The emergence of virtual-reality experiences has suggested that in the near future people will spend long periods of time moving through programmed worlds of realistic sights and sounds. Though these experiences will no doubt be pleasurable, they represent almost total immersion in a sensorium that negates the natural world around us. This scenario is used metaphorically in Diorama to represent tensions felt by those who are sensitive to the loss of primal, natural experience in an increasingly man-made environment. Diorama was produced using a two-camera system to photograph real life scenes. Although the 3-D satisfies our expectation to see objects in depth, it can also produce a strange sense of artificiality. I used this hyper-reality to create the mood for the short enigmatic narrative, in which the subjective eye of the narrator moves us through a virtual world affording comfort and order, but lacking the elements of real life he seems to yearn for. The soundtrack includes music by Doug Quin, a composer who creates electronic music using samples of wildlife sounds.
Julia Tell, "Plunder Squad", Articulate,
Baltimore/Washington, DC, October 1996.
Rebecca Crumlish, "Plunder Squad:A Performance Piece", washington review, December/January 1996-7.
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