Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • These are sequences from a play called \"The Lehman Trilogy,\"

  • which traces the origins of Western capitalism

  • in three hours,

  • with three actors and a piano.

  • And my role was to create a stage design

  • to write a visual language for this work.

  • The play describes Atlantic crossings,

  • Alabama cotton fields,

  • New York skylines,

  • and we framed the whole thing within this single revolving cube,

  • a kind of kinetic cinema through the centuries.

  • It's like a musical instrument

  • played by three performers.

  • And as they step their way around and through

  • the lives of the Lehman brothers,

  • we, the audience,

  • begin to connect with the simple, human origins

  • at the root of the complex global financial systems

  • that we're all still in thrall to today.

  • I used to play musical instruments myself when I was younger.

  • My favorite was the violin.

  • It was this intimate transfer of energy.

  • You held this organic sculpture up to your heart,

  • and you poured the energy of your whole body

  • into this little piece of wood, and heard it translated into music.

  • And I was never particularly good at the violin,

  • but I used to sit at the back of the second violin section

  • in the Hastings Youth Orchestra,

  • scratching away.

  • We were all scratching

  • and marveling at this symphonic sound that we were making

  • that was so much more beautiful and powerful

  • than anything we would ever have managed on our own.

  • And now, as I create large-scale performances,

  • I am always working with teams

  • that are at least the size of a symphony orchestra.

  • And whether we are creating

  • these revolving giant chess piece time tunnels

  • for an opera by Richard Wagner

  • or shark tanks and mountains for Kanye West,

  • we're always seeking to create the most articulate sculpture,

  • the most poetic instrument of communication to an audience.

  • When I say poetic,

  • I just mean language at its most condensed,

  • like a song lyric,

  • a poetic puzzle to be unlocked and unpacked.

  • And when we were preparing to design Beyoncé's \"Formation\" tour,

  • we looked at all the lyrics,

  • and we came across this poem that Beyoncé wrote.

  • \"I saw a TV preacher when I was scared, at four or five about bad dreams

  • who promised he'd say a prayer if I put my hand to the TV.

  • That's the first time I remember prayer, an electric current running through me.\"

  • And this TV that transmitted prayer to Beyoncé as a child

  • became this monolithic revolving sculpture

  • that broadcast Beyoncé to the back of the stadium.

  • And the stadium is a mass congregation.

  • It's a temporary population of a hundred thousand people

  • who have all come there to sing along with every word together,

  • but they've also come there each seeking one-to-one intimacy

  • with the performer.

  • And we, as we conceive the show, we have to provide intimacy

  • on a grand scale.

  • It usually starts with sketches.

  • I was drawing this 60-foot-high, revolving,

  • broadcast-quality portrait of the artist,

  • and then I tore the piece of paper in half.

  • I split the mask

  • to try to access the human underneath it all.

  • And it's one thing to do sketches, but of course translating from a sketch

  • into a tourable revolving six-story building

  • took some exceptional engineers working around the clock for three months,

  • until finally we arrived in Miami

  • and opened the show in April 2016.

  • (Video: Cheers)

  • (Music: \"Formation,\" Beyoncé)

  • Beyoncé: Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess

  • Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh

  • I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress

  • I'm so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces

  • My daddy Alabama

  • Momma Louisiana

  • You mix that negro with that Creole

  • make a Texas bama

  • (Music ends)

  • I call my work --

  • (Cheers, applause)

  • Thank you.

  • (Cheers, applause)

  • I call my work stage sculpture,

  • but of course what's really being sculpted is the experience of the audience,

  • and as directors and designers,

  • we have to take responsibility

  • for every minute that the audience spend with us.

  • We're a bit like pilots

  • navigating a flight path for a hundred thousand passengers.

  • And in the case of the Canadian artist The Weeknd,

  • we translated this flight path literally

  • into an origami paper folding airplane

  • that took off over the heads of the audience,

  • broke apart in mid-flight, complications,

  • and then rose out of the ashes restored

  • at the end of the show.

  • And like any flight,

  • the most delicate part is the liftoff, the beginning,

  • because when you design a pop concert,

  • the prime material that you're working with

  • is something that doesn't take trucks or crew to transport it.

  • It doesn't cost anything,

  • and yet it fills every atom of air in the arena, before the show starts.

  • It's the audience's anticipation.

  • Everyone brings with them the story of how they came to get there,

  • the distances they traveled,

  • the months they had to work to pay for the tickets.

  • Sometimes they sleep overnight outside the arena,

  • and our first task is to deliver for an audience on their anticipation,

  • to deliver their first sight of the performer.

  • When I work with men,

  • they're quite happy to have their music transformed into metaphor --

  • spaceflights, mountains.

  • But with women, we work a lot with masks and with three-dimensional portraiture,

  • because the fans of the female artist

  • crave her face.

  • And when the audience arrived to see Adele's first live concert in five years,

  • they were met with this image of her eyes asleep.

  • If they listened carefully,

  • they would hear her sleeping breath echoing around the arena,

  • waiting to wake up.

  • Here's how the show began.

  • (Video: Cheers, applause)

  • (Music)

  • Adele: Hello.

