Short Overview:

Gānbēi (StageNoMore)

type of project: Fellowship Research Project

published: 2020

by: StageNoMore

team / experts involved:

  • Director and dramaturg: Ran CHEN
  • Stage designer and video artist: Di WANG
  • Food anthropologist and researcher: Shan HE
  • Academic and technical support: Qian CHEN

website: stagenomore.com

maintainer(s)/contact: info@stagenomore.com


Gānbēi

StageNoMore is a Beijing-based art collective founded in the summer of 2014, with live performance as major medium. Hu Han, Zhang Xinxin, Chen Ran, He Shan are among the founding members. Their art practice concerns itself with issues of contemporary identities🆔, digital existence🍪, cyberculture🤖, public discourse in the media💬, as well as our relations to virtuality and reality🛸. The collective and its members' works had been presented in Beijing Fringe Festival, Today Art Museum, Inside-Out Theater, Wuzhen Theater Festival, TPAM Yokohama(Japan), Edinburgh Festival Fringe, OFF Avignon, etc.

What is the real connection? What are we looking at when we are looking into a screen? Is it a mirror image of us? Is it alienating us from ourselves? How is it reshaping us in an imperceptible way? “Gānbēi” (work-in-progress) is about connection and disconnection, in this fragile moment of the world. “It’s all in the wine”, a Chinese slang, meaning that with the help of alcohol, everything indescribable can be expressed and understood. Alcohol is seen as a common language. Gānbēi (cheers in Chinese), achived by the media of alcohol, is a symbol that represents connection among human beings. In the pandemic era we are all experiencing, individuals are forced to cut connection with society in different levels. People are often connected by screens, same applies to those drinking parties. The online drinking scenes across the globe creates a unique theatrical moment, enabling digital and physical bodies co-exist in the same time and space. An individual, in front of a lit screen, cheers with people in the screen. This reminds us of another scene described by Li Bai, a Chinese poet from Tang Dynasty: “Then the moon sheds her rays on my goblet and me, and my shadow betrays we’re a party of three.”

In the nature, Li Bai, all alone by himself, can only cheer with moon, an out-of-reach existence and shadow, a close-by emptiness. The poet’s connection to moon and shadow, is echoing with our current connection with screens, and the digital world behind the screen. We all achieve an unusual connection under the circumstances of disconnection. “Men in our time do not see the ancient moon, but this moon did shine on men of yore” The moon inspires Li Bai’s poems, also human being’s curiosity towards the unknown. Apollo 11 landed the moon surface in 1969, and the first drink human beings swallowed on the moon is wine. It was an astronaut carrying out a single man’s communion service before stepping out onto the moon.

Link to research blog

First stage: researches on alcohol history, drinking culture, local breweries, and macro and micro politics trigged by alcohol

3.11 干杯政治学 Gānbēi Politics

Second stage: the outbreak of Covid-19 in Germany created an environment for experimenting theatre online. Some tests in digital world, in webcam and in various apps; some tests on object-based and web-based theater.

4.3 Gānbēi Politics conception (demo)

5.2 fragment#03

Third stage: back to the familiar track – performance, re-translating ganbei into the meaning of connection in this disconnected period, and started collecting material on moon landing, poet Li Bai and solitude.

5.28 fragment#04

Equipment:

  • DJI robomaster x1
  • 32-inch screen x1 (with 10-meter HDMI cable x1)
  • Projector x1
  • Laptop x2 (1 installed with Millumin3, Touchdesigner & After Effect)
  • Ipad pro x1
  • DMG Lumiere by Rosco SL1 MIX x2

Space:

A square space around 80m². Single-colored rubber mat on the floor. Single-colored curtains/walls around to block the light from outside.

Time:

20 minutes live performance on site.

Props & Stage Design:

  • Black crayon x1
  • White whole body tights x1
  • Thick tin foil or silver color wrapping paper 10m
  • Beer bottle wrapped with tin foil x1
  • Apple wrapped with tin foil x1
  • 10cm Human-shape figures made by tin foil x50
Lay Down Sit Up Sit & Interact with Screen Walk Stand and Carry Screen Lay Down
Body Lay flat with screen over body vertically with bottle near feet and crayon near left hand Paint eyes with crayon Put up screen on floor vertically and hug from back Stand up and walk slowly with screen between legs for 5-6 steps toward the end of tin foil path Carry the screen horizontally, gently touch screen → Rest head gently on screen Slowly back to first pose, eyes follow the move of robot
Sound Ambient sound “Let there be light” repeated sample Ambient sound Ambient sound The narrative from 骂观众
Screen View of earth from space From earth to close shot of an eye Live image from robot: the back of performer, then drive slowly to front Live image from robot: a mirrored image of leg Images of different skin → Live image from robot: a mirrored image of performer’s face. Live image from robot
Robot Ready at back Ready at back Shot the back of performer Drive to the front and shot one leg from front, slowly drive reversely with performer’s pace Keep in the front, → close-up shot of face Slowly drive from the front, patrol around the performer’s head, then back to the front
Lay Down Sit Up Sit & Interact with Screen Walk Stand and Carry Screen Lay Down
Body Slowly back to first pose, eyes follow the move of robot Turn the screen to vertical position→Look at screen like reading a book Put up screen on floor vertically and play with bottle and mimic drinking scenes Stand up and walk slowly with screen between legs for 5-6 steps toward the end of tin foil path Slowly twitch→fall down to floor→drag screen and climb back to the back → Kneel at the back of vertically placed screen with hands playing little paper man on screen Lay down slowly with little paper man on screen
Sound The narrative from 骂观众 Ambient sound Ambient sound Ambient sound Intense buzz → Ambient sound Ambient sound
Screen Live image from robot World news mashup Live image from robot: a mirrored image of performer’s hand Video mashup of people climbing walls and riots Video mashup of people climbing walls and riots. Live image from robot projecting on the wall View of earth from space
Robot Slowly drive from the front, patrol around the performer’s head, then back to the front Ready at front Close shot from the front of screen Slowly drive to the back Shoot down all tin foil figures from the back → Drive to the front, stare and then shoot the audience (illuminated by moving flashlights) → Drive to the front of screen and shot the little paper man Slowly move away from stage
  • projects/ganbei_politics/start.txt
  • Last modified: 21.12.2020 10:49
  • by Philipp Kramer