Acorn, Switchers

10 Jul 2021–14 Aug 2021


Acorn (2021) is a new moving image work taking its inspiration from the world and characters in Octavia Butler’s prescient science fiction novel Parable of The Talents, which describes the utopian community of Acorn under siege in a dystopian future dominated by far-right religious populism. Rather than adapting Butler’s story this film utilises the ‘world’ of Parable of the Talents, its conditions and characters to develop new narratives and meanings.

Drawing on tools from Stanislavski’s acting method; his notion of ‘Perezhivanie’ or lived emotional experience; and the methodology of ‘playworlds’, adopted from Vygotskian pedagogy, in which imaginary spaces for improvisation and exchange are created, Acorn is a unique work of ‘event-cinema’, maintaining the liveness of a theatre production through participants’ emotional focus in real time. The resulting collectively produced work explores scenes set in a near future rural Wales, as a group of people living together in a small rural community struggles to survive within a world of economic and ecological breakdown and authoritarianism. It attempts to imagine new forms of collective life and the challenges of creating a utopian community within a dystopian world. 

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