  • (Cheers, applause)

  • Es Devlin: With U2, we're navigating the audience

  • over a terrain that spans three decades of politics, poetry and music.

  • And over many months, meeting with the band and their creative teams,

  • this is the sketch that kept recurring,

  • this line, this street,

  • the street that connects the band's past with their present,

  • the tightrope that they walk as activists and artists,

  • a walk through cinema

  • that allows the band to become protagonists

  • in their own poetry.

  • (Music: U2's \"Where the Streets Have No Name\")

  • Bono: I wanna run

  • I want to hide

  • I wanna tear down the walls

  • That hold me inside

  • Es Devlin: The end of the show is like the end of a flight.

  • It's an arrival.

  • It's a transfer from the stage out to the audience.

  • For the British band Take That,

  • we ended the show by sending an 80-foot high mechanical human figure

  • out to the center of the crowd.

  • (Music)

  • Like many translations from music to mechanics,

  • this one was initially deemed entirely technically impossible.

  • The first three engineers we took it to said no,

  • and eventually, the way that it was achieved

  • was by keeping the entire control system together

  • while it toured around the country,

  • so we had to fold it up onto a flatbed truck

  • so it could tour around without coming apart.

  • And of course, what this meant was that the dimension of its head

  • was entirely determined

  • by the lowest motorway bridge that it had to travel under on its tour.

  • And I have to tell you that it turns out

  • there is an unavoidable and annoyingly low bridge

  • low bridge just outside Hamburg.

  • (Laughter)

  • (Music)

  • Another of the most technically complex pieces that we've worked on

  • is the opera \"Carmen\"

  • at Bregenz Festival in Austria.

  • We envisaged Carmen's hands rising out of Lake Constance,

  • and throwing this deck of cards in the air

  • and leaving them suspended between sky and sea.

  • But this transient gesture, this flick of the wrists

  • had to become a structure that would be strong enough

  • to withstand two Austrian winters.

  • So there's an awful lot that you don't see in this photograph

  • that's working really hard.

  • It's a lot of ballast and structure and support around the back,

  • and I'm going to show you the photos that aren't on my website.

  • They're photos of the back of a set,

  • the part that's not designed for the audience to see,

  • however much work it's doing.

  • And you know, this is actually the dilemma

  • for an artist who is working as a stage designer,

  • because so much of what I make is fake,

  • it's an illusion.

  • And yet every artist works in pursuit of communicating something that's true.

  • But we are always asking ourselves:

  • \"Can we communicate truth using things that are false?\"

  • And now when I attend the shows that I've worked on,

  • I often find I'm the only one who is not looking at the stage.

  • I'm looking at something that I find equally fascinating,

  • and it's the audience.

  • (Cheers)

  • I mean, where else do you witness this:

  • (Cheers)

  • this many humans, connected, focused,

  • undistracted and unfragmented?

  • And lately, I've begun to make work that originates here,

  • in the collective voice of the audience.

  • \"Poem Portraits\" is a collective poem.

  • It began at the Serpentine Gallery in London,

  • and everybody is invited to donate one word to a collective poem.

  • And instead of that large single LED portrait

  • that was broadcasting to the back of the stadium,

  • in this case, every member of the audience

  • gets to take their own portrait home with them,

  • and it's woven in with the words

  • that they've contributed to the collective poem.

  • So they keep a fragment of an ever-evolving collective work.

  • And next year, the collective poem will take architectural form.

  • This is the design for the UK Pavilion at the World Expo 2020.

  • The UK ...

  • In my lifetime, it's never felt this divided.

  • It's never felt this noisy with divergent voices.

  • And it's never felt this much in need of places

  • where voices might connect and converge.

  • And it's my hope that this wooden sculpture,

  • this wooden instrument, a bit like that violin I used to play,

  • might be a place where people can play and enter their word

  • at one end of the cone,

  • emerge at the other end of the building,

  • and find that their word has joined a collective poem, a collective voice.

  • (Music)

  • These are simple experiments in machine learning.

  • The algorithm that generates the collective poem is pretty simple.

  • It's like predictive text,

  • only it's trained on millions of words written by poets in the 19th century.

  • So it's a sort of convergence of intelligence, past and present,

  • organic and inorganic.

  • And we were inspired by the words of Stephen Hawking.

  • Towards the end of his life, he asked quite a simple question:

  • If we as a species were ever to come across another advanced life-form,

  • an advanced civilization,

  • how would we speak to them?

  • What collective language would we speak as a planet?

  • The language of light reaches every audience.

  • All of us are touched by it. None of us can hold it.

  • And in the theater, we begin each work in a dark place, devoid of light.

  • We stay up all night focusing the lights, programming the lights,

  • trying to find new ways to sculpt and carve light.

  • (Music)

  • This is a portrait of our practice,

  • always seeking new ways to shape and reshape light,

  • always finding words for things that we no longer need to say.

  • And I want to say that this,

  • and everything that I've just shown you,

  • no longer exists in physical form.

  • (Music)

  • In fact, most of what I've made over the last 25 years

  • doesn't exist anymore.