Piece duration: approx. 10 - 12 minutes
Performer roster: Audience participants with cell phones, an open number of physical performers (at least three), and one person to keep time and change projected slides
● projector and screen large enough to read from back of performance venue
● access to downloaded slides and .wav file
● access to the internet for audience
● stopwatch (needed to time the first four slides)
● dim flashlights
Description of piece:
Audience participants will follow slides projected on a screen with instructions for them to follow. Instructions pertain to phone usage during the piece.
Performers will take a series of poses and move within the performance hall dressed in black like shadows and hold a dim flashlight in one hand. Their goal is to move silently yet intrusively without audience participants noticing until they are in their space. Performers may wear dark colors, but preferably all black, with only socks on their feet. Socks with button rubber grips are okay. Performers will have directions memorized. All times are approximate.
Physical performers will take their first position anywhere they would like within the performance hall, but evenly spaced. The hall should then be darkened, preferable with the only light coming from the projected screen, but lit exit signs and slight light from dimmers are okay. Physical performers should be able to see pathways through the performance hall and be able to move quickly through them. The first slide is shown on the screen.
Slide number and Beep indicator
1 0:00 - 1:00 Be still Blank
2 - beep 1:00 - 2:00 Be still Take out your phone
3 - beep 2:00 - 2:15 Be still Turn the volume all the way up
4 - beep 2:15 - 2:45 Be still Go to your favorite social media platform
5 - beep 2:45 - 3:15 Move body in place as if moving through molasses
6 - beep 3:15 - 5:00 Turn on the flashlight and slowly begin to move around from the initial positioncreep. Flicker flashlights with approx 10 seconds between each flash. Do not flicker flash lights at the same time
5:00 - 5:30
Move at a moderate pace through the molasses with random jerks of movement in limbs and head, begin to stare directly at
Play videos on that platform
Don’t stop playing videos on that platform
7 - beep
audience participants, but not shine light directly on them. Continue random flashes of light, time between flashes is now random and faster.
5:30 - 6:00 Move as in previous 30 seconds but slightly quicker and more fluid - no more jerky movements. Get slightly in the personal space of audience participants, just enough to be uncomfortable, do not look directly at them. They should only barely notice you. Flashlights on.
6:00 - 7:00 Back off of the audience's personal space, move slowly and fluidly to a new stationary position and freeze in a posture of your choosing.
7:00 - 8:00
Be still and turn flashlight off, make eye contact with another performer
Stop playing videos.
8 - beep
8:00 - 9:00
Continue to hold the frozen position. Wait approx. 30 seconds, then slowly as a group start a slow crescendo of your lower register of voice to your higher register until you’re at your loudest volume. Start soft and stop, only move to the next step when the whole group is at its loudest. Flicker flashlights slowly to quickly with vocal crescendo. Strobe light effect.
9:00 - 10:00
Immediately drop your body over as if a rag doll and turn the flashlight off. Very slowly rising to a standing position looking directly at one individual in audience, begin speaking common internet slang and phrases at a medium volume Approx. 1 minute Examples of “internet slang” include popular hashtags, TikTok audios, memes, etc.
Decrescendo speaking until nothing. When youScroll through silent social media feed
reach silence, drop your head. Piece ends once all performers have heads dropped and lights off.
#xyzbca is a sensory experiment designed to explore how social media can bring us away from reality and dampen our senses to what is going on around us