Jared Mezzocchi, Mey Seifan, Adham Hafez, Ximena Garnica, Shige Moriya, Kameron Neal and Paul Pinto.
NEW YORK CITY: The innovative performing arts space HERE plans to introduce a virtual platform, URHERE, to provide access to innovative outdoor and digital premieres, with the aim of nurturing experimentation, sparking dialogue and engage with the local community. Scheduled to launch in November, URHERE expands HERE’s mission to support multidisciplinary work by independent artists and ensembles at every stage of their career.
The platform will create a space to enjoy HERE’s virtual programming and non-traditional outdoor experiences. It will house archival works from the HERE Vault, while providing a seamless experience to access new digital and outdoor premieres. Everything will be accessible from a single interface, designed as an interactive game space inspired by the GO board game. HERE partnered with design firm Imaginary Places to create the platform.
URHERE will allow audiences around the world to experience new works via computers, phones or headsets for a range of digital productions. The platform will include native digital programming: virtual, augmented and mixed reality, as well as live streamed performances and more. Outdoor programming will allow the public to view free and affordable public works designed to transform public spaces and explore the potential of art, featuring projects by local and international artists.
Funding for URHERE was provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the Digital Accelerator for Arts and Culture funding initiative.
For the platform’s inaugural season, HERE has commissioned four new works to beta test URHERE. URHERE will launch with the world premiere of a provocative new work, Section 230by Jared Mezzocchi (HERE Artist Residency Program Alum from the VR project, You are dead. You are the). This native digital work will be performed live and in person for a mixed in-person and virtual audience. Section 230 takes a deep and often dark look at the law that shaped the internet
Also in November, HERE will premiere a virtual/in-person hybrid premiere of MetaDreams. This mixed reality performance features a virtual world built using Web3 tools and is a choreographic investigation into how dreams under states of emergency are a document of our time. The work includes elements of online and augmented reality, an in-person holographic installation, and a live performance in a mixed reality setting. It crowns 10 years of research by Syrian-German choreographer Mey Seifan and is co-directed by New York choreographer and theorist Adham Hafez. It was developed in partnership with Berlin artists Mert Akbal, Harshini Karunaratne and generative artist Ahmed El Shaer, working between AI, performance, digital design and world building.
In spring 2023, HERE will offer two pre-recorded digital native works, developed as part of the ALL ARTS Artists in Residence program and broadcast on URHERE. Untitled is a new film by the duo of multidisciplinary artists, directors and choreographers Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya (current HERE Artists in Residence). Untitled embarks on a poetic journey through an enigmatic landscape of mythical characters, ambiguous bodies, textures and materials, with food at its center. It’s a companion to Garnica and Moriya’s upcoming immersive live performance A meal.
Artists Paul Pinto (alumnus of the HERE Artist Residency Program) and Kameron Neal will build on their series of immersive music video cantatas questioning whiteness, presented for the first time digitally at HERE’s Prototype Festival in January 2021 and in person by La MaMa and CultureHub in February 2022. Whiteness: part two is the next chapter in a series reflecting on the silliness, harshness and anxieties of skin color. Whereas Whiteness: part one relied heavily on the US Census as a source, Second part look at the Brazilian and Japanese census from the perspective of a total outsider, to better go beyond the national conversation about race in America.
In addition to these premieres, URHERE will host a rotating library of notable works, ranging from sound walks to archival stage performances, with selections such as Cairns (Gelsey Bell and Joseph White), Only you will recognize the signal (Rob Handel, Kristin Marting, Kamala Sankaram), Fantastic Symphony (Basil Twist), Cannabis! A viper’s vaudeville (Grace Galu & Baba Israel), The shot (Taylor Mac), Stairway to stardom (Amanda Szeglowski/cakeface), and 9000 paper balloons (Maiko Kikuchi & Spencer Lott).
HERE is a New York-based arts organization known for producing and presenting new hybrid performances integrating artistic disciplines including theatre, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, installation, spoken word and performance art. It was founded by Kristin Marting, Tim Maner, Barbara Busackino and Randy Rollison in 1993.
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