Torien Cafferata's MFA Defence: The Playbox

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 | 6:00 PM | FREE
Room 4390 – Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

The Playbox is an autoneuroethnography in the form of a live theatre performance wherein audiences are invited to play and spectate a “pre-release demo” of a fictitious game console designed by and for the mad. Every year The Playbox is almost released, languishing in development hell as a manifestation of executive dysfunction, dissociation, perseveration, and other AuDHD pathologies. The demo is composed of anti-games of various classic and future genres played using cardboard controllers to operate my body-as-avatar, serving as a medium of delegation, a somatic and cognitive prosthetic, a nesting doll of agencies—of offers and asks to engage in maddened domestic labour. This work draws upon Robert Pfaller’s theory of “interpassivity” vs. interactivity and McKenzie Wark’s “allegorithms” and “gamespace”—a space where work and play enmesh under ableist capitalism. This positions The Playbox as an AuDHD dialectics simulator in which players and avatar are simultaneously empowered and disabled by a hauntological neuroscape of impossible tasks, precarious materials, and unstable inputs and outputs.

Keywords: performance, interactive theatre, mad futures, mad studies, ludology, game studies, interpassivity, mixed reality, anti-game, hauntology, participatory art.

November 22, 2023