Munich/London. Presented by Superblue and BMW i, the art group Random International together with choreographer Wayne McGregor and his company collaborate for the online world premiere of “No One is an Island”. It will be shown exclusively on the digital channels of all participating partners in November, December 2020 and January 2021. The first teaser will go online on November 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm (CET). The live performance will take place at a later date in 2021.
Random International, Studio Wayne McGregor, Superblue and BMW i share a passion for pushing boundaries and exploring new territories. All are moved by similar questions about how future generations will interact with automated and digitised processes and environments whilst embracing reduction and sustainability. For this purpose, they are collaborating on a special project: “No One is an Island”.
“No One is an Island” is fuelled by science and explores electrified movement steered by advanced algorithms. It is a future-oriented reflection on how the human mind empathises with artificial intelligence and automated processes. The performance comprises sculptural, performative and musical elements. The centrepiece is a sculpture that experiments with the minimal amount of information that is actually necessary for an animated form to be recognised as human; and the fundamental impact created by subtle changes within that information. In its transition from robot to human likeness, the sculpture is accompanied by a live performance with dancers of Studio Wayne McGregor who will interact with the kinetics, further exploring the relationship between humans and technology and our capacity to empathise with a machine. The interventions of the dancers scored by Chihei Hatakeyama add a performative dimension to the sculpture, re-translating and celebrating the connection between human and mechanical movement.
“Catalysed by the partnership with BMW i and the collaboration with Studio Wayne McGregor, we have elevated our ongoing ‘Fifteen Points’ series of sculptures to a whole new level. Through the addition of both a score by Chihei Hatakeyama and dedicated choreography by Wayne McGregor, we are able to explore in much more detail the as-of-yet unknown territories of ’empathy with machines’. The work is part of a wider reflection on our human need to relate to our surroundings; how does such a need to connect play out in light of an increasing automation and digitisation of our environment? Will our willingness to engage with unknown systems leave us more vulnerable? We are much looking forward to present the work in a series of live performances in 2021,” says Hannes Koch, one of the founders and directors of Random International about the collaboration.
“What I find inspiring about the partnership with Random International, Superblue, BMW i and myself is that we all come together from different knowledge sets, but convene in areas of shared interest,” says Wayne McGregor. “We are all fascinated by the potential of the human body, its relationship with and to technology but most importantly our desire to generate empathetic connections between people. This is a dialogue of inter-connectedness, exploration and surprise. We have no pre-determined road map – instead, we feed from one another’s expertise and ideas to push ourselves towards new horizons.”
Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s light drawings the dancers create lines of light – capturing movement and electricity visually and re-creating elements from the core of BMW i. Conceptualised as a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, “No One is an Island” is developed in an ongoing dialogue and exchange between artists, choreographer, Random International, Superblue and BMW i.
Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, Co-Founder and CEO of Superblue says, “Creating new platforms and opportunities for experiential artists to collaborate is core to Superblue’s mission, so we are delighted to partner on this project and creative dialogue between Random International, Studio Wayne McGregor, and BMW i. ‘No One is an Island’ provokes questions about the dynamics between technology and humanity that are critical to deepening our understanding of our relationship to the world and each other.”
The online premiere is split in three chapters, each focusing on either sculpture, dancers or BMW i.
“We believe that working together with great artists like Random International, represented by Superblue, and Studio Wayne McGregor is an inspiring and enriching experience for all parties involved. Speaking of BMW i, the constant exchange with creatives is essential. And just as BMW i embodies innovation, ‘No One is an Island’ synergises future and present, technology and humanity,” says Stefan Ponikva, Vice President BMW Brand Experience.
BMW i is standing for sustainable, future-oriented and forward-looking mobility. Engaging in such a creative collaboration is a way to underline this.
About Random International
The Art Group RANDOM INTERNATIONAL run a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art. Founded in 2005 by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, today they work with larger teams of diverse and complementary talent out of studios in London and Berlin. Questioning aspects of identity and autonomy in the post-digital age, the group’s work invites active participation. RANDOM INTERNATIONAL explores the human condition in an increasingly mechanised world through emotional yet physically intense experiences. The artists aim to prototype possible behavioural environments by experimenting with different notions of consciousness, perception, and instinct.
