Monday, April 07, 2014

Reworking 1984 in the Era of Complex Realities

There are more mobile phones in the world than toothbrushes

Data are big these days. But size isn’t everything. Keep in mind what one professor, David Spiegelhalter, says about big data: “Complete bollocks. Absolute nonsense” Absolute Grimley-like Nonsense

“When the NSA [National Security Agency] revelations came out, it seemed everyone shrugged. There were not riots on the streets. But the analogue version of it is that there is a microphone in every room of your house and you get home and find they’ve steamed open every envelope in your mail. That would be absolutely chilling. But because it’s digital, somehow we can’t focus on it as a tangible problem.”

So what can theatre bring to the issue? This ancient, communal and physical art form confined to one space is, in some ways, antithetical to the combination of privacy and elastic reach that define communication in the virtual world.

Macmillan says that is the point: “The way we receive information and communicate is so atomised. There are very few places culturally where you sit and are exposed to a sustained thought.”

For Graham, the live and communal nature of theatre is essential for what he hopes to show. The excitement lies in being able to fuse that shared experience with new technology to make the revelations about data emission strike home. We’ll be using the fact that it’s a live situation and that data can change Drama Tackles Privacy

In place of individual private landlords, large corporate players have started to take over parts of the urban fabric in the UK and other cities around the world. The result has been the creation of private estates, from Liverpool One, which spans 34 streets in the heart of Liverpool, to Cabot Circus in Bristol and Stratford City in London, where streets and public places are privately owned and policed by private security. Rules in these estates typically include bans on cycling, busking, taking photos and political protest and even restrictions on eating and drinking in some areas