Isabel Sun & Erin Guan | The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Chamber404 四零四號房：淤積在心中的數位垃圾場｜孤獨的 VR 單人戲劇體驗
Graduating from Design for Performance and Interaction MArch this year, Isabel Sun and Erin Guan have joined forces to create Vroom Studio. The online theatre project, perplexity.live, has been launched. The project will be a trilogy that will take the audience on a journey through the absurdity of life as our perceptions are digitised. The first part, Chamber404, is a year-long process of reflection and development, and will be available to viewers in VR. It can be viewed anywhere on the planet, on mobile phones, computers or even in VR, and can be viewed an unlimited number of times through a week-long video link. Join us in confronting the digital junkyard in the mind of the heroine.
Chamber404 will be made available on-demand for one week after the initial live stream. A link to the stream will be sent to the email you book with no later than 60 minutes before the initial live-stream is due to begin.
We are delighted to be programmed by Camden People’s Theatre at Digital Sprint Festival 2021
Date: 03/06/2021 – 10/06/2021
Time: Thursday 3rd June at 7:30 pm and then on-demand until Thursday 10th June
Ticket Link: https://www.cptheatre.co.uk/production/chamber-404
- Director & artists: Erin Guan, Isabel Sun
- Writer: Zoe Bullock
- Sound designer: Tingying Dong
- Performers: Hari Mackinnon, Shaofan Wilson
- Interactive Architecture Lab
- Bartlett School of Architecture
- Ruairi Glynn
- Fiona Zisch
- Dominik Zisch
- Alexander Whitley
- Sheep It Render Farm Blender
- Milk Man
- Yichen Ho
- James Ho
- Gary Y
- Luyang Zou
- Fei Han
The heroine is trapped in a room that doesn’t exist?
In the play, the heroine is invisible because the audience is the heroine. Set in the heroine’s own tiny bedroom, the 360-degree VR design reveals the suffocating and intimate nature of the small space, allowing the audience to take a first-person view of the oppressive and subtle sense of security we all feel trapped by the digital explosion. When you pick up your phone and slide through a never-ending sea of social content, every online trace is feeding the algorithm that helps us customise a seemingly warm and private space, but do these online personal accounts really do our bidding? Does our will ever leave this non-existent room and return to the real world? Throughout, the heroine cannot leave this bedroom, a bedroom that does not exist in real life, but that she cares so much about. What is it about Room 404 that makes it so addictive? What makes it so addictive, so trapping?
The sea of rubbish that has accumulated not only oppresses our minds and distorts our perception of human connection but even evolves into a face that is not human, a grotesque inorganic Avatar that drifts around and through our thoughts. It even evolves into a human-like face, a grotesque inorganic Avatar, which drifts around and wanders through our thoughts with impunity. Through the extension of the dialogue, a conversation with a digital monster is initiated. The notion of “I” is re-defined: is the digital me, or is theme defined by others theme? Or is this strange face in front of us the real me?
Self-awareness writing for creative duos
Initially, the two creators had opposing views on technology. Isabel, a native of Taiwan, arrived in London with a highly positive outlook on modern digital life, while Erin, a long-time resident of the UK, was more concerned with the contradictions between technology and humanity. During their Master’s degree, the two creators continued to engage in various dialogues on this subject. From the early days of co-producing the experimental piece: Who killed by media, they began to focus on the lovely stories of ordinary people confronting their communities, their fantasies under the filter, and their desires on the internet. At this stage of their work, they were still discussing a neutral perspective, but after the collapse of their long-distance relationship and the outbreak of the epidemic in the UK, their work immediately turned in the opposite direction.
Faced with the double oppression of living in a foreign country and the epidemic, Tuan Du began to focus on his own feelings, which he then amplified and extended into his creative work. In the face of countless sleepless nights, the lighted screen in his hand seems to be the outlet, but this temporary stimulation only brings more emptiness and confusion about his own identity. The question arises as to where this paradoxical yet seemingly secure emotion comes from. Why do these tactless love symbols and words take over our emotional life, our family time and the building of our work image? We ask ourselves, is this more pathetic or is it more paralysis?
At a time when Londoners are almost universally depressed, digital life is more like a stranger who walks in the door without a greeting, catching people off guard. Even if we are all willing to accept it rationally, there is a lack of thought and protection emotionally. One room, one computer, this has long been the only way of life for the inhabitants of the UK. Fortunately for Isabel and Erin, Room 404 is like an emotional diary of an epidemic period, a chronicle of all the self-explorations one wants to explore.