The gutless warrior departs from a series of oxymoronic archetypal characters at which what America excels spectacularly, and yet fails epically. Gutless Warrior, Selfless Manager, Hopeless Prophet, Hapless Leader, Friendless Celebrity, Pointless Archer, Zealous Atheist, Worthless Billionaire.
The work takes shape as a large-scale, outdoor participatory projection and drawing performance designed for public space. Through a series of theatrically deployed interactions, audience members are compelled to consider the significance of our invented archetypes, as they pertain to our day-to-day understanding of our country, its politics and its global influence.
The performance consists four parts:
1) Audience members find the green screen, choose an archetype, wear a mask and act it out in front of a camera
2) Audience members walk to the projection station and hand the projectionist a piece of paper naming the archetype
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.