HOUSEHOLDING TIRET EXCHANGE

A Forum for discussion related to Sime~Gen


This lettercol is original material created for Companion in Zeor #12, by our lettercol editor Joanne Schechter. CZ's senior editor is Karen Litman. HTML conversion by Mike Giroux.  Email CZ@simegen.com 

The Sime~Gen universe was created by Jacqueline Lichtenberg. This story or its setting may not be reused without her explicit permission. This story copyright 1997 by Jacqueline Lichtenberg. All rights reserved.

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Comments may be sent via the Sime~Gen List. To subscribe, send an email message to LISTSERV@SIU.EDU with a blank subject line, and type SUBSCRIBE SIMEGEN-L in the body of the message. SIME THEATER Captain Button

The recent discussion of Art reminded me of my thoughts on Sime theater. In junct societies, that is.

I discussed this with Ddraig in IRC the other day, and got some useful comments.

First, will Gen parts be played by Simes in long sleeves? Similarly to the way many historical theaters had female roles played by men? Gen actors would save on payroll, but then there's the increased capital cost, extra taxes and security concerns. You could use this as an excuse to shelter people's established children.

However having Gens as actors would tend to remind juncts that Gens really are people, not animals, and junct society doesn't want to hear that. So no Gen actors, I think.

Ddraig suggested using children as Gens. This would be good for parts calling for young Gens (and there aren't many old ones in-T), but what about older Gen roles, as in border war scenes? And children won't have Gen fields, of course. Can you make a nageric toupee? :-)

Obviously Sime theater will have substantial nageric elements. Actors will need to simulate appropriate nagers for the dramatic situation. Of course, channels are better at nageric manipulation than renSimes, so the best actors will likely be junct channels.

Junct channels tend to have poor health and die young, but that fits right in with some standard "tormented artist who dies too soon" stereotypes. "Live Fast. Die Young. Leave a good zlinning corpse."

[ BTW can renSimes control their fields at all? Or is it involuntary? Can a renSime manipulate his nager to lie or to hide (as Rimon did in FC)? ]

So we have a junct channel actor playing a gen. She will try to simulate a Gen field. And if she does too good a job at it and gets attacked in killmode?

A possible alternate discovery of transfer?

And since acting companies move around a lot, no one would notice that they never get around to killing their Gens. Have to be careful, though, "everybody knows" that actors are of "low moral character." Get caught in perversions and you'll get lynched pronto.

Perhaps this is how the "gypsies" got started?

Post-Unity, of course, there'll be the endless wrangling over whether Gens can "really fully appreciate" Sime Theater. And all this avant garde stuff with *Gens* on stage, I mean what ever happened to Tradition? And Shakespeare just CAN'T be properly done in anything other than the original Simelan!

--Captain Button

("Is this a dagger I zlin before me?")

*******************************************************

 

Jean Lorrah

 

Captain Button writes:

>[BTW can renSimes control their fields at all? Or is it involuntary?

>Can a renSime manipulate his nager to lie or to hide (as Rimon did in FC)]?

 

It would have to be method acting. If the renSime actually felt the emotion, as you are supposed to do in method acting, the emotion would show in his field.

 

Obviously, then, a renSime actor could also conceal and lie just like a channel, and would undoubtedly be able to fool other renSimes. An Oscar-winning actor might be able to fool some channels, especially as the channels would be in the audience for much-needed entertainment, and so would not be deep-probing to determine whether the actors were telling the truth.

 

Farrises, of course, would hate the theater, because everything would ring false to them. (Just thought I'd put that in before Jacqueline did.)

 

A junct channel actor who plays a Gen so well that she gets attacked in killmode is the topic for a story. Maybe even a potentially pro-publishable story. Let me think on that one, and discuss it with Jacqueline, okay?

 

--Jean

*******************************************************

Kaas Baichtal

 

Captain Button writes:

>Obviously Sime theater will have substantial nageric elements. Actors will

>need to simulate appropriate nagers for the dramatic situation. Of course,

>channels are better at nageric manipulation than renSimes, so the best

>actors will likely be junct channels.

