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The November 1996 First Edition

Two Days With Odysseus Long Live Oudeis

November 1996

The grey month turned out to knock off doubts, crises and discussions of fundamentals...
New energy came in with Karin.
And the dramaturgy spent some days on rethinking and writing (lefthand column).
Together we ended up praising the perpetuity of oudeis...
...still looking for sponsors! Schools? Teaching institutions? Anyone?
Finally: We congratulate: Sofia and Santiago got married!
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A theaterproject that shows Odysseus journey all around the world on RL stages and one Cyberstage - at the same time, connected via the Internet. A work in progress. Scheduled for Oct. 16, 1997.
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Copyright 1996 Georg Leyrer

November turned out to be a month perfect to get some thoughts straightened out again. Gernot and I spent some days in Hamburg, watching John Neumeir´s ballet "Odyssey".

Hamburg is not that far away from Vienna and the show was definitely worth making a two days travel. Besides going to the opera on Monday evening, Gernot and I spent our days wandering around, from one Coffee shop to the next, always carrying paper, a pencil and Homer´s Odyssey (English translation) with us. Before we even saw John Neumeir´s show we found out what the most striking problem with the text is: the genius narrative form of Homer which is characterized by throwbacks.
In the evening, after working on Homers Odyssey the whole day, neither of us knew exactly in every moment where the story was going in the ballet we saw. We had to look it up in the program book for several times.
So we found another sequence of the episodes for oudeis. a world wide odyssey.
The Wanderings of Odysseus, divided in scenes and told in a chronicle way:
After a ten years war in Troy Odysseus comes to the
  • land of the Cicones, after some irritations he reaches the
  • country of the Lotus-Eaters, where some drugs nearly held his companions back.
  • Sailing on, further westward, they came to the land of the Cyclops, where lots of his beloved companions were eaten by Polyphemus. What happened to Polyphemus finally caused all their troubles. Odysseus hurt the Cy clops badly by blending his single eye and told him that his name was oudeis - nobody, so that they all could escape. Happily back on their ships Odysseus could not refra in from shouting his name out loud so that Polyphemus could easily tell his father Poseidon who was to blame for the mess.
  • they reached the island of Aeolus, the king of the winds, who helped them to lead their ships homewards
  • but when they were already within sight of Ithaca, Odysseus fell asleep and his companions caused trouble by jealousy - the ships were blown far from Ithaca and they came to the island of the Laestrygonians - vicio us cannibals who ate most of the comrades
  • with only one ship left Odysseus reached the island of Aeaea, the home of the goddess Circe, where he spent nearly a year as a lover of Circe
  • She helped him then go to Hades so that he could speak to the prophet Tiresias, who would tell him how to go on further
  • after that Odysseus passed the island of the Sirens
  • and the monster Scylla and the fierce whirlpool Charybdis unharmed
  • and landed on the island where Hyperion, the sun god, kept his cattle. The men slaughtered some of the divine cattle despite Tiresias´ telling them not to and they where punished for doing so.
  • so Odysseus reached Ogygia, the home of Calypso, all alone, where he stayed for seven years
  • after the intervention of Athena Odysseus Calypso finally let the man go and so he reached the island of the generous Phaeacians where he told all the stories that had happened to him
  • and they gave him one of their magic ships so that he could finally reach Ithaca (they were punished afterwards by Poseidon for their kindness to his enemy.), where he bravely defeated the suitors with the help of his son Telmachus and could meet his loved Penelope again.
For our theater performance, where the tools are even more restricted, we have to choose the easiest plot to be understandable. This way we could succeed in telling the Wanderings of Odysseus with Homers words and usin g them as a metaphor for the data wanderings in our days.
So these two days in Hamburg turned out to be the real startup of writing the episodes. We are now having regular meetings and hope to be finished with the first draft of the scenes at the end of the year. What first was intended - to write the text on the list oudeis-idea - turned out to be an utopia. It was finally decided that Gernot and I should make a rough proposal of the scenes only so that every stage can write its own scene in the end.

(573) For who could see with his eyes
(574) A god who did not wish it, whether going this way or that?
(Homer, The Odyssey Book XI, trans. Albert Cook)

Monika Wunderer


On November 23rd at 8:30 pm, the wedding of Sofia Obarrio and Santiago Pereson took place in the parrish of San Francisco Solano, Buenos Ayres. View the announcement card! We congratulate warmly.

Vienna Online

Late next year, on a day not far from the approaching millennium, Odysseus will once again confront Polyphemus and succumb to the pleasures of Circe. Serving as participants and witnesses to this event will be a gathering of people assembled in locations throughout the world.

Like Odysseus we will again be at the mercy of the elements but the forces we must contend with will not be wind, rain or the gravitational pull of the moon. No, they will be the uncertainties of this relativ ely new technology known as the Internet. Will the fates smile upon us or will they react as Poseidon in a rage and throw us off course, leaving us dashed against the rocks?
In a sense, that is what this project is about, a voyage into the great unknown, an attempt to push the theatrical possibilities of this revolutionary medium as far as we can with whatever resources we have at our disposal. To this end, we are also prese nted with a rare opportunity, a chance to explore and expand this mythology so that it lives on in perpetuity, forever wandering the Internet, growing, changing, entertaining. After all, the Internet never stops. Why should the adventures of Odysseus? Although at first glance this may sound grandiose it actually can be accomplished with relative ease if we take it upon ourselves to act as chroniclers, faithfully recording as much information as possible during the course of the play with particular att ention paid to the four dimensional mapping of all characters and relevant objects. With coordinates representing height, width, and depth, we can locate any object involved in the play. With the additional coordinate of time, we will also be able to pl ace that object within any given event. Then, as this database is combined with other essential variables such as the captured images of the actors, objects, and recorded audio, we will find that we have given ourselves the ability to recreate the performance as well as the power to rearrange i t in any fashion we so desire.
Imagine someone logging onto the Internet months or even years after the performance has taken place and being able to relive the Odyssey, complete with images, movements, various perspectives, changes in locations, dialogue and music. What an accomplishment! The myth would live on in this new electronic medium bringing the experience and pleasure of this story to countless people. These are just a few of the possibilities. There are many, many more. And, if this venture proves to be a success (which I think is highly possible), nothing will prevent us from adding further episodes in the future.
One final point, with every enhancement we make the value of this project rises and as the entertainment level increases so too does its educational merit. A prospect that will undoubtedly draw the attention of schools and teaching institutions of all levels who are bound to be interested in what we have produced. For what better way is there to learn about the Odyssey than to experience it through the eyes of its characters?
Long live Oudeis! L.H. Grant

Karin´s Story

I was born some years ago (exactly in 1960) and completed my studies in politics and communication in Vienna.

I worked in several fields including participating in the research project „Oesterr. Juden seit 1848" (Austrian Jews since 1848) - where we built up a database for the Jewish Museum Vienna. In the field of Public Relations I worked for the Donaufestival and several other companies, I was leading the bureau for the „Vienna Ticket Service" and or ganized some events of my own (an own new - years concert).
In 1991 my son was born.
In 1996 I applied for a job as a chief clerk for PR- and Organization at IG Kultur. This intention was not fulfilled but I was offered a job as production manager at, which turned out to be a lucky chance.
I am happy working - between other things - on the oudeis - project. Only a short time ago, the Internet was a black hole for me, but during the time I spent working with and in it, I began to love it - including all pr os and cons. I think that together we are working on a great and interesting project. On October 16th 1997 we will have gained a new experience and found new friends.
Even Odysseus reached his goal in the end - no doubt we will as well!
Karin Mayer

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