More Multimedia Madness

I am doing a thesis on Anne Carson (if you haven’t read her, run to the bookstore Right Now), and I just read an interview (by Melanie Rehak at the NeW York Times Magazine, 5-26-00) about a project she did with students at the University of Michigan:
“At Michigan, she and her students created an ‘installation opera’ based on the life of a medieval French mystic named Marguerite Porete, who was condemned and burned at the stake as a heretic. Carson wrote the libretto…and one of her students composed the music. The opera itself was interactive in ways that can only be described as 21st century. It consisted of seven rooms that corresponded with the seven sections of the libretto. Attending the opera meant walking through these rooms in sequence- in order to experience Porete’s life from the moment she was arrested until her death. One room not only had no walls, but also required visitors to put on headphones attached to portable CD players to listen to the appropriate soundtrack. After the rooms were dismantled, the opera was preserved on a Website. “

How’s that for collaboration and multimedia! It’s amazing what people come up with in terms of conveying meaning through music, sound, lyrics, and even space itself. Of course we might not have the time or talent to compose operas in the next week, but it is interesting to think about space as a medium. Have a great carnival weekend and good luck getting your creative juices running!

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One Response

  1. That’s so cool. Also, “one room not only had no walls…” What does that mean? Was one of the spaces outside? Also brings up the question of how we define our art. I’m not an opera-person but I wonder if opera fanatics would condemn or encourage the labeling of the piece as “opera.” Similarly, in our own projects, where do we draw our own conclusions as to what is and is not creative writing and/or multimedia…

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