Huckleberry Finnegans WakePosted by tmemmott in Media Work, on October 10, 2015
Collaboration with Eric Snodgrass, Sonny Rae Tempest, and Michael Maguire
Huckleberry Finnegans Wake is a combinatoric performance work bringing together Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. With both texts based around river culture, folding one text into the other can form contextual imbrications and through this, combinatorial engines, as well as implied visual and auditory material can be developed for the texts. Though both source texts are replete with exclusive language (regional dialects, neologisms, etc.) when brought together what emerges is a fantastical environment lacking specificity, but for the rivers (the Liffey and the Mississippi) that run through both.
The performance of Huckleberry Finnegans Wake involves four actors: The Moderator (Eric Snodgrass), Liffey (Michael Maguire), Mississippi (Sonny Rae Tempest),Professor (Talan Memmott) As can be seen the photos two of the actors (Liffey, Mississippi) are remote, presented on screen. They perform live online — Liffey is located in Ireland, Mississippi is located in the US. The moderator sits between them. The professor comes and goes at the sound of a schoolbell.
The script applications were developed over a year and a half period that involved close reading of Twain and Joyce, abstraction of the language of each text, and incorporation into over 100 variable arrays.
The performance is timed to run 19 minutes, based on a runtime video that provides auditory, visual, textual, and referential material to the performance. Most of the text in the video was generated though another recombinant application using the same data as the primary and professor scripts.
Video documentation of a script generations and visual materials for Act 1