Fruit Machine application (screencap). Courtesy Xavier Cha and Samuel Cormier
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In this ambitious world premiere performance, acclaimed New York artist Xavier Cha presents an experimental game show that interweaves live performance with the theatrical use of a custom-built digital application called the Fruit Machine. Described by Cha as “mechanized synesthesia,” the piece explores the ecstatic mutability of language in motion—between bodies and across different sensory registers.
The piece updates improvisation, a long-running technique in dance and performance, with algorithmic randomness. Modeled after a slot machine, the Fruit Machine’s indiscriminate combinations of bananas, limes, cherries, berries, and pears will determine the composition of each ensemble cast (each actor is associated with a different fruit icon). In the dynamic and open compositions, language (or a text) is passed between the performers, starting with emcees whose spoken or signed words are performed by blind and deaf actors through collaboration with American Sign Language interpreters. What results is a dynamic and dramatic chain of perception and interpretation.
This exhilarating hour-long piece brings together a renowned cast, including (in alphabetical order): Anthony Adamo, Jessica Ames, Kind David, M Leona Godin, James Guido, Hari Nef, Jon Wolfe Nelson, Douglas Ridloff, Frank Senior, Felice Shays, and Alexandria Wailes. All will be outfitted in costumes by avant-garde fashion house, Eckhaus Latta, and the performance will be set to an ambient original score by Aaron David Ross from the electronic duo Gatekeeper. The Fruit Machine Application, including all graphics and animation, was developed by Samuel Cormier.
Fruit Machine 2 will play over two nights; tickets are on a first come, first served basis.
Xavier Cha’s performance-based work revolves around modes of accessibility, cultural exchange, and hierarchies of space and perception. Collaboration is often at play in her performances: Cha has invited actors, dancers, musicians, cults, and clowns, among many others, to not only participate in her projects, but also to become protagonists in the work. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, The Kitchen, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (UK), the Sculpture Center, Asia Society Museum, and the Hammer Museum, among other galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe.