| From its pre-opening activities
up to the present, ICC (NTT InterCommunication Center) has explored
the possibilities for artistic expression beyond the conventional
fields of scientific technology and the arts, and has aimed to pursue
wide-ranging projects beyond the confines of physical space. SRL's
performance "Fin de Siecle Machine Circus" will be the first
time that an ICC event has combined a large-scale outdoor show with
a computer network.
SRL (Survival Research Laboratories) is a performance group formed
in 1978 centering around Mark Pauline. SRL set up its base in San
Francisco in 1979 and has given over 40 performances in the United
States and Europe since then.
SRL's large-scale shows feature "battles" and other kinds
of interaction between huge machines and robots made of various kinds
of scrap and junk, creating a machine utopia populated by "naked
machines" stripped of their original uses or objectives and the
functions designed to realize them.
This very ironic and humorous portrayal of high-tech machines designed
and used for practical purposes has the cathartic effect of freeing
us from the feeling we have in contemporary society of being manipulated
and oppressed by advanced technology. Since the 1980s, several attempts
have been made to hold these performances in Japan, but it has so
far proved impossible, mainly because of their massive scale.
ICC will hold SRL's first spectacular show in Japan at the outdoor
venue of Yoyogi National Stadium in Shibuya, Tokyo. High-resolution
images of the performance will be transmitted to ICC and all over
Japan by means of a super-high speed optical fiber line, and an experiment
will be conducted at ICC in which the machines will be operated by
remote control via a network.
In addition, the whole show, including the preparations, will be transmitted
live throughout the world via the Internet using streaming technology.
This experimental event is essentially an attempt to extend an immensely
powerful performance given in a large, real space into an infinite
virtual space using the fastest network environment currently available.