Continuing my (almost) weekly expansion of the work I'm doing next year, we're onto Project Two of Project 10/52 - You Have Been Watching.
Okay, I exaggerate for effect - YHBW is not completely unprepared. I haven't just plucked a title out of the air and hoped for the best (though I do have form in this regard - it is not uncommon for people to ask me if I've written the show yet just before curtain up). I want to explore surveillance culture, the modern world of electronic everything and I have some material to start from. I started a monologue many years ago about someone trying to live off grid. Unobserved, undatabased. Or undatadebased. As it were. This material will be the starting point, but it may get jettisoned. I want to spend the four/five/six weeks rehearsal time developing material, working with people to collect data and ideas. I want to identify every single camera in the local area and will ask people to help me do that. I want to find other stories, other angles to the way technology effects us. How a new generation is changing/is changed by the new ways of communicating.
It may not end up as a play. Hence the probability that I will jettison past material. I see it as an installation, a series of images, actions, discussions... half formed ideas are battling for control of the project as I type.
I know also what I don't want it to be. There are many cliches and obvious routes that do not need to be trod. I don't want it to be a straightforward technology bad, technology good debate. That would be tedious.
I will need help from the audience to make this happen as well. I want every audience member to document the show, to use their camera phones to film it, take images of it etc and post them online. These files will then be available to anyone who wants to use them - I intend to create a video version of the show out of the recordings. That way there isn't one version of the project, there are, if not an infinite then, a very large finite number of versions, depending on how you wish to view the material.
I'm hoping that most people will have their own cameras, but I will be supplying a number of small cameras for use in the show. You are the camera, you are the director, you are the show.
That's sort of the idea, at this distant stage.