"I think we've lost the ability to just be human with each other...and we've lost a way of even talking about what's going on in our country that needs fixing as a collective body. And so that's part of the reason why I think this kind of work is still important." — Leigh Fondakowski
As we head into the end of 2016, there are many immersive theater and fine art installations in San Francisco and New York City. Here are just a few.
The weekly roundup isn’t an endorsement, as we’ve not personally seen everything. It’s our way of keeping you in the loop.
“Space Program: Europa”
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)
Targeting Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, this expansive sculpture exhibition offers an unprecedented view into Sachs’ extraordinary artistic output and advances his quest to find extraterrestrial life with bricolaged sculptures. The exhibition will fill YBCA with everything his astronauts need to successfully complete their voyage—including the Mobile Quarantine Facility, Mission Control, the Apollo-era Landing Excursion Module (LEM), and special equipment for conducting scientific experiments—immersing the audience in a universe of sculpture occupying the entire downstairs galleries in addition to YBCA’s public spaces.
“Space Program: Europa” will feature live activations of the Europa flight plan by Sachs’ astronauts during the opening and closing weekends. In these demonstrations, the astronauts will showcase the rituals and procedures of their mission, including the cultural export of chanoyu, the ancient art of the tea ceremony. Stay tuned for more information about the closing weekend. In the meantime, come by for a screening of A Space Program, a film that captures Sachs’ 2012 mission to Mars.
David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar
Pace Art + Technology,
at 350 El Camino Real in Menlo Park through March 31, 2017.
Who are you? Who are we? Are you in control of your own destiny?
The Institute Presents: “Neurosociety,” co-created by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar, is an 80-minute immersive theater performance where you will be guided through a series of experiences created in collaboration with working neuroscience labs. For Neurosociety, They collaborated with labs from California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Harvard University, Karolinska Institutet, New York University, Princeton University, University College London and Yale University. Research by these establishments informs the concepts explored in Neurosociety.
According to Byrne and Gaonkar, “Experiments, we feel, are a form of theater. We have adopted elements of art installation and immersive theater to present these experiences in ways we think will be as engaging for others as they have been for us. We traveled and met with many scientists who generously welcomed us, patiently answered our untutored questions, and creatively collaborated with us on this project. In the course of creating The Institute, the work of our partner labs has become both a window and a mirror through which we view ourselves and our larger interactions with the world. We wanted to share these concepts with as many people as possible.”
“Inside the Wild Heart”
Conceived by Andressa Furletti and Debora Balardini
Directed by Regina Miranda
“Inside the Wild Heart” is a fully immersive theatrical experience showcasing the work of Clarice Lispector, Brazil’s most acclaimed female writer. The show transports audience directly inside Lispector’s heart creating an experience that encourages audiences to engage with literature on a sensory level.
Conceived by Andressa Furletti and Debora Balardini and directed by Regina Miranda, the show integrates visual arts, film, music & performance art, which embodies the writer’s deepest feelings, serving as an entry point to Clarice’s incredible work, still mostly unknown in the US. Five actors and one dancer embody the writer’s biggest themes such as identity, solitude, madness, violence and freedom accompanied by Mario Forte on the electronics and violin.
The audience is free to choose who to follow, where to go, how long to stay in each room and if they want to participate or not. Starting with the question “If you were yourself, what would you do?” “Inside the Wild Heart” opens the doors for the audience’s curiosity and creativity and reminds us that “Getting lost is also a way.”
*Performed in Portuguese and English*