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A Season in Hell


A Season in Hell is described by the artist as a video opera; a full-length evening theatre piece. The multimedia performance is a collaboration between Randall Packer, Head of the ‘US Department of Art and Technology’, and LA Opera House Singer and former classmate Charles Lane. There are multiple projectors, digital video, an electronic musical score, vocal performances, surround sound, various props and live performances. Zero1 media arts festival of San Jose produced the 01SJ Biennial, where A Season in Hell ran for 3 nights at the San Jose Stage.

The work is based on a poem of the same name by Arthur Rimbaud, discussing the “disintegration of humanity, and how the artist copes with that.” In a post-apocolyptic America, Orph (Charles Lane) takes the audience through a descent into the various layers of the United States’ underworld, beginning with the grave of former President George W. Bush. The premise is the death of the nation at the second inauguration of Bush. Filming takes place in Washington DC, New Orleans post hurricane Katrina, up through the Bible Belt, to an Afircan American cemetary, and ending in Death Valley. In a world where government and big corporations squander resources into oblivion, where is that artist left, and can art ever truly die?

A Season in Hell is controlled by a Max Patch while the musical score runs in Logic.

Performance Trailor:

Additional Trailors and Video Excerpts:

A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud:

Randall Packer’s personal webpage:

A Season in Hell press site: