Review: DEFRAG_, Camden People’s Theatre
Published in Time Out, 30.11.2012
As a launchpad for experimentalists, Camden People’s Theatre has always looked to the future. Its new season, Futureshock festival, does so directly, as artists imagine what’s in store.
One of the festival’s first shows is Tom Lyall’s solo piece, ‘Defrag’, a meaty philosophical wrangle about supercomputers and the human mind, handled with a light comic touch. Which is doubly fascinating because, in 2008, Lyall lost bits of his own memory after a knock on the head. His mind’s files became corrupted and recovery meant ‘rebooting the system’ – uploading memories and meaning.
He asks some insightful questions: rather than just beating us at chess, could computers rule over or even replace us? What happens when a creation is smart enough to recreate its own creator? Many artists would avoid dizzying headfucks like this. Lyall chews them over like everlasting gum.
Photograph: Rachel Ferriman