Their work Rain Room is in the collection of Jackalope Art Collection Melbourne, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art having been exhibited under the museum’s historic Art and Technology initiative. The artwork has also been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (2019), YUZ Museum in Shanghai (2015), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), and London’s Barbican (2012). An edition of Rain Room has become the first permanently installed artwork at the Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE) and is housed in its own building.
About Studio Wayne McGregor
Studio Wayne McGregor is the creative engine for choreographer and director Wayne McGregor, now in its 25th year. It encompasses his ensemble of world-class dancers, Company Wayne McGregor; a portfolio of international commissions and artistic collaborations across genres including dance, visual arts, VR, film, theatre and opera; a highly specialized program of creative learning for individuals and communities; artist development initiatives; and collaborative research projects across the interface of the arts with science, technology and academic research.
Studio Wayne McGregor has an unparalleled reputation for transformative approaches to how dance is taught, learned and talked about. Learning and engagement projects are carefully devised to reflect the professional artistic processes that Wayne McGregor uses with his own company in the studio, ensuring that all who participate in our projects experience cutting edge, high quality practice. The focus always lies in empowering individuals to develop their own creative skills, and all of the programmes are underpinned by continued scientific research into movement and creativity, innate human properties which have been a fascination in McGregor’s creative thinking for more than two decades. Over 100,000 people of all ages and walks of life have so far participated in learning and engagement projects across the UK and internationally, from school children to adults with no prior experience of dance, students in training to professional dancers.
Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award winning choreographer and director. He is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, and is commissioned for international ballet companies, film (The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), music videos (Radiohead, Thom Yorke, The Chemical Brothers), fashion shows (Gareth Pugh at London Fashion Week 2017), campaigns (everyBODY for Selfridges) and TV (Brit Awards). McGregor is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, has an Honorary Doctor of Science from Plymouth University, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Leeds, and is part of the Circle of Cultural Fellows at King’s College London. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. In 2011 McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance.
Superblue is a groundbreaking new enterprise dedicated to supporting artists in realizing their most ambitious visions and engaging audiences with experiential art. Its network of artists encompasses the leading practitioners of experiential art, whose practices catalyze engagement with the most pressing issues of our time and generate new perspectives on our world.
Through its experiential art centres, which are specifically designed for presenting large-scale, immersive art installations, Superblue provides artists with expanded opportunities to transport audiences to the new worlds they create. Superblue additionally acts as an advocate and agent for experiential artists by fostering opportunities for them to expand the reach of their work through collaborations with museums, collectors, visual and performing arts festivals, architects, municipalities, and place-makers. Superblue provides these partners with unparalleled expertise and support for the production, installation, and presentation of large-scale experiential works, through collaborative presentations, public and private commissions, and acquisitions.
In the coming years, Superblue will open new experiential centers across the US and internationally and is developing augmented and virtual reality platforms for artists who are exploring our rapidly evolving relationship with the digital realm.
About BMW Group Cultural Engagement
For 50 years, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. For years, the BMW Group and its partners have been initiating and establishing their own formats such as BMW Tate Live, BMW Welt Jazz Award, BMW Open Work, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London. The company also partners with leading museums, art fairs and orchestras as well as jazz festivals and opera houses around the world. With BMW OPERA NEXT, the new partnership with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the opportunities presented by digitalisation are used to open up new ways of accessing the world of opera for young audiences. As part of its art programme “Muse”, Rolls-Royce partners for the initiative “The Dream Commission” with two internationally esteemed art institutions. Together with Fondation Beyeler and Serpentine Galleries, emerging and established artists are invited to submit a moving-image work that delivers an immersive sensory experience. The artists are nominated and chosen by renowned personalities of the art world like Daniel Birnbaum, Suhanya Raffel, and Theodora Vischer. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities for granted – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.
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