12. Event title:
"NEAR" : an immersive, site-specific performance set in the "near future" tackling the subject of a "dreamed-of" new world where "Transhumans" exist. The play tackles the all too real possibility of this happening by incorporating real scientists and their research (live lectures) into an exciting, new and innovative storytelling narrative within a fictitious play.
13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
As we grow older, as we lose parents, as the storm surges, the tides rise in this world we are hell bent on survival and we’re all on a desperate search for the Truth. Science is thrust into the spotlight in a huge new way. The Gung Ho Down is interested in incorporating real scientists into the play itself, maintaining the authentic scientific voice in the form of an immersive "Science Festival" in the near future.
In NEAR, a play set at a scientific convention, two scientists and their two 20-something "son and daughter", are seemingly relieving the stresses of the day at the cafe, the lobby/hallway etc. but as the audience is drawn further into the story it is clear we are in the near future - and we are getting wrapped up in the lives of two "transhuman" scientists and the products of their search for something more perfect than being human: their own children.
Ultimately "NEAR" while tackling the subject of "post-humans/transhumans" through nanotechnology, genetic modification, and cognitive enhancement, is a very human experience. The premise of the event is to enrich the audience member both intellectually and viscerally by combining academics and artists: the 3 Academics, through their research offer a practical/theoretical reality of the subject and the Artists (actors/musicians) express through their artform their experiential reality of the same subject coming together in a fictional play, that draws from actual truth. NEAR will hopefully allow the audience member to walk away empowered to ask more questions about their own lives and beliefs.
14. Does the event have particular local relevance?:
15. If so, please indicate what this is:
On speaking to Farrah Nasir, we discovered that we may be able to source leading academics from Newaastle University in the areas of bio-enhancement.
16. How does your event relate to this year's theme of 'Making waves'?:
The topic of transhumanism is a controversial one as it has a very real possibility of actually occurring, has not quite hit the public consciousness and has a great deal of social, ethical and moral repercussions. The even aims to contextualise both the science and the social framework.