Vorschau / Preview: November 2005

Marlena Corcoran

Marlena Corcoran is a writer and an electronic narrative artist. She was born in New York, and has lived in Munich since 1999.

For the November Upgrade! Munich she will discuss her latest online electronic narrative Helena: The Beauty of the Bronze Age. The soundtrack was broadcast in 2005 on reboot.fm, Berlin FM radio. Helena appeared in multimedia format in 2005 in the online art journal, mark(s)zine.

Marlena Corcoran regularly publishes fiction. Her English language-learning novels Skyline-Syndikat and Tod im Grand Canyon (both, Compact Verlag München) appeared in 2004. Her acoustic work, Turp Girl, a series of narratives, was broadcast on juniradio, Berlin FM radio, in 2004. Her internet play, The Birth of the Christ Child: A Divine Comedy,
was performed at the Literaturhaus München in 1999 and published in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art (MIT Press, 2003).

Marlena Corcoran’s video, Agnus Dei: Lamb of God Laundromat, was shown at the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival (2002). The Gallbladder Sonata premiered online in 1997, and was performed for live audiences in Munich (2000) and Mainz, Germany (2001). She performed her silent aria, stay (tuned), in Ione and Pauline Oliveros’ Lunar Opera at Lincoln Center (2000). She frequently performs with the online improvisational theater group, The Plaintext Players (Venice Biennale 1997, documenta X,
plus many others). Worst Case Scenarios (blast5drama, The Sandra Gering Gallery, 1996 and Digital Salon, NY, 1997) was her first electronic narrative. Her articles on new media theory have appeared in the Leonardo family of journals and in other journals in the US and in Europe. She is writing a book on the role of time in digital media.

Helena: The Beauty of the Bronze Age
Helen of Troy is the subject of not one, but two legends. Homer credits--or blames--her as being the origin of the Trojan War. Plato alludes to the archaic poet Stesichorus, who claims that Helen never went to Troy at all, but spent the years of the war in Egypt. The woman men thought was Helen was her eidolon, her image or form. Stesichorus’ version
seems to be based on Indo-European myths of the displacement of the body: the body we see is not the real person. The electronic narrative explores the boundary between the body and its eidolon; between the woman and the story; between flesh and bronze. What is “real”? What lasts? And might we exist in displaced versions?

Helena: The Beauty of the Bronze Age is a work of poetry in several languages, including ancient Greek and American Sign Language. It is composed of sculpture, performance, digital images and video, as well. The Flash presentation was designed and executed for mark(s)zine by Deb King.


Helena: The Beauty of the Bronze Age
Marlena Corcoran website