Hello Hi There
Language is meaningless, thought is pointless, and we’re all gonna die. Hello, hi there!
New York director Annie Dorsen takes the famous television debate between the philosopher Michel Foucault and linguist and activist Noam Chomsky from the Seventies as inspiration and material for a dialogue between two specially developed chatbots: every evening, these computer programs designed to mimic human conversations perform a new – as it were, improvised – live text.
Hello Hi There is a performance without people – a literal expression of post-humanism, and simultaneously an examination of what it means to be human. The piece goes inside the question of human nature and intelligence, both the organic and the artificial.
Obie award-winning director and writer Annie Dorsen works in a variety of fields, including theatre, film, dance and, as of 2010, digital performance. Most recently, Hello Hi There premiered at the streirischer herbst festival, Graz, and will tour to Oslo, Bergen and Berlin before arriving in New York in January 2011. She is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which she also directed. Spike Lee has since made a film of her production of the piece, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, subsequently screened at South by Southwest Film Festival and The Tribeca Film Festival, and was released theatrically by IFC in 2010 before being broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances. Also in 2010, she collaborated with choreographer Anne Juren on Magical (ImPulsTanz Festival) and with Ms. Juren and DD Dorviller on Piece Sans Paroles (brut Vienna and Rencontres Choreographiques Internationales Seine-St-Denis, Paris). In 2009 she created two music-theatre pieces, Ask Your Mama, a setting of Langston Hughes’ 1962 poem, composed by Laura Karpman and sung by Jessye Norman and The Roots (Carnegie Hall) and ETHEL’s Truckstop, seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. Her pop-political performance project Democracy in America was presented at Performance Space 122 (PS 122) in spring 2008. Her short film, I Miss, originally the centerpiece of Democracy in America, has screened at American Film Institute Festival (AFI Fest), SXSW Film Festival, The New York Film Festival’s “Views From the Avant-Garde” and the Nantucket Film Festival. Her work has been seen at numerous venues in the US, including the Public Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Soho Rep, Marfa Theatre (TX), NYStage and Film, Sundance Theatre Lab, Stanford University, Clubbed Thumb and Women’s Project. In addition to numerous awards for Passing Strange, Ms. Dorsen has received several fellowships, notably the Sir John Gielgud Fellowship from the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. She has taught at New York University, Fordham University, and Playwright’s Horizons, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
Co-produced by steirischer herbst festival, Black Box Teater, BIT Teatergarasjen, Hebbel am Ufer and Performance Space 122. Additional touring support provided by Bundesministerium fur Unterricht, Kunst and Kultur (bmukk). Additional production support and residency provided by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer (EMPAC).
PRESENTED AS PART OF COIL 2011
US PREMIERE | UPSTAIRS at PS122
Jan 6-21, 2011
Thu, Jan 6 7:30PM / Sun, Jan 9 5PM / Mon, Jan 10 5PM / Tue, Jan 11 10PM / Thu, Jan 13 7:30PM / Fri, Jan 14 10PM
Extended: Wed, Jan 19 & Fri, Jan 21 7:30PM
Thu, Jan 20 & Sat, Jan 22 10PM.
$20, $15 (students/seniors)
Help PS122 Go Green by viewing your Hello Hi There program online!