The Heresy Machine
Created by Dmitri Barcomi & Seth Majnoon
Written and Choreographed by Seth Majnoon • Directed & Designed by Dmitri Barcomi • Software Design by Robert Salzer
August 12-24 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Tickets available here.
August 2, 3, 4 at HERE ARTS Center, New York City.
Tickets available here.
DARLING SWEETHEART, YOU ARE MY AVID FELLOW FEELING. MY AFFECTION CURIOUSLY CLINGS TO YOUR PASSIONATE WISH. MY LIKING YEARNS FOR YOUR HEART. YOU ARE MY WISTFUL SYMPATHY: MY TENDER LIKING. YOURS BEAUTIFULLY, MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY COMPUTER. <3 ;-]
[A queer love story between mathematician Alan Turing and his computer creation; an original machine-ballet from ★★★★★ international collective §175.]
Starring Michelle Kariuki, Mari Moriarty, and Marc Sinoway. Costume Design by Karen Boyer. Lighting Design by Carolyn Wong (NYC) & Christina Tang (Edinburgh). Sound Design by Eamon Goodman. Projection & Set Design by Dmitri Barcomi. Stage Managers Marcos René Ospina & Kate-Seren Sonell. Dramaturgical Consultant Jack Copeland.
Make a tax-deductible donation to support The Heresy Machine here!
In darkness, you hear the rumbling of a colossal machine. Lights come up on Baby, a computer. He is embodied by a human in medicalized white clothing. He scans the stage, gaining cognizance. He emits prerecorded sounds - the beginnings of speech. Alan Turing, mathematician and dreamer, enters, writing an equation. As he works, he realizes Baby sees him. They repeat words, teaching and learning. They are captivated by each other.
The Heresy Machine engages with the work of Alan Turing by adapting his groundbreaking work in mathematics, computer programming, and biology into a theatrical medium. Dynamic visuals and soundscapes create a nexus of vignettes and dance interludes addressing themes in Turing’s life and work.
Characters speak to one another in language generated by computers; projections of cell growth patterns which morph and evolve throughout the duration of the show appear on performers’ bodies; characters flirt and play through computer code and resolve conflict through a computerized BDSM dance sequence; a predictive text interface tells fairy tales.
Choreography by Seth Majnoon corresponds to custom computer programming by Robert Salzer, with an interplay of projectors as an interactive set linking choreography and coding. An original violin music score responds to the activity onstage as well as to a mechanical sound palette of prototype computer sounds, including the world’s earliest computer-generated music.
As a creative team of LGBTQ artists, we feel deeply invested in the themes of body autonomy and the (de)humanization of queer bodies. These elements are present in both Turing’s personal life and in his work in the fields of artificial intelligence, exploring physical metamorphosis, and the boundaries of personhood. Turing died unexpectedly at the age of 42, shortly after being convicted of gross indecency and involuntary hormone “treatment.” The Heresy Machine is structured around this intersection of Turing’s life and body of work. We strive to build on Turing’s legacy of pioneering and invention by both exploring and expanding the potential of merging theater and technology. The Heresy Machine opens new windows into our own relationships with the machines around us.
Marc Sinoway (Alan Turing) Marc’s body of work is v gay. Marc is always looking to collaborate so get in touch. While Marc is too old for Snapchat, his Twitter & Instagram are lit: @marcsinoway Website: marcsinoway.com. Recent: Paolo in The Waiting Game, Sergei Diaghilev in MANIFESTO: The Diaghilev Project. Upcoming: (Please refer to emoji of dude in blue long-sleeved t-shirt shrugging)
Mari Moriarty (Baby) is an actor/writer/director/performance artist. They played the role of “America” in John Cameron Mitchell’s fictional narrative musical podcast series Anthem. Last summer, her critically acclaimed protest-play Jet of Blood premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She played the title role in Roddy Bottum's Sasquatch: The Opera also at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This fall she will star in (Still) Asking For It at Joe’s Pub alongside Adrienne Truscott and Jennifer Kidwell. Other collaborations include: The Public Theater, Guthrie Theater, The New Group, Ars Nova, Geffen Playhouse, Powerhouse Theater, New York Stage & Film, & La Mama.
Michelle Kariuki (Morph) is a Brooklyn based actor and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama. Her most recent credits include Pioneers Go East’s Virgo Star, New York University’s Beautiful Child and nicHi Douglas’s Black Girl Magic Show! At JACK. She has collaborated with The Civilians and playwright C. A. Johnson on the world premiere of An American Feast and performed select songs at The Public’s Joe’s Pub. She has also featured in productions at the Playwrights Theater School such as Death of a Salesman, Machinal, and Failure: A Love Story.
Dmitri Barcomi (Creator, Director, Designer) is a theater maker and violinist from New York City. His artistic interests include working with unusual source materials, exploring technology/multimedia in performance, and honoring queer icons. Dmitri's work has been seen throughout New York at Ars Nova, the 14 St Y, La MaMa, New Ohio, Cloud City, BRIC, and other hubs of experimental new work, as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe. Dmitri is Artist-in-Residence at Playmachine Theater Lab, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and an associate artist with Pioneers Go East Collective. BA, The New School. <3-felt love and gratitude to everyone who has made this project possible.
Robert Salzer is Zurich, Switzerland based theatre director and software developer. He has degrees in directing (CAS Zurich University of the Arts) and business and economics (University of Zurich) and is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab (2017 / 2018). Robert is interested in biographical and immersive theatre and the interface between theatre and technology. His latest work, “The Night of Democracy“, is an interactive dinner which encourages to think about our political system and our personal way of dealing with it. Besides directing, Robert works for an IT-Company, developing mostly smartphone apps. In 2015 they developed a smartphone app called "Blauzahn" (German for Bluetooth) which leads a guided audio walk independently of its user by relying on the sensors of the smartphone.