 

You two talked about theater on IRC and I missed it? D'oh!

 

I have speculated that after the invention of selyn-handling equipment, an ambient-generator might be invented. This does not seem like it would be too difficult (I should think inventing equipment that DOESN'T affect the ambient would be much harder.) Anyway if there were such a thing, ambient-generators might have a place in theater alongside sound and lighting systems in post-unity theater.

 

But previous to that, in the junct theaters you're talking about, they might have used an "orchestra" of people who were good at both precision emotional control and affecting the ambient around them on purpose. I suppose this would be equivalent to the Gen subliminal message being sent in the market at the beginning of Zelerod's Doom.

 

People would still be concentrating on the actors onstage, but with the right ambient to put everything in "context" the experience would be enhanced enormously. (Sort of like how music affects a scene, only more so.)

 

Obviously the less money and/or volunteers a theater had, the less likely they'd be to use an "orchestra" of this type. But if there was a way, I'm sure they'd do it--if Sime theatrical designers are as ambitious and resourceful as ours! :)

 

Disclaimer: I know this didn't have any direct bearing on the actor-related stuff being discussed. It is just an idea I had, that these posts reminded me of.

 

--Kaas

*******************************************************

Leigh Kimmel

 

Jean Lorrah writes:

>It would have to be method acting. If the renSime actually felt the

>emotion, as you are supposed to do in method acting, the emotion would

>show in his field.

 

There are some people who can literally emote on command, who can turn such emotions as happiness, sadness, anger, etc., on and off at will like light switches. And I'm not just talking about external display gestures. I'm talking the internal emotion--these people can literally make themselves feel those emotions by an act of will.

 

What's bad is when you get someone who can do that but doesn't understand that other people can't turn their emotions on and off at will, and has the power to enforce their expectations with punishment.

 

--Leigh Kimmel

*******************************************************

 

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

 

Jean Lorrah wrote:

>It would have to be method acting. If the renSime actually felt the

>emotion, as you are supposed to do in method acting, the emotion would

>show in his field.

 

Jean's correct in all this discussion; renSimes can't "control their field" at all-- but they can create field effects by genuinely having the response. A channel doesn't "feel" or get personally involved in or affected by the "showfield" he/she is providing to the world. A renSime would have to BE whatever they wanted zlinned. And what a renSime can BE is very limited--by where they are in their need-cycle, their junct state or lack thereof, etc. A renSime could never BE a channel, for example, because they can't perceive that dimension of a field nor have any idea what it feels like to have dual selyn circulatory systems working and interacting simultaneously.

 

However, I have worked on Sime acting as an element in this universe for a long time and have many characters but no CONFLICT or STORYLINE to present them with.

 

Captain Button is right--Shakespeare just can't be adequately appreciated by Gens because after all it MUST be done in the original Simelan to make the truly most bloodthirsty (selyn-thirsty?) points.

 

There is itinerant theatre in-T and out-T before, during and after Unity. After Unity, such traveling companies tour across borders and some companies become mixed. Writers emerge who develop material for mixed audiences. It's a thriving business that burgeons under Unity as NEVER before--because (Jean's right) at this stage this whole society desperately needs recreation , entertainment, and ART. They are art-consumers with a massive thousand-year thirst for art in any form, and theatre is one of those artforms they go for.

 

But what really makes money is radio, then movies and television. That's where your Sime audiences begin to get into Sime actors as convincing. On stage, there's always some problems and roles are limited, and what you can show on stage is limited by good taste and practical problems.

 

Once the audience is relying on their imaginations to fill in the ambient and nageric nuances--wow, then it becomes truly realistic. And you get "Hollywood Stars" like we had in the 40s.

 

Most of those really big name stars are of course renSimes and small-d donors--but occasionally a really talented Third "makes it big" and spends more time acting than channeling. This is a problem for some of them. Even Thirds don't thrive unless they work at channeling routinely.

 

But the characters that interest me a lot are the channels who work WITH the stage actors.

