[-empyre-] shadow theatre

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Jul 27 08:57:22 EST 2012

dear all

interestingly, we are invited by Erkki Huhtamo to come to his show in LA
at the Velaslavasay Panorama Enthusiast Society (which also asks potential audiences to consider becoming a member of the Velaslavasay Panorama Enthusiast Society,
so that they may contribute to their efforts in bringing wonders many and unique to the great city of Los Angeles and beyond). 
amazing venue it seems, and the announcement of the magic lantern show did send me back to the article that was recommended, on "Screeology," and I found some of the
footnotes on eastern traditions of shadow theatre very provocative, if I were to think of this older [?] tradition of shadow play now, for example, in regard
or in comparison with Rafael's descriptions of his colossal shadow projections.

One footnote I want to cite here, and it emphasizes the performance traditions that underlie the use and cultural resonances (and public/private functions)
of shadow theatre and the use of light and screen, primarily for the craft of the performer creating the stories and illusions or phantasmagorias:

[31] However, in some traditions, like the the Wayang beber on Bali, part of the audience sits on the
sides, giving some spectators an opportunity to observe both the performers and the performance on
the screen. Theoretically the existence of this “double-point-of-view”, which can be encountered
elsewhere as well, is highly interesting. In Western traditions it was usually denied.

Audiences, thus, often enjoy seeing [behind] the apparatus and what creates the "screen effects" or their illusions
or their own enjoyment of the illusional machine, is this correct?  

If this were so, Brecht would be pleased, and my earlier posting on [past Artaud's] commercial technology's powerful influence on the (contemporary) society of immersion
overstated?  What went wrong in western traditions?

Johannes Birringer

Erkki Huhtamo

I think such experiences really differ from just reading about these
things. My work often emphasizes the "discursive dimension" (such as
imaginary screens, or the ways how magic mirrors served screen-like
functions already centuries ago), but grasping the material, tangible
dimension is equally important.

Check: http://www.panoramaonview.org/news.html

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