Freaks | Experimentation with Mediated Shadow Puppetry
Created by Troy Hourie
Commissioned by Improv Festival. August, 2020, Guelph, International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation
Freaks is a long term passion project that was first premiered at Ei! Marionettas Festival in July 2019. Freaks is a performative installation that combines art installation, puppetry and media. It uses the Penny Dreadful story. 'String of Pearls' (Sweeney Todd) as a narrative base. Oddity dolls and cabinets of wonder built from found objects (dolls) and antique Portuguese furniture. They were then manipulated by the artist to become a live performative installation.
In this iteration, I used techniques of improvisation to build a hybrid form of shadow puppetry using a Kodachrome Eight Model 70 film projector, a live feed camera and video mapping with a software called Millumin. With these tools, I layered images of live shadows cast by the film projector, layers of live feed video of me manipulating the oddity dolls and video mapping techniques to layer video of the performance from 2019. Each set up was improvised and recorded a single time, so glitches are present and accepted. The entire group of videos was then edited and layered with an aural landscape.