MAXlive 2021: The Neuroverse

November 5-7, 2021
Tickets start at $15

MAXlive pass $175
Includes access to each piece
Includes access and priority seating to each piece, guaranteed entry + refreshments for private reception

Produced in Collaboration with New York Live Arts

Live performance and today’s most innovative neuroscience and AI technology collide in explosive new ways to in the festival MAXlive 2021: The Neuroverse. Featuring sound installations, live music and theater, robots, immersive installations, and provocative conversations. The Neuroverse is sure going to be one of the most thrilling events of the fall. Come experience it at venues including Live Arts, ONX Studio, and The Invisible Dog Art Center.

Media Art Xploration produces live and immersive arts that harness and interrogate the scientific advances of our time. The organization convenes award-winning artists, eminent scientists, and cutting-edge technologists in an expansive, electrifying festival. Harnessing the perspective and creativity of luminaries across these fields, this year’s edition—the first to be held in New York City—will take audiences to depths they didn’t even know existed.


MAXlive 2021: THE NEUROVERSE Schedule

Please Click Here for Full Program Info & Descriptions 


Boys and Girls Club of Rosebud
New York Live Arts Lobby
Installation Open November 5, 2pm; November 6 and 11, 10am-10pm

Lakota cosmology provides an alternative framework for developing and integrating AI into society that takes into account the needs of the community. MAX, in partnership with 5 Corners Collective and Boys and Girls Club of Rosebud Reservation, presents a photo series that approaches the concept through young people’s eyes.

Stephanie Dinkins
Secret Garden
ONX Studio
Interactive Installation: November 5, 4-8pm; November 6, 2-7pm; November 7, 2-7pm

After a critically acclaimed run at the Sundance Festival, Stephanie Dinkins’ immersive work, Secret Garden, is returning to NYC, this time more intimate than ever before. Step into a time-collapsing garden and encounter stories from Black women across generations: surviving a slave boat, growing up on a 1920s Black-owned farm, surviving 9/11, to name a few.

Gershon Dublon & Xin Liu (slow immediate)
The Wandering Mind
New York Live Arts Studio
November 5 at 7pm, November 6 at 2pm and 7pm

Artist-engineer duo slow immediate build on their practice of helping us explore what it means to be human on our shared planet. In collaboration with invited musicians, their AI-guided improvisational performance draws from tens of thousands of field recordings from every part of the globe to construct an opus that serenades and guides you on a tour of the world with your eyes closed.

Grayson Earle
Inference Engine
ONX Studio
Interactive Installation: November 5, 4-8pm; November 6, 2-7pm; November 7, 2-7pm

You are stepping into more than a video game. You’re in a spacecraft that has been knocked out of orbit and into the GANthropocene; now you’re lost in a Generative Adversarial Network—or, GAN for short. With only the controls you have in front of you, you must navigate your way back to your destination before time runs out.

Inference Engine: Exploring the GANc
November 6, 11am-12pm Meet-and-Greet, 12-2pm Workshop

A hands-on workshop from Grayson Earle that introduces the basics of utilizing Generative Adversarial Networks. Students will learn about how GANs work and then utilize a pre-trained Generator to produce new images and videos.

Annie Lewandowski & Kyle McDonald
Siren: Listening to Another Species on Earth
Immersive Concert
The Invisible Dog Art Center
November 5, 6-10pm; November 6, 2-10pm, November 7, 1-10pm (with timed ticketing)

Sound artist Annie Lewandowski, artist and coder Kyle McDonald, and scenic designer Amy Rubin explore a meeting of intelligences—human, humpback whale, and artificial—in Siren: Listening to Another Species on Earth. Arriving in New York following previews on Martha’s Vineyard and at Cornell University, Siren immerses listeners in Lewandowski’s detailed recordings of humpback whale song, made with pioneering bioacoustician Katy Payne and the Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium.

Ethan Lipton and His Orchestra
We Are Your Robots
A Cabaret
Written by Ethan Lipton
Directed by Leigh Silverman
New York Live Arts Theater
November 5 at 9pm; November 6 at 9pm

In this poignant and wonderfully absurd existential inquiry, Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra, a band of robots, have been invited to perform for this audience. Across their performance, they seek to learn what human beings want from their machines, to understand what it means to be human, and finally to discern what about us still exists (or matters) now that we have them—our smart machines. The hilarious and harrowing new work was commissioned by The Sloan Foundation and MAX, and is directed by Leigh Silverman.

