The Great Outdoors
For Annie Dorsen, I have created the text for the piece ‘The Great Outdoors’ in collaboration with Miles Thompson. A generative software that scrapes comments from Reddit and 4chan and algorithmically generates a story from these millions of sentences.
The Great Outdoors takes us on a sublime journey through inner space in the darkness of a planetarium. A lone performer reads texts culled from internet comments and fed through an algorithm, giving voice and body to the thoughts of countless individuals all tapping away at their keyboards in isolation. As fragments of narrative emerge from the chatter, Dorsen invites us to imagine the internet’s infinite possibilities as a new form of celestial authority, and the comments as the internet’s id—unrestrained and protected by anonymity.
The Great Outdoors is a co-production of BIT Teatergarasjen & Bergen International Festival (Bergen, Norway), Crossing the Line Festival/French Institute Alliance Française (New York, NY), and Noorderzon/Grand Theatre Groningen (NL). The Great Outdoors is supported by the Hermès Foundation within the framework of the New Settings Program. Created with the support of King’s Fountain; developed in part by Live Arts Bard at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, NY); and supported by a residency at Abrons Arts Center (New York, NY).
Concept and direction | Annie Dorsen
Starshow design | Annie Dorsen and Ryan Holsopple
Sound and music design | Sébastien Roux
Video programming | Ryan Holsopple
Text programming | Marcel Schwittlick and Miles Thompson
Dramaturg | Onome Ekeh
Technical director | Ruth Waldeyer
Performer | Kaija Matiss
Management and production | Alexandra Rosenberg