The premiere of “Special Effect” could fulfill the audience’s dreams.
Peter Burr’s interactive video performance to be shown on Jan. 18 at the Museum of the Moving Image uses the 1979 Russian film “Stalker,” which Burr calls the “best movie ever,” as a launching pad for the imagination.
In the film, individuals pay a “stalker” to take them to the forbidden land called the Zone, which could potentially fulfill people’s desires.
“We’re rallying together around the essential idea of the Zone,” Burr said. “It is really rich in film history, and for those artists who don’t come deeply stewed in film history, there is a lot of emotion to build on.”
For Friday’s show Burr combines videos, live music and live performance. Burr performs next to the giant screen accompanied by lasers, green screens and a hacked Kinect camera.
“We’re taking this masterpiece and not remixing it or making a homage to it, but using it as a starting point,” Burr said.
For his piece he uses his own experiences with therapy and how he employs an analyst or “stalker” to bring him into a place of healing, a place “pregnant with hope.”
The 20 videos are all animations by small teams and individuals under the label Cartune Xprez, founded by Burr. These videographers, who range in age from their 20s to 60s, bear a common theme of childhood and Saturday morning cartoons somewhat “perverted” or married with adult experiences.
Many of the pieces on Cartune Xprez’s site depict a trippy kaleidoscope of colors, drawings and people — a sort of ‘Electric Kool Aid Acid Test’ meets a high schooler’s math class doodles.
Burr has been mixing videos with live performance since 2006, but this project is different. It’s the first time Burr has performed as an independent artist. “In the past I’ve done a lot of work functioning as a band,” he said.
Friday night’s production is also Burr’s first foray into commissioning work and producing and raising money for a show on his own.
Burr recently returned from an Australian tour, where “Special Effect” had its world premiere.