Iphigenia Crash Land Falls On the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart

[a rave fable]


Imagine standing in the middle of a dance club, and a play breaks out.

A live DJ fills the space with sound, spinning the room into oblivion with thumping techno-trance music. The environment is immersive, interactive and dripping with electronic imagery from a live VJ. 

Into this freak-scape wanders Iphigenia, the tragic Greek heroine recast as a spoiled-rich-girl Alice, fallen down the rabbit-hole of the American hypno-media celebrity cult. Lost in an ecstasy-laced labyrinth populated by undead club girls, virtual DJs, and sensuously androgynous pop idols, Iphigenia follows her fate as a glam-lamb to the slaughter, a sacrifice on the altar of the military-entertainment complex.

It’s a tragedy you can dance to.

Director: Lance Gharavi
Media Designer: Jake Pinholster

From the Director's Notes


Celebrities, whether political or cultural, provide much needed social services through their very public lives. It is why we follow them and obsesses over them so religiously. They are the scapegoats for our unconfessed sins, the bodies for our unformed desires, and the urns into which we pour our inarticulate, un-mourned grief.

I don’t know the people who make my black t-shirts or skinny jeans, any more than I know the victims of Darfur or the innocents of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are nameless and superfluous people. When I think of their lives, when I think of what they suffer, when I think of their brutal and pointless murders—and I never do—it seems pathetic. The number 400 (roughly the number of young women murdered in Ciudad Juárez as of this date) is simply a sad statistic on an obscure blog. Their piteous lives register even less than their miserable deaths—which is to say, not at all. These deaths are not the stuff of great tragedy. They are the stuff of sentimental, guilt-inducing NGO commercials that can only be made to appear on my radar if they star Angelina Jolie to add a bit of glamour to an otherwise depressing and forgettable non-event.

But imagine if Madonna died. Imagine if Oprah died. Or Beyoncé. Imagine if Jenna Bush died. Now that would be tragic. That would be drama. That would be enough to bring together this fractured nation in a great, big, collective, cry. That is something we could all mourn together in a glorious, grieving spectacle lubricated with tasteful blanket coverage by all the major media outlets. It would be healing. It would be uplifting. It would be, in a word, cathartic. Surely Bono would sing at the memorial gala? Or maybe Elton John? The Brits always did do tragedy better.

Can I get a “whoop whoop”?