Review: Dutch 'Diespace' does death digitally
Somewhere beyond the boundaries of traditional theater but just this side of the intersection of performance art and interactive installations, you'll find a band of artistic pioneers who go by the name PIPS:lab.
Alternately, you can simply drop by the Trust Arts Education Center, Downtown, where you'll find this collective of Dutch artists performing "Diespace" through today as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Distinctively Dutch Festival.
It's performed in a fourth-floor room with a chip-board floor, a few black curtains and an amazing assortment of computer, video and audio equipment, manipulated by techno-savvy artists with a playful sense of humor and a talent for creating audience interaction that doesn't make you want to hide when they move toward you.
The "Diespace" audience takes the role of invitees to a sales pitch for an interactive social network not unlike Facebook or MySpace.
Recognizing the commercial potential of the growing population of people 65 and older, Diespace is an electronic device that will upload your soul so that you can continue communicating from the afterlife.
You'll want to arrive early for the pre-show in the lobby that includes video and sound recordings of attendees that are later incorporated into the show. Once in the performance space, audience members are given tiny flashlights and led through a series of maneuvers that result in some impressive, innovative graphic displays.
Keez Duijves, Yorrick Heerkens, Daan van West and Sebastiaan Kox generate the live music and manipulate the computers, cameras and created-on-the-spot visuals that are the best part of the evening.
They also perform as senior citizens and otherwise assist the fifth ensemble member Thijs de Wit, who pitches Diespace while rolling around the room in a wheelchair.
As with any good sales event, some audience members win prizes such as a "Euthanize Me Now!" bracelet, and performers provide interludes of entertainment such as breakdance knitting, aimed at the geriatric target audience for a Diespace account.
The show runs about an hour, which is about as long as you can endure the aluminum bleacher seating made only slightly less uncomfortable by seat pads provided by the Trust.
Yes, there is some serious purpose. It does get you thinking about how you might spend the afterlife, as well as how you may be frittering away the present one.
But most importantly, it's fun.Additional Information:
Presented by: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Distinctively Dutch FestivalWhen: 8 p.m. nightly through SaturdayAdmission: $30Where: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Arts Education Center805 Liberty Ave., DowntownDetails: 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.