The gutless warrior departs from a series of oxymoronic archetypal characters:
These archetypes represent what America excels spectacularly at producing, and yet fails epically at redeeming. The work takes shape as a large-scale, outdoor participatory projection and drawing performance designed for public space. Gutless Warrior playfully leverages real-time video technologies to integrate the audience into the visual contents of the work. Through a series of theatrically deployed interactions, audience members are compelled to consider the meaning and significance of our invented archetypes, as they pertain to our day-to-day understanding of our country, its politics and its global influence.
This participatory projection and drawing performance consists four parts (numbered in the outing diagram above). 1) Audience members find the green screen recording area, choose an archetype, wear a mask and act it out in front of a camera, 2) Audience members walk over to the projection station with a piece of paper naming the archetype and hand it to the wizard urban projectionist, 3) Video recordings of audience members appear onto the projection screen in loop, 4) master drawers further annotate and animate the recording with white (light) on black (wall) drawings.
This work was created collaboratively by Ali Momeni (concept, system design, software development, video projection design) and Jenny Schmid (concept, typography, mask design and printing, live drawing). It was commissioned by the DRAW 2014 Symposium held at Carnegie Mellon University. This work was performed again in Lawrence, Kansas as a part of the Free State Festival, on June 27 and 28 of 2014.
Maddy Varner and Miles Peyton were instrumental in the creation of this work as studio assistants during production and performers during the event.