 

You see, renSime actors can't control or manipulate fields--but they don't have to if the troupe can hire a First to handle the fields FOR them and create the Special FX for the audience.

 

It's the Firsts who are attracted to perfecting this Artform that I find most interesting--and they aren't all Farrises either.

 

Go ahead Jean--give us a story to post on the Website about a Tigue who is infatuated with Shakespeare and can't act for beans and falls into being the Field Artist for a really great traveling troupe.

 

Tickets to that kind of a performance are expensive but worth everything you pay. Imagine taking your date to a play and NOT springing for an FX performance.

 

Betcha the cheap matinee doesn't have a channel to work the FX for them.

 

--Jacqueline Lichtenberg

*******************************************************

 

Jean Lorrah

 

Kaas Baichtal writes:

>But previous to that, in the junct theaters you're talking about, they might

>have used an "orchestra" of people who were good at both precision

>emotional control and affecting the ambient around them on purpose. I

>suppose this would be equivalent to the Gen subliminal message being

>sent in the market at the beginning of Zelerod's Doom.

 

Ooooh, I LOVE this idea! The Sime/Gen equivalent of the Greek chorus! Jacqueline, we have GOT to write a story set in the theater to use these wonderful ideas!

 

--Jean

*******************************************************

 

Hannah M.G. Shapero

 

Jacqueline and others: You mean Shakespeare survived the cataclysm? I thought nothing of Ancient literature, not even the Bible, survived.

 

--HMGS

*******************************************************

 

Kaas Baichtal

 

Hannah M. G. Shapero writes:

> Jacqueline and others: You mean Shakespeare survived the cataclysm? I

>thought nothing of Ancient literature, not even the Bible, survived.

 

You mean they really meant Shakespeare? I thought they were using his name as a substitute for whatever much-revered Sime playwright is the equivalent.

 

(Anyway I think if anyone survives the cataclysm it shouldn't be Shakespeare. That would be no fun. How about... Marlowe? Heh heh)

 

--Kaas

*******************************************************

 

Tony Zbaraschuk

 

Hannah M.G. Shapero wrote:

> Jacqueline and others: You mean Shakespeare survived the cataclysm? I

>thought nothing of Ancient literature, not even the Bible, survived.

 

Considering the kind of libraries that we see (with Rathor, with the Tecton Library in ZD, with Klyd's comments to Hugh in HoZ about the mountain of Ancient data, and the books with Ancient photographs in them), I'd always considered that a fairly large amount of stuff survived. The Bible, certainly, though I suspect that whatever the Church of the Purity uses has AT LEAST a third Testament of some sort dealing with the Simes, if it's not a different book altogether.

 

It's probably like the Middle Ages: Some, and hopefully the best part, of classical and Hebrew literature survived, but a lot was lost, both for lack of time to copy and for judgment that it didn't say anything to the present age.

 

-- Tony Z

*******************************************************

 

PM Newcomb

 

Leigh Kimmel writes:

>some people who can literally emote on command, who can turn such

>emotions as happiness, sadness, anger, etc. on and off at will like light

>switches. And I'm not just talking about external display gestures. I'm

>talking the internal emotion...

 

Indeed! This rings a little Psych-rotation bell...Manic depression also has the hallmark, in some instances, of rapid-fire emotion changes (not to mention a fascinating link to creativity, art, and acting)....Could channels, able to directly manipulate nageric fields, switch off a bipolar person's current mania or depression? (HoZ actually suggests not...since, despite a focus on emotional aspects of therapy between Donors and channels, everybody gets depressed anyway...)

 

Do the S~G folk lose lithium and other psychotropics? Are they all different for Simes? (I fuzzily recall the Out-T was ahead of In-T in some aspects of psychology...)

 

Just musing....

 

--PMNewcomb

*******************************************************

 

Mary Mendum

 

Folks,

 

I'm sorting old email for storage before I lose this account, and I've just been rereading the exchange about Sime actors and choruses (or channels) to handle the ambient.

