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Main contributor
Lasater, Michael (artist)
The genesis of Mise-en-scène is the Stravinsky/Cocteau treatment of Oedipus Rex, first performed in 1927. I have been familiar with this composition from many encounters, including performances as a member of the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and later studying it along with Stravinsky's Persephone in David Diamond’s class in twentieth-century music at Juilliard. I was struck by Stravinsky’s intended mise-en-scène in which the soloists stand immobile in a niched frieze, a two-dimensional proscenium. I also loved his choice of Latin as a means of arresting the Oedipus story in stone –– a text as much ritual and object as narrative –– and his intentional use of so many stylistic references –– a Dada collage. In Mise-en-scène my personae ––Creon, Iocasta and Oedipus –– are set immobile in a triptych, a flat, painterly proscenium. I’ve written Latin texts as one might write lines for a libretto, but I do not intend that these texts be read as narrative. Instead, I’ve treated the texts as visual objects like the partial Latin inscriptions one sees on temple ruins. In Oracula, the text flows by so rapidly that it is all but unreadable. In Timeo and Ecce, the text is glimpsed in fragments –– one can discover shards of the Oedipus narrative, and if one knows the story, one can close the rest of the drama. The panels--three sketches--serve the same function. –Michael Lasater  	
New media art; Video art; Collage; Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971; Cocteau, Jean, 1889-1963
United States
Michael Lasater Video Art
IU South Bend Archives
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In Copyright
Terms of Use
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Physical Description
online resource (1 video file (06:00)): sound, color
Mise-en-scène is a computer collage of preexisting and free-composed media –– digital archive film and photos, freehand and tooled objects, text, synthesized and sampled sound, animation. The three panels may be taken to be static compositions, but in fact they are in considerable motion. I take advantage of the space afforded by a gallery setting –– a significant part of any impact this piece may have on the viewer is the opportunity to physically move from one panel to another. The audio is composed in three broad segments, mirroring the visual composition.
–Michael Lasater  
Selected exhibitions:
Third Annual Juried Exhibition, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, Athens, GA, September 23 – November 12, 2017, 2017. International juried exhibition. Juror: Harry H. DeLorme, Jr.
Crossroads New Media. A special exhibition of work by Indiana new media artists Michael Lasater, Constance Edwards Scopelitis, and Jason Myers. Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianapolis, IN, April 15 – September 1, 2016. Curator: Rhonda Long-Sharp.
Media specifications:
Video triptych: three 1920 x 1080 HD video panels, stereo, continuous loop.  Non-synchronous. Digitized archive photos and film, freehand and tooled digital objects, text, animation, synthesized and sampled sound, animation. Production media: uncompressed .mov. Exhibition media: Blu-ray; H.264 streaming media players; HD flatscreens.


Oracula (2014/15) Left Panel 
Timeo Iocasta (2015) Center Panel 
Ecce Rex Noster (2015) Right Panel

Access Restrictions

This item is accessible by: the public.