This interactive installation – which takes its title from a banner visible in the final scene of Stanley Kramer’s 1959 film, On the Beach, depicting a post-nuclear apocalypse Earth – is a film about war and the ways that individuals respond to war. The installation offers the viewer control of a narrative displayed within a 360-degree video panorama. Seated in a revolving chair in the center of the space, audience members take turns controlling a virtual “window” to highlight discrete aspects of a story about British and French troops battling for control of Fort Calypso (a battle site in the French and Indian War); joining the battle are grotesquely enlarged children’s toys vying for attention with politically minded bloggers; unsavory YouTube videos; and a mercurial host who attempts to articulate the implications of this unique “narrative space.” With each viewing, a new cinematic experience is spun out of the choices of individual audience members.

Production Credits

Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte
Developed with Jeffrey Shaw for his interactive panoramic cinema

Commissioned by EMPAC, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA)

Produced by EMPAC together with the UNSW iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research (AUS), and the ZKM | Institute for Visual Media (D) and in collaboration with The Wooster Group

The Interactive Panoramic Cinema has been conceived of and designed by Jeffery Shaw. This includes the 360-degree interactive projection method whereby the user can shift the position of a viewing window (EVE/PLACE), iCinema's 360-degree digital video camera (SPHERECAM) and the PanoramaScreen co-developed by ZKM.

Production design, art direction, script and performance by The Wooster Group: Geoff Abbas, Aron Deyo, Joby Emmons, Ari Fliakos, Teresa Hartmann, Bozkurt Karasu, Ken Kobland, Elizabeth LeCompte, Gabe Maxson, Jamie Poskin, Matt Schloss, Scott Shepherd, Kate Valk and Judson Williams

EMPAC Production Team: Jonas Braasch, Kathleen Forde, Kimberly Gardner, Johannes Goebel, Shannon Johnson, CathyJo Kile, Jason Steven Murphy and Todd Vos

iCinema Production Team: Jarred Berghold, Volker Kuchelmeister, Damian Leonard, Sue Midgeley and Jeffrey Shaw

The Wooster Group Production Team: Joel Bassin, Yvan Greenberg, Clay Hapaz, Cynthia Hedstrom, Edward McKeaney and Kaneza Schaal

ZKM Production Team: Jan Gerigk, Arne Graesser, Manfred Hauffen, Petra Kaiser, Bernd Lintermann and Silke Sutter

SPHERECAM cinematography, production pre-view system and post-production: Volker Kuchelmeister (iCinema)
Real-time Image Processing and Projection System for Complex Surfaces: Bernd Lintermann (ZKM)
Panoramic projection screen engineering: Huib Nelissen Decor en Constructiewerken (NL)
Audio Design Concept: Johannes Goebel (EMPAC)
Sound recording, editing and post-production: Todd Vos, Geoff Abbas, Matt Tierney and Dan Valente
Localization Capturing System for Moving Sound Sources and Virtual Microphone Control for Sound Projection Systems: Jonas Braasch, Communication Acoustics Research Lab, Rensselaer

Excerpts from the following materials are included in the text: Transcripts from discussions among Jeffrey Shaw, Johannes Goebel and The Wooster Group; Pioneer Dogs, a film script by Adam Edwards; On The Beach (1959), a film by Stanley Kramer; Rosie O'Donnell's online blog.

Producers: Johannes Goebel and Kathleen Forde (EMPAC)

With support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts

Production History

2007-2008 December 15-January 6: PanoramaFestival, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany
2008 October 3-19: Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
2010 September 10-18: Time-Based Art Festival, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon
2012 February 4-March 3: Grand Opening Festival, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, Hong Kong
2013 March 13-31: SESC Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil