Review: Puncture the Screen and PNOC.io

Chronic Insanity’s summer festival of commissioned digital work, Puncture the Screen, brings a number of pieces together under the umbrella of “digital data driven art and performance”.

Emily Holyoake’s The Next Best Thing and Naomi Westerman’s The Ashes World Tour are similar in their reactions to a life-changing event, but are presented in very different ways. Holyoake uses animation and an AI character to guide her narrative; Westerman invites you to explore different videos from an interactive map.

In Augmented Art, Tom Shennan uses text, audio and video to create a personal picture of his neurodivergence. You can choose in which order to experience the piece, at your own pace. Pianist Larkhall’s Duet for Piano and Live Visuals is a hypnotic and moving piece that reminded me of the early days of computer sound files which generated colourful graphics as they played.

Michael-Jon Mizra’s short film Displacement Native is a discordant and disturbing piece which takes the Syrian Civil War as inspiration; while YESYESNONO’s Message Not Sent is a durational (3 hour) performance piece livestreamed on Twitch, utilising themes of regret and miscommunication.

All these pieces remain available on-demand until mid-August. Purchase either a festival pass or event pass here.

In conjunction with Camden People’s Theatre, Chronic Insanity have developed PNOC.io takes the story of Pinocchio and moves it into the area of corporate technology as you, the audience member, are the newest recruit at Stromboli. The piece has many endings, so you can replay utilising the prompts as you wish to take varied routes through the story.

With AI now allowing robots to converse with humans (think of ‘Pepper’ giving evidence to a House of Commons committee), the idea of PNOC.io having sentience is an intriguing one.

You can book for PNOC.io here; it ends 6 August and you can watch at any time.

What do you think?

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