My first transmedia collaboration was not, as is typical, with a filmmaker or musician, but with a still photographer. As a former art school professor, I always wanted to find ways to collaborate with painters, sculptors, fiber artists… and I still do. I had no idea it would be so demanding… and, as it happens, such a revelation.
Tiffany KB and I were set up on an artistic blind date of sorts by the Source Festival. We were given almost no instruction of any kind; we had a deadline, a space to work in, and the freedom to try anything we might like to try. It was sort of exhilarating. But… how do a 2D photographer and a 4D (including time) playwright work together at all? That was the first thing we had to figure out. Naturally, we figured it’d be easy for me to write a play and for her to make images inspired by the play (or the other way around), but we wanted to go further… and so we did.
We began with a performance I’d been thinking about creating for my wife, Maura: a one-woman story about trauma-induced psychosis. (She was excellent, by the way, if I do say so.) Tiffany made images inspired by the subject matter and, as you might expect, we projected them on set. The gallery below contains a small sample of her profound, deceptively-simple work; the featured image at the top of this post is perhaps my favorite.
More importantly, though, Tiffany became part of the telling of the story, which expanded to include an additional character. As Maura delivered her exhausting 25-minute monologue, Tiffany (as a representation of Maura’s character’s ID) took endless pictures with a Polaroid camera, the stage slowly becoming covered with abandoned images of the unfolding narrative. By the end of the performance, what we saw was a mind and its memories exploded into irrecoverable fragments. The effect was, I think, devastating.