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projections on a screen

True Fictions: New Adventures in Forklore

The Light Surgeons
September 1, 2006—September 14, 2007
Troy, NY, USA

Commissioned by EMPAC, and recorded in and around Troy, New York—the birthplace of archetypal character Uncle Sam—True Fictions: New Adventures in Folklore fused documentary film making, live and electronic music, animation, and motion graphics with innovative digital video performance tools. Taking American folklore as a departure point for this performance, this UK-based collective tackled questions of how personal, political, and national myths evolve from subjective stories into widely held truths. True Fictions: New Adventures in Folklore was developed over the course of a year, as the artists developed a collage of documentary footage, interviews, and music recorded in Troy and across the rest of the state of New York: from Troy’s Uncle Sam’s Day Parade to a cramped music studio in Brooklyn, to an upstate Native American reservation and more. 

The Light Surgeons were founded in London in 1995 by artist and filmmaker Christopher Thomas Allen with like-minded media artists and filmmakers; they specialize in creative content for video productions, live performances, and installation-based projects. They develop new forms of cross-disciplinary practice through the fusion of film production, animation, motion design, and the application of creative code and cutting-edge tools.

Main Image: True Fictions in Robison Gymnasium at RPI in 2007. Photo: EMPAC.

Program Notes

Recorded and shot in and around Troy, New York, True Fictions: New Adventures in Folklore is an eye-popping performance of epic proportions with projections on multiple over-sized screens that fuse documentary film making, live and electronic music, animation and motion graphics with innovative digital video performance tools. Taking American folklore as a departure point, the UK-based Light Surgeons tackle the universal question of how our personal, political, and national myths evolve from subjective stories to widely held truths. The artists guide the audience through this terrain with a live collage of documentary footage, interviews and music recorded in Troy and across the rest of the state of NY- from Troy’s Uncle Sam’s Day Parade to a cramped music studio in Brooklyn to an upstate Native American reservation and more. This live cinema performance has toured internationally as an immersive live audiovisual spectacle: fusing documentary filmmaking, live, and electronic music with animation and motion graphics that together created an altogether new type of multi-media experience. The project originally developed out of a year long digital performance arts commission by EMPAC, The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre in Troy, New York, with support from The Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. True Fictions was EMPAC's very first international arts commission and since its premiere at in September 2007, it has been presented at many arts festivals internationally including: The Great Hall in Manchester, the Teatro Degli Arcimboldi Milan, the Alameda Theatre in Seville, the BFI IMAX Cinema in London, the Brighton Pavilion Theatre, The Waterfront in Belfast, the Freeform Festival in Poland, the Microwave Festival in Hong Kong and at Itau Cultural in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A vinyl recording has been produced of the full musical and narrative aspects.

Curator
Premiere

Fall 2007