Fusing experimental music, political activism and theater, this engrossing new production draws from space travel, transhumanism, astronautics and the resurrection of the dead to boldly re-envision the future of our daily lives. In a mission control-like laboratory with a network of tables, video cameras and a myriad of props ranging from piles of sand and tin foil sheets to globes made up of cut-up texts, five performers enact a series of alchemical actions. Meanwhile, three vocalists tell the fragmented, meandering tale of an Earth that has been depleted of all natural resources needed to sustain life. Humans are mustering the courage to leave and leap into the great, empty, unknown space. Upon crossing this threshold, they enter into a socialist universe of bizarre aesthetics, neurotic impulse and upended notions of time-body-self.
In the spirit of a radio transmission sent out into the cosmos, YAUOSC functions as a kind of “homing signal,” a beacon for an aesthetically advanced and politically progressive future. Its musical backbone is a drum-machine transcription of John Cage’s 1951 piano solo and landmark of indeterminacy, “Music of Changes,” infused with pitch-shifting vocals and a chockful and eerily spasmodic electronic soundscape. Its quirky and slogan-like libretto is inspired by Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist poetry, the Russian Cosmists’ poetics and philosophies, and interviews from astronauts, both real and imagined. Its title is borrowed from Cy Roth’s sci-fi romp, Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1951).
Following La MaMa’s run of You Are Under Our Space Control, video feeds of the live performance will be posted online, which viewers can select and re-combine to compile their own unruly experience.