Designed, Created and Performed by Grace Lee

Cinematography by Anamarija Podrebarac

Co- Directed by Tin Vilanic

Mother Rage Dark Twist

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‘Mother Rage Dark Twist’ is a contemporary adaption of Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage’, a technophobic, science fiction piece that examines and ‘makes strange’ our relationship and dependency on technology in a post- truth, surveillance driven, consumer society. The costume design is inspired by Afrofuturism, steampunk, masks and the ritual of carnivals for their subversive, spiritual nature.

Mother Rage Dark Twist

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Building upon my personal experiences of anxiety, and technophobia in the digital age, I wanted to look specifically at our visceral and corporeal relationships with technology. Checking one’s for phone obsessively as if it is an extra limb; consulting Google as an oracle to find quick answers; reading 24-hour news; and scrolling through social media, to alleviate boredom or escape reality. Rather than my unique experience, they have become commonplace rituals. The idea of unconsciously exposing ourselves to the ‘data factories’ of search engines and social media in the new information age, without considering the consequences, is a concept I wanted to explore.

Mother Rage Dark Twist

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This short film was created in 2018, but the imagery of the nervous system costume and the series of paintings that it inspired in 2019 ('Ain't No Shame in The Game') with their mask and nervous system imagery are strangely prescient to the 2020 pandemic, our heightened awareness of mental health and growing anxiety in the public about the effects of our evolving technological systems on the human body.

Mother Rage Dark Twist

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Mother Rage amplifies a sense of departure from the traditional conceptions of Mother Earth; with the idea of humanity in tune with the natural world. The Anthropocene, is now a world where nature has been dominated and destroyed by humans (primarily western societies) and now depends on technology, which is seen as necessary for survival. Mother Earth is replaced by a technological deity, an Amazon Alexa writ large. We enter an age of the 'Internet of Things', in a surveillance society where everything we see is for sale.

Mother Rage Dark Twist

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In this world humans are seen 'inside out' to reflect on our attention and dependency to technology. Spiking dopamine in our central nervous systems. What might we look like to this technology, with its habit forming products and services that utilise our attention and clicks as currency? The role of technology is depicted as both a guardian and an oppressor, an entity which helps us, but also leaves us vulnerable to its effects, and changes how we interact. A kind of disordered attachment style which mirrors Brecht’s famous character Mother Courage, and her relationship with her children, who she is meant to nurture, but ultimately profits from.