Five Questions: "okay.odd."
We asked Milton Lim five questions about his new piece okay.odd., which premieres at the rEvolver Festival May 12 - 21, 2016 at the Cultch. Milton is also an artistic associate at Theatre Conspiracy.
Based on the tenets of concentration, mindfulness, and visualization, okay.odd. is a multimedia meditation session that guides you through a stream of consciousness. It traverses the space between thought and perception; knowing and unknowing; real and imagined; proximal and tangential.
1. You chose this as the signature image for okay.odd. Explain.
This is an edited image from the short-length version of okay.odd. taken by Tim Matheson at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. I chose it as the signature image because of the wide shot of the audience and the minimal treatment of the stage space from the their perspective. On top of that, I added the image of the white square that recurs throughout the piece. At the moment, I’d prefer to not divulge too much else. I also happen to think that Aryo Khakpour looks particularly dashing in this photo.
2. What was the inspiration for okay.odd.? How did it play with your mind as you created it?
There were quite a few inspirations for okay.odd.. During the creation of the piece, I was in heavy discussions with a friend of mine about digital media, screens, constant flows of information, and unconscious identity building. That prompted me to consider the persuasive use of language through the ubiquity of screens. Aesthetically, I drew from the typographic architecture in the works of Japanese manga artists like Nisio Isin, visual artists such as Barbara Kruger, and Hong Kong cinema trailers for films like Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love. As I continue to create iterations of okay.odd., I am continually affected by my changing thoughts from day to day, along with the whims of what is in our social conscious.
3. okay.odd. is a text piece and a performance piece. What does that mean at this point in theatre history?
I think that theatre has been relatively successful at breaking it’s own apparatus and that theatre form is now incredibly varied. Given that the Vancouver theatre community is known for our site-specific work, I get the sense that some of my contemporaries are invested in bringing theatre back into the blackbox. Part of my hope with okay.odd. is that text back in this theatre space will deliver content through the means of visual affect, rather than cognition or aural comprehension.
4. What does meditation mean to you?
Meditation is a very open concept to me, having only experienced a little through my theatre classes and having discussed it with friends who practice it. In general, I perceive it as an emptying out and focussing of attention through a return to the body. It is, perhaps, what you want it to be.
5. What question would you like to ask yourself and how would you answer it?
Question: What font do you use in the projection? Answer: DIN Condensed. ALL CAPS.