Paradise of the Assassins
Media: virtual world happenings
The happenings in “Land of Illusion” (in Second Life) are performed by the team members coming from different countries and connected only by the Internet. They live the historical figures’ lives while retaining their “real-life” identities. Their performances are rooted in Chinese legends, literature and folklore, yet randomly altered when a stranger, that can be either the audience or a virtual world visitor, interrupts. Sometimes confronting, ridiculous, sometimes disappointing or silently enlightening. These conflicts are multi-facets while cultural unfamiliarity plays a significant role. During the happening, both audiences and performers may find themselves lost in their ambiguous identities. Here, the line between real and unreal, fiction and truth, east and west, past and present becomes so fine.
In the gallery, projection and computer workstation will allow viewers to interact with virtual encounters while immersing in an eastern fantasy landscape.
Letter to Assassins:
Dear “Paradise of the Assassins” participants,
Networked performance “Paradise of the Assassins” is taking place soon in Grand View Garden (Regeneration Island 117, 174, 30). Please check the final schedule carefully.
Nov.1st, Saturday @ 7 – 7:40PM SLtime
Nov.2nd. Sunday @ 7 – 7:40 AM SLtime
( we have made some changes at the last second due to the time differences. we are very grateful to your understandings and participation.)
When performance takes place in SL, viewers in RL (at Emergent Art Center, Eindhoven, Netherlands) can view and interact with actors by controlling an avatar named “Illusion String”, who obtains the identity of Emperor Qin. Viewers therefore are encouraged to experience the virtual space, Paradise of the Assassins, when walking through and confronting the avatars in the garden (eastern section of Land of Illusion).
This type of real-time interaction between audiences and artists remains a relatively new venue in the field of contemporary art, and highly experimental. The actions are designed with less script, and leave more space to actors for interpretation of the historical contexts. More importantly, the interactions between audience and actor (in this case, the assassins and emperor) will result an open-end observation on relations of history, society and individual. During the 30- 40 minutes performance, beside the basic actions, actors are encouraged to perform with their own ideas, especially those reflecting on understanding of eastern philosophy and cultural traditions – relaxation, randomness and meditation.
Site (please find “performance site” landmark in folder):
Grand View Garden, around the bridge and pavilion area
* Assassin Ms. Hong Fu 红拂女 – acted by Lily Jun
gesture – dancing in Chinese music, http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Hong_Fu_Nu#Synopsis
* Assassin Jing Ke 荆轲 – acted by Ry Bollisima
gesture – beating drum besides Gao Jianli, or holding a scroll of painting in pavilion
(Reference – http://www.storykitchen.com/assassins-jingke.php)
* Assassin Gao Jianli 高漸離 – acted by Victory Bury
gesture – playing ‘zhu’,a stringed musical instrument played with a thin stick
* Assassin Zhuan Zhu 专诸 – acted by 3star Tyne
gesture – cooking fish by the bridge
* Assassin Yao Li 要离 – acted by Rena Winkoop
gesture – enjoying wine under the moonlight, approaching to Emperor Qin and offering a cup of wine
(Reference – http://www.storykitchen.com/assassins-yaoli.php)
* Participants can wear their own costumes considered proper or effective to the theme. Their identities will be recognized by the prop and gestures (simple animations).
* The overall atmosphere is seemingly very delightful, which disguises the strong wills of killing (tyrants/authority).
* While we will be pleased with more visitors attending the event, it is imortant the performance is not interferred by people without awareness of the ongoing themes. The solution is, visitors will be located in “Viewing Area” assigned with a special landmark, which is included in “Paradise of the Assassins” folder sent to you.
* This is your paradise, our dreamland. Hope everybody have fun and continue our collaborations in the future!
Lily & Honglei