June 18, 2014

Calvino and Artists Inside the Invisible Cities

Italo Calvino inspired the creators of Sophronia Two, featured at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis during the Northern Spark Film Festival on June 16, 2014.

The film in the tent was created by digital artist Joellyn Rock.  Shadow movements were created by her, improv actors, and audience. The graffiti angel (video, text and music - a live film created by software) projected large across the walls of the gallery space was created by Kathy McTavish. Shadow dancing was added by the audience.  Improv writing in the projection was done by Rob Wittig.  Other netprov writers contributed. During the show, Sheila Packa, Kathleen Roberts, Katelynn Monson, and audience participants added text to the live projection via handheld devices (through a textbox located at the Sophronia website http://sophroniatwo-13570.onmodulus.net/). Kathleen Roberts adopted the persona of the city of Ersilia and Katelynn became Zaire.  For a glimpse of the pre-show improvisational writing, see https://www.facebook.com/sophroniatwo?fref=nf
Live musicians, with an accordion and harmonica, also brought their talents to the festive all night event.

 Calvino: "The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is a great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death-ride with the crouching motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half-city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the palaces, the slaughterhouse, the school, andall the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half-city. And so every year the day comes when the workmen remove the marble pediments, lower the stone walls, the cement pylons, take down the Ministry, the monument, the docks, the petroleum refinery, the hospital, load them on trailers, to follow from stand to stand their annual itinerary. Here remains the half-Sophronia of the shooting-galleries and the carousels, the shout suspended from the cart of the headlong roller coaster, and it begins to count the months, the days it must wait before the caravan returns and a complete life can begin once again."

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