Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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Joan Raspo: Birth of Stars

Joan Raspo "Birth of Stars"

Artist Joan Raspo directed the play, Birth of Stars, in November 2014. The story weaves leading-edge astrophysics on the nature of stellar evolution through a human story of a young prodigy who seeks to become one with the Universe.Through visceral projection mapping and video based explorations of perception, Birth of Stars explored issues around identity, mortality, and science, creating a context for the audience to view themselves as part of a larger system: the universe—where energy does not die. One of the major conversations within performance is the question of how to engage the secondary audience—the people who weren’t there for the live show. Taking a temporal theatre experience—Birth of Stars—and creating a full-length film version, Raspo uses the editing process in the way an archeologist excavates an archaeological site.Through this exercise, Raspo reimagines the relationship between the actor, audience and technologies that bind them.

Joan Raspo is a filmmaker, artist and educator pursuing a MFA in Digital Art and New Media at UC Santa Cruz. Through a variety of expression—performance, video art and film, Raspo experiments with unexpected processes. She is an award-winning director whose work has been featured in Wired, Times Square Alliance, and The Sundance Film Festival. Video by Dani Williamson.