THE SHADOW ELDERS The Shadow Elders inhabit the cave.
They are a future human race who have left artefacts of their own past, our present, upon the walls of the cybernetic cave.
Moving images and songs of their understanding of the world echo through the immersive environment taking you on a conceptual journey through time and space.
Creation The Hermit The Posthuman: Tess-La The Universal Child
If we begin to see the planetarium as a modern day Plato’s cave, it opens up a whole world of possibilities to tell stories which are not necessarily dedicated to the stars and are not simply art led. The cave wall is probably the most ancient planetarium, with the people of the time representing their worlds (inner and outer) on to the surface. It harks back to early civilization, nature, storytelling, education and entertainment; all the things the planetarium aims to do now within a technological world.
We want to tell the story of the space and to allow people to become immersed in the story and the concepts in a way that hasn’t been done before.
The story begins with a naive boy, venturing out into his own world, falling into another reality, and experiencing an alternate place of thought through sight and sound. The audio visual piece will engulf the audience in the experience with the boy, taking them on the journey of immersion and giving them the space to explore their inner world and sense of reality and experience Yugen: an experience of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and powerful for words.
THE CYBERNETIC CAVE
Who's to say the reality you're experiencing right now isn't simply a shadow cast by someone else?
A re-imagining of Plato's Allegory of the Cave, the spaces which we are using become environments in which the audience is immersed in an alternate sense of reality.
The scenario of The Allegory of the Cave describes a cave where there are prisoners chained to the wall so that all they can see is the wall infront of them. Behind them burns a fire, between the fire and the prisoners there is a bridge, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who walk behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave.
The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see.
This brings into question the nature of reality: the reality that prisoners see is the only reality that they know making it wholly their perception of reality and not what is actually occurring.
We are using the surface of a dome as an acoustic setting and as a visual canvas to communicate the ideas of the piece. The visuals connect the music to the audience and act as digital graffiti or cave paintings to help tell the story of each Shadow Elder.
YUGEN CREATIVE Lauren Walker - Creative Director/Producer/Audio-visual Artist/Performer: Lauren started the project at the beginning of 2012. She had the original concept and has carried out the research and development of the show. She also provides the music for the show, performing in the space as an embodiment of the characters. She has overseen and directed the film and animation elements helping to create her vision for the show.
Richard Geraghty - Camera Operative/Film Editor/Co-Director: Richard is the film expert of Yugen Creative and has edited all the film elements of the show and DVD. He has been on hand at all times to film the making of and most importantly the introduction of the show which provides the beginning of the narrative for the immersive journey.
Leigh Davies - Visual Artist/Animator/Performer: Using iPad applications and his skill as an artist, Leigh provides the visual elements for the immersive live show, working closely with Lauren to create the perfect visual relationship to her music.
The introductory film came about when deciding on the best way for the audience to enter the space. It was important for us to introduce the idea that the planetarium/immersive space was being treated as a modern day cave and that there was some kind of narrative and concept driving the performance.
Rather than have a piece of writing explaining this, we thought that a film would be a quick and accessable way of setting this up for the audience before they enter the 'cave' and allow them to feel part of the story themselves. It also ties in the storybook elements of the project by representing the first part of the story cinematically echoing the written words in the book.
To see the film go to the next box ------->
Creation is a woman full of life, fertility, and wisdom. The creation of the universe was no small feat, from the first breath to the on going process that still takes place in far off galaxies today. The division of cells within the human body can be likened to the division of atoms exploding out from the centre of the darkness that was the beginning. Star matter created all matter, including us. And like us, when we die, our matter just changes back to dust... in the death of one star is the beginnings of life for another. Supernovas perpetuating life.
The music is an ever evolving facet of the project as more characters get introduced into the mix. For now we have the 4 main characters: Creation, The Hermit, Tess La and The Universal Child which discuss specific themes which relate to them.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to order your copy with the storybook or you can listen here first:
Follow the development of the project here...
The Universal Child
The Universal Child is in you, is in me, is in all of us. 'You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars'. The universal child is a reflection of all that has been and all that will be, a reflection of the whole of time: infinite Within the Universal child are the secrets imparted by all of humanity before him, he contains the knowledge of all previous versions of humans, The Shadow Elders wisdom can only be seen through the eyes of a child for a child's eye is untainted, pure of heart and as expansive as the entire Universe itself. So when the child speaks, he is reflecting what is contained within us all. We are all made of stardust, we create life, our cells divide with mathematical preciseness, through binary code we create our own avatars, through our understanding of ourselves as biological, natural beings, we connect with all other living things.
The Hermit/Mathematician/Scientist/Wizard is a universal mathematician, exploring the world of geometry and the Fibonacci sequence as way of exploring the world around us. Geometry is the beginning of everything. The Fibonacci and Golden Mean can be applied to the symmetry of human life and nature.
The Fibonacci sequence is a sequence found in nature and architecture, Whenever we see spirals in nature it is likely that they are following the mathematical formula of the Fibonacci: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55....
ART The artwork for the project was provided by Kat Sibly.
Kat is a hugely talented artist living in Australia. She facilitates educational workshops for children using her skills as an artist to teach a number of themes. She also works as a freelance illustrator and we're proud to have her on our team for this project.
She is a biological cyborg, living in 2050 and has transmitted herself back to the current year via the globally evolved network of the historic Internet. Tess-La never knew a world without the Internet, she has never known the term 'wireless' as having any meaning as she has always had access to the internet wherever she is, within her skin, within her mind. Like most humans in her time, she is at all times - connected. It works as a global consciousness, a telepathic connectivity with technology, this is how all the Shadow Elders have been able to transmit themselves back to our time from their future to tell their stories.
The planetarium, cinema, and the séance- an interesting relationship?
‘Experiencing the planetarium show within the body, as a form of virtual reality, was a way of explaining the verisimilitude’...‘This sense of seeing or feeling something that does not actually exist places the planetarium, cinema, and the séance into an interesting relationship...’
(Griffiths 2009, p.130 and p.122, 'Shivers Down Your Spine - Cinema, Museums and the Immersive View')
A discussion of immersive spaces and their impact. Press me
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To create the visual elements for the live show we use iPads plugged directly into a projector to create a canvas for Leigh to draw on using specially chosen apps that suit the themes of each song.