This project is a proof of concept for a live immersive experience that invites the audience to walkthrough and explore one aspect of The Zomer universe.
Originally scheduled to premier in May 2020, the production has been put on hold due to Covid - 19.
The Zomers is a walkthrough experience centered around an archivist's studies of The Zomers, a radical, separatist zero-waste community who were active in the former city of Chicago from 2011-2046. The Archivist was hired by the Zro Corporation (the corporation-state Amazon will become) to study The Zomers because they are believed to be the proto-community of a larger resistance force called The Rhizome, a group of sustainable communities in the MidWest that present the only viable alternative to Zro. The Archivist was trying to piece together their story, how they dispersed, and where they are now. She has since disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
The audience is invited to explore The Archivist's office, her specimen rooms, and ultimately, the secret tunnel she built. Clues throughout the installation will lead guests to information about The Zomers’ way of life, where they are now, and what happened to The Archivist.
The Archivist has left her office in disarray. The audience is invited to rifle through the drawers in her filing cabinets. The audience will find classified documents about The Zomers that provide clues about their way of life along with clues about her disappearance.
DOCUMENTS INSIDE THE FILING CABINET DRAWERS
An actor removes a filing cabinet from the office and invites the audience to enter the room with the 3 Virtual Reality pods.
View from The Office to the VR Pods.
VIRTUAL REALITY PODS
In the VR Pods guests can view virtual reality films depicting the daily life of The Zomers. These videos are surveillance footage captured by the Zro Corporation in 2046.
The VR headsets match the environment of the virtual reality pod to further immerse the audience in the experience. The Zomers story is largely inspired by autobiographical events so I want to create an experience that feels as much like the experience of the original event as possible. The 360 video allows this.
VR Film in Pod #1
The first pod contains a VR film of The Renunciation Ceremony - a dance and music film that showcases the spiritual practices of The Zomers and the introduction of climate refugees into their community in 2046.
VR Film in Pod #2
The second pod contains a VR film of The Repair Cafe. Characters from the Zomer community will be gathered at The Repair Cafe where they learn how to fix their clothes and tools.
VR Film in Pod #3
The third pod contains a VR film called The Archivist's Escape. The Archivist discovers the surveillance - evading camouflage techniques of The Zomers and flees the Zro compound in Santa Clarita to join The Rhizome network in the Midwest.
An actor will remove a second filing cabinet and reveal the entrance to the secret tunnel The Archivist escapes through.
The audience exits through the secret tunnel The Archivist built to escape the Zro Corporation corporate compound. Here they will discover her private journals and maps she created detailing her escape route.
THE ARCHIVIST'S JOURNALS
Production Designer - GARRETT CEBELLERO
Producer - BROOKE HARBAUGH
Production Manager - JAZZI RHODES
Cinematographer - TOM RHODES
Asst. Production Designer, Illustrator - ANNA KIM
Costume Designer - AMY CHIAO
Costume Designer - LUCIA KRAMARZUK
Lighting Designer - RY BURKE
Technical Director - SAV LEWIS
Production Assistants - CHASEN WHITSON, TESSA ELBETTAR
Composer - THOMAS LEMUEL
Composer - PIERRE EMMANUEL MARIACA
Composer - JUSTIN SHUN - YEE YAU
Dancers - AVALON GREENBERG - CALL, YUNJU CHO, ALICIA PAK
Musicians - THOMAS LEMUEL, SUSANA PINEDA, SOLOMON NEWBON, KEVIN MORAN, HOLDEN KING, RAFAEL LUNA
Actress - CLARE MORRISSEY
Creative Director - URSULA ANDREEFF
To my partner BEN SULLIVAN for your support throughout the process of developing this project.
JUSTIN HOGAN, Head of Production Services at CalArts - for your invaluable mentorship
CIRO CAPPELLARI, Film/Video Faculty at CalArts - for helping me articulate my ideas in the simplest way possible
OMAR EL AKKAD, author of the novel American War - who helped me finally understand the effects of climate change on our future
To My Favorite Climate Fiction / Science Fiction Writers!
MARAGARET ATWOOD . OCTAVIA BUTLER . LOUISE ERDRICH . CLAIRE VAY WATKINS .
DONNA HARAWAY . JARON LANIER . COREY DOCTOROW . PHILIP K. DICK