In years past, the wats:ON? festival at Carnegie Mellon University has featured works that explore virtual reality, speed, transformation and sound. This year, starting Thursday and ending Nov. 4, the festival takes on space — but not the kind that involves planets, stars and black holes.
The theme, "Shift," features works that focus on physical and perceptual space. In "Body Drift," by Jakob Marisco and Chris Carlson, multiple performers will sit or stand onstage in a custom rig. Although they will appear to be still, their minuscule movements are captured and magnified on large projection screens.
In "Transitional Spaces," by Hadi Tabatabai, large panels featuring intricate threadwork create a nebulous sense of space.
Tonight, an opening reception for "Transitional Spaces" takes place at 5 p.m. in the College of Fine Arts Great Hall, followed by a talk by Tabatabai at 6 p.m., in the Kresge Theatre. The installation remains up through Dec. 2.
On Nov. 3 and 4, a reception for "Body Drift" will take place in the College of Fine Arts Great Hall, followed by a performance of the work at 7:30 p.m. in the Kresge Theatre. Right after, Marisco and Carlson will host an informal master class for those who want to learn about the methods and technologies behind "Body Drift."
The festival began in 1997 to honor Jill Watson, a professor in the School of Architecture who was working toward a master's-of-fine-arts degree when she died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996.
The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, visit watsonfestival.org