Love and Information is a uniquely crafted play, but its structure and content shed tremendous light on humanity in the 21st century. Churchill combines mystery and precision in a play that features no particular characters or plotline and centers around constant dialogue. The subjects of debate in these dialogues are random, from the importance of a rash, the movie Godzilla, schizophrenia, to mathematics, but together they point to greater effects that the availability and flooding of information have on the human mind in the present day.
Many of the short instances in Love and Information suggest that humans in the technological age have very short attention spans. In ‘Sleep’, one of the characters says he cannot fall asleep and does not own a book that he likes, so he surfs on Facebook instead. In ‘Remote’, an individual states that he does not have enough time to read a newspaper but that he is willing to travel miles to reach a cliff and stand on a rock just to be in contact with a phone signal, ironically. It seems like Churchill is pointing to the human dependency of technology and we are unable to appreciate other aspects of life like nature and reading. This wave of technological change also brings with it social changes.
In ‘Censor’, one of the characters orders “On the 21st of May…” and 30 other phrases to be banned for undisclosed reasons. This part points to the power held by those who control information. The advent of technology has paved the way for new forms of power to emerge, as Kovarik emphasizes “Every media revolution, then, is a circumvention of an old balance of power and a potential lever for social change”(331). Some fields have remained untouched, however. In ‘Maths’, two individuals argue about the truth and consistency in mathematics and the evolution of the human brain over time. Math has barely evolved over time, even with advances in technology. It relies on logic and calculated thought. Like math, some subjects are binary in their answers are either right or wrong, whereas the excess of information in areas like politics has clouded the truth.
In the final scene ‘Facts’, two people ask each other factual questions repeatedly, similar to browsing on a search engine. In the end, one of the characters responds ‘I do yes I do’ when asked ‘Do you love me?’, an answer much more valuable and direct than the previous ones. Love can either be immediate or take time. It does not involve memory and the regurgitation of facts, but is emotional. Even though we’ve become digitalized, love is a constant over humanity and is one of the truest displays of passion and emotion, which cannot be replaced by technology.
-Why does Churchill state, at the beginning of play, that the acts must be performed in order but the scenes can be randomized?
-Is loneliness a theme in Love and Information?
-Does Churchill agree with the Ancient Greeks in that the audience must infuse theatre with emotion for better understanding?