Structured as a late-night talk show, the project consists of monologues by Packer, Skype interviews with personalities both real and fictional, and an interactive chat box. Backed by a cyber punk-sounding manifesto filled with language about appropriating, reshaping, and transforming reality, The Post Reality Show has all the makings of being a Coast to Coast AM for the Twitter Age.
To this end, the experience of tuning into the show works to its advantage. Watching alone in a dark room lit only by your laptop’s glow allows for an eerie suspension of disbelief. It helps you buy into the show’s grandiose conceits and vaguely paranoid atmosphere.
Here’s where the Coast to Coast comparison is most apt: The show’s means of dissemination plays on the same feelings of alienation that can have rational people believing Art Bell’s conspiracy theories as they drive down dark highways listening to AM radio.
This all makes Post Reality sound fairly subversive—and judging by Packer’s claim that he must broadcast from a secret bunker to avoid authorities, that would be taken as a compliment. However, the show’s content isn’t quiet as edgy as it wants to be.
Each show has a theme, and the one I viewed on July 18th, focused on the desert as a landscape where reality can blur. After taking a few minutes to work out some technical aspects, Packer launched into a surprisingly straight-forward interview with artist Eve Andree Laramee. While interesting in the same way any interview can be—touching on intriguing topics like real space v. culturally created space—the segment didn’t quite live up to the world-fracturing radicalism the show was hyping.
The final segment gave the show a phenomenal chance to really explore its reality-warping premise, though it fell just shy of accomplishing all it could. In the segment Packer interviews Orf, a fictional avatar of the god Orpheus played by guest Charles Lane. Given the multiple levels of mediation already in play, Packer could have approached the interview in a genuine fashion and addressed Orf as an actual entity. Though instead of making the leap to create the alternate reality the manifesto calls for, Packer goes ahead and acknowledges the fiction of the character through the talk.
There’s hope that future shows may push the boundaries and take more risks. With upcoming shows boasting titles like “Disinformation,” “Seduction,” and “Fabricated Reality,” there’s a chance The Post Reality Show may grow into its ambitions. Though, when you don’t have to leave the reality of your own living room to watch, there’s no reason not to tune in.
No tickets needed for Post-Reality Show which debuted July 18th, and has new shows every night thru July 28th. Click to view