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Elevator Repair Service
Box No. 20

Elevator Repair Service with Ben Rubin & Mark Hansen /U.S./
installation of words and performers

Theater ensemble Elevator Repair Service (Gatz, 2010) partners with artist Ben Rubin and statistician Mark Hansen to create Shuffle, a new performance installation. Emerging from the hidden nooks and corners of the PQ's architectural maze, ERS actors seamlessly blend with viewers and perform surprising, often absurd, micro-theater. Generated in real time by sophisticated computer algorithms that analyze and recombine words and phrases from authors Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Hemingway, Shuffle's text creates a compelling new look at literature we thought we knew. Simultaneously, the piece blurs the boundaries of performance space, private, and public space.

Directed by 2010 Guggenheim fellow John Collins.
Text processing and design by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen.
Commissioned by The New York Pulic Library on the occasion of its Centennial, and by FuturePerfect Festival, a new initiative that researches and presents emerging hybrid performance practices, media forms, and artistic ideas
This work originally premiered at The New York Public Library

Project where words are recycled from literature to theatre to mathematics to emotion is closing famous Elevator Repair Service experimental trilogy based in great American novels (Gatz, Sound and Furyand The Sun also Rises).

Bio: Elevator Repair Sevice is a New York City-based ensemble that creates original theater pieces. ERS was founded by director John Collins in 1991 and has since created an extensive body of work that includes full-length productions and short dramatic pieces. These have been seen all over the world and have garnered awards and accolades in Europe, Australia, and the United States. The company builds its work from a variety of sources that include found text, video, film, literature, and ensemble-generated choreography. Finished productions clash hi-tech and low-tech design and mix disparate texts and forms to create live performances that are propelled by narrative, humor, pathos, and controlled chaos. Since its inception in the early 1990's, ERS has cultivated a large following in New York, around the U.S., and abroad. Its award-winning shows have influenced a generation of theater-makers. ERS is a Company-in-Residence at New York Theatre Workshop.

Mark Hansen is a Professor of Statistics at UCLA, and Co-PI at the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing. He holds courtesy appointments in the Departments of Design/Media Art and Electrical Engineering, UCLA. Mr. Hansen is currently serving on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human and Environmental Exposure Science in the 21st Century. As a member of the Research and Development Group at the New York Times he looks at how social media helps (re)distribute Times content. He started his career at Bell Laboratories. Given that background, his work tends to be grounded in applications. He often finds himself analyzing large, complex data streams - the context varies from environmental monitoring to the mechanics of information technologies.

Ben Rubin is a media artist based in New York City. Mr. Rubin's work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Science Museum, London, and his work has been shown at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Rubin has created large-scale public artworks for the New York Times, the city of San José, and the Minneapolis Public Library.  He is currently developing a site-specific sculpture called Shakespeare Machine for the Public Theater in New York, and just completed a luminous rooftop beacon for the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Mr. Rubin is on the faculty of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU.

Photo of ERS's production The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928) by Mark Barton

See the video from the FuturePerfect Festival 2011, http://vimeo.com/24182615


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