Interactive Futures - 2007

Interactive Futures 2007 ( November 15 - 17 ) Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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Kirby Malone & Gail Scott White

Live Movies

A presentation, with digital images and video clips, on interdisciplinary performance as treated in our recent book, Live Movies: A Field Guide to New Media for the Performing Arts. Live Movies documents the New Stage Technology Project, in which we have been engaged for the past five years at the Multimedia Performance Studio (MPS), and the work of our performance company, Cyburbia Productions. We will also discuss the Live Movies book as a resource for the field of new media performance.

Cyburbia Productions is a professional multimedia performance company founded in 1999 by Kirby Malone and Gail Scott White in Fairfax, Virginia. Cyburbia’s focus is the collaborative creation of “live movies,” syntheses of cinema, theater and music, geared particularly to today’s multi-sensory young adult audience (of all ages). The company’s work employs digital projection and sound technologies, and filmic narrative techniques (such as flashback, lip-synch and slow motion), to construct moving stage pictures and sonic theater, in which live actors, singers and musicians interact with animated performers, and emerge from or vanish into projected environments, settings and dreamscapes.

This work breaks away from the traditional rectangular screen format, casting multiple, synchronized projections onto scrims, sculptural set elements, stage floors, and performers’ bodies and their costumes. Stage space is three-dimensionally gridded and multi-layered, for the interactive unfolding of montages of live performance and projected imagery. In order to accomplish this symbiosis, the company operates simultaneously as a performance ensemble, a film and animation production house, a digital garage band and a new media stagecraft laboratory, all geared toward producing dynamic multimedia performance spectacles.

Cyburbia creates original productions, often drawing on historical or science fiction sources; innovative stagings of opera and new music theater; multimedia scenography for theater, dance and performance art; and indoor and outdoor projection installations.

Cyburbia’s artists work in the Multimedia Performance Studio at George Mason University, under the auspices of the Department of Art and Visual Technology, where they experiment with new and traditional stage technologies, and develop imaginative approaches to the integration of these technologies with the live action and music of theater.

MPS is committed to creating innovative, thought-provoking productions by collaborative teams of guest artists, resident faculty artists and student artists. This interdisciplinary work is carried out in the belief that it is just such a mix that led to many of the ground-breaking developments in new media, music theater and performance, new opera and dance theater in the 20th Century, in centers of experiment such as the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College.

As a studio and laboratory for new technologies in the performing arts, MPS brings together an evolving ensemble of actors, musicians, composers, dancers, designers, writers, directors, stage managers, multimedia artists, inventors, dramaturgs, historians, cultural critics, mad scientists, and engineers. These artists and scholars engage with new media, turning them in on themselves, to cast light on the way they shape and re-configure our world.


full moon
Scene from A Full Moon in March



Kirby Malone and Gail Scott White are the artistic directors of Cyburbia Productions, and the co-founders of the Multimedia Performance Studio in the Department of Art and Visual Technology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. They have collaborated as director and multimedia designer on many productions, including the opera Naked Revolution, with painters Komar & Melamid and composer Dave Soldier; and the original sci-fi performances Silence & Darkness, a live movie for the cell phone age and Time Traveler Zero Zero, a story of John Titor. They also have collaboratively created projection designs for Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles at Arena Stage in Washington DC, in addition to designs for José Rivera’s Marisol, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Rose Caruso’s Shamanism in New Jersey, and Encompass New Opera Theatre’s Approaching Infinity, which paired Hans Werner Henze’s The End of a World with John Harbison’s A Full Moon in March (based on W.B. Yeats), at the Connelly Theatre, New York City. They also created projection design for Encompass, for The Theory of Everything at New York City Opera’s VOX2006 and VOX2007 at the Skirball Center in New York City, and for Moisés Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project’s 33 Variations in a workshop production sponsored by Arena Stage at Georgetown University. Their work has been funded by Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, and by a $125,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant for their “New Stage Technology Project.” In 2006, Malone and White co-edited, and wrote articles for, the book Live Movies: A Field Guide to New Media for the Performing Arts.

Kirby Malone is a writer, director and projection designer, and teaches Cyberpunk and Performance Studio as a professor of InterArts at George Mason University. His work has appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s NEXT WAVE Festival, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Baltimore Theatre Project, Center Stage, Peabody Chamber Opera, Theatre Cornell, Painted Bride Art Center, Theatre X, Banff Centre/School of Fine Arts and Minnesota Opera’s OPERA TOMORROW Festival. Directing credits include the original productions Silence & Darkness, a live movie for the cell phone age; Time Traveler Zero Zero, a story of John Titor; Auto-Bodies; The Pleasure Raiders; and Columbus, a ghost story; Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire; Vladimir Mayakovsy’s Bath House; Linda Hartinian’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said; and the operas Chatter & Static by Paul Mathews, The Defendants Rosenberg by Ari Benjamin Meyer, and Komar & Melamid’s Naked Revolution. He has created multimedia designs for Bertolt Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, Ödön von Horváth’s Judgement Day, Mac Wellman’s Bad Infinity, Anna Deavere Smith’s House Arrest, Marlane G. Mayer’s Etta Jenks, David Mamet’s The Water Engine and Theatre X’s Bode-wad-mi: Keepers of the Fire. His multimedia productions have been featured in two cover stories in American Theatre in 1987 and 1995. His profile of the German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Gail Scott White is a new media scenographer, projection designer and animator. As a professor of digital arts at George Mason University, she teaches 3D animation and 2D still and motion graphics. She has also taught sculpture and digital arts at Cornell and Colgate Universities. Her collaborations with choreographers include Nude Tumbling Down a Staircase with Byron Suber, and In the Blink of an Eye with Jane Franklin. She has exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery, Gallery 128, Pleiades Gallery and the Alternative Museum (NYC); the Everson Museum (Syracuse NY); Stone Quarry Hill Art Park (Cazenovia NY); Sculpture Space (Utica NY); 1708 Gallery (Richmond VA); Dance Place (Washington DC); Danforth Museum (Framingham MA); Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield MA); Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts Gallery; and Rhode Island School of Design. She created a permanent outdoor architectural installation for Ithaca Commons in Ithaca, NY. Her work was featured in the exhibition Art on the Digital Edge at the Academy Museum (Easton, MD), and in her solo exhibition of large-scale digital prints, Transgenic Beings, at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study (Fairfax VA). Her animated film Nature on a Leash was featured in WPA/C’s Experimental Media Series at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She recently designed the set for a production of Ariane Mnouchkine’s adaptation of Klaus Mann’s Mephisto, directed by Lynnie Raybuck at Theaterspace, Center for the Arts, Fairfax VA. In 1998, she received an Artist’s Fellowship from the Virginia Commission on the Arts. Her multimedia collaborations with Kirby Malone were featured in The Art of Image: Projections on Stage, a video by Wendall Harrington, which premiered at the Broadway Projection Master Classes at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City in June 2005.


Cyburbia Productions:
Live Movies:

Selected Media

Download SILENCE & DARKNESS Workshop

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