`one must transcend the domain of humanity, and enter into the arena of helicon.' --- nick `xxx' xanthis III. the prismatic actor Emotions and thoughts cannot be ascribed a definite vector in space-time. It is the role of Art to provide us with etchings of such ephemerals. And what other Art strives to illuminate so completely the emotional territory of humankind but the dramatic? Sound and light, shape and shadow and flesh are moulded in such a way as to have a single moment contain all possible moments. The theatre-maker thereby becomes an epitome of the Imagineer. The actor becomes the prism through which the inspirations of playwrights and designers pass to unlock a panoply of colours. They transcend their own identity in order to show humanity exactly what it consists and is capable of, reflecting the totality of human existence. They are the alchemist whose crucible is their body, the human organism containing all possible symbols to be used in any formula. Communion is the aim, through which the mundane is transformed into the sacred. The heat they apply to achieve this is the fire from heaven --- the Imagination. Actor, from the Latin agere: to do. 'I will do what I have dreamed, or I will do nothing,' our mad prophet declaims. An individual is forever acting. Even at rest, they are in a sense acting on the urge to do nothing. Acting is primarily a mode of communication. The body communicates to the mind that it is tired. The mind communicates to the body: `We should do something.' The body responds: `We are: doing nothing.' So it can be seen that when one takes on the task of acting in order to communicate something, so as to create a relationship between their organism and that of another, a dangerous game is entered into where the relationship of truth and interpretation can suddenly become distorted and paradoxes may be born. This needn't be cause for concern - if anything, paradox enriches meaning through indicating that Truth is far stranger and stronger than anything that can be opposed against it - because if it is to be found in anything, it is to be found in everything, and so is invincible. Paradox can be an invitation for engagement. We therefore embrace paradox as a magnificent tool for the Imagineer in this epoch of elemental confusion --- allowing audiences to participate in what they experience and augment it, drawing their own conclusions and creating more nodes of connection so that meaning may be extended. We presently recognise the potency of flux where the only apparent constant is change: the imaginative actor experiences all manner of permutations and combinations within their organism, and these resonate and echo and trigger further responses from those receiving them. How then to transcend the complaint that acting is pretense, a mere simulacra? We cannot answer - there is no answer to an ever evolving question. Some may rage against our indeterminism. Let them --- they may be delighted to find themselves passionate about somethingâ€¦ or simply spellbound. Consider the words of Hassan I Sabbah: `Nothing is true; everything is permitted.' Truth is large enough to contain its opposite, illusion, and illusion is but one card in the magickian's deck. Rise, Mephistopheles: Faust commands you! Enchantment, entrancement.. Evocative, evocation; to evoke! Invocation. Manifestation. Passion. Revelation. These are occult terms, yet who can argue that they do not also fall into the domain of the Imagineer?
`any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.' --- arthur c. clarke
IV. the apocalyptic theatre
Hyperreality and mundanity are on a collision course. Technology, the fruits of humankind's collective imaginative impetus, provides the Imagineer with ample resources to explode, expose, generate, articulate, elevate and perpetuate whatever memes they see fit to. One of the great Imagineers asserted that all the world is a stage. And why not? Life is not bound within four walls. Nor is the imagination. Stairwells can serve as well as studios, hotel rooms and rooftops as well as recital halls. We are not restricted to physical space. Any medium now carries potential bandwidth for transmission. Technology augments reality in new and revolutionary ways; classical physics had us trapped in a clockwork mechanism: the quantum leap saw us embedded in the midst of a creative organic-like process orders of magnitude beyond what had previously been conceived. `Maybe logic', multiplicity and non-linearity need now to be considered as woven through the fabric of whatever canvas awaits the Imagineer's creative outpourings.
Cinema is a marvellous thing; but Theatre happens NOW. Plasma screens, projections, three-dimensional sound systems, live feeds of simultaneous performances spanning the globe. Bluetooth wireless tech issuing instructions to audience members through their mobile phones, emails eliciting a private audience for one in a continuing drama. On the strange island of the future, holographic projectors are built --- god forms and demons interior and exterior, all manner of archetypes brought to life through all manner of integrations of flesh and techne. The inventions of the trap-door, the fly and the revolving stage exponentially increased the potential for shocking and exciting magickal expression on stage ---we owe a debt to their inventors for best conceiving how angels could tread the boards. As we invent things, objects, so we invest them with meaning, and utilise them to cast new light on old concepts.
Apocalypse means 'to reveal'. Thereby the Imagineer engages in an Apocalyptic Theatre dedicated to the revelation of mystery to the masses. Reveal hypocrisy. Reveal the joy of play. Reveal humanity to the economic automatons. The Apocalyptic Theatre is one that can access the brutal energies of ritual sacrifice as equally as the transcendent beauty of Beethoven's Fifth, or the necessity of iPods. The Imagineer is versed in the cut and paste contexts of current events. We have met the enemy, and it is us! The Imagineer does not fundamentally despise those who cannot see the forest for the woodchip exports, for it is they that provide the shit with which to fertilize our imaginations and crystallise our actions. We talk of continuums, the dialectic of an unfolding process. They will address us in the language of bureaucracy. We shall respond with the language of MAGICK. One strives to keep things static, the other seeks mutation. Evolution has already assured us victory.
`all your base are belong to us!' - anonymous
V. ? ! ? ! ? ! ? . . .
The Apocalyptic Theatre is neither an end, nor a beginning. It is a continuation. It is a feedback loop. It is a fractal and a Rorschach test. It says nothing new, and everything new. We are acolytes of Eris, children of the HEAD Revolution, and thus applaud all instances of free expression. Our sigil is the cross extending to the cardinal points, the i of the imagination and the inspiration of individuals everywhere; affixed to the seal of Jupiter, the sovereign planet of the magi. As everything is in flux we acknowledge that the Imagineer is already free to disappear and reappear at willâ€¦
Images channelled by Angela Mottee
How deep does the rabbit hole go? Join the open Forum: Imagineering