Performance/installation/video; 1999-2003; San Diego, New York, Austin.
Co-created by Steve Ausbury and Anthony Burr. Biospheria mixes together ambient music,
a subtle presentation of narrative texts (signage and spoken word), institutional set dress ("costumed" buildings and attendant grounds) and choreographed bodies
in the landscape to metaphorically address the myriad themes of Biosphere 2. The production investigated the marriage of science and capital, suburban homogeneity,
and latent utopianism embedded in the social space of La Jolla, California and in particular UCSD. We used the term "found opera" to work with the inherent operatic
properties of the locale, bring out subjective qualities in the landscape, and set up contexts in which space itself may sing. Audiences moved from site to site
visiting a sequence of live, interactive tableaux with each site represented an historical moment in the lives of the Biospherians. The majority of the text and
music portion of the opera was communicated via CD/headphones. Audience members were divided into units of eight representing both the eight biomes of Biosphere 2
Ñ rain forests, marsh, ocean, etc. Ñ and the eight inhabitants who lived inside for two years. The libretto is comprised of a series of fictional Biospherian
diary entries written by six authors in different cities via the web. The music is based on the idea of technologically controlled or mediated nature, so it
derives largely from high-tech simulations of "natural" sounds in an immersive space.
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