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Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
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Saturday, October 5 • 7:01pm - 7:30pm
The Art of Change Opera Prelude

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Limited Capacity seats available

By Chiara Bottici (The New School for Social Research, Senior Editor at Public Seminar) and Jean-Baptiste Barrière (composer and multimedia artist)

The Art of Change Opera Prelude is the inaugural performance of an experimental project developing a radically new artistic form—open, participative, generative, and interactive—built around various ways of thinking, from the very pragmatic to the most speculative, about « what needs to be changed » in the world today.

The Prelude, a preview condensing the spirit of the whole project, consists of a 30-minute performance including historical video footage, interviews with professors and students from different university departments, and other materials from intellectuals, thinkers, and activists from all around the world providing statements about change, all blended together with philosopher Chiara Bottici delivering live the initial fragments of an open-ended libretto. All these materials are extended by electronics and flutist Camilla Hoitenga performing scores partly pre-composed and partly generated in real-time from the speech— words unfolding and proliferating into music—and composer/multimedia artist Jean-Baptiste Barrière controlling the live-generation of the musical score as well as the video and sound transformations.

People from every part of The New School are invited to participate in the development process of both The Prelude and the whole opera* through contributions over Internet, thanks to a specific platform on www.publicseminar.org devoted to collectively writing “an ongoing libretto.”
In a context where people are constantly called to innovate just for the sake of innovating and profit-making, an aesthetic of recycling is enacted where, instead of solely producing entirely new texts, existing ones are collected, merged, and new ones are elaborated by comments and further propositions. These include printed texts with a particular attention to the New School faculty, past and present, as well as materials circulating on the Internet.

Comments and editing are regularly integrated into this ongoing libretto, thus enacting a participative, collective writing process, which continues beyond the performance of The Prelude until the first performances of the opera, planned for January 2020, and possibly after that.

A philosophical and artistic ‘open work’, The Art of Change Opera, in interaction with publicseminar.org (the living heredity of the legendary The New School General Seminar), proposes a way to rethink the question of change with the resources that The New School has been building during its 100 years of life, and will thus be an ongoing celebration for its centennial.

* A workshop will be also open to all The New School students this fall (check syllabus online) to continue to develop further the project and extend the list of participants of the opera.

Artists:
Chiara Bottici (philosopher, librettist)
Jean-Baptiste Barrière (composer, multimedia artist)
Camilla Hoitenga (flutist)
Thomas Goepfer (sound & video designer)