Reagan Esther Myer (REM*) is an elaborate and sprawling transmedia narrative expressed through a series of interlocking stories communicated across an integrated combination of media channels, including a multimedia one-woman theater production, a network of in-universe websites, an immersive and interactive installation, an anticipated video game, and more.
At the center of this dystopian storyworld (the “Reaganverse”) is ThotBot, a government-mandated brain implant that algorithmically applies points to one’s thoughts. These points, known as Value, accrue towards the goal of Redemption. The storyverse investigates the internal forces that contribute to human experience -- memory, emotion, and connection -- and considers the implications of external forces -- technology, media, and authoritarianism -- as threat to personal autonomy. As with most speculative fiction, the framework and mechanics of this world are a hyperbolic derivation of our current reality. Climate change and an apocalyptic event called Impact have decimated the environment and isolated communities; petroleum supplies have been exhausted, halting goods manufacture and transportation; racism, bigotry and misogyny are core tenets of the totalitarian government, known as The ULTRA.
*The abbreviation for the project is pronounced like the type of sleep (“rĕm”), not an acronym spelled out like the 90s band. REM sleep is also known as “paradoxical sleep” because of its similarities to wakefulness. Whereas the body is paralyzed, the brain experiences increased neuronal activity, producing rapid eye movements and vivid dreams.
REAGAN ESTHER MYER PRIMER
The totalitarian regime governing this speculative future is called The ULTRA.
The ULTRA headquarters is on Great Island, the only temperate place left after Impact.
The remaining, just barely inhabitable regions, are The Plateau -- where fires burn uncontrollably -- and The Valley -- where a near-constant string of hurricanes leaves citizens perpetually underwater.
Reagan Esther Myer, a government employee and popular SurvivalisTV host, is stationed in an abandoned mall located on Curie Island. Due to the proximity to the point of Impact, she is forbidden from leaving the mall.
SurvivalisTV is a show on The FEED, the government broadcast network and the only media available for consumption, streamed directly into the minds of the Implanted, aka Bots, ie those who have ThotBot brain implants.
In a world where the petroleum supply has been exhausted and goods manufacture has ceased, SurvivalisTV hosts teach Bots how to take the useless things around them and make them useful again -- post-apocalyptic DIY tutorials.