Posts Tagged ‘Rainer Werner Fassbinder’

WORLD OF WIRES premieres in Paris for the Festival D’Automne, Nov 13-17, 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

© Paula Court, courtesy of The Kitchen

Great news!  I will be returning to Maison des Arts Créteil yet again this coming November for the Festival D’Automne.

I think this makes the 4th show I’ve toured to the Festival D’Automne in Paris and I’m excited and honored to be a part of another original creation representing the best in contemporary American performance.

WORLD OF WIRES adapted by Jay Scheib, 2012 Obie winner, is set to storm the city of light November 13-17, 2012.

From the Festival D’Automne A Paris website:

World of Wires is the third part of a trilogy entitled “Simulated Cities/Simulated Systems”, created by Jay Scheib at MIT and based on a 1973 science-fiction television series directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Scheib, an author, opera composer and stage director, worked jointly with engineers and computer scientists to build a complex performance which challenges our perception of reality.

World of Wires
Adaptation of  film Welt am Draht 
by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, based on Simulacron-3 dnovel by Daniel F. Galouye
Adaptation and Direction, Jay Scheib
Scenography, Sara Brown
Costumes, Alba Clemente
Sound, Anouschka Trocker
Light and video, Josh Higgason
Caméra, Jay Scheib
Assistant Director, Kasper Sejersen and Laine Rettmer
Stage Manager, Susan Wilson
With Sarita Choudhury, Mikéah Ernest Jennings, Rosalie Lowe, Jon Morris, Ayesha Ngaujah, Laine Rettmer et Tanya Selvaratnam 


Full Body Quotation by Wu Tsang for Performa 2011 at The New Museum

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

WOW, it is absolutely bonkers crazy time right now for me!  Not that I’m complaining, but the dogs are barking and the jumping sheep are getting restless with no nighttime hurdles over my bed.  But, I’ve got SO many exciting performance projects in the works.

I just closed the exciting and well received stage adaptation of John Cassavetes SHADOWS, conceived and directed in collabortion with Alec Duffy and his awesome company Hoi Polloi.  We got a lot of love for SHADOWS and uncharacteristically (wink wink) the majority of my friends and peers in the performance community geeked out about the execution and Alec Duffy’s translation of an admittedly flawed film into an exciting grin-inducing theatrical experience.

Now, i’m back in the studio with Jay Scheib and his explosive company diving into the home-stretch of our creation WORLD OF WIRES, an adaptation of a Rainer Werner Fassbinder television miniseries from 1973.

But, first!!

I have been trying to find the right constellation of factors to collaborate with LA based conceptual video artist Wu Tsang.  After a lovely, and early morning, skype interview over tea we decided now (albeit super quick) we could collaborate on a live performance Wu is creating for Performa 2011, to show at the New Museum on November 19th.  The piece is called FULL BODY QUOTATION, a bit more information from the Performa website.

“Full Body Quotation brings together an ensemble of performers and sound-makers for an evening soiree hosted by Wu Tsang, who is joined by DJ Total Freedom. The centerpiece is a choral performance and a living sculpture, in which Tsang and his performers channel a chorus of voices sampled from the known (and unknown) canon of transgender cinema. Voices and bodies blend together into a hydra-headed, polyglotinous beast, staring back at onlookers across the boundaries of time and space with fifteen unblinking pairs of eyes—the apotheosis of a glamorous yet terrifying new mythical reality.

FBQ is an austere interpretation of drag culture and revelry as it has been caught on camera by films and news media of past decades. In the tradition of realness, Tsang maintains a studied and irreverent relationship to the source material, calling into question the authenticity of narrative, self-presentation, and intention.”

We’ve already begun working on mimetically reproducing text from Jennie Livingston’s influential and problematic documentary PARIS IS BURNING, as well as a showstopping monologue (that’s i’m VERY excited to perform) originally spoken by the Legendary Crystal LaBeija in the 1968 documentary film THE QUEEN.

Rehearsing at the Lobby Theatre in the New Museum (l to r; Nicholas Gorham, Cherrye Davis, Wu Tsang, Desiree Burch, Mikeah Ernest Jennings)

I can’t wait to unleash this beast!


  • Saturday, November 19, 7:00 pm

New Museum Theater MAP
$10 New Museum Members, $12 General Public







The July round-up, halfway through 2011!

Friday, July 29th, 2011

July was a busy and productive month!

My last post was on July 1st letting you all know about the installation “Portraits in Dramatic Time” conceived and executed by David Michalek.

The installation has been running since July 5th on the façade of the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center  and closes on the 31st.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s GORGEOUS!  Here’s a screen-cap from David Michalek’s site.  I won’t post video I took at the opening because; 1) I shouldn’t, and 2) you’ll just have to take some time and check out some of the amazing pieces in person.


You will not be disappointed!


This month I also worked with Jay Scheib and company developing a new piece for the theater.  “World Of Wires” developed from a science fiction novel written by David F. Galouye in 1964, and after a 1973 television miniseries adapted and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder titled “Welt Am Draht (World On A Wire)”.

"Welt Am Draht" 1973 - Rainer Werner Fassbinder


We’ve spent a unique couple of weeks as artists in residence on Governor’s Island under the auspices of LMCC. I can’t share too much advanced information about the show, as it is set to premiere in January of 2012 at The Kitchen in New York. But what I can say is it’s going to be a headspinning gem of awesome.


I’m happy to announce…I’ll be closing out the month on film!


Yes, that’s right, I booked a film project…my kinda film project. I’ve been developing a set of characters for a project with a team of filmmakers: Johanna Domke from Denmark and Goro Tronsmo from Norway. These ladies are spinning my brain with a project analyzing the damaging nature of the fabricated African image. Here is a little background on these artistis

Johanna Domke was born in Kiel in 1978, graduated from the Royal Danish Art Academy in 2006 and now lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin. Johanna Domke works with individual and collective reaction patterns in specific situations in public spaces, where people have to adhere to certain social patterns and systems. She portrays people who are standing in a sea of other people or who sleep side-by-side, yet still seem to exist in their own private space, created by Domke’s camera. The hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to be sucked out of normally busy and noisy intersections, allowing Domke to transform the small, condensed still photos to filmic narratives and instill them with a life of their own.


Goro Tronsmo is a Norwegian artist and stage director working in Oslo, Stockholm and Berlin. She has been making context specific stage performances in different arenas such as institutional theaters, juvenile waiting rooms and black boxes. By picking the persons that best fits the current project – in many of the cases untrained actors – the result on the stage is based on the meeting between the person, the director, and the situation that is developed through the rehearsal period. Her video works border between staged and documentary material.


I’m performing in the film with the incredible Linda Adami from Sweden, who has collaborated and toured for many years with Jan Fabre and his company Troubleyn.

And to top it all off, the entire project is filming at the breathtaking EMPAC facility on the campus of Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

Founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC offers artists, scholars, researchers, engineers, designers, and audiences opportunities for creative exploration that are available nowhere else under a single roof.  EMPAC operates nationally and internationally, attracting creative individuals from around the world and sending new artworks and innovative ideas onto the global stage.

The facilities are state-of-the-art and the location is idyllic and peaceful.  Plus!  Laurie Anderson just arrived to take up residence and work on a new piece she’s been developing.  You know how I love to keep good company.


WORLD OF WIRES Residency on Governor’s Island with Jay Scheib and Company!

Friday, July 1st, 2011


The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation

I’ve never spent much time on Governor’s Island, none really – outside of a summer concert visit to HARD NYC, M.I.A’s ill received performance last year. (although Die Antwoord, Sleigh Bells and Rye Rye were incredible standouts!)

So this came as great news!

For the summer Jay Scheib, and company, have been invited into an artistic residency — on Governors Island — to begin the groundwork for the final edition to his Simulated Cities/Simulated Systems trilogy, from July 5th – 4th, 2011.

WORLD OF WIRES follows UNTITLED MARS (THIS TITLE MAY CHANGE) and BELLONA, Destroyer of Cities and…as far as I know…pulls it’s germinating, beating heart, from an obscure 1973 German television miniseries called World On A Wire (Welt Am Draht) by none other than the fabulous Rainer Werner Fassbinder (FYI…I love Fassbinder and Why Does Herr R. Run Amok is one of my top 5 favorite films).

The film originally aired on German television in October 1973 and, to my knowledge, slipped into obscurity.  Then a print of the film was fully restored under the direction of the original cinematographer and shown in its entirety at the Berlin Film Festival in 2010 before making it’s way to MOMA New York in April of the same year.

This is from an article in the New York Times

“Adapted from “Simulacron-3,” a 1964 novel by Daniel F. Galouye, “World on a Wire” revolves around a cybernetics corporation that has created a miniature world populated with “identity units” unaware that they are being controlled from above. Toggling between dimensions, a researcher (Klaus Lowitsch) learns that what he has always known as the real world may itself be a simulation.”

By DENNIS LIM, New York Times
Published: April 1, 2010


Sound familiar?  I’m really excited to start researching this work as it has no doubt influenced many films in the genre dealing with simulated realities and social control like “Blade Runner”,”Tron”, “Brazil”,  and “The Matrix”.

WORLD OF WIRES will workshop through the summer with a preview presentation at the Prelude 11 Festival in October and will premiere as part of The Kitchen’s 2012 season in New York City.



Current Projects


dir Jay Scheib
ICA Boston
Friday + Saturday
September 21 + 22, 2012
7:30 pm