SUBHUMAN THEATRE

Phantomat - is coined from two words: Phantom and Automat. Phantom derives from the greek word phantasma and it means a shadow of a being, apparition, ilusion, a sole. In platonic terms it means the image of reality after it has been distorted by our 5 senses. The idea about the phantomats was born in Skegness where we wittnessed how almost the whole community (from all ages children to elderly) where possesed by the penny arcade culture. One person infront of one machine, doing repetitive motions, in silence, not communicating with other people. The machine reduces the subject to a machine. The machine is always the winner, the reduced subject is always the looser with no prospects of change. For us this was an extreme example of alienation in an extreme comersialised public space. The absense of public art and public spaces for relaxation and contemplation added to this sensation. The only place in Skegness that offered an alternative was the beach and the sea which were almost always empty.
The idea of the phantomat was born from the need to sabotage the comercilised space by using its own rules of the game but offer contemplation, reconnection with the city and with oneself.
The project consist of a series of humanoid looking machines (Phantomats) that operate on the principle of the penny arcade machines. The difference is that once you pay a penny to this machine you are always a winner. The idea is to install the Phantomats in a specificly chosen place in each touring city. The audience will have the chance to go from one to the other in a specific route that is guided by phantomats themselves. Each Phantomat will have a certain audio visuel content related to the acctual place the phantomat is situated in. The content will vary from place to place and it will realate in a different way in each situation (city or location). The content can consist of images, interviews with local people, sounds, music and the same can be distorted orm anipulated. The video material will be shown in the eyes on each Phanotmat. We are still considering whether to have headphones for the audio part or have the sound come out from speakers.The last Phantomat does no have a video material but a camera thatprojects on the screen everything that comes on its way in real time. The idea is to have the image of the person standing infront of the Phanotmat projected in the eyes of the Phantomat. A mirroring, a reconection.

In collaboration with Dritero Kasapi

co-producers: Intercult, Via Pontica Art Association