On November 21, FirstWorks Providence, in cooperation with the Columbus Theatre, will host Cloud Eye Control, a group that is sure to raise eyebrows – be it for pure amazement or total confusion. Since 2004, the Los Angeles-based performance group has been provoking audiences with an unpredictable collection of sounds and images that may simultaneously perplex and entice the senses. An act with confounding labels like “a retro-futuristic performance piece” and “a back-up system for our genetic imprint and the sum total of our personal memories,” Cloud Eye Control may be just the thing to give you a friendly push out of your comfort zone.
Artists Miwa Matreyek, Anna Oxygen and Chi-Wang Yang teamed up to form the group, and have since been creating projects with the common theme of human adaptation in a technological world. With backgrounds in animation, music and directing (respectively) the three collaborate to create multimedia one-of-a-kinds. Each live performance uses projection, costume and dance to depict a meandering story, and the slow pace gives the audience time to consume, but not quite digest, each scene.
Cloud Eye kicks off FirstWork’s new series, “New Frontiers.” This event also marks the beginning of a new partnership between FirstWorks and The Columbus Theatre, a combination that can only mean more intriguing performances to come.
In this performance, Cloud Eye Control will examine the “psychological fallout of global disaster” in Half Life. Funded in part by a 2013 MAP Fund grant, Half Life is one of three original works the trio has produced and performed. It’s inspired by the fear that stung in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and it addresses the human reaction to mass catastrophe.
The performance will use high-tech imaging and low-tech set design to construct a world all their own; pre-rendered animation is projected onto different surfaces and the actors move within them. If this sounds like your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to get yourself there; it’s doubtful there’s anything else like Cloud Eye Control in the country.
I could go on, but no description in a magazine can properly prepare you for the bizarre combination of light, sound and movement, so step outside the box and into this visceral performance art piece. And this way you can enjoy a psychedelic experience without having to commit to the hard drugs!
Cloud Eye Control will perform Half Life on November 21 at The Columbus Theatre, located at 270 Broadway in Providence. Doors open at 7.