We had the great pleasure of working with rising star Raja Feather Kelly to realize his first VR work Ordinary Gesture. For the first time, I had the opportunity to act as both creative producer and co-director for a work that was not my own, and I loved it. The team (Raja, Me, Cyril Tsiboulski working as Art and Technical Director and Lead Developer and Christoph Mateka doing Sound Design and Score composition) collaborated with an ease and respect and openness that nourished all of our creativity. Thanks to Artizen and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival who commissioned this work.
From Raja: “Ordinary Gesture is a Virtual Reality Theatrical experience that intersects theatre, meditation, and movement. The experience seeks to surrealize the experience of empathy by situating the player in 5 scenes that expand from their body to space-time (the universe) and back again. Inspired by the movies Magnolia, Melancholia, Waking Life, the poem You Are Never Ready by Nicole Blackman, and the writing of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, Ordinary Gesture asks the player to contemplate existence, suffering, compassion, and gesture as both ingredients to create theatre and a means to perhaps better understand empathy.”
We have plans to further develop this work and find additional venue/arts institution partners so that audiences outside of the VR festival world can experience these.