All Your Base… Costumes

March 1, 2018

We’ve been commissioned by Friedrich and Janne from the Puppetry Department of the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch to create costumes for their upcoming production titled “All your base are belong to me”. The piece is a participatory performance in which the audience are invited by “Generation Internet” to experience a highly aesthetisized version of the world today in order to take a closer look. The piece will be performed by 4 students for a group of 60 people and will take place on March 6th at Schaubude, Berlin.

All Your Base Are Belong To Me:
https://www.schaubude.berlin/spielplan/02/abendprogramm/all-your-base-are-belong-to-us-at/

Flickr set: https://www.flickr.com/photos/plusea/albums/72157691737109641

allyourbase

For these costumes we developed this Bumblebee Breakout:
>> http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=7166
Bumblebee Connector

All Your Base Are Belong To Me
All Your Base Are Belong To Me

Photos from the dress rehearsal:
All Your Base Are Belong To Me
All Your Base Are Belong To Me
All Your Base Are Belong To Me
All Your Base Are Belong To Me

#include
All your base are belong to me...

switch(state);
All your base are belong to me...

Transform.
All your base are belong to me...

Float trust;
All your base are belong to me...

Code snippets:
All your base are belong to me...

Heart circuit:
All your base are belong to me...
All your base are belong to me...


Meeting #1

Friedrich and Janne came to KOBA to tell us about the piece and ask if we were interested to create the costumes. They saw “ohne mich” from our opening collection and think the costumes could be something along these lines. But at the moment they are still in the middle of bringing the content and narrative together.

ohne mich

Notes from meeting:
How do we rationalize the world using (digital) media? The audience is invited by hosts from Generation Internet to experience their world. They have built their world.

In the introduction to the piece, they say things like:
P1: Hi
P2: We are twentysomething year olds.
P3: We live here.
P4: And we will most definitely live longer than you.
P1: This is our world.
P2: We invented it.
P3: We created things like google, and instagram.
P4: and snapchat.
P1: And we only talk to each other with our cellphones.
P4: (you wouldn’t understand).

(text inspired by this article: http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/poor-millennials/
)

Before entering this experience of their world, they pick RFID tagged characters to play in this world. Their world is made up of roughly six stations at which the audience (their characters) can engage in different digitally mediated experiences. Stations: CRISPR gene editing, tinder, intimate sexual experience, Fapanese roll playing everyday experiences, deep water horizon….
The experiences that the audience have at these stations are captured in a giant spreadsheet detailing each person’s life “story”. The audience also has access to this spreadsheet and can edit their own story as they like. At the end each story is printed on paper for the audience to take home.

Notes from first meeting:
All your base are belong to me


Brainstorming #1

Costume sketches
Costume sketches


Meeting #2

For our second meeting we visited the school and were introduced to the various stations. The piece was not yet developed enough to know more about the rolls of the students so that we could not get more information relating directly to the costumes.

Programming mediated experiances


Meeting #3

We went back to the school once the concept was more solid and were briefed on the rolls (tasks!) the students will have in the piece.

Measure students for costumes…

Notes from meeting:
All your base.... meeting #3 notes


Brainstorming #2

After leaving the third meeting, we went to a South American bar to drink wine and brainstorm ideas for the costumes.
We began by summarizing how we understood the piece, pulling it apart until we saw an exciting narrative, which did also lead us to one (we think) very good costume idea.

The core questions we honed in on were:
What is the motivation for the hosts to invite their guests?
Who are their guests?

Notes from brainstorming session:
All your base.... brainstorming #2 notes


Proposal

The hosts are Generation Internet. Tech savvy, appropriation hungry, fashion conscious, they are the majority in the Internet, they are followers not leaders. The Internet is their home and they don’t like it when people criticize life in the Internet.
They invite their critics to experience their world because they want to convince them that their world is likeable. They want to be liked.


The Internet is made up of 1% Leaders, 4% Early adopters and 95% Followers.

The guests are invited by this friendly Generation Internet to experience a tech-heavy mediated world, and the guests generously admit that their world might not be all to their liking, and that they are able to change it as they wish.

P3: We apologize.
P2: We understand it must be hard for you.
P1: So we would like to change.
P2: We would like to change for you.

