1. Randall Packer

    Identity Multiples

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    In the third space realm of fictional possibilities, we are role-playing ad infinitum. It is a marvelous game: playable anywhere with a connection, involving anyone in any place or sphere of the globe. The system is pervasive, the rules are nonexistent, the paradigms are there to be broken. If Artaud claimed nearly a century ago in the Theater and its Double, that the theater is a space for the alchemical transformation of everyday life, and that role-playing is a vehicle for inducing the magic of identity permutation, then in fact, our systems of social media constitute a vehicle for entry into the theatrical domain of magic and ritual. When no one quite knows who anyone else is in the mysterious realm of the third space, the possibilities are limitless. Behind the illusory facade of one’s avatar, lie endless branching narratives through the infinite strands of the database. Yes: you can be an artist posing as a military officer posing as an art mogul in the third space. Never mind if it makes any sense, that is the power of theater and the alchemical properties of the imagination. And from the iconic wonder of a multi-layered avatar comes serious play, where politically-charged critique can take down the entire establishment in one fell swoop. That is the power of the theater and in the age of global media (please excuse the clich√©), all the world’s a stage. The difference between Shakespeare’s time and the current state of things is that an extraordinary […]
  2. Randall Packer

    Micro-project 3: Virtual Soundscape

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    Due: Tuesday, February 4

    Soundscape: Using only Soundcloud and a smart phone, narrate an approximately two-minute walk: no editing, cuts, or montage, a real-time recording. The goal of the project is to disrupt the "reality" of the situation by superimposing a fictitious spoken narrative, In other words, invent a narrative that transforms the environment, creating instead, an imaginary soundscape that you invent yourself. For example, if you are walking down the street and there is loud construction, or rain falling, or children playing, you insert your own interpretation, layering into the situation something disturbing, jarring, nonsensical, humorous, strange, etc. You are essentially changing the context of what we hear and transforming it into a new scenario of your own invention. You can either plan out the narrative in advance, or make it up on the spot, reacting and improvising to the sounds around you. This is an opportunity to explore the juxtaposition of the virtual and the real, the fictional and the actual, and the imaginary and the concrete. It is an exploration of the malleability of realty: to layer the soundscape, to create a virtual situation from fictional narrative. When you have completed the Virtual Soundscape (you may try multiple takes), upload the final piece to Soundcloud, embed it in a blog post, and write a short description (stay in character) as a caption.
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