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Janani Balasubramanian


SAT, JAN 6 | 9 AM - 10:30 AM (MST)
Lobby (Indoor)

SUN, JAN 7 | 3 PM - 4:30 PM (MST)
Soundstage 2 + Outdoors

Heisenberg is an audio augmented reality (AR) experience that investigates what happens when we assume others occupy the same realities we do. Through playful storytelling, guided instruction, and original music, participants explore the history of the cosmos, uncertainty and the social questions raised by the 2016 election, all through the rich frameworks of particle physics. Heisenberg asks: if we don’t know what’s coming, how do we live? And: if we don’t know each other, how do we live together? The piece is at once a poetic exploration of physics, an experiment in the limits of empathy and a game.

Attendees will play this 7-year old game together and help me (the creator) think through ways to adapt, revise, and re-premiere this work for the current moment, where themes of uncertainty are more relevant than ever.

From the Artist

Janani Balasubramanian

Denning Visiting Artist, Stanford University

Heisenberg was my first large-scale immersive work, and its tour was cut short by the pandemic. It's so exciting to bring this piece out of its box and consider how to revise and re-open the work for the present day, with all I've learned as an artist in the past 7 years of practice. I'm so excited to bring it back in conversation with the Worlds in Play community.


Conceived, Created, and Directed by Janani Balasubramanian
Composed by Tina Hanaé Miller
Musical Arrangements by Solomon Hoffman
Recorded Ensemble: Bill Todd (Flute/Alto Flute/Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Tenor Sax), Justin Vance (Oboe/English Horn/Flute/Clarinet/Alto Sax), Brandon Bergeron (Trumpet), Kyra Sims (French Horn), Mariel Bildsten (Trombone), Kevin Kuh (Violin), Julia Danitz (Violin), Georgina Rossi (Viola), Susan Mandel (Cello), Nick Lenchner (Bass), David Kravitz (Piano), Lizzie No (Harp)
Audio Engineering by Peter Geiser
Originally commissioned by Friends of the High Line with additional support from Red Bull Arts

The piece asks participants to move and make physical contact (link arms). At times, participants will be moving quickly about the space, though all such movement is not mandatory.