Cloud Eye Control is a multimedia performance group based in Los Angeles that uses animation, music and live performers to create hybrid theatrical works. The current production, Half Life, now playing at REDCAT, is based on the blog entries of women who experienced the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, and focuses on the psychological impact of natural and man-made disasters.
The most striking aspect of the group's work is the projected animation, created by Miwa Materyek and designed by Jackson Campbell. Using upstage and downstage screens, the animations created an immersive experience of motion and depth, challenging the audience to engage the visuals in service of the narrative. Unlike more conventional video art, the swirling animation provides an energy and vitality that is captivating.
The music, composed by Anna "Oxygen" Huff, who performs the piece along with Jenny Greer, provides a haunting counterpoint to the theme, and is lovingly sung by the performers. While the animation is immediately engaging, it becomes repetitive over the hour-long performance, as does the theme and narrative. This format is probably best performed in shorter segments under a half hour. Nevertheless, the imaginative freshness of this company's multimedia approach make this production, directed Chi-wang Yang, a worthwhile and memorable experience.