This mid-scale multimedia performance work focuses on the experience of Berlin at the end of World War Two to explore the evolution of Europe and the mythologies of European identity. The performance is structured through layering six different versions of post war Europe from the starting point of the year zero that begins with the fall of Berlin in 1945. Weaving a series of narratives that work across different versions of history, Zero Point attempts to suture theatrical stagings of alternate histories with cinematic conventions to interrogate the way in which our culture uses history and cinema as a mode of identity creation. Zero Point uses innovative design, new projection technologies as a means to question and explore how, in the post war period, and often through the lens of the moving image, history has been transformed into spectacle and explores that our reliance on this spectacle for the source of historical truth often overlooks other ways of understanding the past. Zero Point is a Live at Lica commission and has received £98,000 of Arts Council England funding. Zero Point is also directly benefiting from the University’s allocation of £96,000 funding to LICA to support work that utilises projectors and projection technology (awarded in 2011) and makes use of much of the digital equipment made available through the ARHC funded DIALab project (£180K), on which Zero Point is a named project.
The following summarise the key research questions at the core of this project:
1. In what ways has the cinematic dominated the broader cultural understanding of history in the last fifty years? What forms of critique of this understanding does juxtaposing the cinematic with the theatrical generate?
2. How do new digital mixing technologies impact on contemporary story-telling in the theatre. How do these technologies challenge conventional linear presentations of history?
3. Can the creation of immersive experiences for contemporary audiences create modes of critical distance (Brechtian) that critique hegemonic ideology formation – in short, in what ways is Zero Point a new form of Epic Theatre that has roots in the work of Piscator and Brecht?
4. Zero Point uses new projection technologies and live projection mixing programmes to create a unique theatrical experience for spectators. In what ways do these technologies affect the process of performance making and collaboration?