What is LOOKING AT YOU?
Nerds at Silicon Hills like to party. They're in the middle of a celebration at their massive corporate headquarters when you join in the fun. As you order from the singing, computer-generated assistant built into your table, a swirl of operatic voices, EDM and crime jazz surrounds you. You are now inside a story of high-tech espionage and sultry romance where Edward Snowden meets Casablanca. Looking At You confronts surveillance capitalism and the erosion of individual privacy in a digitized world. Our world premiere will be at HERE Arts Center in NYC from September 6-21.
Who are the Creators?
LOOKING AT YOU is led by the core ensemble of writer Rob Handel, director Kristin Marting, and composer Kamala Sankaram. We love working together because we really inspire each other to make fun, impactful, social justice-focused work. We collaborated most recently on BOMBAY RICKEY (MEETS THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DESIRE) in the Prototype Festival 2016.
Our investigation into privacy was initially inspired by research conducted by Alessandro Acquisti and Ralph Gross at Carnegie Mellon’s Privacy Economics Experiments Lab. Alessandro and Ralph have subsequently joined us as collaborators along with genius programmers from Bandcamp Joe Holt & Daniel Dickison, creating ways to mine data in real time during each live performance of LOOKING AT YOU. Our team of new-music-opera luminaries includes Samuel McCoy (music director), David Bengali (video), Nic Benacerraf (environment), Kate Fry (costumes), Ayumu Poe Saegusa (lighting) and mind-blowing performers Paul An, Blythe Gaissert, Adrienne Danrich, Mila Henry, Jeff Hudgins, Eric McKeever, Erin Rogers, Josh Sinton, Brandon Snook, and Mikki Sodergren.
After 5 years of development, we are now just over two months away from our world premiere at HERE Arts Center in a co-production with Opera On Tap, in association with Experiments in Opera. It takes a village and we could not have made it this far without the support of these organizations as well as Anti-Social Music, Mana Contemporary, Opera America, BRICLab, Todd Mountain, and the Civilians R&D Group. Each of these organizations has provided us with a crucial step along our path to creating this work.
What the press has said about the project thus far:
“Compelling drama, attractive music and a strikingly smart libretto. I’m excited to hear more, if ever offered the chance as a New Yorker!” -Opera News
“Kamala tackles the implications of digital privacy laws through an energetic, playful score and interactive multimedia which draw the audience into the discussion on a very personal level; Rob Handel’s delightfully nerdy libretto makes this a killer trifecta.” – WQXR
Risks and challenges
We are almost there - we have assembled an incredible team of performers and designers, created a compelling libretto, dynamic score and breathtaking design, and raised almost our entire budget. We are making an important piece of work that we hope will impact how people think about their online choices, particularly around the issues of privacy and surveillance capitalism. Following every performance, we will have a post-show dialogue with audiences and share digital privacy kits.
We have formed many essential partnerships with other organizations and have successfully raised over $180,000 to bring this ambitious project to light.
Today, we are seeking $7500 from you to ensure that we can pay our performers appropriate living wages. The wages we are aspiring to are at the recommended level of the wageforwork site because appropriate pay for (frequently undercompensated) artists is a core value for us.
This is where you can come in. We hope you’ll not only join us at the show, but step up with us now to make sure our artists receive the salaries they deserve for their excellent work on this impactful project.
Your support will change the game - it will mean so much to our entire team and get a lot of audience members thinking more deeply about how to protect their identities.
So please make a gift, be the first to RSVP and enjoy the perks at every level. And it's tax-deductible too!
Kamala, Kristin, Rob and the entire LOOKING AT YOU team
To learn more about the show, performance and ticket details are here:
You can learn more about the making of Looking at You
- (22 days)