Kat Mustatea & Heidi Boisvert
A Mixed-Reality Performance
New York Live Arts Theater
November 7, 1:45 and 6pm

Vincent and Rebecca’s marriage is falling apart as they brace for an oncoming hurricane and they are simultaneously turning into lizards. Set in post-anthropocene Miami, humans have not been wiped out, so much as they have adapted to rapid environmental shifts by mutating into reptiles. Vincent and Rebecca have no choice but to weather the storm inside their smart-home, a technological remnant named June whose functions (and malfunctions) they weaponize in an escalating domestic turf war. Developed with residency support from GALLIM Moving Women Residency, New York Live Arts and the Movement Lab, Barnard College, andUniversity of Florida College of the Arts with support from the Banks Family Preeminence Chair and UF Research.

NUUM Collective
A Dance
New York Live Arts Theater
Choreographed and Performed by NiNi Dongnier
November 5 at 3pm and 6pm

The NUUM Collective uses machine learning to manufacture a duet between a performer and themselves. In the piece, performer NiNi Dongnier explores isolation and connection as she dances in real-time with her computer-manipulated doppelgänger. NUUM Collective, a group of artists and technologists whose multidisciplinary work asks fundamental questions about what we see and what we think we see, in their latest piece illustrate how it in fact does not take two to tango.

Philipp Schmitt
How AI Lost It’s Body
ONX Studio
November 5 at 7pm, November 6 at 4pm and 6pm, November 7 at 3pm

In a world where most people’s capacity to visualize what artificial intelligence is ranges from the Terminator to face recognition, artist Philipp Schmitt is broadening the spectrum of perception. Featuring choreography by Sarah Danhke, this lecture-performance delves into the imagination of the engineer and the aesthetics of artificial intelligence and gives you access to new ways of picturing AI—that will remain with you long after the curtain bow.

The Knights 
November 6 at 5:30pm

Brooklyn-based orchestra The Knights share music that takes flight, written for strings and percussion. In a year of a devastating pandemic and of a reckoning with the devastating effects of humanity’s impact on earth, this installment of Listening to Another Species on Earth focuses on birds and other winged creatures in particular.

New York Live Arts Studio
*This MAXforum series will be recorded and distributed virtually following the festival.

Bodies of Intelligence
Featuring Annie Murphy Paul and Annie Dorsen

Join us for a two-part presentation exploring ideas around embodied learning. Acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul discusses her research into human cognition as a networked and profoundly embodied process; and Annie Dorsen, a theatre director working at the intersection of algorithms and live performance, who most recently has been working with GPT-3, will discuss her experience working with disembodied machine intelligences—the limitations, possibilities, and obstructions.

Costs of Extraction: Using Science and Technology to Sound the Alarm and Light the Way Forward
Featuring Kyle McDonald, Stephanie Dinkins, and Suzanne Kite
Moderated by Adaora Udoji

How can artists liberate technologies from their extractive origin stories to create subversive art works? Artists Stephanie Dinkins, Suzanne Kite, and Kyle McDonald join innovator and storyteller Adaoro Udoji in conversation to explore how artists are using technology to be agents of change.

Road to Recovery: Using Science and Technology to Listen Deeply
Featuring Annie Lewandowski, Gershon Dublon, and NiNi Dongnier
Moderated by Kay Matschullat

How can technology enable different attitudes of attention and care? Composer Annie Lewandowski, researcher and engineer Gershon Dublon, and dancer-choreographer NiNi Dongnier join MAX founder and artistic director Kay Matschullat to discuss how they are utilizing acoustic innovations, AI, and machine learning to provide opportunities for audiences to slow down and absorb information differently.

Have the Robot Armies Arrived?
Including a Reading from Johnsville Road, by Andy Bragen, Developed in Collaboration with Daniel Fish; a Video of Robot Soldiers; and a Conversation

This event features a reading from the play, a viewing of state of the art autonomous machines, and a conversation moderated by Adaora Udjoi, featuring Ryan Calo, AI ethicist and co-director of Tech Policy Lab at University of Washington.

MAXlive 2021: The Neuroverse is made possible by the support of Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation.