YOSHIMI is a MULTIMEDIA SCENOGRAPHY designed together with Danara Sarioglu, Tigran Paravyan, Isabel Paez and Edson Soares at NYU - ITP in fall 2015. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is an extraordinary album by the Flaming Lips that tells the struggle of a young women suffering from cancer. In this three weeks project we dived deep into the story and the message of the play and developed a holistic concept and stage design. For three selected scenes/songs (every scene is one song of the album) we designed music reactive visuals projected on layered panels of transparent mesh. This creates a strong sense of depth and structures the stage - gives paths and walls on which the actors can orientate.
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is the story of a successful artist with a tragic fate. To navigate through the rigidness of reality, she escapes to a surreal and personal world, where her art and creativity open up her inner freedom.
As venue we have chosen the Park Avenue Armory in NYC. It's huge and open space is ideal to stage the performance as we had it in mind and play with the panels of fabric. It gives a lot of space for Yoshimi fighting the giant polygon robots. Scale was crucial for this choice. In the huge space we can show how small Yoshimi is and how big the world she imagines and she has to fight against.
// STAGE DESIGN
Scene 1 / Yoshimi gears up as fantasy word comes to fruition. Song: Yoshimi Battes the Pink Robots Part 1
1. Projection on “curtain” (opaque fabric): polygons turning into a terrain 2. Curtain falls revealing the imaginary world 3. Colored splashes and fantastic shapes projected on the transparent mesh 4. Mountains shapeshifting into robots that are moving - Yoshimi fights them
Scene 2 / In Dr. Hart and Dr Harvey’s lab as they inspect one of the defeated robots. Dr. Harvey leaves and Dr. Hart’s wife comes in.. Song: One More Robot/ Sympathy 3000-21
1. Lab scenario is lighted up on movable second stage 2. The projections of cell devisions stand for the cancer as well as the scientists trying to fix the robots 3. Robots in slow motion
Scene 3 / Another battle dance seen. Large. Yoshimi is fighting alone. Until she is struck in the leg, and falls wounded. Ben arrives and carries her away Song: The Gash
1. Projection: zooming out mountains 2. The spotlight is following Ben who carrying Yoshimi from the back of the stage through the mesh panels to the front.
// VISUAL REASEACH
For the fantasy world - where Yoshimi escapes to from here disease, but where she also has to fight the robots - dripping water color was the inspiration that led to the visuals to see in the first scene.
The real world is - in opposite to the fantasy world - in grey scale. For it's esthetics we got inspired by polygon structures. The mountains that symbolize this world look like a surreal triangle massif. The robots - spread out over the whole stage - look on the first regard like part of these grey-silver mountains. Just when the fantasy world becomes alive, those polygon hulks start to move and leave their hidden existence in the shadow.