A Very American Digital Living Room
I struggle day to day with some aspects of daily interactions and relationships. Although I had two older brothers, I grew up very much an only child by exploring and adventuring on my own. This has affected my “adulthood” (if that’s what I must call it) through its evolution into my expressions as an artist and my relationships with the other people who share the world around me. My Artistic sensibility is more of a lifestyle and worldview than a pursuit or career to be achieved. So, from day to day every moment is analyzed and deconstructed, I challenge myself with new ideas and interactions. And as I get older and grow into my American placement I find disgust for some of the effects of capitalism, bloated patriotism and selfish identities inherent in aspects of our culture. I do not mean to say that I only feel these bad effects, but more that they are things I want to “react” against in my artistic expressions -- these are my fundamental frustrations.
On a smaller scale, I seek and yearn for experience and interaction, but we are in a society that is fueled by consumerism and capitalism and then pushed even further with the tantalizing “need” for the latest technology; our landscape and social interactions have been transformed through the dissemination of ideas into digital information. Through our incessant digital expression, our “personality”, “individuality” and ideas of “self” are more and more shared through a digital filter. Rather than the affirmation of flesh and blood, synthetic affirmation is a click of a thumbs-up or 150-character tweet away at any given moment. It’s as if we’re all chirping to be heard at once with little digital bits of our identities, and, inevitably, when we are face to face in a “tangible” experience with another person our interactions are now inherently different. A digital pandemic is reshaping and adjusting how we grow and form our individual humanity. These ideas parallel Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano, where language is used as a device only to be heard and words are nothing more than presence of sound. Ionesco creates conversations that are bloated with the intention of normalcy among others, but which only remain a futile attempt at achieving meaningful conversation. Each character in The Bald Soprano strives to be heard without the capacity or need to hear others.
Ionesco treats the script with a looping absurdity. I question why we think this is absurd; is it the existential concepts inherent in making or cultivating a relationship or society? When I look around I see this same “absurdity” in our daily routines (down to the hour, minute and second) in our attachment to and obsession with truncated digital messages and addictions to the futile contributing of information to the digital watering hole. Are we heard when we post a photo or post a status? Does it matter? Is it needless or futile? Without going into the benefits of globalizing technology, I would produce The Bald Soprano with a directorial emphasis on our created digital identities and the banal expressions of those false identities. Any back-story would be found in a constant “feed” of status and photo updates in the background of the stage. The characters would be assigned to respective modern technological expressions: tweeting; texting; blogging; self-portraits; facebook statuses and stalking; and possibly even going