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Review - Privacy Settings: eye-popping graphics

Leah Shelton and Lisa Fa’alafi

Privacy Settings

By Polytoxic

Prsented by Southbank Corporation




Season: April 26-29

I haven’t seen so much psychedelic colour since watching The Yellow Submarine with The Beatles back in the 1960s. No, only kidding, I met them a couple of times but we were never that close.

But colourful and non-stop Privacy Settings is, with thirty minutes of eye-popping graphics projected on a pair of oversized golf balls, a few amorphous screen and a pair of human screens - Leah Shelton and Lisa Fa’alafi, the creators and set/costume designers of the piece - is a mesmerising experience.

One audience members described at as “the cheapest trip I’ve ever had – and no hangover.”

The human dancing screens, moved in and out of the lights, and melted to imagery as graphics smothered them, Google fed with so much information, in the audience we recognised the social media symbols and the hovering eyeballs staring menacingly from every angle. Big Brother in stereo. It was scary and funny at the same time. It was as fast and ephemeral as Snapchat and as detailed as Facebook as we were looking for the next message

Polytoxic is known as an innovative dance company that deals in satire, colour and some wild scenes but this collaboration with design duo Craig & Karl and animator Pete Foley is, as the might say in the 1960s, “something else”.

Privacy Settings is a blend of dance, theatre, and colour- pop-graphic visuals that explores the way we live in today’s world of algorithms, smart phones, and social media. Like the pressures of constant exposure the assault of instants images and the craving for “likes” and recognition and the fount of knowledge given to salespeople. The action is relentless.

It reminded me of another time of relentless pressure and Charlie Chaplin’s movie from 1936 Modern Times where everyone became a cog in the wheel of industry. Time stealing is an ever present pastime.

The Flowstate venue is a new one in the South Bank Parklands. It’s undercover, but open. However the creators managed to shut out the openness and keep us confined to the action.

Privacy Settings was initially developed in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse and commissioned for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Festival 2018 with the support of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, City of Gold Coast and Queensland Government and Commonwealth Games Federation.

I’m not sure where the next showing might be, but keep an eye out, it’s just the thing to take in to set the mood for a night on the town.

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