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September 23, 2005

Myth Hacking


Art imitates Life

MEDEAEX is an adaptation of the classic Myth of Medea, projected cross-culturally to span the Middle-East Reality (Medea = Palestinian, Jason = Israeli officer, Chorus = audience) and the CyberSpace Virtual Reality (Medea is a hacker trying to debug and redesign the script). The Israeli-Palestinian framing of the myth addresses issues of exile, homeland and culture and the VR 3d interactive world creates a space of participation.

Developer Neora explains how the experience was conceived and structured and how the myth / story was mapped to current sociopolitical events. She propositions a would be audience:

What if I invite you to join Medea the hacker, in her confrontation with Medea the Myth, using Euripides and Muller lines in a simulated universe, where Medea is Palestinian, Jason is Israeli, and Middle East news dictate what they do and how they act?

What if I invite you to interact with objects and avatars in the immersive environment surrounding you, to react and say your word in a plot that its order of scenes is modular, and each performance may be different in ambience and in the “debugging” process of trying to recreate reality, to redesign the myth?

There are two ways to visit the ME DEA EX universe - physically attend the performance and see the live actress interacting with 3D world projected on the walls, or enter via the internet and affect the show, while watching the actress via her webcam. Both ways, you may become part of the chorus (the global village), that sing classic lines using text-to-speech mechanisms, saying: We could have saved the children... We could have done something...

The MEDEAEX universe is a 3D environment that resides on the Internet and is projected during the performance in 360 degrees around the audience. It is a proactive environment, whereas Medea is a live actress (Khaula ElHadj-Dibsi) all the other characters are pre-programmed bot avatars, and the audience (e.g. the global village) can interact and influence the flow and ambience of the show, using SMS from their cellular phones.

The script is fully hyper-textual, based on the original texts by Euripides, Heiner Muller and Seneca. It is written and performed in English, Hebrew and Arabic, and so is the background music cross-cultural and cross-lingual. The exposition to each scene is the actual Middle East News (Medea - betrayed, evicted, exiled, and after all sacrifices her children by sending them as suicide bombers to Jerusalem). The chorus lines are performed with text-to-speech mechanism, allowing online and real time audience to add to their digital singing data bank.

Posted by michelle at September 23, 2005 06:59 PM