Friday + Saturday
September 21 + 22, 2012
$13 members + students
There will be a post-show conversation with collaborators and special guests after the Friday performance.
Jay Scheib's WORLD OF WIRES
“World of Wires opened with one of the most thrillingly witty displays of illusion I’ve ever seen on a stage or a screen.” —Scott Brown, New York Magazine
Jay Scheib returns to the ICA with his Obie Award-winning play, World of Wires. Based on the 1973 television seriesWelt am Draht by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, World of Wires is vintage science fiction for the stage in an all-bets‐are‐off, multimedia production about the startling possibility that we are all nothing more than bytes in someone else's immaculately programmed world.
Made as a single-take, live film using his trademark physically-charged performance style, Scheib creates a world where reality has an all‐too‐fluid relationship with fiction. Fassbinder based Welt am Draht on a 1962 novel by Daniel Galouye called Simulacron-3, one of the first to offer the trope of physically “plugging oneself in” to a virtual reality. Welt am Draht is an early precursor to subsequent films like Larry and Andy Wachowski’s The Matrix.
In Scheib’s adaptation, World of Wires is about a computer simulation so real it is capable of simulating the entire world, from people and weather to the movement of markets—so life-like as to be indistinguishable from real life. When a scientist goes missing, her partner, Fred, begins to investigate, only to discover that he is himself living in the same simulation that he thought he had been hired to design, and his colleague had simply been deleted.
World of Wires caps six years of work on a trilogy of performances titled Simulated Cities/Simulated Systems.
A 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and 2012 Obie Award recipient for Best Direction, Jay Scheib is a director, designer and author of plays, operas, and live art events. Scheib was named Best New York Theater Director by Time Out New York in 2009, and American Theater Magazine selected him one of the 25 theater artists who will shape the next 25 years of American theater. He is a regular guest professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and is Professor for Music and Theater Arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
David Henry, ICA Director of Programs, describes the
performance in this short video.