In the darkness of a cinema space, the audience sits blindfolded. Behind each row of audience members is a row of children who in hushed voices describe a film only they can see. Accompanied by the soundtrack, the whispered descriptions are a fragile, fragmentary and at times struggling but courageous attempt by the children to make sense of what they see projected on the screen. In focusing on that which lies beyond the sense of sight, the attention oscillates between the internal world guided by the whispering voice, and the shared physical space of the darkened cinema.
Created in collaboration with local children, Lookout is a one-to-one encounter between one adult audience member and one child performer taking place somewhere high up overlooking the city. Together they look out at the city and imagine its future. The conversation they share is a quiet journey through the past, present and future guided by the streets and landmarks laid out before them. It’s an exchange between two people who might not normally meet, about a future world they may or may not share. Lookout is an attempt to consider big questions in a small way. Developed through a series of workshops with local children, each new version of the piece is unique to the city it is created in and features people who call that place home.
Thousands of people who have never met in the real world swarm out on virtual treasure hunts when playing online games. Remote Riga is a staging of such a game in the real city where spectators become both the protagonists and the gamers. With the headphones on we let ourselves to be guided from a remote perspective by a synthetic voice familiar from GPS navigators or airport announcements. Our minds and decision making mechanisms are slowly replaced by artificial intelligence and the city around us gradually turns into a personal film. As dozens of individuals observe each other the swarm breaks down into ever-smaller units. Are we all hearing the same words?
Performance is rewritten and adapted for each particular city where it’s presented.