Mamoru Iriguchi: Swan Lake and Star Wars
Edinburgh Festival Fringe guest blog: Zoologist turned performance artist Mamoru Iriguchi talks about his unusual Fringe show Projector/Conjector, a fusion of dance, multimedia and theatre inspired by Swan Lake and Stars Wars (amongst other childhood favourites).
Projector/Conjector is a piece packed with my childhood favourites, from TV to cinema to animals to ballet to sci-fi to DIY technology. It’s a duet with two creatures called Projector and Conjector, a video projector and TV attached to their heads respectively.
When I was small, a TV wasn’t flat but a bulky and totally magical box where, like any other kids, I believed that small people are living inside.
In addition to my love towards small people in our telly, I also adored big people on cinema screens. One of the first films that I saw was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. My big cousin and I sat in the front row of then the biggest cinema in Japan equipped with Cinerama technology. The screen is so deeply curved that the edges of the screen were behind us, making our outer space experience totally immersive. And, of course, I totally fell in love with Mark Hamill whose face measures 20’ wide and 30’ long when close-up.
Some people who saw Projector/Conjector told me that it’d go well in Edinburgh. And one of them happened to be somebody who runs Summerhall. So here we are, equipped with a projector and a 23” TV and dragging along total 78.3 metres of cables!
Oh, and perhaps predictably, this piece is a little technologically complicated. The two performers (Selina Papoutseli and myself) operate video, lighting and sound themselves via hand-made wired remotes we hold. On stage you see three laptops floating in the swirling ocean of cables.
I somehow feel the setting invites technical problems at slightly higher rates than other shows. For example, during our first performance in Edinburgh, the fire alarm went off towards the very end of the show. No, it was not that our hard-working overheated laptops roared into flame (it was a false alarm), but I cannot help but feel our technological complication might have mysteriously contributed to it.
On the second evening, one of the venue PA speakers refuse to play our Swan Lake tune. I am slightly worried but oddly excited at the same time with technical challenges awaiting us during the rest of the run.
MORE INFO: Projector/Conjector is at Summerhall (Venue: 26) until Saturday 24 August. It was written by and stars Mamoru Iriguchi who trained as a zoologist, then as a theatre designer before becoming a performance maker. His previous productions include Pregnant?!, Into the Skirt and Journey from a Man to a Woman.