2003 Triple Echo
Triple Echo is an interactive film environment where poetic monologues are each performed by three actors representing an updated version of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. These characters form a proverbial “Eternal Triangle”. Each screen section carries an image of the individual protagonist in situ (for example in their home, on a train, in the street). The poems are performed as verse monologues, with expressions matched to the sense of the verse. Each actor performs each of the poems individually, so that there are be 108 video pieces in total, associated with the triptychs. That is: each verse can be performed by any of the characters -the emotions involved becoming interchangeable but inflected differently by each actor. The clips can be viewed by an observing audience in set combinations of three.
Each video clip is recorded with sound and image in synch, but the soundtracks spoken by each actor will also be timed to synchronize horizontally with each other across each three-verse section (a similar strategy was adopted for my previous production of “Labyrinth”). In other words a parallel counter-pointing is structured into a horizontal reading across each triple verse set. The sound of a single poem follows an individual viewer (SIP) as they move from screen to screen (or character to character within the installation). That is, the verse attaches itself to the viewer, regardless of character. They therefore may experience the same poem or parts of the poem three times, with different inflexions and emphasis, depending on the particular protagonist. When the viewer moves his / her position, the movie showing on the two screens adjacent to the active viewing screen will always switch to have a complimentary poem in progress. The location of meaning is therefore intertextual or intervocal.
The viewer’s position determines that each start will be consistently mirrored in the transfer of audio between viewing points. The reiteration of the poetic discourse character by character breaks down the notion of individual experience and makes it a collective one. Sound is focused clearly in front of each screen on a precise viewing point by overhead parabolic speakers, in such a way that sound from the other two screens can only be faintly heard by the individual auditor (SIP) within the installation space. Whereas a watching audience will have monitors and ear-pieces to give all three sound feeds.
An infrared source and video camera are linked to a computer which system controls the allocation of the film clips and sound to each individual auditor. Physically, this tracking process means that if the SIP moves from their position in front of one screen to an adjacent one, the film clip changes, but the verse soundtrack follows the SIP, in keeping with the gender and roles of the protagonist on the screen immediately before the viewer. The relative positions of the Orpheus, Eurydice and Pluto characters are fixed within the installation. A triple data projector system will be used. The video clips and sound will be stored on DVD or fast Hard Drive. Separate computer systems control the three video projectors and the infra red video detection. A main Java script coordinates the passing of data between systems. An infrared light source and video camera are linked to a computer system which controls the allocation of the film clips and sound to each individual auditor through a logic tree
Filming: Terry Flaxton: Lights and Camera
Actors: Caroline Lennon(Eurydice),
Simon Tcherniak (Orpheus), Jonathan Coote (Pluto)
Programming: Neil Jenkins
Animation: Nicholas Bartleet