15 February 2009

Wifi Project Version 2.0 | ไวไฟ 2.0

Today I had chance to go to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre to watch the exhibition Krungthep 226. Coincidentally, I just saw a sign that there would also be a play called Wi-Fi Project Version 2.0 by the Saosoong theatre group. I was incredibly lucky as it was their last performance and I probably couldn't find it restaged anywhere else soon.

It was actually a collection of two short plays -- The Google Detective and Hi5...eiei. Both plays portray how our interactions with modern technology can be related to our redefinitions of love and romance, as well as cheating and lies. In a monologue manner and sometimes with multimedia interactions, each play was respectively led by theatre veterans, Damkueng Tithapiyasak and Janya Tanasawangkul.

The Google Detective is about a man looking for a romance on-line, only to be exposed to a rather sophisticated cyberworld where it is impossible to believe or to trust anyone. With a view to looking for love, the actor ends up being too cynical and engaging himself rather in finding out who his on-line friend is. Love is thus impossible and replaced with sex and paranoia.

While The Google Detective revels in its rather pessimistic tone of contemporary romance quest, Hi5...eiei starts off more cheerfully with an 'ab-baew' woman also looking for a romance on-line, only to find her long-lost friend looking to rekindle his romance with her. Full of hope and expectation, she gradually changes from her 'ab-baew' personality to a more 'human' one and moves away from the computer to her real life. However, when it transpires that her long-lost friend already has a girlfriend and is only interested in her as his temporary 'gig', she starts to retreat to the on-line community and sadly assume her 'ab-baew' persona on-line. I personally find this play rather touching, especially how the woman at the end smiles and talks childishly in her innocent guiles. It makes me understand that perhaps being the so-called 'ab-baew' can be just a shell for someone to protect his or her vulnerable self in such a terribly cruel on-line world where images and avatars are not to be trusted.

Having watched these mini-plays, I can't help but feeling rather happy as I have distanced myself from the on-line world in my post-cynicism era. I'm pleased to say that I don't have Hi5 or facebook accounts. I only have this blog and its Multiply mirror-site. So those of you who send me invitations, please stop. Let's meet in the real space if you can catch me.

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