Do you hear/see what I hear/see?
A work-in-progress speculative design for the play
Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertolt Brecht
Welcome to my exhibition!
During this five days exhibition, I'll keep working on my design work and posting the products here, including drawings, storyboard making, and making stop motion video to imitate the live experience of the designed show.
The stop motion videos for the first scene are available to watch now.
During the exhibition, I'll be working on the second scene and keep posting, stay tuned for more updates.
About this design:
When in a performance everyone wearing headphones, one can never be 100% sure if they're all hearing the same thing as everyone else.
I find this idea of isolation in a collective experience fascinating.
The play consists of 24 life stories under Hitler's rule, and I have to say a lot of them are stereotyped horrible and absurd life stories under the dictatorship. My design is focusing on how Nazi can still easily exist today in a different form and causing similar or new problems, in this era of technologies. To make the stories more relatable and more meaningful to the audiences nowadays.
It came to me as a personal struggle during this global pandemic that this pandemic is causing deeper oppositions between cultures and nations. All media deliver the same event more or less from their own perspective, not to mention that everyone can take the same information differently. As long as there're humans involved, is there any true objective delivery of information? We're constantly taking in information from where we have easy access to; this gave us different sets of facts and eventually different mindsets.
As someone who speaks several languages and has been living in different countries with entirely different cultures and languages, I'm privileged to have access to see and hear things from different perspectives. However, the more aspects I see things from, the more I feel the complexity of things. At the same time, I had this struggle of not being able to communicate efficiently with people who don't have my privilege to see more than one side; it's a frustration of not being able to find the right audiences to communicate with. This frustration itself is the thing I want to embody in the design, is what I want my audiences to experience. I am hoping to find a way for me to communicate with the audience as a designer.
All these thoughts led me to the thinking of restricting audiences' perceptions.
Sightlines have been traditionally treated as restrictions for the set designers when designing. They need to take the whole auditorium into account, not to put too much design outside the sightline to create less restricted view seats.
The same goes to the audio engineers. One of their most important jobs is to make sure all the audiences to have similar auditory experiences, no matter where they sit.
What is going to have an impact on the audiences are not the text being performed on stage, but what they experienced in this space. The experience of uncertainty will make the audiences to think and question the "reality" they see and hear, their relationship to other people from different background and where they take information from.