¡Bocón! is almost open… it’s now so close that you can taste it in the coffee we drink all night while we’re working, so close that you can smell it in the hazer fluid that’s filling the air. In many ways the transition from the initial days of tech and the final dress seem like an impossible transformation.
It’s difficult to see the forest for the trees sometimes, and this experience has been no exception. It seems like there have been countless nights when I’ve wondered if we’d actually be able to put together the media for this show. My role in this production has been as the assistant to the very talented and driven Dan Fine – a second year MFA student in the Interdisciplinary Digital Media and Performance program at ASU. It’s strange to think that we actually started this process back in August when he first asked if I’d be interested in working with him on this project. Our initial meetings, that now seem so long ago, were centered around codifying the ideas and aesthetic that we were hoping to create in designing the media for this show.
In thinking back to those initial meetings they provided an invaluable scaffolding for the work that would come as we started to install projectors and create content for the show. Those first meetings helped to unify both our vision and conviction for the show and the ultimate look of what we were looking to create. Central to our conversations was the idea that the visual expression of the show was somewhere between a storybook and abstract art. Dan wanted artwork that supported the story visually, helped to create the world of the play, but didn’t distract the audience from the actors in the space. The difficult balance of mediating a production like this is to avoid the impulse to fill the space with so much content that it overpowers the actors on stage. It’s been an interesting balancing act to support the action of the space without becoming a distraction to the audience.
This process of media design has also left me with more questions than answers about how one might meaningfully examine this work. After several long nights in the theatre and working at home I’m left wondering when my most productive and meaningful work happened: was it productive to be in the theatre until nearly 3:00AM? Was I actually designing quality work after midnight as I fought with After Effects night after night? Did our system of versioning our work facilitate better organization or impede our efforts to implement changes from run to run of the show?