But Generation Internet does not want their guest to change their world, they have another plan. Their hidden agenda is to manipulate their guests into falling in love with their culture.
Their guests are left-wing intellectuals from the near-by Prenzlauerberg. They own smartphones but they don’t use Instagram Story or Snapchat or consume memes or chat using cat videos.

These left-wing intellectuals are wary of Generation Internet, they don’t spend their time in subreddits, they attend talks by Zizek and Varoufakis. They quote Kant and Hegel and Mcluhan…

But Generation Internet knows this. And generation Internet is versed in the skill of appropriating content to make it their own. They appropriate content from their enemy and make it their own. They own it! They wear it. They literately wear it.


Quick sketch of icons + (left) intellectual quotes:
Generation Internet tattoos

Costume Description

The costumes for the 3 students are made up in the style of contemporary fashion (baggy t-shirts, tops… tight pants with loose crotch….) but made out of t-shirt slogan prints sewn together. Mono-colour shirts. After sewing together the prints we screen-print and embroider the left-intellectual slogan on top.

Technology?

One idea is to embroider optic fiber text that fades back and forth between two quotes. One ultra Internet, one ultra Left.

ohne mich

Engagement

“The cat handbag of engagement”. Each host carries around with them a handbag made from an cat fabric print. Inside the handbag are fake tattoos which the guests can select from and tattoo on themselves.

Death

Death is a BVG ticket checker. Death moves through the space inspecting people’s tattoos. If somebody has selected a tattoo which is not leftish enough, they must die.


PROPOSAL 2

Summary – how we understand the piece:
The hosts are the owners of contemporary (Internet) culture in the sense that they are at home here. The Internet is their home/land and they identify with it. Just as every world has it’s good and bad sides, so does this one. But when you love someone you embrace both their good and their bad sides. The difficult situations and the amazing situations that you experience together. Because the hosts are at home in this world, they are “in love with it”, they can deal with these ups and downs. But they recognise that not everybody is at home in the world today. Some spend all their energy trying to make it something else without understanding what it is. Others reminisce about the “good old days”. The hosts want to make their guests fall in love with their world by experiencing it together through a shared aestheticized experience.

HOSTS
The hosts are at home in today’s society and this shows because they own it. They build technology, they create content, they are fashionable, comfortable and in control. Their costumes reflect this attitude.
Jumpsuit
Workwear
Comfortable
Mix&Match
Layered
Fashionable
Fashionista
Aestheticized
Uniform (Unifier)
Differentiator (from Audience)

Jumpsuit
A jumpsuit made up of different clothing items we can find at Humana. They will sewn together neatly and represent the fashionable layered style seen in the Vetements collection. These jumpsuits are embroidered with Internet memes that light up.

Cat Bag
Each host also carries a “cat bag” – handbag, purse, bumbag – made from a fabric printed with Internet cat image(s). These bags contain fake tattoos with Internet content (icons, memes, emojis….) which the hosts “deal” to the audience.

GUESTS
The guests are also at home in the same society, but maybe they don’t all “own” it. They have been invited to take a closer look at their world through different lenses, to examine it and experiment with it in order to fall in love with it.
(Somehow through examining it closer they are also gaining a distance necessary to see their place in the bigger picture?)

DEATH is an algorithm
To die is to be excluded from life. What does it mean to be excluded from the Internet? Algorithms developed to kick certain content because it is deemed illegal, inappropriate…
Death is an algorithm that bans certain individuals from participating in it’s culture. Maybe this algorithm is influenced by decisions made at one of the stations. Maybe if people decide it should be illegal to have animal genes, then death will kill people who have animal genes.
Death is serious and authoritative but is also like you and us (think BVG Kontrolleur). The hosts take their turns at the task of being the algorithm. Moving through the space, checking people’s RFID tags and when it finds somebody who should be banned from the system, it pulls them aside, apologizes for having to kick them out. Explains that there is something illegal about their person, but it not authorized to tell them what, also explains what death means and that they can start again with a new character.

Still open….
We need to discuss more, it also depends on how host costumes come out… but concept is that any host can be/come “death” by putting on certain props, including a “BVG Ausweis”…