Taking part in a live activity disintegrates borders between individuals, but what sort of alternate reality is this capable of creating? This question will be approached by Kepler 452b in their upcoming launch event on September 23rd, at which the audience will be invited to imagine Kepler 452b as a space-earth discovered by NASA in 2015. Extended across sixteen hours, the piece will be realised within an immersive environment, where participation is integrated to create a collective fantasy experience. Within the context of Kepler 452b’s simulation of a new interactive space, the term ‘space travel’ will acquire a new dual meaning of both planetary exploration and also the ability to become immersed in a performative realm. Combining art, music and fashion, the event will build itself through layers of self-generating stimuli.
The subject of space migration can no longer be regarded as self-referential, but as a metaphor leading to various areas of discussion: openness, collective action, self-expression, inclusion and collective-individualism. In the trailer for the event, Kepler 452b comes across as a feast for both the eyes and ears; the eccentricity of the costumes and choreography point to hedonistic expression. However, Kepler 452b will provide more than simply an entertaining, indulgent experience, but carry through it a rhetoric that critiques various different damaging societal constructs, from borders and nationalism to carbon emissions and animal protection. One would expect that dealing with these weighted subjects might call for a more solemn mode of expression, yet Kepler 452b will opt for a more vibrant and celebratory means of generating thought on this; the event will be comprised of a dance party as well, featuring DJ sets and live performances. The music program will vary from an uplifting live set from Stefan Schneider to a sound installation from Nihiti.
Collapsing visuals, video works and animations into the equation, the event will be an imploding multi-disciplinary cosmos. This will serve to produce the storytelling aspect of Kepler’s piece; their construction of an alternate reality aims to submerge the viewer, transporting them through various scenes, from the desert to space to Kepler 452b. The event will showcase a number of collaborators. To name a couple of contributors, the creations of designer Florian Máthé will bring the conversation about equality and LGBTQ+ rights to the forefront, while the brand new Fall/Winter Collection by artist Bjørn Melhus celebrates the financial crisis on Earth.
Alongside its criticism of broader socio-political topics, Kepler 452b will also address the institutionalized performances and dance shows produced by theatres within its performance program. Young Boy Dancing Group will provide an introductory performance to Kepler 452b, which will be constructed from different scenes addressing sexuality, the digital age, fetishes, contemporary dance, pop and youth culture. By hosting a series of participatory activities, Kepler 452b will provide a platform for discourse that departs from the conventional setting of a seated discussion or simply a one-sided performance; it will infiltrate its audience into a more active mode of exploration.