heidi j. boisvert

Portfolio

Writing

Para Que Escaramienten (So That They Learn) is a one-act, multi-media play about the recent lynching of three Federal Preventive Police (PFP) agents just outside Mexico City in the mostly Indian delegation of Tlahuac, in the village of San Juan Ixtopan, in which both local and federal agencies neglected to respond efficaciously. A sole cameraman from TV Azteca, however, one of the two major conglomerates, and staunch competitor of Televisa, who utilize yellow journalist tactics to increase ratings, captured the scene in real time after being escorted by the mob and forced to shoot a prompted confession of one of the brutally beaten detainees, officer Victor Mireles. These images were recycled on national television for over week. Unusual, considering that lynchings (400 in Guatamala this year alone), for obvious reasons, do not typically get coverage, since they are negative PR for weak governments.

Like a Gertrude Stein novel, I have employed a retrogressive narrative style in an attempt to both suspend the various socio-political forces responsible for instigating such a violent community response, and to unearth the intention behind the Fox administration’s and TV Azteca (a prime supporter of the PRI party) decision to broadcast such barbaric footage. Using the theatrical space as a vehicle for studying the ramifications of visual culture upon the psychology of the crowd, enables me, and by extension the audience, to better understand how the evidence we share shapes us, and also to physicalize the outcome with more immediacy. The use of looped news footage suspended above the crowd in contrast to the embodied presence of the actors aims to discomfort the audience, and serve as “moral matrix,” in the way Tom Stoppard envisions, to instigate direct change. I believe that theatre more than any other medium disallows the audience from distancing themselves from experience.

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Seduction: a male a/drift is a short story that psychologically maps the potential affects a city’s fragmented, sexual imagery has upon human behavior conveyed through a fictional narrative device and a haunting voice-over, which is overlaid by a montaged onslaught of predatorial women gazing at the viewer. Told from the point of view of a mannequin, now encased behind glass, who was once a sex worker, but had the misfortune of befriending our protagonist, Stanley Hamburger, a retired insurance salesman turned serial killer, the story explores contemporary theories of psycho-geography, the unconscious interplay of power and the colonizing strategies of visual culture over our imaginations. In essence, the viewer visually experiences a trance-like version of what Guy Debord coined a derive.

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Stitch, Cut & Die is the original novella from which the 3D game of the same name stems.  A dark, sci-fi, film noirish tale about the underground, global trafficking of bodies, which consists of three interwoven narratives told from the point of view of three women situated in three different countries, US, Iraq and China, who are intrinsically tied together by their unknowing entanglement in this murderous trade.  Ameera, Manota and Ming are pawns in a strategic operation orchestrated by powerful, white elite in the adminstration to market longevity by cloning adult skin stem cells for premature organ tune-ups.  But this Frankensteinian pursuit produces a mutant outbreak.  Unlike the game, the journalist is not a main character, but an observer, who eventually becomes their link to exposing who’s behind this mysterious McGuffin at the expense of her own life.

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