Remote New York, by German arts collective Rimini Protokoll, is an interactive trip through the streets of the city, a series of encounters, with you cast in the lead role. This immersive theater production is meant to open you up to a new way of thinking.
Created by Stefan Kaegi, this “Pedestrian-Based Live Art Experience” assembles 50 participants (referred to as the “horde”), provides them with headphones, and sends them onto a meticulously plotted physical (on foot and by subway) and mental journey, skillfully managed by Heather, the artificial female voice. “I’m sorry I’m not human, I’m only function,” says the voice that no one but the group hears.
The action takes place around the city’s streets, starting at the Chapel in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and weaving through familiar streets, parks, the subway and even through New York University’s Coles Sports & Recreation Center and local Parking and a private residence hall. The journey ends in Greenwich Village.
As you follow a series of audio instructions you constantly interact with your fellow audience members. One moment you are asked to spread around in a circle, look at those who gathered with you and pick out the one you think is weakest, least attractive or that you will remember the most. The next, you are asked to step among the tombstones, imagine your own death and the legacy you would like to leave behind. Your willingness to play along, to stand out from the crowd is constantly in question.
You need to be prepared to walk around the city for almost two hours, but this experience, part theatrical, part real life, part city journey provides a truly moving experience. I heartily recommend taking the plunge.
Remote New York, A Pedestrian-Based Live Art Experience, April 4, 11-12 / 11:00 AM ; 3,30 PM I NYU SKIRBALL CENTER, APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS. TICKETS $49