Michael Counts, Paradiso: Chapter I, immersive theater (2016)

10COUNTS1-master768

[…]  “Illusion is a staple in all kinds of theater, but it is doubly vital to Paradiso, a suspense thriller that is also a game. Using a structure that borrows from Dante’s Divine Comedy, it has a vibe that, in Mr. Counts’s telling, owes something to Ridley Scott’s futuristic classic Blade Runner and the TV drama Mr. Robot.

“With a plot that involves a conspiracy, it’s a narrative-driven twist on the increasingly popular escape-room genre of participatory entertainment. According to convention, a group of people is closed in a room, or sequence of rooms, with a single collective aim: to solve a series of puzzles in under an hour. Their prize is liberty — which, it’s true, will come at the end of the hour either way.” […]    –Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times, July 7, 2016

“PARADISO: Chapter 1 drops audience members (10 at a time) into a noir-ish nightmare that combines the surreal mystery of Stanley Kubrik with the stylized futuristic terror of Blade Runner into a one hour immersive theatrical Escape Room experience set in and inspired by the heart of New York’s Korea Town. Featuring a cast of dozens, highly designed sets with state-of-the-art special effects and the next generation of puzzles and mind-bending challenges, this immersive attraction is unlike anything audiences have ever seen or experienced.”    –from the Paradiso: Chapter I FAQs

Paradiso: Chapter 1 website

Contributed by Emma Pyle (Bowdoin, ’12)

Rachel Rossin, “n=7/The Wake in Heat of Collapse”

n=7

“SIGNAL is pleased to present Rachel Rossin’s ‘n=7 / The Wake in Heat of Collapse,’ a virtual reality simulation that employs the structure of side-scrolling gameplay to create an immersive, Oculus Rift-based experience.

“Descending into a 3-dimensional Dantesque underworld, the viewer navigates a landscape of hacked architectural and video game imagery, algorithmic collages generated from famous paintings (e.g. Guernica and Klimt’s The Kiss), corporate signage, browser logos and clippings from scenic destinations. These radiant environments provide participants with a window to sights unseen, and culminate with the experience of witnessing a crumbling staircase made of Susan Sontag’s ‘Against Interpretation.'”    —Signal’s website

Click here to read about Rossin’s exhibit in The New York Times.