Simulacrum
Opera in 5 scenes and 1 epilogue 
 
“...Simulacrum addresses the anxieties created by an increasingly technological world, and the subsequent humanity of such anxiety. “ -- I CARE IF YOU LISTEN
"...Wang mingles baroque tinged phrases with amorphous cosmic rhythms maintaining the distinction of each in a grippingly harmoniously manner. This was in captivating contrast to what had preceded and would follow. It clearly underlined the dilemma of human vs. machine." -- SCHMOPERA
 
In an increasingly artificial world, how can we find the line between humanity and technology? What happens when we blur that line-and how much of ourselves do we lose in the process? Lydia, a dancer who lost her leg, struggles to reconcile herself to the loss - and to her newly-attached bionic limb. Elias, her partner in love and dance, attempts to connect with this new Lydia. At times Lydia occupies the identity of Stump, or her body and biology as it used to be and craves to be again, and at times Elias occupies the identity of Bionic Leg, the voice of the technology as it attempts to fuse with biology.

What do we lose when we weld ourselves to our technology? What do we gain? What does this mean for our sense of reality? Can we fuse an aching past and an uncertain future into a present wholeness and a sense of hope? Simulacrum is an experiment in fusing together disparate elements in order to find the moments of beauty that emerge. Six composers, a librettist, a director, a choreographer, and a team of designers come together to explore the fragmentation of the human experience in our technological world - and the new unions that form.

A contemporary opera, Simulacrum explores the tension in our relationship with technology by placing live singers and dancers inside a whirling technological landscape of projections and new music.

 

Simulacrum (plural: simulacra from Latin: simulacrum, which means “likeness, similarity”) is a representation or imitation of a person or thing. The word was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god. By the late 19th century, it had gathered a secondary association of inferiority: an image without the substance or qualities of the original. Philosopher Fredric Jameson offers photorealism as an example of artistic simulacrum, where a painting is sometimes created by copying a photograph that is itself a copy of the real. Other art forms that play with simulacra include trompe-l’oeil, pop art, Italian neorealism, and French New Wave. Is the bionic limb a trompe-l’oeil, a mere mirage, or a real chance for a better future?

 

Simulacrum premiered at the 3LD Arts&Technology Center in June 8, 2018.

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