Eran's Blog

The Lost Paradise


The Lost Paradise, directed by Lilach Dekel-Avneri, is a theatrical play that won Best Production at the 2014 Acre Festival. This is not Milton’s epic poem but a rethinking of Aeschylus’ tragedy Prometheus Bound, which probes the connection between knowledge and power, freedom and responsibility. It was first shown at the Acre Festival in October 2014, and now has come to Tel Aviv Artists’ Studio in July 2015.

The show consists of 10 performing artists, each occupying a room where they perform their own interpretation to a certain aspect of the play. My room was Prometheus’ Information room. Throughout the 95 minute long play, a computer program I wrote spied after the audience.

The audience first encounter me while attempting to enter the main space and are told they have to go through a classification procedure. They are seated, asked for their full name (some refuse and some cheat) and then their picture gets taken, without being asked for consent. They see themselves wearing a special hat assigned to them by the “classification algorithm” in front of a matching background. Having been cleared by “security”, each of them receives their own password.

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lost_paradise_spying Photo by Eliran Knoller

The second part of my character’s role begins when the audience enter the next room. Their names are automatically searched on google and facebook for juicy information, but even those who had not revealed their names get searched using to their image… When they move between the rooms, they can see the automatic spying procedure projected on a large screen, so they see their friends and themselves the way the Internet knows them.

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paradise lost eran hadas

In my third act, I get on the speaker system and declare that each member of the audience whose password is heard, must come and stand in front of the large screen. I then read a poem that is comprised of all their different passwords followed by a variation on Aeschylus’ text and Jimbo’s quotes about wikipedia explaining what benefits information (in the play it was the fire) has given us. During this part, the audience members see an animation of their search results, texts and images, projected on the screen in the appropriate part of the map. The play ends when I leave them in front of the information mirror the Internet has imposed on them and lock the entrances to the other rooms.

lost_paradise_call_passwords Photo by Eliran Knoller


paradise_lost_poetry_by shahaf dekel Photo By Shachaf Dekel

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Directed by: Lilach Dekel-Avneri
Performers: Adaya Godlevsky. Adili Liberman, Dganit Elyakim, Eitan Buganim, Eli Schonfeld, Eran Hadas, Jason Danino, Lani Shahaff, Nataly Zukerman, Roy Fabian.
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