Studio Visit

11pm–12:30am / Oct 4 / James Gallery


Janani Balasubramanian

Photo by Anna Hadjo
Studio Visits are evening-length hybrid performance events, offering audiences a multi-angled view of the featured artist and their craft. Each Studio Visit includes an introduction by the artist, a presentation of new work-in-process, a critical response essay by a guest artist, and a Q&A. The guest artist for this Studio Visit is Cameron Awkward-Rich.


Heisenberg is an audio augmented reality (AR) game about uncertainty, precision, and chaos. The piece bridges contemporary research in particle physics with political and social implications of uncertainty. At the outset of the piece, participants are introduced to the following scenario: this is the beginning of time and they are fundamental particles going through a series of matter/energy transformations. They become characters both human and not, moving from the Big Bang well into humanity’s potential futures. Throughout, players receive instructions via audio modules that dictate their individual movements, motivations, and actions. Tensions and discontinuities emerge as the narrative proceeds; the chaos that ensues forms the heart of the piece. Initially commissioned for New York’s High Line park, ‘Heisenberg’ is a blend of technologies and characters old and new, and a meditation on the events of the recent US election and Brexit vote—which, fundamentally, were also about the limits of our understanding of one another and our world.

Please bring headphones and a wifi enabled device to engage with this AR experience.

Janani Balasubramanian is a writer of speculative fiction whose art and editorial work has been featured in The New Yorker, Guernica, Creative Time Reports, and more. Balasubramanian’s work has been presented at more than 160 stages across North America and Europe, including The Public Theater, Red Bull Arts, MOMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most recently, they premiered Heisenberg at the High Line in New York City. Balasubramanian is currently working on Sleeper—a dystopian trilogy about sleep, dreams, and physics. Visit for more info.

Collaborating Artists: Written & Directed by Janani Balasubramanian; Composed by Tina Hanaé Miller; Musical Arrangements by Solomon Hoffman

A poet and critic, Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of the poetry collection Sympathetic Little Monster (2016) and has published essays in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and Science Fiction Studies. He is currently a postdoctoral associate with the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies program at Duke University.

Special thanks to Red Bull Studios and their audio engineers for use of their audio recording facilities and assistance in recording, mixing, and editing Heisenberg.  

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