David Minnix, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Collaborators: PAT 412/512 Students, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

The students of Digital Music Ensemble (PAT 412/512) are excited to introduce our semester-long project, [Re]Wilding, an immersive multimedia installation/performance to be held on December 5, 2022. The installation will include four interactive spaces that each address themes of technology, community, and ecological crisis. Audience members will become immersed through character building, interactive music, dance, and meditation, and asked to engage in speculative exercises that pose questions about our collective future. Contrary to traditional performance, audience members will be welcome to move about the four themed spaces and engage with different interactive elements. On the way into the performance, audience members will be able to pick from different costume pieces to “get into character” for [Re]Wilding. This temporary persona aims to challenge our views and understanding of climate change, technology, and humanity of the audience by granting new perspectives through experiencing spaces that simulate divergent futures. The visual themes of each room will juxtapose biology and technology. The audience’s actions will shape the way events unfold, mirroring our collective responsibility.

The students of DME are a diverse group of 18 students from several schools on north campus, each bringing unique skill sets, ideas, and disciplines to the table. We have representation from SMTD, LSA, Stamps, and the College of Engineering to contribute to our goals. As a large group of creatives, we have overcome the difficult challenge of establishing a decision making process – [Re]wilding will be the product of more than one mind. This speaks to nature of the collaborative process we have undertaken as well as to our performance’s theme of community. In order to collectively survive the challenges our society faces, we will have to learn to work in community. In developing a collaborative process that incorporates the multitude of ideas, expectations, fears, and goals present in our group, we are acquiring skills that we will bring to our lives, professional careers, and our communities. As a society, we are facing a crisis that demands our collective imagination.

In order to survive the coming century, we will need to create a future for ourselves that looks radically different from our present. We are surrounded by images of dystopia and decay. [Re]wilding will augment the imaginations of its audience/participants and provide a space for them to speculate about a more positive future. As a society, we are bombarded with hot-button topics to the point of desensitization, building an ominous barrier between people and the messages that are important to understand. The development and use of technology has, in its past, been destructive to the environment and often becomes a polarizing topic between economy and environment. We aim to mend the divide and imagine the use of technology to repair and improve the ecosystems of the world and our communities.