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honoria in ciberspazio

gallery + reflections

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fake cyberopera news
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After spending years researching the Mail Art Network's real-time changes in response to the Internet for my own dissertation, it's rather fun to be interviewed for someone else's doctoral research. Here's the latest installment in one German graduate student's quest for cyberopera information:

> Dear Honoria:
> Thank you very much for your detailed reply on "Honoria in ciberspazio". I am still investigating the opera. Therefore, for the moment I have only one question, regarding the relationship between live and simulated presence on stage: Were there interactions between live performers and webcasted performers
> at the "Come to Me" aria by Elaine Dove?
> I read on your website
> http://www.cyberopera.org/redesign/performances/index.shtml
the following review:
> "Following the interview, a live dancer on stage in Valencia was integrated with a simulated Internet broadcast of another dancer in Austin. Dancing to the dramatic and longing chords of Oldziey's music and a live vocalist singing Fores' translated Spanish libretto, the effect was an entrancing, dancing duet
wherein one dancer was "real" and the other was "virtual."
> So, was there a real time interaction between two dancers one in Valencia, the other in Austin or was it "faked"?
> Furthermore, I investigate "Virtopera" by Eberhard Schoener, "net@pera" by Sergio Maltagliati, "OMA: Auslander und Staatenlose" by Andrew Garton.
> I appreciate your kind help.
> yours sincerely,
> Stefanie

Dear Stefanie,
Yes, as stated in the description you quote, the video projection in Valencia represented a simulation ("a fake"), not a real time, across-the-ocean dance, although our Valencia creative director, Vicente Fores, did entertain presenting a simulcast at the time. You may want to follow up with Dr. Fores to hear more about his ideas for the Valencia performance.

Any real time networked performance will be up to a creative director who takes on the opera's future performances. We webcast the cyberopera performed in traditional modes of singers and dancers on a stage. We also made the video of Elaine Dove's dance in Austin to send to Valencia where it was integrated into a stage performance. Within the video of Elaine is another dancer projected on to her body; so in the Valencia performance there were actually 3 layers of identities projected onto the live singers to simulate the multitude identities available to us as we represent ourselves via the Web.

The focus of my work is to explore the ways in which love stories on the net become real. The emphasis is to portray, in the opera medium, the concepts, relationships, and narratives born on the disembodied net. My goal was not to recreate those relationships in a simulcast.

All important real interactions in real time were conducted in the birth of the opera concept, the writing with 60 writers, not the performances.

I hope this helps you with your research.