You probably know a computer boy or girl; a preternaturally wired-in kid that can build a website in five and thinks books are only useful as something to prop their iPads up. This Computer Boy is a little different; built by artist groups Blood Policy and Aphids, he is a puppet with a 12” screen for a face. Flickering between limp inertia and a frightening liveliness, the puppet takes its inspiration from the story of Brandon Crisp, a Canadian boy who after being banned from X-Box ran away, and was later found dead.
Blood Policy artist Sam Routledge says Computer Boy is,“a metatheatrical examination of who’s allowed to tell stories in both the virtual and actual worlds. The production itself sees the puppet onstage with us as the artists who bring him and the world he inhabits to life. The work takes us between his virtual world and our actual world where we create his world and story for him. ”
The score has been prepared by renowned electronic composer DJ TR!P utilising 8-bit technology and soundbyte relics unearthed from old game consoles, while elements of puppetry, machinima animation and performance will further bring the piece to life.
Pure evil? Or just a tool, useful for education and entertainment? In the public imagination at least, virtual worlds inhabit a marshy, ambiguous Somewhere in between – our anxieties for future generations siphoned into a meaningless stoush over Grand Theft Auto. For four nights at least, we can look to Computer Boy’s flatscreen for the answers. (AB)
May 23-26, Track 8, CarriageWorks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, $15-30, performancespace.com.au