It has nothing to do with happiness or optimism – those would fall under ‘Old Joy’. In New Joy, Eleanor Bauer confronts the chaos, excess, and absurdity of life head-on in this post-truth information age. To what extent are we able to distinguish real information from noise? Can we create new forms of understanding by cooperating better with one another and with machines?

To grasp the challenges of our age by the horns, New Joy imagines a 21st-century version of Dadaism: dataism. Jumping registers between different languages and forms, from body language to spoken language to computer language and back again. From emotional to artificial intelligence. From movement to sound. Bauer and her partner in crime, composer Chris Peck, mix aesthetic, social, and informational dimensions, resulting in a cyber a cappela Dataist opera. Be swept into the eye of the sensory information storm, where a training programme takes place for everyone who is grappling with life in the now.

What does New Joy mean?

Eleanor Bauer: Today, worldviews are polarised in media bubbles, as our emotions are entangled with machine learning. Outrage is the most fostered emotion in the attention economy. What happened to the early utopic dream of the internet as a democratising tool to connect people worldwide in open and anonymous flows of data? I look back to look forward: if we embrace technology to connect ourselves to one another, how can we train curiosity towards our differences instead of flagrant disagreement? I think the answer is not in simple, identifiable feelings representable by emojis, but in subtler registers only discoverable through profound receptivity to others; to discover joys for which we don’t yet have names or faces. New Joy is the marriage of emotional and artificial intelligence. New Joy is a training program for the future.

What can we expect?

Eleanor Bauer: A squishy cyber-acappella musical, rich with song, dance, text, touch and digital music processes. Pressure-sensitive instruments will trigger and effect the sounds, with which the audience will also be able to participate, adding to the complexity and unpredictability of the piece. Everyone sends a message. Everyone is invited to make sense, with all of their senses, in a ‘Big Data‘ microcosm.

It is the first time you work at a German city theatre.

Eleanor Bauer: Yes! I am honored to be invited and excited for what’s possible. The technical and artistic team is fantastic. I will work with actors from the Bochum ensemble, a few freelance dancers, and my long-time music collaborator Chris Peck. We have a great team of designers working to create the instruments, costumes, and scenography. It’s a true gesamtkunstwerk!

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Sat, 23.02.
19:30
premiere
Sun, 24.02.
17:00
Wed, 27.02.
19:30
Fri, 01.03.
19:30
Sun, 10.03.
17:00
Team: