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    Claritas Obscura
Claritas Obscura

Claritas Obscura begins with aquestion: What happens when you are in a small space, in absolute darkness, no sounds,or sensory references? What do you bring in this space with you? What comes to you?
Culling responses through the connectingpower of social media we will bring the mundane and profound 'to life' in a seriesof unique installation performances utilizing the camera obscura as a centerpiecefor the talents of Karolien Soete (painting/lighting/design), Stefanie Nelson (choreography),and Alexander Berne (compositional soundscapes).
We have designed and prototypeda portable, scalable, and affordable camera obscura setup, that offers two distinct experiences, sequentially.
        * The first experienceis inside the box: ten people (more or less depending on space/budget) will be  reliving  selected answers to our fundamental question.  Seated within the dark, sensory inhibited,inner chamber they will essentially view a live film as it is projected througha small lens fitted aperture, mixed with rear projections of shadow portraits andvideo work created by Soete. As is the case with a camera, what happens outsidewill appear upside down and backwards.
        * Outside the box,there will be a precisely lit stage (critical to control the image being beamed)where Nelson s dancers will then be viewed from a  traditional  vantagepoint.  We like to think about Platos Allegory of the Cave, and have the audience progress from the  dark to light  from  a shadow form to a truer reality .  The audience will have a fuller technicalunderstanding of what they have experienced, when they have viewed the performancesecondarily,outside.
For Soete, Claritas Obscura, andquestions of limiting space and perception are a natural extension of her recentwork cycle she calls  Sensory Faculty.  She writes,  The works began as I was convalescing froma series of annoying physical maladies, and a minor surgery.  Besides a focus on broader notions of senseperception, and sense memory, the specifically limiting (medical doctor prescribed)factor of wearing a protective mask beganto feedback, to influence, my work. I then began to inquire about the cause andeffect when limiting, or conversely over stimulating, other senses while I paint. The necessary technical knowledge forthis project has been well honed through Ms. Soete s explorations of classical portraituremeets light projection, in her light graffiti and shadow painting exhibitions, installations,and video works. (ksoete.com)
Nelson will use the upside downand backward projection of the camera obscura, to challenge participants  visual expectations of weight and gravity, as metaphor for thesubjectivity of perception. The performer/swill be surrounded in darkness, a context free landscape on which the participantsmay project his / her own context. The body becomes its own landscape. (sndancegroup.org)
Berne will relate to the question/answerby exploring sonic ideas of space, depth, distance; blending his compositions for  Abandoned Orchestra  with sounds of urban and natural environs,and spoken word. Mixing the strategicphysical, and psycho-acoustic placement of, live performance, loudspeaker amplificationand Woody Norris  recent developmentof HyperSonic Sound (HSS), that can project sound in a hyper focused manner (headphonelike directional sound from a remarkable distance), the soundscapes should offermoments of  disembodiment , expansionand contraction of consciousness separate from ideas of our own physicality. (alexanderberne.com)
First test
Images inside the camera obscura