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deus::ex::machina - human geography in a virtual world

deus::ex::machina was developed during, and in response to, the global lockdown in 2020. 


A telematic performance, deus::ex::machina is staged as site- adaptive  interactive performance, at various outdoor locations around Cape Town, and live streamed to online audiences across the world. The work tours to various locations, in each City interacting with the visual and sonic landscapes of the public space it inhabits. 


deus::ex::machina is a physical expression of human geography, a search for connection within chaos. Part telematic performance, part interactive online experience, deus::ex::machina is live, real time motion controlled by the audience.   


This multiplayer game invites viewers to meet online or in real life, in a shared experience of simulated connection. This virtual experience is driven by you, the viewer, as you control the dancers via a real time voting process through your device, ultimately choosing your own unique experience of the per- formance, as it unfolds live or via live stream.


In this extended reality, we measure the uniqueness of the individual, against the commonality of the human experience. The performance expresses how the movements & trajectories of people moving in public space unknowingly create a large scale choreography. While we experience global physical isolation, our connections entirely dependent on technology, our realities filtered through algorithms - how close are we to being controlled; or are we the ones in control? 


deus::ex::machina becomes a physical embodiment of man vs machine. No two performances are the same, and each audience experience unique.


Concept, Choreography, Creative Direction : Louise Coetzer

Interactive Digital Design, Set Design, Coding : Marc Nicolson, Padraig Riley, Sibongiseni Tembe (Thingking)

Performed by : Darkroom Contemporary

Dancers : Mukovhe Monyai, Christopher Sherwood - Adcock, Farnel Smart, Tania Mteto, Carla Scholtz

Music by: Franco Prinsloo, Lungiswa Plaatjies, Cara Stacey, Object Agency, Matthijs van Dijk, NASA Sounds from Mars, edited by Brydon Bolton

Project Manager, Technical Support, Project Photographer : Oscar O’Ryan

Rehearsal Director : Natalie Fisher

Stage manager : Buntu Tyali

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