Interstices Fragmentarily Interconnected in 13 Scenes

Project | Musical Theater (2021)
Linse der Nacht / Transit / The Great Gig in the Sky / Kugel und Katze / Fernsehding / Idoru / Walled City / Lucky Dragon / Auge und Uhr I / Auge und Uhr II / Rei Toei / Möglicherweise das Ende der Welt / Jennifer

A music theater piece and radio drama based on Idoru (Bridge), the trilogy by William Gibson (German translation by Peter Robert)

A netzzeit production in cooperation with Wien Modern and Ö1 Kunstradio

06/10/11 11 2021 Wien Modern SOHO STUDIOS, Sandleitenhof
07 11 2021 Ö1 Kunstradio

Elisabeth Schimana: general concept, composition
Nora Scheidl: concept, stage, costumes
Roland Quitt: dramaturgy, text adaptation
Sigrid Reisenberger: artistic director performance
Susi Wisiak: assistant choreographer performance
Philip Leitner: visual director, network programming
Klaus Filip: visual director, MAX/Jitter programming
Jan Wagner: light design
Peter Venus: technical director

Christina Sutter: performance
Chetan Yeragera: performance
Aiko Kazuko Kurosaki: performance, vocals
Pete Simpson: performance, vocals

Adele Knall: DIY electronics, vocals
Gregor Ladenhauf: Max Brand Synthesizer, vocals
Manon Liu Winter: Max Brand Synthesizer, clavichord
Thomas Gorbach: Vienna Acousmonium

Narrators: Laura Enzenhofer, Flora Punzer, Alina Weillechner, Lukas Aschenreiter, Clemens Gersthofer, Patrick Leitgöb, Katharina Schmirl, Leon Lembert
Recorded at the Hörspiel-Studio of the ORF Broadcasting Center in Vienna, performed by students of the Schauspielakademie Ott school for actors, and directed by Sigrid Reisenberger.

In the Idoru (Bridge) trilogy (Virtual Light 1994 / Idoru 1996 / All Tomorrow’s Parties 1999) the power of the media moguls collides with hackers and the residents of the bridge, the physical presence of things and bodies with figures generated from code, or the perpetual ticking of a second hand with the timeless black hole of digital space. A kaleidoscope of viruses, drugs, weapons, data heavens, slick PR managers, television believers, data mongers, avatars, and much more. But the question as to autonomy and the potentially creatable spaces in between, the interstices, remains crucial.

Let us, therefore, enter the space in which possibilities reside, the interstitial, as Gibson calls it, the polyphonies of voices in which every voice is given a space and complex, unforeseeable, fragmentarily interconnected structures arise and pass.

The physical bodies of the visitors, performers, and musicians become linked through the eyes of a tablet installation, thus they observe and are observed at the same time, while the voices of eight non-present bodies narrate the 13 scenes generated from Gibson’s text by Roland Quitt.

DIY electronics or the Max Brand Synthesizer built by Max Brand in collaboration with Bob Moog symbolize resistance and self-empowerment. Keyboards call to mind their centuries-long history as an interface between machines – the keys of the clavichord, the double manual of the Max Brand Synthesizer, or the computer keyboard.

The forceful sounds of the physical models of membranes clashing with field recordings and the voices of present and non-present bodies. The Vienna Acousmonium, a spatially arranged loud speaker orchestra, hurls sound sculptures through the air, thus acoustically tying together the space that is visually fragmented by massive pillars.

Contrapuntally, the individual vocal and instrumental parts drift through time and are woven together in a web of bodies, objects, light, and ephemeral sound sculptures.

About the Book

In Virtual Light the bridge, an autonomous zone, represents rampant growth and subversion in San Francisco, the space of possibilities. The protagonist Chevette, a bicycle messenger and resident of the bridge, collides with a courier of power (Cody Harwood) and ends up stealing the pair of VL (Virtual Light) sunglasses that hold the secret, the code of the future of San Francisco and the power connected with it. In a world in which digital communication can be hacked and retrieved at any given moment, true secrets can only be exclusively delivered by courier. The chase begins and the anti-cop Rydell, or the “cop in trouble”, reveals himself as an at times chaotic companion.

In Idoru, the space of possibilities shifts to the Walled City, the space between the wall and the world, an autonomous zone in the web modeled after Hak Nam (City of Darkness), a former physical autonomous zone in Hong Kong, the black hole at its center. Idoru revolves around the marriage of the pop star Rez and the hologram generated from pure code Rei Toei in Tokyo and the hunt for the necessary nanotech assembler in the form of a holed egg. Chia, a much too young fan of the aging pop star, one of the last remaining dinosaurs of his time, his entire global fan community, as well as Laney, the net runner hired by Rez’s company Paragon Asia Dataflow to search for relevant nodal points in the network of data, collide with the Kombinat, which for other purposes is also interested in the egg and its power to shape the future.

The bridge, the Walled City, Rei Toei, who is in the process of emancipating herself, Chevette, and Rydell, are all just as much a part of the finale in All Tomorrow's Parties as the character Laney, who creates his own autonomous zone in a cardboard box in one of Tokyo’s underground stations from which he taps deep into the world of data. He realizes that his 5-SB-induced ability to track down relevant nodal points, which makes it possible for him to influence the course of time, connects him with Cody Harwood. Fontaine, keeper of things and their histories, a longtime resident of the bridge, provides refuge in his shop for the homeless person Silencio, who has in his possession a Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurematic watch, which was given to him by the man, the one who leaves no digital traces of himself and only lives and acts in the moment. Cody strives for absolute power and control and for incorporating all still existing autonomous zones – The Big Change. But the system strikes back, and though the bridge burns, the Futurematic doesn’t. And the watch takes the place that Cody had occupied.
“...Rei Toei is there, and passes him this sigil, clockface, round seal, the twelve hours of day, twelve of night, black lacquer and golden numerals, and he places it on the space that Harwood occupied. And sees it drawn in, drawn infinitely away, into that place where Harwood is going; drawn by the mechanism of inversion itself, and then it is gone….”
Laney disappears into the black hole, digital Nirvana, where time and space do not exist; Rei Toei is already history too. The Big Change didn’t happen after all, and Silencio remains the keeper of time and brews coffee.

Supported by Niederösterreich Kultur, Wien Kultur, SKE, BMKÖS, Wien Bibliothek im Rathaus, Langenzersdorfer Museum

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