A Resource for Performing Artists, Scholars and Audiences.
This September, Z Space and YBCA partnered to present Big Art Group "The People: San Francisco". I was fortunate to facilitate this project- and happened to pull a time-lapse from the roof across the street. Enjoy!
The People, an outdoor spectacle that combines live theater with large scale, real time video projection. The narrative, constructed from interviews with members of the local community who voice their thoughts about democracy, war, terrorism and justice as it relates to their personal histories, loosely recreates the story of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. Live theatrical reenactments are intercut with earlier, taped interviews, projected via large scale video onto the side of a building where the live play and video is viewed by the audience at street level. Perceived as a kind of ‘living television,’ The People repurposes commonly used media strategies such as video clips, interviews and re-enactments, to explore the extraordinary forces reshaping contemporary government. It sculpts these developments into a performative action, that takes as its inspiration the foundational idea of community dialogue and the birth of democracy as theatrically embodied in the Oresteia. By inverting the established relationship between ‘mass-media’ and private exchange, it transforms the ‘town square’ into a public performance in which both performers and audience act out crucial roles in the construction of self-government.
The People: San Francisco is part of a larger cross-cultural work in which the video choruses from each location will be combined to create a window into the cultural understanding and variation of democratic public expression. To date, three productions in the series have been presented: The People-Italy, which took place in Polverigi, Italy with the participation and support of Inteatro Polverigi in 2007, The People-Germany, at Theatre der Welt 2008 in Halle, Germany, and The People-Austria at Szene Salzburg in 2010