The Daedalus Container (BDA_US05)

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The entire installation fits into a 20-foot standardized shipping container for transportation. When set up, the installation barely breaks its stored size dimensions, adding a flat solar array to the roof. The audience enters towards the left at the open end of the container. They progress down an airplane aisle width walkway past 10-airplane window sized interactive dioramas containing miniatures, puppets and video in a contemporary retelling of the thematic narrative of The Birds. They reach the far end of the container and find a coin-operated machine, selling the gift of flight, mounted above a pristine bowl. They place a coin in the slot, turn the handle and a feather flits down into the bowl, an empty symbol, like the feather Dumbo felt he required to be able to fly. They turn back and head down the opposite side of the container, past another ten windows, a mirror of the other side, but these windows are a continuous display of the point of view from an airplane window at flight. They exit back from where they came with their feather.

The installation invokes abstracted ideas of flight and commerce. The use of the container forms a connection to commerce and modular transportation, the solar panels form a connection to the commercial potential of the sky, and the interior aesthetic evokes the visual cues of airplanes. These broader abstract gestures find their base in the themes of The Birds, but also lead into our discussion on sustainable materials usage and technological integration into art and performance practices. The Daedalus Container is equally about choosing to approach the entire system, created by materials, technology and aesthetics, when executing theater design and addressing the efficiency of using resources in such a system.  
Ian Garrett, Kari Rae Seekins, Rebecca Makus, Adam Flemming, Torry Bend
California Institute of the Arts