Two laptops sitting on an artificial grassy hill in front of two screens projecting blocky random text in a black box studio

Hello Hi There

Annie Dorsen
Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8PM
Studio 1—Goodman

Annie Dorsen returned to EMPAC to perform Hello Hi There, which she worked on in residence in 2010. Hello Hi There uses a famous 1970s television debate between the philosopher Michel Foucault and linguist/activist Noam Chomsky as the inspiration and raw material for a dialogue between two custom-designed “chatbots”: computer programs designed to mimic human conversation. Every conversation between the chatbots follows a unique path due to their custom-made software, which has been programmed to mimic the nuances of human conversation. As Chomsky and Foucault debate language, creativity, the roots of scientific discovery, and the nature of political power, the chatbots talk on and on, endlessly circling the questions of the debate, and frequently veering off into unexpected, at times nonsensical, digressions. 

An Obie award-winning director and writer, Dorsen works in a variety of fields, including theater, film, dance, and digital performance. She is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which she also directed. 

Main Image: Hello Hi There in Studio 1, 2012.


Dates + Tickets

Hello Hi There
Annie Dorsen
Saturday 18
8:00 PM
February 2012
Contemporary Performance


Production Credits

Concept and direction: Annie Dorsen (US) Production design: Kate Howard (US) Systems design: Jeff Gray (US) Scenography and lighting design: Edward Pierce (Denmark) Chatbot software design: Robby Garner (US) Consultation: Nicolas Siepen (Germany) and Berno Odo Polzer (Austria) Assistance: Stephen Brackett (US) Technical management: Cyd Cahill General management: Lisa Schmidt Production: VierHochDrei Co-producers: steirischer herbst (Graz), Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), Black Box Teater (Oslo), PS122 (NYC)

Additional production support and residency provided by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer.