OzAsia Festival: superposition

Not long after this show began, I thought to myself, I hope the programme has lots of information; not because I was feeling lazy, but because (to be honest) I didn’t really know what was going on. Fortunately the program did have the information, so I could at least wise myself up a bit on where it came from, (after the show).

superposition. Photo - Kazuo Fukanaga Courtesy Kyoto Experiment

To quote the incredible artist, Ryoji Ikeda – who is the genius behind this masterful work, “superposition, explores a new notion of information: quantum information. Did that make me any wiser? Not really. I did read on over a coffee after, but decided that rather than explain what it was, I’ll just tell what I saw and felt. And wow, it’s amazing stuff in itself.

Screen upon screen, everywhere, bombard us with manic flashes of data displayed in such fine visual art-form it is hard to not be totally drawn in to it, and blown away. It is confusing, for we don’t know what it is or why it is there, unless of course we are involved in the game behind it, or privy to the information that this beautiful performance grows from.

There are two humans on stage too, amongst the technical barrage, using props to set off more visuals and sounds, in time with the volley of data, words, numbers and imagery shooting across the many screens; projected film of them using Morse code machines, tuning forks and their hands, all involved in the visual deliveries in the performance.

I did try to pull out various numbers, words and combinations flying forth and some beautiful phrases were able to be held on to for moments, but they change and fly away so skilfully fast that so does the thought attached to them. And that may be the point. Is superposition really about the combination of everything in regards to analysis, information and modern technical life?

Most of us don’t know what quantum is, really! But like all pieces that have been fully and masterfully created there are some ins that allow us to know something of what is taking place.

It is mathematics, science, philosophy and exquisitely created multi-media art competing for attention and dissemination; and blinding us almost at times, with the speed and sheer magnificence of it’s unfolding on the many screens, in time with the many emotive sounds.

The accompanying audio is incredible; the blend of sounds and music so much a part of this show which leaves us confused but strangely satisfied at the same time. I felt like leaving at one point for the technological typhoon crushed me, but it pulled me back in again and I couldn’t let go and run. It dragged us in and then repelled us; enveloped us and overwhelmed us. It left us drained, not knowing, drinking it in and wondering why; but also saw us leave the theatre in absolute awe.

Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

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