Experiencing Interruptions?

The Stars / We Won't Be Here Anymore

The Stars is a time-based light, sound, and choral music installation for one or two people at a time. On the clearest night with the best viewing conditions, humans can see about 5,000 stars with the naked eye. This theatrical installation looks as visually similar to viewing a clear night sky as possible. Instead of a field of stars above, the stars are first in front of you, and eventually surrounding you. It is easiest to picture as a planetarium you can walk through - whose stars hold the memories of those no longer with us - our elders, those lost too soon, our community. It is first a guided narrative, then an interactive exploration. Narratively, the audience is guided by a voice-over and vocal sound-score to tell the story of you (every decision you have ever made has led to this moment), being here, present, in time and space, right now, in this room with these memories of those who have been here before you. Interactively, visitors then explore a warehouse-sized room filled with over 10,000 individually controlled points of light (the current prototype contains around 1,600 points). Using the 3D sound-spatializing technology Wave Field Synthesis (a tool built and honed during a previous show) and a room-sized tracking system, I am able to pinpoint the precise location of every star and place a voice, a memory, a fleeting whisper at each - heard only there and nowhere else. The memories are community members’ stories - recorded where the project is currently housed. The experience lasts 25 minutes. Please visit andrewjs.com/thestars for a more detailed project description.

  • Andrew James Schneider
  • Andrew James Schneider
  • Andrew James Schneider
    Lead Artists
  • Bobby McElver
    Key Collaborators
  • Miranda Wright
  • Oren Shoham
    Interactive Programming
  • Andrew James Schneider
    Interactive Programming
  • Project Type:
    Installation, Other
  • Minimum Runtime:
    25 minutes
  • Maximum Runtime:
    55 minutes
  • Average Runtime:
    45 minutes
  • Variable Runtime Details:
    The "timeline" based portion of the work clocks in at 25 minutes. Both the introduction and the final scene of the work are variable in length. The introduction to the work is a conversation with Andrew, the host, which primes the guest for the experience. This can last from 5 to 15 minutes. The final scene of the experience is an open-ended exploration of the scores of memories that have been left in the installation for future experiencers to encounter. The experiencer can chose to spend more or less time in this final section. During the prototyping phase, individuals sometimes spent over 15 minutes slowly exploring each sound trace left behind.
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
  • Brown Arts Institute, Brown University
    Providence, Rhode Island
    United States
    December 10, 2021
    Work-in-Development showing
Director Biography - Andrew James Schneider

Andrew Schneider is an OBIE award-winning, Drama Desk nominated performer, writer, and interactive-electronics artist creating original works for theater, dance, sound, video, and installation since 2003. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Schneider creates and performs original performance works, builds interactive electronic art works and installations, and was a Wooster Group company member (video/performer) from 2007-2014.
Rooted at the intersection of performance and technology, Schneider’s work asserts that the phenomenological impact of art is no different from any other category of lived experience.
On March 12 of 2020 Andrew premiered the choreographic work »remains« commissioned by the Sasha Waltz & Guests company at Radialsystem in Berlin, Germany. Only one show was able to happen before the pandemic shut down the theaters in Berlin. The remount is scheduled for August 2021.
During the pandemic Andrew focused on demonstrating in the streets, organizing for social justice, and a time-based narrative immersive light and sound installation dealing with grief, loss, and presentness, commissioned by The Onassis Foundation, and The Brown Arts Institute set to premiere in NYC in 2023.
Andrew’s original performance work in NYC includes NERVOUS/SYSTEM (2018 – BAM Next Wave Festival); AFTER (2018 – Under the Radar Festival, The Public Theater); YOUARENOWHERE (2015 OBIE award – The Invisible Dog, 2016 Drama Desk nom – 3LD); DANCE/FIELD (2014 – Dance Roulette); TIDAL (2013 – River to River festival); and WOW+FLUTTER (2010 – The Chocolate Factory Theater), among others.
Andrew has been a recurring collaborator with The TEAM, Lars Jan / Early Morning Opera, Annie Saunders, David Dorfman Dance, Hotel Savant, Fischerspooner, Kelela, and AVAN LAVA. His off-broadway designs include Dolphins and Sharks at the Labyrinth Theater; Small Mouth Sounds at Ars Nova and the Signature Theatre; and Roosevelvis at the Vineyard Theatre. Schneider has taught master classes on Technology and Performance at Bowdoin, Carleton, and Connecticut College. He was a 2019 Professor of the Practice and Visiting Fellow in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies through the Brown Arts Initiative at Brown University, as well as an adjunct professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU (2009, 2019 - present). Andrew holds a BFA in Theater Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Masters Degree in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU.
He is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award (2020) and has received a fellowship from the Junge Akademie / Akademie Der Künst in Berlin (2022).

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Director Statement

We live in an increasingly synthetic world of our own making. In the name of more and faster connection, we are animals that have separated ourselves from the actual world around us. The work I make is highly technical, but It is not about the technology. I am more interested in the application of the technology and how it can bring us closer together, shake us from the synthetic, and offer a genuine experience to every audience member’s consciousness, rather than just watching something “over there”. I am interested in how curating meaningful time-based experiences can lead to more meaningful human-to-human interaction. If theater at its core is humans telling stories about ourselves to each other, then I hope it is in the service of getting better at being human. This is why I make the work that I make. This is also how I try to make the work that I make – with an incredible team of value-aligned recurring collaborators who are interested not just in the work of making experience, but in a vigorous interrogation of what power structures exist in the rooms in which we make and how to systemically try to make change in inequitable systems.