The following review is courtesy of John Munger, Director of Research and Information, Dance USA
A century and a quarter ago William Henley wrote, “ I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” He captured a dominant world-view of his time. Super Vision makes the case in an 80-minute multi-media work that Henley’s view no longer applies, whether we like it or not.
It’s hard to be the captain of your soul when a “ Border Agent” stamping passports knows more about your medical history than you do. Hard to be the master of your fate when you’re $478,000 in debt before the age of nine. Hard to be master or captain of anything when you can’t even establish that you’ve never been to Dubuque.
Individuals in three unconnected story lines struggle to resist a pervasive loss of autonomy. The husband in an upscale family of three lives at his computer trying to juggle money and identity. A Sri Lankan grandmother tries to affirm the human details of her life in extended video-phone conversations with her granddaughter in New York. An international business traveler endures repeated encounters with officious border agents who question details of his life.
Relentless questions, and resistance to answering them, are two themes stitching this multi-layered work together. There are so many layers, all purporting to be “ reality.” We see actors sitting behind working desks of electronic equipment speaking into cams that project onto a huge upstage screen to hold dialogues with live actors, in the space between, who in turn respond to images on their own computers that include projections of their own faces on the monitors watched by the actors behind the desks. There. Did I lose you? My point exactly.
The Sri Lankan grandmother was wonderful in many ways. But the real star of the show was a tour-de-force fandango of multi-media artistry including lights, sound, video, animation, projections and the kitchen sink. Human individuals became helpless data-bits flying through space like points on a traffic controller’s radar grid.