Upending, a work commissioned by EMPAC, is a stereoscopic theater performance, an actor-less drama of disorientation and reorientation that compels us to rethink our relationship with the material world. Using ordinary flat photographs and processing them with non-photorealistic rendering and stereoscopic HD video, Upending transfigures familiar objects, spaces, and persons in ways that are both beautiful and uncanny. Upending takes the form of live 3D cinema and has the viewers’ eyes probing the projected imagery almost as if touching its light, feeling for the illusory surfaces of things as they cross the threshold from abstraction to likeness.
Upending is enacted on both perceptual and thematic levels. Ordinary objects, spaces, and bodies are probed and queried from unfamiliar perspectives, so that viewers become exquisitely aware of their own perceptual processes and of their minds’ continual attempt to spin out meaning from what their eyes take in. The play of images is accompanied by an EMPAC-produced recording of Morton Feldman’s First String Quartet by the FLUX Quartet that places the listener, literally, in the center of the ensemble, with every sonic gesture articulated across space simultaneously. Through this aural lens, the moving image becomes almost balletic, even as the projected play of light allows the audience to hear Feldman as never before.