Under the title, What we want, a double bill of eco-theater* explores the potentially existential threat to human existence through the metaphors of breathing and eating while seeking a way forward. Both works, Breath and Piece of Cake, strive to counter-narratives of futility by centering stories of resilience, innovation, and interconnection. The performance will include and encourage discussions with the audience throughout the evening.
FOUR DRIFTING SEASONS
The evening will open with Four Drifting Seasons by Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven. Based on NASA data from 1880 to present, an opera singer will sing the temperature rise.
A multimedia dance piece by the Austrian choreographer and IIASA alumna Gloria Benedikt and a team of scientists. The performance depicts a journey through time, starting from cyanobacteria that accidentally produced oxygen two and a half billion years ago, ultimately enabling life on planet Earth, to the present day, where the human species is slowly but consistently depriving itself of air to breathe and then perhaps, albeit belatedly, changing course. The piece premiered at the European Forum Alpbach in 2021. It was further developed and performed in Paris at the Institut Pasteur (2022) and the Institut de France (2023).
Watch the trailer below.
PIECE OF CAKE (PREMIERE)
The theater play was developed in 2019 as part of the IIASA Science and Art project by playwright and co-director of the pioneering Brooklyn-based Superhero Clubhouse eco-theater, Lanxing Fu, and Fabian Wagner, an IIASA climate scientist. In the play, past, present, and future exist in one space as four generations of a family spanning 1950 to 2050, gather around a table to share an absurd, abundant, limitless feast. The story traverses a century of humans’ changing relationship to resources and shifting ideas of what it means to have children.
Following the performance, Gloria Benedikt, Jem Pickard, Merlijn Twaalfhoven, and Fabian Wagner will have a discussion with the audience.
For tickets and further info, please visit https://muth.at/en/programme/what-we-want/
*Eco-Theater is a movement of artists that strive to create science-based work in the context of our new climate reality toward a collective goal of environmental justice.
University Museum of Natural History, Oxford
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan
Grand Gongda Jianguo Hotel (No.100 Pingleyuan, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China)