 

I think perhaps this discussion has overlooked something important. A Sime sitting in a theater will be most affected by the fields of the people sitting around him/her, not by the actors' fields. In fact, if the Sime is sitting a few rows back, s/he might not be able to zlin the stage at all!

 

So, since only the front row would be able to zlin the stage clearly, what the actors' fields do would be much less important than how the audience responds to what they see and hear with senses which don't become so confused in crowds.

 

And, of course, the good actors would be those who are able to get the audience to empathize with them--thus providing a background "chorus" with the appropriate emotion from among the audience itself. Quite a task, when you consider that the Sime audience isn't used to responding emotionally to aural and visual cues!

 

Acting troupes would try for a balance of talent, so that every important character would have enough of a "following" among the audience that the ambient would be balanced. Properly done, I expect the audience-generated ambient would zlin as remarkably realistic, although a little hazy around the edges due to the fact that each character's "nager" is a consensus blend of many audience members.

 

Two other comments--if Sime theater works this way, the best seats in the house would start five or six rows back: easy to see and hear, but not close enough to zlin the stage past the audience in front.

 

And after Unity, when Gens started attending the theater, the playwrights, actors, and other theatrical workers would make special efforts to put on shows that interest Gens, because Simes respond more strongly to Gen fields. So, an interested Gen would "hook" all surrounding Simes into the show, while a bored Gen would ensure at least a dozen dissatisfied Simes!

 

--Mary Lou

*******************************************************

Kaas Baichtal

 

>I think perhaps this discussion has overlooked something important. A

>Sime sitting in a theater will be most affected by the fields of the

>people sitting around him/her, not by the actors' fields.

 

That was why I suggested the equipment "Ambient generators" or, in this low-tech case, an orchestra of nagerically influential people performing a subtle and choreographed manipulation of the ambient.

 

--Kaas

*******************************************************

Jean Lorrah

 

Mary Lou writes,

>I think perhaps this discussion has overlooked something important. A

>Sime sitting in a theater will be most affected by the fields of the people

>sitting around him/her, not by the actors' fields. In fact, if the Sime is

>sitting a few rows back, s/he might not be able to zlin the stage at all!

 

That's why I love the idea of a nageric chorus. It's already established that a shiltpron player can "work" an entire room, manipulating everyone's fields, even those of the Simes in the back row. I see the chorus as a kind of organic shiltpron.

 

--Jean

 

*******************************************************

Joanne Schechter

 

Mary Lou writes:

> If Sime theater works this way, the best seats in the house would start five

>or six rows back: easy to see and hear, but not close enough to zlin the

>stage past the audience in front.

 

Another great place to sit in a theatre--and my personal favorite, because I'm not tall--is the front row of the mezzanine, where there's really nothing but air between me and the stage. So I'm wondering what determines how far away the typical Sime can zlin (let's leave Farrises out of the equation for now). Is it distance alone, or does it depend on whether there are people and objects between the Sime in question and the person he/she is trying to zlin--say, an actor on the stage? I love the nageric chorus idea, too--would the premium seats be those nearest the chorus?

 

This discussion makes me wonder most about the content of the performance, though. If the spectacle and the music--say in musical theatre or opera--are not of greatest importance to a Sime audience, what happens to those arts? Is a beautifully sung and staged opera no longer as important as its nageric counterpart? Or is that only a Gen concern? IS there a nageric component of a fabulous performance of music? For example, will Sime singers (whether they are channels or have channels' help) learn to do with their fields what shiltpron players do with their tentacles to create music that enraptures the audience? And if they do, will it matter how well they actually SING or is nager all?

 

We (Ancients) already do something like that in performances, to tell the truth, but it's not so easy to describe, because I don't think most people today think in those terms. But there is an emotional or energetic feedback between audience and performer that is very obvious to those who perform often enough. Surely everyone has heard someone who wasn't necessarily a perfect singer but who has the audience "in the palm of his hand" during a song. Or a performer who says "The audience was really with me tonight." When I'm attending a performance, I think BOTH are important, and a performance really shines when the performer is both technically/musically proficient and emotionally or energetically proficient. But I can also appreciate either kind of proficiency even when it's not accompanied by the other in equal measure.

 

I'm wondering whether Simes can enjoy a song for its sheer technical brilliance and beauty, or whether their sensitivity to the fields, nevermind the condition of their need cycles, forever "ruins" such a performance unless there are Gens present who are enjoying it or a "chorus" present which is dictating the Sime response. If so, then personal taste in the performing arts, at least for Simes, may be a thing of the past as well.

 

--Joanne

*******************************************************

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

 

#1) TonyZ asked about what writing survived. For the answer to all that see Andrea Alton's stories--particularly Icy Nager. And Karen is working on an older draft of Andrea's Icy Nager character. Andrea's Bandigog Institute Library is REAL.

 

I figure humans will always produce scholars and they will be able to work the moment the Freeband Raiders settle down and start raising their own Gen supply. From there it's only a matter of time.

 

Several factors converge here. Bandigog is one. [Another is] Householding Frihill (the House that specializes in archeology and digging up old technology--remember Zeor picks up a lot of their members from Frihill because the Zeor Sectuib tends to have some rather pronounced scholastic traits). Frihill provides another spur to the Recovery.

 

However, remember that unlike Katherine Kurtz, I'm not a person who "looks back to the Golden Age." My characters don't spend their lives trying to find old manuscripts. I'm more of the MZB school. Anything that has ever existed can't be wholly lost--it still exists on the astral and will be very easy to re-invent. People born long ago weren't any smarter (or dumber) than people born today. The genius who invented the flint knife is inventing Pentium II chips today. Tool makers don't have to dig up old manuscripts or reverse-engineer rusted car engines. There mere IDEA that something can be done is all it takes.

 

Thus when Andrea's Bandigog Institute discovers and verifies that Ancients went to the Moon, and word of that gets out, the re-invention of space travel is a certainty. It's only a matter of time, and Simes and Gens won't do it the same way Ancients did. They'll find a better way BECAUSE they didn't have a clue how it was done.

 

The key to understanding my vision of future history is to understand simply that I admire Human Ingenuity, and to me, the survival of our species depends on our DIVERSITY. These are qualities that will allow us to make a place for ourselves in the Galactic Civilizations. Nothing else will be of such value. It never pays to LOOK BACK. Keep your eye on the far far future and you'll make it in fine style. Look back and you'll fall all over your feet.

 

So Sime~Gen has a solid contingent of scholars who dig up old stuff and make a terrific profit doing it. But that's nothing to the much larger group who listens to a quick summary of what the scholars have found out the Ancients could accomplish and rushes out to invent a way to do that.

 

Also consider that there are any number of traditions, rumors, etc. of What Caused The Mutation. What destroyed Ancient Civilization.

 

Since it is inarguable that the Ancients destroyed themselves, few people want to know too much about how they did what they did--obviously, it was wrong and we shouldn't stick our noses into their ways.

 

Then there are the scholars who say "But we must know every detail of how they did things in order to avoid doing the same thing!" And there are inventors who will study everything that's known about how Ancients did things and then go out and figure a new way to do that thing--so moderns can have the conveniences of Ancient Civilization without the taint.

 

And there are others who blame the very conveniences themselves for the Ancients' downfall and shun all "new fangled nonsense." This controversy is one of the factors that slows the redevelopment of civilization to an agonizing crawl punctuated with massive spurts.

 

The net result is that once the Modern Tecton puts the end to the Kill, civilization as we Ancients know it redevelops faster than we built it, but slower than you might expect--and much more unevenly throughout the Globe.

 

Later in the lettercol on Theater, Joanne raises an interesting point. "What determines how far away the typical Sime can zlin?" (Farrises left out of the discussion.)

 

ANSWER:

 

1) Density of the Matter between selyn source and zlinner

 

2) Distance between selyn source and zlinner

 

3) Intensity of selyn source (i.e. the field gradient between selyn source and zlinner)

 

4) Murkiness of the Ambient (see Andrea Alton's ICY NAGER again (it's posted on http://www.j51.com/~zeor)-- it opens with a Sime zlinning across a chasm but so far away from any human habitation that the ambient is utterly still. We discussed that opening scene as she wrote it very extensively and she might have those letters we snail-mailed each other.

