Digital Dalang: Shadows Out of Time is an immersive and interactive shadow puppet theatre that will debut at Burning Man in 2018. The project unifies traditional and modern storytelling techniques—Indonesian wayang kulit shadow puppets and digital projection mapping. Digital Dalang is the creation of Indonesian American multi-disciplinary artist Ali Agus Ardie. The work will be shown as a main playa installation at the Burning Man Festival 2018, in conjunction with this year’s theme i, Robot.
Digital Dalang is inspired by traditional Indonesian culture, and invites people to interact as both spectators and puppeteers or dalangs. Custom-designed software—created by artist and programmer Gato Latex—maps both visual and sound effects onto the shadows of the puppets, creating another layer of interaction for the audience to enjoy. Digital Dalang is the first known digital mapping project of its kind, as the latest advances in projection mapping allow a sacred art form to morph into a powerfully engaging state-of-the-art multimedia experience.
The metal stage—fabricated, built, and transported by a team in Texas—will mimic the delicately-handcrafted puppets themselves. At night, the screen will be drawn and the puppets will come alive as the design team from Indonesia intricately maps out lights, sound, and visuals atop the dancing shadows.
Hatchfund campaign: www.hatchfund.org/project/digital_dalang
Additional funding for Digital Dalang will go to support the Indonesian craftsmen creating the puppets used in the project. Digital Dalang will also be donating to the Rainforest Pavilion, an International DJ nonprofit organization run by the JoyCollective. Their mission is to raise awareness for preservation of the world’s tropical rainforests, many of which are located in Indonesia and facing development. For more information, visit VividKalimantan.com
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