In 2018, INSIDE-OUT THEATER launched the annual Theater Art Festival themed on “Tech-Art”. With an expected big resonance from our generation Y audiences, this year the festival returned with 5 plays focused on our daily interaction with all kinds of “intelligent” devices. 2019 TECH-ART FESTIVAL took place from September 5th to 15th, with a featured weekend schedule arranging 3 plays in one day.
Tech-Art Festival is the first theater festival planned and launched by INSIDE-OUT THEATER. As computer science and internet technology are frequently updating itself and everything connected to it, every latest innovation of technology is been experienced through our daily life. Such fast development brings seemingly infinite and unknown possibilities, but it also constantly reshaping our perception of the world.
With such a global background, contemporary theater plays are obligated to reflect on the development of technology. As a channel to the outside world, every theater production could be a statement of value on any given issue. With these daily issues and topics being discussed through plays, we hope the audiences could have a better understanding of our relationship with technology.
This year we focused on communication and media. Internet is obsessed with making our life more convenient. With the same ambition, smartphones and social media have already made daily communication available anytime anywhere. The media we relied on to communicate is always trying to increase its turf, from being merely a mean of communication, to take over bit by bit of our life.
We are at the front gate of a so-called ‘big data era’, every individual is being captured and transcoded into different forms of data. As webcams now can be seen everywhere, everyone is incessantly video streaming online, while in the meantime producing and consuming these video data. This has already blurred the line between privacy and public life, also it raises the big question of information safety.
To come to the point, technology is created by and for human beings. The way we use technology is a mirror reflecting our inner mind. If different social media make us show different personalities, it is because we do have the initial desire to have multiple personalities. After all, this is all too human, technology is just a way to achieve what we think is a better human.
Supporting original native productions is always a focal point of Tech-Art Festival. China is well-known for its fast development during the last twenty years, especially in the technology field. Also, technology is the driven force behind the economic boom, thus Chinese people have a less hostile attitude toward technology. So there is a cultural difference in comprehending the technology applied around us. Chinese theaters are demanding more original play-scripts that submerged in this social context, this year we have 3 native productions that delve into this unique environment.