Are you looking for something a little bit different to do one evening this week? Well this is your last chance to go and experience the immersive performance piece created by X-NN Systems, ‘The Forest’. If you decide to go, you will find yourself in the vaults of London’s Waterloo, where the creators of ‘Dr Leon: Neutral Enhancement and The Observatory’ introduce you to a weird and wacky multi-sensory test designed to show how you process data…
We recently interviewed Hannah, the producer of The Forest, to find out a bit more information about this unique performance piece.
Firstly what were the driving ideas behind creating this interactive piece?
The driving ideas were the future potential benefits and risks of advancing technologies. As technologies for virtual reality become more advanced, eventually we will have technology that creates worlds indistinguishable from real life. Add in a neural interface (plug them in to a computer) and you can simulate advanced human senses: taste, touch, sight, etc. What if right now, we are living in a simulation, as real and indistinguishable from actual reality.
In the future when robots will have automated most jobs, there will be rising unemployment. XNN systems offer employment opportunities for nodes exchanging the use of their brains for money. But the system can be addictive and you may not remember you’re in it, raising ethical issues which we will be investigating in the future parts of the XNN projects. The Forest seeks to remind nodes who they are and tweak their productivity.
The Forest is a network of nodes which must work as a whole system. By bringing everyone in to the same room, you increase the awareness of this group of their role, their function, their purpose.
How are people supposed to benefit from taking part?
Benefits of taking part are to push audiences to see themselves in a new light and to reconsider the way in which they partake in society. Engaging in odd activities designed to loosely mimic real life therapeutic methods. The whole thing should be so weird that audiences strive to know more about the concepts behind the show and to watch out post narrative videos expanding the world of XNN.
How is this experience unique to any other?
It’s unique in the way you’ll have never seen yourself like this, not quite theatre, not quite workshop, not quite art installation, it floats somewhere else entirely.
How can I get involved! When is the next performance?
The Forest is running until March 6th, at 6pm (3pm Saturday matinee) at the Vaults Festival on Leake Street. You can find more information by going to http://www.vaultfestival.com/event/the-forest/2016-02-24/