Evolution of Moral Progress: Genus 394Wz
WP Puppet Theatre is pleased to support the production of Evolution of Moral Progress: Genus 394WZ (EMP) This ambitious puppet-infused art installation uses textile arts, automata, video, original scores and movement to explore the human-animal interactions from primordial time to far into the future.
The project is an exciting collaboration between mixed media artist and palaeontologist, Karin Millson, and WP Puppet Theatre Artistic Director, Wendy Passmore-Godfrey.
It is currently awaiting funding to move to phase 3 production which specifically includes:
- Recruit and film eight actors from diverse populations i.e., BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+, Differently – abled, seniors
- Provide accessibility via closed – captioned video.
- Engage student/emerging artists interns in film/media studies for the video production.
EMP invites the audience to question their relationship with the world they live in. It follows the story of Aanigma as she/they travels through time and liminal space observing the evolution of an imaginary animal. She/they ponders, through the course of 12 scenes, the relationship of Genus 394Wz with an ever-evolving human species; from food-source, muse, entertainment, scientific research subject etc. In the end, in the far future, Genus 394Wz is the key to humankind’s moral progress.
Karin and Wendy wanted to investigate philosophical questions related to human roles and responsibilities with other life forms, object orientated ontology, speculative realism, existentialism and futurism. Additionally, the production experiments with merging automata, textile art, art-tech including fiber optics and LEDS, sculpture and puppetry creating a new and dynamic presentation form. They play with the notion of a puppet as a static figure head which then transforms into a live actor, thus enlarging the definition of ‘puppet’. And they play with the textile art form of shibori, animating it as the species Genus 394Wz, in non-traditional ways. Interactive components include audiences receiving a ‘bento’ box of items to engage with as the show unfolds. i.e.: a percussive shaker for when the film portrays the actor playing shakers or a scratch and sniff card of incense for another scene.
In the productions Phase 3 iteration Karin and Wendy want to explore the ‘intermedial’ space created with the incorporation of digital technology into theatre practice and the intersection of the viewers, live performer, video performers, visual art, music, text etc. They are specifically interested in the juxtaposition of a puppet character (Aanigma), whose physicality allows a special rapport with the audience, with immersive video, and how these combine to invite the audiences to suspend their disbelief and enter an imaginary space and time.
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