Elevator Repair Service – Shuffle

Date / Location

Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, 2011
New York Public Library

New York Premiere
Commissioned by FuturePerfect and New York Public Library

Following its lauded production of Gatz at the Public Theater, Elevator Repair Service joins forces with artist Ben Rubin and statistician Mark Hansen to present Shuffle, a new performance installation that provides a fresh look at literature we thought we knew. Shuffle is an entirely new kind of ERS performance, one with constantly re-generated text and a dream-like logic. In this work the company looks back on its last three pieces, informed by current research in database aesthetics—the role of data in creating new ways of experiencing and making art. The result is a site-specific (fever dream) where the company attempts to read “The Great Gatsby,” “The Sound and the Fury” and “The Sun Also Rises” simultaneously. The rearranged and overlapping texts produce compelling visual displays designed by Rubin and surprising, often absurd, micro-theater featuring many veteran ERS performers. Audience is encouraged to wander among the performers as they improvise . With scripts generated in real time by digital algorithms, phrases from the iconic novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway merge to create a look back at some of America‚Äôs favorite texts that are at once disorienting and enlightening.