Strange, unsettling, surreal – step out of your comfort zone and into Flight, where your final destination is not certain…
Darkfield, a ‘multi-sensory sonic theme park’ utilising shipping containers as their playgrounds was established by artistic directors Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, who have been collaborating since 2012. Darkfield has been responsible for the immersive experiences Séance and Coma… and now Flight, which has landed by Lakeside Arts this week after a pit-stop at the Edinburgh Fringe festival – but will you board?
Based on the multi-verse theory of Quantum Mechanics, in which it is proposed that every time there is more than one possible outcome, all of them occur, simultaneously, creating countless worlds of varying similarity, Flight will force you to question everything you think you know.
“a darkness will quickly surround you; a thick, heavy, all-consuming darkness like you will never have known before.”
Please note: this experience is not for the faint-hearted, nor for hand-squeezers. Seat numbers are randomly assigned upon boarding, so if this describes you, may I politely recommend redirecting yourself to the East Midlands airport? But thrill-seekers – you may enter at your own risk. Take your ticket and board. Find your seat down the aisle, place any belongings inside the overhead storage provided and get strapped in – not that a seat belt will save you from what you are about to encounter, naturally.
Don’t pay the safety card in the seat pocket in front of you any attention, either – it will only dissuade you. While waiting for take-off, it is recommended instead that you put on your headset and await the flickering safety demonstration video courtesy of the air hostess team. In the meantime, a darkness will quickly surround you; a thick, heavy, all-consuming darkness like you will never have known before.
Luckily for you, customer satisfaction is important to this airline so backing out of your flight and returning to your comfort zone is an option after five minutes. Persevering passengers are then again plunged into a complete blackness and the flight will commence.
Don’t worry, though – the flight team are exceptionally attentive… All passengers will be offered complementary snacks and beverages in the pitch black, except, of course, for the passenger who is quickly and unemotionally pronounced dead. But you, you will be fine… probably.
“This isn’t about adding to your fear of flying but sparking your zest for life.”
The binaural headphones provide an extremely realistic 3D sound, so that you will be able to hear people pass you in the aisle with complete clarity. Similarly, you will not be spared the sounds of babies crying, of the rustling of wrappers, or of the completely unalarming conversations between the air crew and the captain, whose attitude toward his duties may prove… questionable.
Again though, don’t panic – the entire staff are very attentive to your every emotional and philosophical need as, while the flight appears to be getting progressively bleaker by the minute, they whisper in your ear reassuring you that you are in the luckiest seat. It’s OK – I’m sure you will also be comforted to learn that you are simultaneously alive and dead to the outside world. Plus, you can’t really experience death, can you? We can only experience existence, as the captain says – doesn’t that comfort you?
As a passenger on Flight, you will likely have a tough time distinguishing between the real and the surreal. Stripped of your vision, you may find your other senses heightened – is there someone behind you? Is there someone talking to you? Is that a normal noise to be hearing on board a plane? Should the floor be banging, should my seat be shaking?
Just try to remember that travelling is a privilege…
And, if your flight lands successfully (the key word being ‘if’), then don’t be surprised to find yourself craving to hear the voice of a loved one or reaching out to touch something “real.” This isn’t about adding to your fear of flying, but sparking your zest for life.
So…will you be booking a flight?
Flight is showing at Lakeside Arts from Saturday 15th until Sunday 23rd February. Tickets and showtimes available here.
Featured image courtesy of Rachel West. Article image 1 courtesy of @lakesidearts via Instagram. Article image 2 courtesy of Rachel West. Article image 3 courtesy of @lakesidearts via Instagram.Image use license found here.