Post-Humanum by CollectifBus 1.2.3 is currently playing On Demand as part of the 2021 Toronto Digital Fringe. You can catch this eclectic series of bizarre, futuristic, dystopian scenes featuring humans, gods, and robots online until July 31.
Post-Humanum is a commentary on contemporary technology and culture, which contemplates the trajectory of our digital age through a series of disjointed sketches.
The core premise has the actors playing modern renditions of “old gods” like Hermes (Nikolai Afanasev). The gods are now concerned with different facets of the internet and contemporary digital life. It’s an idea that I found very much reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
Post-Humanum embraces a low-fidelity aesthetic with intentionally hacky editing and effects that I, personally, found difficult to sit through. The low-fidelity/“lo-fi” production came across as hackneyed rather than an intentional creative choice. A production without sharp aesthetics requires sharp writing, but here the jokes just didn’t land for me and the insights came off as a sort of mashup of pop culture hot-takes from the past decade. For example, in one scene, a new god called “Pornhubos” (Michael Lynn) wears a Viking helmet with two Go-Pros attached; he declares himself the god of revenge porn, only to be banished soon thereafter.
It’s hard to comment on the performances in and of themselves, as they were really leaning into the low-brow, hammy feel that the show explicitly said it aspired to. While this overarching creative choice did not vibe with me personally, I do feel that the performers achieved it.
My favourite part of Post-Humanum was a segment with a woman (Dorsai Ranjbari) describing how she struggled to “die” because her entire self, all the information and data that made her her, was preserved online.
Post-Humanum runs long, clocking in at 52 minutes. I feel perhaps it would land better if it was broken up into shorts. Or maybe it’s something that I’d love to see live with a pitcher of beer. While this wasn’t my cup of tea, there was something intriguing about it and I’d check out another show by CollectifBus 1.2.3 in the future.
- Post-Humanum is playing on-demand at the Virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival.
- Purchase a $5 Membership to access the On-Demand programming on the Fringe website, then Pay What You Can to each show as you go, with the suggested price of $13 per show.
- Memberships can be purchased here. View the virtual on-demand show listings here.
- Accessibility notes:
- On-Demand shows: videos are closed captioned, transcripts are available for all audio content, documents are screen-reader friendly, and all digital images are provided with alternative text descriptions. These access supplements have been generated by the company and reviewed by the Festival. They may vary slightly from company to company.
- Fringe Primetime presentations will feature Auto-Transcribed Captioning.
- Content warning: Parental Guidance Advised, sexual content and mature language. Some portions are in French.
- Read all of Mooney on Theatre’s 2021 Virtual Toronto Fringe Festival coverage here.
Photo of Nikolai Afanasev as Hermes provided by the company