“Gorgon” by Marianna Simnett is a stupendous piece about how we will face the unknown. Spoiler: With empathy. The music – significantly the mixing of artificial and acoustic sounds, recordings and stay music – is actually excellent. The costumes and masks of the four-piece flute choir are additionally imaginative and impressively replicate the perform of expertise as a distorting mirror of the truth we stay collectively.
The story begins with Hans and Greta working in a donut stand beneath very poor situations. Hans seems to be a bit like a cherub, an angel with a voice as clear as a bell and a baby’s tie. Along with her lengthy, pink fingernails and a white-pink enterprise ensemble, Greta seems to be extra like a hopelessly bold “energy lady”. Perhaps she is the witch within the gingerbread home, or perhaps she is a brand new model of the Greek goddess Athena, who stood for battle technique and craftsmanship. Over the course of the play, Greta/Athene equips herself with weapons from the 3D printer with the intention to rob the superhuman being Gorgon, who captivates the complete nation together with his voice, of his energy. Gorgon is a shape-shifting creature and a form of siren – he actually seems as a projection.
Simnett educated the AI along with her personal imagery
Gorgon is performed by Marianna Simnett herself, who, nonetheless, doesn’t seem on stage. Gorgon is a digital presence that seems bigger than life behind the gamers and spreads into the viewers as an eerie sound. The continually altering determine is created with the assistance of creative masks and an AI, which the artist educated along with her personal picture materials. Simnett thus takes on the options of varied animal species which are identified for his or her misleading look. Every of their kinds has their very own AI-powered voice.
“I used to be as soon as a girl / now I’m larger, extra widespread / a virus,” is how Gorgon introduces himself to the viewers. And this virus takes maintain of every thing: the fixed mutations of the set, the characters and particularly their pronunciation typically make it tough to actually perceive the monologues. However what turns into clear is the issue of (human) id and authenticity, as Greta reminds us with a bone in her hand and toneless lipsync. “Mimicry is a harmful luxurious” is the identify of the primary act and this line is usually sung by Hans, who quickly falls for Gorgon, physique and soul.
Athena/Greta’s bone flute in the end brings about an encounter between Greta and Gorgon within the type of the mythological queen bee Potnia Melissa, additionally sung about by Donna Haraway. The 2 characters come nearer to one another and acknowledge their mutual vulnerability and imperfection.
The demonization of the feminine voice
Greta should/might hand over her human want to dominate. The piece is instructed straight and primarily by non-human brokers: the flute, the projection, and a canine that sings within the open supply AI voice of artist Holly Herndon. It’s actually humorous, even when the lyrics are tragic and bundle many tales concerning the demonization of the feminine voice in a single breath.
Marianna Simnett is a superb video artist, however for Gorgon she selected the theatrical area of the theater custom. Maybe, given the speedy improvement of AI expertise, we should always ask ourselves once in a while whether or not every thing is admittedly so new and completely different.