also particularly complex representations of his society’s social attitudes and this complexity makes it easier to find resonances between his text and our own very different world. Their complexity leaves them open to various interpretations.
Q: Why mix up the genders of the characters?
A: Through our research on the project we came to the conclusion that the categories male and female were inventions of Western culture that limited our understanding of the complexity of gender identity and sexualities. We also wanted to disrupt the more conservative, patriarchal elements of Shakespeare’s text. In Shakespeare’s play, Titania submits to her husband’s will, in ours the significance of this moment is somewhat changed.
Q: Was there anything that surprised you along the production process?
A: The openness of the cast and creative team to quite radical ideas has made this project a joy. I have learned so much from the students on this one and I am filled with hope about our future.
One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, focuses on four Athenian lovers who are controlled and manipulated by fairies in a forest. With the many characters and interwoven subplots, the play can be mind-boggling for everyone – at least for the first few scenes.
Taking a new stance on an old classic, Dr. Cockett and his Theatre & Film 3S03 students’ production hopes to “unsettle normative gender dichotomies.” They use cross-casting and gender reversing for some characters in order to make the audience re-evaluate their views of gender, sexuality, and power. I can say with full confidence that Dr. Cockett and his team of students were able to achieve this and much more.
The set was created by Emily Gallomazzei, Nick Kozij, and Ian Wilush. It creates the perfect, fuzzy line between dream and reality. The production makes fantastic use of multimedia, orchestrated by Joe Keca, and very cool lighting, which was done by Carissa Kaye, Anthony Scime, and Jennifer Rossetti.
The doubling of the roles for Theseus/Titania and Hyppolita/Oberon were both extremely powerful and effective decisions. The actors, Dan Megaffin and Julie Lane, showed immense acting skills through their ability to portray such diversity. The mischievous Puck was performed by Phillip Krusto and Claudia Spadafora in a stunning act of unison and with great humour. The chorus of fairies also bring to the production some very beautiful songs and hypnotic-like harmonies.
While the group of the four Athenian lovers were both hilarious and heartfelt it was Miles Greenberg who stole the show with his humourous and heartbreaking portrayal of Helena. The ‘group of actors’ played by Matt Blackshaw, David Jackson, Rex Jackson, Nick Kozij, Sasha Stevenson, and Ian Wilush were hysterical and a perfect end to the show. Ian Wilush’s portrayal of Bottom was also hilarious and endearing.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues its stage run in Robinson Memorial Theatre (CNH 101) until Nov. 16. viagra generic Tickets can be purchased at Compass or through SOTA at 905-525-9140 ext. 24246.
Student artists have added a splash of colour to the Wilson Hall construction site. Their mural in progress is a part of the Spotlight on the Arts, a yearlong festival generic viagra buy usa run by the School of the Arts. Students are transforming the plain white boarding surrounding the construction site into murals depicting themes related to Hamilton’s blue collar history.
Inspiration came from the vibrant public art movement, with its associated vulnerability, mystery and public accessibility as important components to the modern movement.
The work “raises questions with community…in a different kind of context,” said Beth Marquis, a lead coordinator of the festival. The murals continue Spotlight on the Arts’ September theme of community.
“It’s a collaborative effort,” explained third-year Studio Art student Kirby Tobin. “The designs were all by our class…we each have a few panels to work on in pairs, but we’re all working on it.”
The chosen media are stencils, latex paint and wheat pasted images, which are being used to represent the reassembled remnants of the students’ past work.
The idea arose from preliminary discussions about the Wilson Building, and the hope was to create an “interesting art project that could engage the community, instead of just a practical fence,” said Marquis.
Carmela Lagense, assitant professor in the School of the Arts, volunteered to adopt the project, using it as an assignment in her Painting and Drawing class. The festival worked with Facility Services and the Department of Public Relations to gain approval for the project.
"I think this project represents everything Wilson Hall is going to be about," Laganse told the Daily News. "It's community-driven, collaborative and innovative."
“I really like the opportunity to work outside and interact with the viewers during the process; that's something new in terms of putting the work up,” said third-year Studio Art student Natalie Richard, a member of Lagense’s class.
“I wouldn't say we do public art of this sort often,” she said. “Our work is open to the public but this sort of space is a lot more inviting, especially since going to see art can be intimidating.”
“This kind of public art is a unique opportunity this year,” echoed Tobin. “I think this is possible as an extension of the effort to get the arts community at McMaster more recognized.”
The murals will be up as long as the boards are, but after that, their fate remains uncertain. Some hope to preserve the murals, but the mural’s ephemeral nature could be an asset. “[Street art] pops up and engages the community for a period of time,” said Marquis.
While the bulk of the murals are found on the boards facing Sterling Street, other classes have contributed to collaged prints on the side facing Forsyth Avenue, and the students have been given permission to use the remaining blank space for their work, and will continue depending on remaining time and material.