Darkfield's previous work sits aside from most other immersive experiences: lucid
dream-like worlds contained within the confines of modest shipping containers.
Having experienced these hallucinogenic binaural shows in previous years, I
jumped at the chance to see their newest acid-trip, Eulogy, and boy was I
excited. Donning a pair of trademark Darkfield headphones, I check in and take my
roller cage seat. As the lights go down, I know the format to expect but - as ever with
Darkfield - I have a sense to expect the unexpected.
Over the course of thirty minutes, I am guided through an outlandish and eccentric
world with the help of a companion - we check into a hotel, we miss a rehearsal (for
what? We’re not quite sure yet), we try to get to the basement. An ornament is knocked
over and somebody has to take the blame. A ritual occurs in which we must proceed to
follow every step but things soon take a dark turn.
Darkfields intriguing sensory offering provides you with a level of agency not yet seen in
their previous works. Microphones on the donned headsets impart a level of
interactivity, with your companion prompting you through a series of questions that
require a YES or NO answer. This is where, for me, the piece falls behind the likes of
Flight and Coma; hearing other participants in the room answering the same questions
brings you back into the realisation that you are in a shipping container outside
Summerhall. All of their other experiences enable you to truly feel as though you are
alone, that what you are experiencing is for you and only you. Aside from a rather
amusing reveal at the end, I feel this particular texture was dispensable.
Eulogy fails to hit the same heights as Darkfield's previous shows; but if you are interested in their work, I would still thoroughly recommend it.
Eulogy is playing at Summerhall until the 28th August. Tickets here.
Photo by Susanne Dietz