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Remote 

A haunting tapestry that reveals how we connect while technology keeps us apart

Wednesday, Aug 9 2006
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Have you ever responded to a voicemail via e-mail only to receive a text-message reply? Do you keep in touch with close yet distant friends via Internet sites like MySpace and Friendster? Have you ever opted to stay home and rent a movie as opposed to going out to live theater? These are some of the questions explored in this hypnotic multimedia performance created by Sara Kraft and Ed Purver. The piece's other questions involve a top-secret and true-to-life CIA program initiated during the Cold War and operated out of Stanford called Remote Viewing, in which soldiers studied psychic warfare, training to subdue enemies with hugs, yoga, and, most importantly, their spoon-bending minds. Using a fusion of layered projected image, music, dance, and acting to incredible effect, Remote weaves these queries into a haunting tapestry that points out the ways we connect while keeping a distance through technology. Purver (a dead ringer for Jude Law) is hilariously absurd as he attempts to use his mind power to burst the heart of a goat, but the overall theme of personal disconnect is bittersweet. The actors create and mix all the visual and auditory wizardry live on stage, gently reminding the audience that this isn't prerecorded entertainment. Or, as Kraft's character puts it, "Where else do we get to experience an unrepeatable experience ... together?"

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Nathaniel Eaton

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