 

5) The Sime's state of need and personal characteristics--sensitivity, etc.

 

6) FOR THEATER this is an important element. Whether a Channel or Donor has fixed their attention on the zlinner and is manipulating the fields.

 

In a Theater situation, never forget that the Channels and Donors in the audience (as well as those hired by the stage performers) control the audience's ambient nager (if there are enough of them strategically placed).

 

That's the secret to Sime Theater productions--getting the Channels to come to performances and seating them in the correct places around the theater. This isn't difficult if you don't have reserved seating. Channel and Donor pairs would just go sit where they belong and those around that place would gladly re-arrange themselves for the privilege of sitting near.

 

Out-T it's a different story of course. But in-T getting the audience response to synchronize with the performers' Channels is a problem only if the local Centers are understaffed and over-working the Channels so they have no leisure time. This is something for a Theater Manager or Tour Manager or Tour Promoter to worry and worry and worry about until the curtain goes up. They will go out of their way to allow the Channels and Donors working for the stage performers to mix and mingle with and talk to the ones in the Audience and synchronize their signals to each other to keep the audience under critical Intensity where someone might be triggered into a killmode attack. (This is tough on Mystery plays where the stage Channels reveal to the Audience Channels where the critical moments are and "who done it.")

 

The success of a performance though is, as with any other Artform, all dependent on the way ALL these elements Mary Lou has mentioned (from skill and talent to audience management) blend smoothly and seamlessly to create the Artform.

 

I think I mentioned in a previous post that the key to the most sophisticated live performances are the selyn-enhancing amplifiers based on the DeBroglie technology I used in Operation High Time (posted on http://www .best.com/sg/sgfr.html) and that there will be shiltpron amplifiers eventually.

 

Consider though when these amplifiers are introduced -- audiences will resist, contending that Channels are artists and that a living Channel reacting him/herself to the play as it unfolds uniquely with each performance must inevitably be better than any mechanical device could ever be.

 

And the new generation, as with the Rock fan phenomenon, will go for the blast of the amplifiers over the nuances of an Artform that one must learn to enjoy.

 

It's the old argument, the educated palate vs. the raw sensory input. Or fine wine vs. mass-produced cheap wine.

 

Those whose senses and emotions respond to delicate input will prefer one thing--those who live a different way will prefer something else. And Art will develop to cater to both tastes. By the time Orgonics technology becomes commonplace, there will be a third artform that combines the raw power of DeBroglie-based equipment with the fine tuning and living artform that previously only living channels could produce. This Orgonics based equipment will allow the Peformers to control the amplified output with infinite precision and the amplifier control will become an artform of its own. The argument for it will be that Art By Committee (which is what the team-of-channels approach or the "Chorus" approach mentioned earlier on this Thread [is]) can never approach the heights of Art that a single artist can create.

 

And there will still be those who prefer the live Channel performances.

 

Jean Lorrah is exploring the history of the early stage just after Unity around Keon's Gulf Territory. She has a character who plays a shiltpron and a Gen who modulates for him. The team will live long enough to be invited to the joint Bandigog/Frihill project to create field manipulating technology--where they will be the first to try out an amplified shiltpron . It's probably a publicity stunt to raise money for the research but it's bound to make history as the Concert Of Their Lives.

 

Live Long and Prosper,

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

*******************************************************

Jean Lorrah

 

Jacqueline writes,

 

>Consider though when these amplifiers are introduced--audiences will

>resist, contending that Channels are artists and that a living Channel

>reacting him/herself to the play as it unfolds uniquely with each

>performance must inevitably be better than any mechanical device could ever be.

 

>And the new generation, as with the Rock fan phenomenon, will go for the

>blast of the amplifiers over the nuances of an Artform that one must learn

>to enjoy.

 

>It's the old argument, the educated palate vs. the raw sensory input. Or

>fine wine vs. mass-produced cheap wine.

