Parsons

Student Work

  • Design and Technology (MFA)

    Jonathan Beilin and Magnus Pind

    Teratogenesis

    A landscape sings of its coming of age: songs about wounds, explosions, time scales, and the heart. Sometimes you can hear words, other times only train tracks, hard disks spinning, machinery, or a distant forest. This piece is concerned with the connection between humans, industrialization and natural resources. It questions: What is the agency of seemingly dead materials, such as iron? Collectively, are humans also mere materials? The short opera centers the landscape onstage, represented by a human-scale model. The landscape sings with a computer-human hybrid voice. Behind the landscape, video projections create a backdrop of mediated landscapes, wounds, and industrial processes. The landscape itself is transformed via projection mapping. The libretto is written in collaboration with a neural network trained on texts about manufacturing, raw metal materials, mythology, and operas. The network's haunting and uncanny sentences evoke a mechanistic approach to language, bringing the audience closer to the perspective of a non-human agent.
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