Random International and Studio Wayne McGregor present a new installation “No One Is an Island” in partnership with BMW i and Superblue. It premieres online worldwide this winter on the digital channels of all participating partners, accompanied by a live performance scheduled at a later date in 2021. Created jointly by the collaborative multidisciplinary studio Random International and Wayne McGregor’s dance company, “No One Is an Island” explores the interconnectedness of man and machine, its potentials for inter-subjectivization, and the grace of forms that results from their collaboration.
The performance comprises an environment or system where no single part or movement happens in isolation. Every slightest change in each of its components ripples with motion throughout the entire work. About the performance, McGregor states, “This is a dialogue of interconnectedness, exploration, and surprise. We have no predetermined road map.”
The center of the performance is a sculptural work with fifteen robotic arms with light bulbs at their tips. Dancers, choreographed by McGregor and scored by Chihei Hatakeyama, move in and around and between the sculpture, their bodies interacting and relating to the robotic arms – almost wrestling life out of them. In addition, the dancers trace swoops and arcs of light trails in their midst (which takes Picasso’s light drawings as inspiration). The sculpture is animated by advanced algorithms that work from the minimal amount of information necessary for an animated form to be recognized as human. The resulting form is surprisingly emotional, marked with precision and care.
“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 digitization of our environment? Will our willingness to engage with unknown systems leave us more vulnerable?” says Hannes Koch, one of the founders and directors of Random International about the collaboration.
The performance could be called a gesamtkunstwerk, or "total work of art," as it is fully immersive and combines visual, sound, and movement. "Creativity and collaboration across disciplines and individuals are essential for our cultural partnerships as well as for our engineers and designers in order to push boundaries," shares Hedwig Solis Weinstein, Head of BMW Brand Cooperations, Arts & Design.
The online premiere is split into three chapters, each focusing on either sculpture, dancers, or BMW i. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook by Random International @randominternational, Studio Wayne McGregor @studiowaynemcgregor, Superblue @superblue.art and BMW @bmw, @bmwi, and @bmwgroupculture. Watch the latest chapter here.
Register here to be the first one to know about the live performance in 2021.