Eulogy by Darkfield

Eulogy is a communal experience that uses binaural sound and speech recognition technology to immerse each audience member into a dreamlike, labyrinthine hotel that is imagined in complete darkness.

Eulology_Darkfield

Each audience member sits in a laundry roll-cage which appears to be wheeled through rooms and down corridors, into a car park and a kitchen, transporting them between floors, taking them deeper into the dream. Only when the task allotted to them is complete do they experience their own unique climax.

In this new project Darkfield give the audience a chance to speak to characters who appear to be in the space, addressing them directly. This will increase their feeling of agency and allow them to feel a greater moral responsibility for what happens in the story.

This new technology enables the audience to really feel that they are meeting other audience members on their unique journey; each with their own guide, each following their own specific version of the story.

EULOGY will be experienced both as an intense and exhilarating ride, and as a deeper exploration of the relative merits of an embodied human conscious experience versus one that only exists in the imagination.

Intended audience

In the last three years Darkfield’s work has been seen by over 165,000 people in the UK, Australia and Mexico. Eulogy will initially be presented at arts venues, festivals and city centres across the UK. The next step would be to license it in other countries through producing partners.

EULOGY will be the first Darkfield experience that can be presented both indoors, within venues, or outside in a shipping container. The environment will be flexible enough to fit into theatre auditoriums, foyers and other public spaces, as well as into Darkfield trademark shipping container. The shipping containers increases public accessibility and attracts people less likely to know of or choose to see work hidden in arts buildings. The narrative is not constrained by the space the audience are sitting in, as has been the case with our previous shows.

This new model will allow to reach places that have had difficulty finding outdoor locations (both in the UK and worldwide), and will allow to offer an experience to a larger audience when required.

During the uncertain times of continuing social distancing Darkfield is able to configure an indoor space to allow for a combination of minimum distances between audience and physical barriers. The onboarding and offboarding of audience can also be controlled.

Creator’s statement

The imagination of the audience is our most important tool for immersion and we use the darkness to create a blank canvas to build environments and characters from sound. The effectiveness of binaural audio together with darkness create a doubt as to what is real and what is imagined – the audience are never completely sure whether there are live actors in the space or whether the other audience members are moving about and talking; this makes the experience feel very live.

Technical summary

A combination of analogue binaural recordings and other sensory effects will be used to reinforce the narrative offered by the sound including low frequency sounds, vibrations and air movements. Each audience member wears headphones with discrete microphones that allow them to trigger different audio pathways by responding to recorded characters.

Project team details

  • Glen Neath – Writer
  • David Rosenberg – Director and Binaural specialist
  • Michele Panegrossi – Creative Technologist
  • Stuart Heyes – Production Manager
  • Andrea Salazar – Head Producer and Production Manager
  • Victoria Eyton – Producer

Team profile

Darkfield has made three experiences to date, all in shipping containers. Each container has a particular internal design that configures the audience in different ways. In all of the experiences the audience enter the container, put on the headphones and then the lights go out.

David Rosenberg has been directing performances outside the auditorium since 1997. He co-founded the artists’ collective – shunt – and directed all their company shows. He has been working with binaural audio driven performances for over ten years.

Glen Neath has written novels, plays for radio, for the stage and non-theatre locations. He has increasingly focused on immersive narratives that cast the audience as the protagonist.

Michele Panegrossi is a Creative Technologist who specialises in merging new technologies and design with an emphasis on sensors and actuators networks, real time data acquisition and manipulation, audio spatialisation and augmented reality.

Past work

2019, “COMA”
2018, “FLIGHT”
2016, “SÉANCE”