Strange Stranger is a performance and interactive light installation that investigates the idea of presence and the right to be forgotten in the digital age, and where movement creates a unique interplay of light and mood.
Alexander Whitley has received significant attention for his past works that have investigated the impact of technology, such as artificial intelligence, on contemporary human experience and his groundbreaking use of interactive technology to redefine the parameters of choreography.
For this new work commissioned by Sadler’s Wells Theatre and York Mediale, Alexander is collaborating with Dutch light installation artists Children of the Light (renowned for their stunning lighting designs and scenography for Nicolas Jaar), British composer Beatrice Dillon and Italian creative technologists, Luca Biada and Michele Panegrossi of Studio FENYCE.
Drawing upon the notion of a ‘data shadow’, the digital profile formed from the traces of information we unintentionally leave behind through our routine interaction with technology, Strange Stranger explores the paradox of how, the more information we have access to, the stranger and more incomprehensible the world seems. It questions the idea of presence in the information age, considering the growing divide between the spaces in which our bodies are situated and the places in which we are active, asking: How can you be present but not here? How can you be here but not present?
Within a grid of three-metre high towers, structures appear, transform and vanish into the shadows as light dazzlingly animates this live interactive space. Data from activity inside the installation is captured by motion sensors, leaving traces in the light and altering the subsequent character of the space. A performance by four dancers to Beatrice Dillon’s composition of driving and fracturing rhythms provides the initial data for the installation, placing a ‘shadow’ within the space for the public to encounter as they
explore its dynamic forms.
Three dance performances will take place in the installation on Saturday at 3.30pm, 5pm and 6.30pm – please book tickets using the Book Now link. The installation and performances are suitable for children of 8 and over accompanied by a responsible adult. The installation is open 2-9pm on Sat 10 Nov and 11am-6pm on Sun 11 Nov. It will close during the half-hour performances.
A brand new interactive performance-installation from Alexander Whitley Dance Company, developed in collaboration with acclaimed London based composer Beatrice Dillon, Italian Creative Technologist Luca Biada and Dutch duo, Children of the Light (renowned for their stunning lighting designs and scenography for Nicolas Jaar).
Commissioned by York Mediale and Sadler’s Wells.
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Photography: Tom Andrew