N O W I S W H E N W E A R E (the stars) by Andrew Schneider
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The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is thrilled to present N O W I S W H E N W E A R E (the stars), a fascinating multimedia installation. Created by performer, writer, and artist Andrew Schneider with Bobby McElver as a co-sound designer, it gives one the almost literal opportunity to take a stroll among the stars. The installation’s Arab world premiere is scheduled for August 31.

The immersive, precisely programmed installation is composed of about 5,000 reactive lights and a 496-channel sound system. Walking in darkness, every visitor is guided by an invisible narrator through their journey of the installation and the cosmos of themselves. Free to move around the interactive space, the guests are encouraged to actively explore it while discovering the traces of themselves in light and the universe.

There are two options to experience (the stars). If you choose the first one, Open Universe, you will have an entry time and be able to explore the installation by yourself and at your own pace. The second option is Guided Experience lasting for 45 min. which is for a group of people (maximum 8) at a time. Each of the guests is invited to consider their place in the universe.

Andrew Schneider, N O W I S W H E N W E A R E (the stars).

The recommended age of a person experiencing the installation is 12+. Please, note that the experience includes prolonged periods of total darkness, occasional loud noises, and flashing lights.

Andrew Schneider is a celebrated performer, writer, and artist residing in Brooklyn (New York, USA). He earned his BFA degree in Theater Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University. Currently, he teaches a recurring class on original-flavour reality at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (NYU), where he is a postdoctoral fellow. From 2007 to 2014, Schneider was a member of the Wooster Group, a company of NYC-based artists that makes work for theatre, dance, and media.

Schneider’s diverse practice encompasses creating and performing performance works and building interactive electronic art pieces and installations. Among his creations are, for example, shoes controlling the speed of music (PERFORM-O-SHOES) and wireless sound effect gloves (TWITCH SET).

In his work, Schneider critically examines our over-dependence on being constantly connected in an always-on world. What interests him mostly is how humans telling stories about ourselves to each other can make us better at being humans. “We live in a […] synthetic world of our own making [and] have separated ourselves from the actual world around us, ” the artist says. “The work I make is highly technical, but It is not about technology. I am more interested in the application of technology and how it can bring us closer together [and] shake us from the synthetic […]. I am interested in how creating meaningful time-based experiences can lead to more meaningful human-to-human interaction.”

Andrew Schneider, TWITCH SET.

Having won the Obie Award (2015) and been nominated for the Drama Desk Award (2016), Schneider has produced several notable performance works in NYC such as NERVOUS/SYSTEM (BAM Next Wave, 2018); AFTER ( Under the Radar, The Public Theater, 2018); DANCE/FIELD (Roulette, 2014); TIDAL (River to River, 2013); and others. His off-broadway designs include Dolphins and Sharks (the Labyrinth Theater); Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova and the Signature Theater); and Roosevelvis (the Vineyard Theater).

Among the awards Schneider has received is the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2020); he also became a Sundance Art of the Practice fellow in 2021. In 2022, the artist was granted a fellowship from the Junge Akademie / Akademie Der Künste (Berlin).

Bobby McElver was a member of the Wooster Group and was nominated for 2015 BESSIE for The Wooster Group’s Early Shaker Spirituals. He is an Associate Professor at the University of California San Diego, where he runs the MFA program in Sound Design for Theatre and Dance. Apart from Andrew Schneider, McElver has also worked with Moisés Kaufman; Faye Driscoll; zoe | juniper; New York City Players; Tina Satter / Half Straddle; and others. An artist-engineer, he is focused on developing new spatial audio technology and applying the technology in the context of an artwork.

To learn more about the N O W I S W H E N W E A R E (the stars) installation, please visit its official web page.

You might also be interested in experiencing Pipilotti Rist’s installation Your Brain to Me, My Brain to You.

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