“When there are to be changes in the play or when the gods appear with sudden thunders, they are to turn and change the kind of subject presented to the audience.” Vitruvius, Book 5, Chapter 6.
Vitruvius’ description of the Periaktos accounts for a Greek device mechanically operated to present an audience with different sceneries. Although it is debated whether or not it was used in the Roman Theater, the simple panel has seen a considerable range of re-interpretation throughout the different stylistic periods. Recently, advancements in Neural Network technologies offer a new window into image making, which in turn could bring a fresh new look at the artifice of the stage.
Proposing a new armature for stage design, this project by SCI-Arc EDGE student Maxime Lefebvre in Marcelo Spina and Casey Rehm's Architectural Technologies Postgraduate Program develops and utilizes an A.I model which collects, samples and reimagines stage imagery while tracking and mapping a panel system in motion. Re-examining a major principle of current image-making culture –decorum-, the re-invented Periaktoi achieve visual trickery through its totally unbiased ability to blend form and style. Taken as a whole, the new armature presents an interesting spin on the scaenae frons; heavily articulated architectural background of a Roman theater stage.