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-acapella musical, rich with song, dance, text, touch and digital music processes. Six people on stage search for a new form of sense and sensuality. Dada in the Big Data Age. Thus, it does not necessarily correspond to an old, conventional logic, but is playful – and hopefully contagious.

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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  • Duration: 1:40h, no break
  • Premiere: 23.02.2019
  • Language: German and English with German and English surtitles
Videotrailer zu New Joy
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Press voices

Man könnte diesen Abend für naiv und komplett gaga erklären. Oder man erlaubt ihm, an eine Sehnsucht zu erinnern, die sich vor lauter dystopischer Abgeklärtheit kaum mehr jemand eingesteht.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Cornelia Fiedler

Ein krudes Gesamtkunstwerk, das jenseits von begrifflicher Sinnstiftung Erfahrungen arrangiert.
Die Deutsche Bühne, Sarah Heppekhausen

Ein ungewöhnlicher, bizarrer, durchaus vergnüglicher Abend, auf der Höhe der Zeit.
Westfälischer Anzeiger, Ralf Stiftel

More press voices

Hier werden Menschen zu Cyborgs und bauen neue Beziehungen zu Maschinen auf, um auf Sinnsuche zu gehen. Klingt abgespacet? Ist es auch!