Anonymous P.

  • Concept and idea by Chris Kondek and Christiane Kühl
  • Cast includes: Phil Hayes, Chris Kondek, and Christiane Kühl
  • Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt a.M.
  • 12-14 December 2014
  • Time: 20.00
  • Review by Becca Kaplan
  • 12 December 2014
Anonymous P.
3.0Reviewer's Rating

Less theater and more interactive phone-hacking PSA, Anonymous P. tries to teach you about the dangers that lurk in our most constant companion: our phone. The evening blends spoken word pieces about Ancient Greece’s Prometheus and search engine attacks, video clips from prominent figures of the information age, and an interactive and abstract tour through the evolution of modern technology, from fire to lamp posts, Big Brother to Wiki Leaks.

The initial experience I had upon entering the Mousonturm was confusion. The check – in station for a personalized QR code was slow and there seemed to be confusion even amongst the staff. Nevertheless, once you are registered the experience can begin even if the show is not ready to commence, as there are plenty of intriguing and mystifying set pieces, quotes and facts around the room. The image that is permanently stuck in my mind is a costumed performer stretching chicken skin over an iPhone. Probably not an Apple–approved cover.

And, most importantly, you must scan, scan, scan away! The conceit of the night forces engagement between audience members as you are expected to scan and be scanned and answer questions about fellow participants. Despite a very interesting premise and engaging visuals, there is an unpolished feel to the performances. While the casual atmosphere encourages this, it also tends to make the message of the piece lean towards paranoia. Quick speeches and stumbled over lines turn potentially valid arguments into conspiracy theories.  Fortunately, these slips are rare occurrences. There is, however, a demonizing aura placed on the generation and sale of information on Internet and smartphone users without a balanced or nuanced view of why this has come to be in the world and any potential benefits.

The hosts of the night, Chris Kondek, Phil Hayes, and Christiane Kühl, switch between German and English, giving the evening an international tone. Phil stands out as the most natural and charming performer, yet Chris and Christiane hold their own. Kühl in particular has an admirable control over her voice. She shines when putting on a character or giving a voiceover as a seductive advertisement or monotone computer. It is when she speaks as herself, reading off information handed to her from the resident hackers that she seems to fold into herself, sounding uncertain and almost shy. Still the evening proves to be an interesting, albeit too long, lesson on personal security in the information age. And while you might not learn something about yourself, you most certainly will learn what others know about you.

Zusammenfassung

Weniger Theater und mehr interaktive  Telefonhacking-Warnhinweise, Anonymous P. versucht, Sie über die Gefahren aufzuklären, die in unserem ständigen Begleiter lauern: dem Handy. Der Abend mischt  Monologe über Prometheus und Suchmaschinen-Angriffe, Video-Clips von Persönlichkeiten des Informationszeitalters und eine interaktive und abstrakte Tour durch die Entwicklung der modernen Technologie, vom Feuer hin zur Straßenlaterne, von Big Brother bis zu Wiki-Leaks. Die Aufführung beinhaltet einen Tisch mit Hackern und persönliche QR-Codes für jeden Zuschauer, um das Publikum zur Interaktion zu zwingen und zu zeigen, wie viele persönliche Daten wir schon allein dadurch übertragen, dass wir nur unser Handy bei uns haben. Obwohl zur Paranoia neigend: Anonymous P. ist interessant und aufschlussreich.

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