Tramonto Umano is a multimedia Colour-opera investigating new possible ways of digital interaction between humans and machines. The highly immersive performance presents a dystopian future scenario, in which human bodies are modeled, guided and controlled through technology. The performer’s actions, movements and gestures on stage are captured with special tracking technologies. The collected data is used for real- time video and sound conversion and live-processing. The physical body becomes a playground for various forms of digital modifications. Plato’s Myth of Er serves as fil rouge for the performance; the destiny of human souls in the afterlife become a metaphor for our own destiny in digital times
A snake can change its skin but not its disposition.
-- (Arabic saying)
With the development of artificial procreation and genetic engineering humans have ultimately distinguished themselves from the natural, bare life. In modifying genetic material, making in-vitro-fertilization possible, and in implanting chips into human tissue, named bio-hacking, the human species has broken the boundaries of nature. But at what cost? How can these technologies alter human nature and the way of life? Are we simply a biological surplus, an intermediate stage on the way to cybernetic mutation?
Within this scenario, Tramonto Umano places human bodies in a dystopian dream and explores potential facets of digital interaction between human and machine on various levels. Characters, human relics, artificially animated and used as mere kinetic bodies, act within Sturmer’s pictorial vision. By means of special technological processes, the performers’ actions and gestures are digitally captured, reconstructed and molded. The performers’ movements and the painterly actions can be captured in real-time due to the development of sensor-active exoskeletons and serve as basis for further audio-visual processes. Hence the entire creative procedures become a digital database, out of which the visual and sonic world arises.
Pure human movements become basis and setting for a new artificiality and define a cybernetic aesthetic. Cyborgs and their demiurges act within an unnamed space, present their existence and possible relationships in an optional reality. Everything that happens in front of the spectator affects the digital world and is reflected through the digital manipulation in sound and vision. The Myth of Er from Plato’s Republic is the inspiration for the dramaturgical storyline of the performance. The destiny of human souls in the afterlife serve as metaphor for our own destiny in digital times. Plato’s post- human vision, the dream or nightmare that Er recounts after having come back to life, gains a new point of view in today’s age of technology. In Tramonto Umano the spectator is placed in a gray post-apocalyptic scenario. And the question remains open: is our reality the ultimate dystopia?
Stirn Prumzer aka. Christopher Sturmer – live-painting, concept Patrick Lechner - live-video, digital framework
Alessandro Baticci - music, digital interaction, concept Rafal Zalech, music, digital framework
Gabriele Bakšytė, scenical realization