Mapas Oniricos in Blend & Bleed

STORIES BEHIND

In Ghent (2018), Mapas Oniricos [Oniric Maps, MO] introduced “Espectrito” within the workshop performance.  There were two ideas behind it, first I wanted to disappear in front of my colleagues at KASK. Back in those days, I was taking a storytelling postgraduate course as a student and docent. Besides that I was announced as workshop facilitator since the start of the course, a lot of my colleagues didn’t know about it. So I have the feeling that erasing myself from the role of being a ‘classmate’ would improve the workshop presentation, especially during the first minutes. Also, back in those days I was living  a personal-creative-turbulence period… when a childhood friend, Micho,  appeared in town from Mexico city. And he brought a present for me,  the mexican wrestler mask of  “Espectrito”.

Espectrito is not the most popular wrestler mask, others like El Santo, Atlantis, Mistico are more famous and easy to recognize. Yet it is one of the most mysterious masks in the history of Lucha libre; Espectrito’s story is linked to the origin of broadcasting lucha libre in the mexican tv back in the 50s . And because of the aesthetic of the mask and the ‘ritual’ that the original wrestler used to perform.  (He used to arrive inside a coffin to the fight field) The mask became a controversy for the mexican catholic society from the time. Since those days, Espectro‘s saga ─ which includes a lot of wrestlers with similar names and masks, such as Espectricto, Espectro de ultratumba, Mono verde among others─  is full of bad reputation and even a wishcraft.

Antonio (Toño) Hernández Arriaga was the first Espectro. His debut was in Monterrey, 1951 and besides his great success next years. During an encounter he suffered an unfortunate accident that ended with his career.

Today, I know more about the story behind this Mexican icon, but back in those days, I merely knew this mask was coming from my old first friend who loved evil and mysterious forces since his childhood.  And maybe that was enough to use it during this presentation in Belgium. 

Anyway, my friend gave me a tool to disappear/appear in front of my colleagues and a toy for self exploration. Also, one of the objectives of MO workshop deals with the remediation of written language in images, sounds and interactions; So in a way this gave me the chance to play and  incorporate a performance that encourages participants to experiment with language beyond a cases of words. 

The origin of the name Espectro was inspired by this comic book from the 50s in Mexico . Apparently the name was suggested by Roberto “el güero” Rangel

BLENDING REALITIES

This was the picture we used for invitation of the workshop .

For the purpose of this workshop edition in the Blend and Bleed symposium,  my goal was to remark that the mask is a tool for the workshop and not the other way around.  The mask is not a character; it is not a childish story, not even an icon; it is not about the performance. The mask is a tool, It has a function that aims to blend the pedagogical and performative experience of the workshop.  So I decided to continue this (self) exploration and take out an Espectro mask and vanish it into myself.  

These are some sketches and tests about my makeup and expressions. I was looking something simple that remark the expressions of my own face

Something I have discovered during the tests, is that each time I was playing a mask, my own voice and character was changing. it was like meeting a another VIni

MO looks to merge what is happening, the real moment with visual, sound and performance elements that sum to the statement of what is developed within the workshop. I would say a symbolic experience that goes beyond words.

It echoes Augusto de Boal’s idea of Invisible theatre of  blending reality in some spontaneous event.  Participants of the workshop don’t really know exactly what, how and when an event will happen. There is not such an exact script. It only exists a plan to develop during the workshop, notes.

Plan of the day

I feel enthusiastic about the potential of the online version of the workshop, surely this will continue evolving and changing. Some ideas that came to my mind are related to the UI and the modification of the workshop format it self. As MO is not attached to Twine or any particular technology, I wonder about how the content shapes the experience of the workshop.

In contrast with the physical experience of the workshop; the online version of MO, optimizes the time and facilitates unique features from the medium, such as more control on sound and images and programmatic or networked features that impact the total performance of the workshop.

My home studio for MO.

Nevertheless,  the personal physical interactions and casual events are nul. For the workshop development  those small  interactions and casual events are essential for the personal growth of each participant.  For example, personal conversations about dreams are lost . I don’t mean we don’t talk about our dreams in some way, the workshop has an organized way to talk about them . I am talking about casual chats and events that happened within the time that we are just around. Those events might happen more often as we provide time for “blank spaces” within the workshop. Maybe working with some asynchronous times during a a workshop that last more time , it would be ideal to provoke those conversations. Psychical interactions are unique; yet I wonder about the power of the physique.

There are more questions and concerns to be answered  such as  How to balance the performance and the pedagogical content? So far I have been using the mask a lot, but  What about using  some other visual,sound  and interactive elements?  How time and more sessions would affect the experience?


RESULT OF THE DAY

You can check the dream exploration we did that day here .

My apologize I did not keep a precise track about the dreams ownership for each twine stories, my mistake. The next twine stories, only mention the last author, an interpreter of others dream. You can find more information in the original document.

Thanks to everybody who join the workshop.

All my gratitude to my Carina Erdman for this fantastic initiative and for the invitation. Gracias

Mapas Oniricos in Viral for Salutches

Oniric Maps (Mapas Oníricos) is a workshop that explores dreams through digital narratives by using UX prototype techniques and tools to do it.  The project fosters the remediation of written language within the networked and programmable media, by remembering, deconstructing,  rearranging and symbolizing dreams experiences. 

For this edition, we evoke the spirit of the Mexican mini wrestler Espectrito from the underworld. During this brief workshop, Espectrito  showed us basic syntax of Twine, a fantastic tool to deploy interactive fiction. Also,  he proposed a technique to explore our oniric experiences


Espectro has been a popular wrestler mask since the early 50’s in Mexico.  Many wrestlers have been using this mask since then, such as Espectro de ultratumba, Espectrito or Espectro Jr, Mono verde and many others.  The story of this mask is attached to the birth and development of Lucha libre in the mexican media realm and to the evil misfortunes of their users.
For this workshop, the story starts when my best friend of my childhood (MIcho) appears in Ghent with a gift on his hands, a mask.  Since then, I have been exploring this mask every time I performs this workshop. First,  it was a manner to disconnect my own persona from the public. But as the time has passed, it has become a way to reconnect with my own symbols and friends.

Honestly I was nervous about condensing this workshop. It usually take me between 12 and 8 hours to give it . Viral brief workshops as a format means to deploy an interactive workshop under the condition of time, 50 minutes. At the end this workshop experience took me 15 minutes more to facilitate it.

Sure I can optimize some part of the workshop with out loosing this “social” feeling of co creating together , spontaneous events and gestures from everybody. For example, I lost time in advising participants to modify their name.

Also, a participant, Debora ( from Re:anima), suggested to send a 5 minutes video of Twine syntax before. So the participants can focus more on the practice during the workshop. Both cases my mistake and this suggestions should be part part of the communication plan within the first email

During the workshop, Steven Malliet, ask me for a depository to save the html files. I forgot it, but still I could react in time during the performance and I create one. That was so cool!

One of my fears was that the character of espectro became bigger than the content. Fortunately it didn’t happen. Something funny, besides that participants knew espectrito would arrive, based on their faces I think they didn’t expected the entrance. This was dissolved in the discourse, it was fantastic. 24 hr before I was not sure how to make this transition. But I got a tremendous good advice from Maylo Colmenares and Mayra Cebreros. Maylo started a street theater company in the 60s , named Los nakos full of counter culture ideas. This evolve in a music theater group since those days.

He told me Theather is to play. Stay in front of the camera and just play . Practice, but play with your self. Get fun ! He was right. I found the transition to change my character just by playing 12 hours before the opening. My main concern was how can I make a transition in a way that is smooth and natural. So I decided to refused my self and create a new story. I apologized at the begging of the workshop and said espectrito would not come because I lost the mask . And I focus in trying to place the people in the right place and mood, so I asked them to close their eyes and breath deeply to feel their heart beat. Then at certain point, I stood up and came back as espectrito .

I am so happy and glad with the results of the workshop . I guess this is the best Edition in a production perspective. We did a lot a brief time (15 min) maybe .

please take a look here

I am already thinking in the next workshop, and continuing exploring this mask. I like that espectrito but I am not interested to keep it pure as the popular icon that means in my home coutry . Instead I am interesting in my relation with the mask

Mapas Oníricos at KASK

This lecture aims to be an introduction to electronic literature practices. During the lecture and workshop, We construct e-lit concept by regarding the cultural context from historical examples coming from the book history, print literature and visual arts Also We review and analyze artworks coming, mostly, from the e-lit collections (I,2,3)
Mapas Oniricos (Oniric Maps) is a workshop that explore dreams thought digital narratives using UX wireframing technique and Twine tool to do it.
This session of Oniric Maps was developed by the obscure and probably sinister character of “Espectrito” . 😉

Presentation |PDF

Twine Workshop booklet |PDF

Thanks Pieter Bloome and my KASK classmates , for this great experience and invitation. My special gratitude to Scott Rettberg for his attentions and for sharing his book “Electronic literature” A lot of this class was based on his book. And sure , thanks Nick Montfort for sharing his time .