About An Solas Sí ArtScience
The Cultural Technology Cooperative

My name is Muirén Ní Sídach and this is a general description of a collaborative cooperative community of creatives (say that three times very fast). The name of this intended Worker-Cooperative is Λn Solas Sí ΛrtScience, An Solas Sí, in the common parlance of today’s Irish is An Solas Sióg, which you may recognize as “The Fairy Light”.

To the public we would appear like nothing more than a mundane, ragtag travelling show, centring its activity around the telling of unique interpretations of folk-tales through the medium of Shadow Puppetry and Magic in a way never seen before.

The shadow plays are the explicit performances, the magic performed onstage and off decidedly implicit. The overall tone of characters and the mobile set inspire by Romani, Travellers, the common folk of hundreds of nations that for millennia have been driven into hardscrabble lives of desperation by forces beyond their control, inspired also by the ragtag crew of the Serenity Firefly Class Transport Ship of the Firefly TV series, and the later film Serenity.

An Solas Sí | A show within a show, within a show, within a show. However, the audience is never told the performers and everyone in the theatre troupe are Otherworld folk of one kind or another, next-level illegal immigrants who, to not put too fine a point on it, need to keep their heads down, their mouths shut, and their hands to themselves.

Our itinerant band of performers, for the most part, succeed in hiding in plain sight with varying degrees of success. However, there are always miscreants in the best of troupes, not bad folk per se, but those with a little more mischief in their soul than what’s good for them.

These choreographed moments of comedy and magic range from the odd accident, acts without thought of larger consequence, to the occasional and very deliberate tweaking of the proverbial bull’s nose, resulting in events hilarious and terrifying at the same moment, and demanding and abrupt end of the show and a hasty exit by the company, just moments ahead of men in black.

There will be a set number of these seemingly ad-hoc, unplanned performances in rural and forested outdoor settings, with both official videos of performances and leaked video of things nobody is supposed to see.

The Magic Lamp and Screen | I have invented a type of effect that looks like an old antique lantern from which most people only see a pale, flickering will-o’-the-wisp light showing now and then, yet when aimed against the shadowplay scrim or stage screen causes it to appear brilliantly illuminated.

From time to time landscape and characters appear in the storytelling that cannot possibly be explained by the two or three puppeteers behind the screen. Sometimes these shadows take on a seeming 3D appearance and at other moments to wander out across the walls and top of the tent, awning, even the surrounding trees, and the grass beneath the spectator’s feet.

Multiply that one effect by a factor of a couple of dozen, some subtle, others obvious, and you get a rough sense of where I am going with this.

I am not recruiting in any conventional sense. Instead, this is an expression of shared passion and open to any kindred spirit. This is more a matter of attraction rather than a promotion to form this creative community of practice that will, for the most part, be self-supporting by its own efforts.

In reality, the whole of the performances serves an agenda far beyond mere passive entertainment, to wit, the real mission is to educate through immersive, experiential demonstrations through which we also learn and improve upon our ArtScience of community.

Since the dawn of recorded history, Art and Science have been coeval and completely interdependent for their successful consummation, hence ArtScience.

So whether you own a self-image of technologist with a love of art or an artist or artisan that understands the technology your art or craft depends on, there is more than enough room under this ideological roof to accommodate you and your muse.

Clarke’s Third Law, “Any technology sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic.”, which not coincidently is the tagline of the company.

I have built a WordPress placeholder landing page https://solas.si with links to the currently under-construction Discourse Forum software https://www.discourse.org/ at https://meta.solas.si, and a NextCloud instance https://office.solas.si with Collabora a version of LibreOffice Online https://www.collaboraoffice.com/collabora-online/, and other apps like online mail.