Dublin Theatre Festival: Josephine K and the Algorithms

When is the last time you told someone something about yourself? In Josephine K and the Algorithms, Stacey Gregg uses the outline of Franz Kafka’s unfinished play, The Trial, to examine the meaning of privacy and
personhood in the digital age. The set up for the play is a familiar one; one morning, Josephine finds herself under arrest, and must prepare for a trial. No one can tell her what her alleged crime is, nor what the punishment
might be if she is guilty.

Visually, this production is a theatrical acid trip, using lighting and sound to create a world that is almost totally “other”. The space created spreads off the stage, dragging the audience along on a journey that is as incomprehensible as it is, at times, familiar. In every one in the audience, there is a piece of Josephine, and what is facing. This is perhaps what makes the work so effective, and real, despite the air of the surreal that surrounds it all.

In the end, there are many unanswerable questions in this work. Why do we tell computers our deepest darkest secrets? Where does this information go? Should we be unsettled? Do we even care anymore?

 

by Síofra Ní Shluaghadháin

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