Anti-Gone, Sundance Film Festival: New Frontier, Park City, UT, 2020
Theo Triantafyllidis’ Anti-Gone at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, New Frontier, programmed by Chief Curator Shari Frilot. Commissioned and produced by Onassis Culture, Anti-Gone is a new mixed reality performance inspired by the comic book of the same name by Connor Willumsen. Anti-Gone incorporates live performance with real time simulation to explore the social impacts of technology, privilege and the beginnings and ends of worlds.
Adapting the mechanics of open world video games, Triantafyllidis revises traditional narrative into a continuous simulation, taking place in a meticulously crafted 3D world, full of visual signifiers of paradise: a bright blue ocean, lush multicolored vegetation, a sunken city lit by glowing sunsets. This world is also riddled with social unrest and mutation, a post-climate change world where environmental catastrophe has become normalized. The vestiges of late-capitalist culture - consumerism, inequality, social unrest - live on, clinging like barnacles to the ruins of civilization. This work features Spyda and Lynxa on their sailboat, as they glide from shopping to movies to psychedelic drugs, and social unrest. Using a motion capture suit and virtual reality headset as embodied interfaces, actors perform both onstage and in the virtual world. Performing alongside them on-stage, Triantafyllidis and his team of game engineers direct and shape the world in real-time.
Triantafyllidis’ hybrid theater becomes a mirror of the demands made by the hyperactive disorientation and confusion of our mediated “real” lives and class gap tensions. The virtual world Triantafyllidis has created is a portrait of the complexities of our world, consumed by the game-logic of the virtual worlds we’d like to inhabit. As the fourth wall becomes merged with the audience’s perception, Anti-Gone proposes an alternate perspective of universal concerns for the present and future, which may very well already be our past.
Commissioned and Produced by Onassis Culture
Special Thanks to The Breeder, Athens.
Mari Spirito, Commissioning Curator; Matthew Doyle, Adaptation and Assistant Direction; Performers: Lindsey Normington, Zana Gankhuyag, and Matthew Doyle; Music by Cameron Stallones; Lighting by Connor Childs; Production design by Polina Miliou; Motion Capture technology provided by Noitom MoCap; Thank you for our pilot performance at Human Resources, Los Angeles, UCLA Design Media Arts, Bitforms Gallery, Barco Projectors.