 

The best classic rock artists do both acoustic and amplified music. Especially today (as opposed to the 70s, when much of the audience was frequently high and rowdy), a crowd of 10,000 people who have just been screaming and dancing to a loud amplified number with pounding drums and echo effects will hush to utter appreciative silence for an unplugged number with no effects at all. It's not either/or--it's both.

 

Led Zeppelin always did both, frequently in the same song, the obvious example being "Stairway to Heaven." It opens with John Paul Jones playing the recorder, of all things to open the most famous rock song in the history of the genre! It opens like a ditty out of the Middle Ages, closes with a crashing rock climax, and in between it takes us on an amazing sf adventure in which a modern shopping mall and a Celtic woodland meet at one of the Gates Between the Worlds (but if you don't know that tradition you will never get what's happening).

 

So don't try to force all art into one category or the other, Jacqueline. There is a place for raw power and there is a place for finesse--and the same artist uses one at one moment, the other at another. Raw power under perfect control can produce great art.

 

[Jacqueline continues]:

> By the time Orgonics technology becomes commonplace, there will be a

>third artform that combines the raw power of DeBroglie-based equipment

>with the fine tuning and living artform that previously only living channels

>could produce. This Orgonics-based equipment will allow the Peformers

>to control the amplfied output with infinite precision and the amplfier

>control will become an artform of its own. The argument for it will be that

>Art By Committee (which is what the team-of-channels approach or the

>"Chorus" approach mentioned earlier on this Thread [is]) can never

>approach the heights of Art that a single artist can create.

 

I think you are off on what Art by Committee is--the term is generally applied to public art of the "murals for the statehouse walls" variety, where the artist is told what is expected, and paid out of public funds. Just because two or more people together create a work, that work is no less art. Are FCh, CD, and ZD less art than HoZ or AK? Of course not! They are Art by Committee by the definition you are using above, but not in the usual sense of that phrase. We were collaborating, exactly the way the chorus in an opera or a Greek drama collaborates in a different art form. No one is ever going to argue that music or drama is somehow "better" if created or performed by a single performer than if several or even hundreds of people are involved.

 

How many one-person plays are there? A handful. I can't imagine it crossing any theater critic's mind that the fact that it's a one-person play makes it intrinsically better or worse than a play for five characters. It is judged by the same standards of playwriting and acting as any other drama. A solo ballet is judged by the same standards as a performance of *The Nutcracker*. I think you are trying to create a distinction here that will not work.

 

Most art forms are collaborative, especially the "lively" arts. Even that one actor in the one-person play has a playwright, a director, a set designer, a costumer, and a prop person, as well as a lighting and perhaps a sound engineer collaborating in the "one-person" performance. The solo dancer has musicians, a choreographer, etc. etc. etc.

 

So I think this time you are trying to create a difference that audiences and critics simply won't see as a difference.

 

On the other hand, art will evolve with technology again, as it has with us Ancients. Different kinds of paint make possible different kinds of painting. The technological invention of bronze casting makes possible a new form of sculpture. Sound recording makes possible overdubbing--on almost all popular recordings since the 1950's the same musician lays down two or three tracks with one instrument, the singer sings harmony or counterpoint with himself, and an artist/engineer puts it all together into the finished product (Jimmy Page could have earned a living doing only this, even if he couldn't play an instrument, he is such a wizard at mixing seamlessly).

 

Film makes whole new kinds of drama possible, and changes acting techniques forever. Right now computer techniques are revolutionizing drama again. But live drama on the simple stage will never disappear, either.

 

These are the changes that will be repeated in new variations as civilization becomes industrialized again in the S~G universe. But no one will judge the quality of a work of art according to whether it was created or performed by one person or by a group. In most arts, group work is the norm. A Segovia is the exception, not the rule--most of the world's great guitarists, whatever kind of music they play, have other instruments to back them up, and solo only within the context of a performance of mostly non-solo moments. Singers almost never sing solo a capella--a capella groups are choruses, from classical to doo-wop.

 

--Jean

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