One thing’s for sure. You’ve never experienced anything like “Remote Denver,” the new live art pedestrian experience that takes you outside the theatre and into the city streets.
From May 22 to July 1, you’ll have the opportunity to see the city of Denver in a way you’ve never seen it before. For six short weeks, Off-Center — the division of the Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA) that prides itself in expanding and challenging conventional theatre — presents “Remote Denver,” a 2.5-mile audio-guided walking tour through downtown Denver.
But Remote Denver isn’t just any old walking tour. It’s an artistic experience.
“The sound in your headphones will totally alter your view of reality,” Charlie Miller, the curator of Off-Center explains. “Walking through the streets of Denver with this computer voice talking to you is a completely unique way of seeing the city.”
The synthetic voice will speak to you and your 50-person tour group in real time, as you venture through parts of the city you wouldn’t have ventured into otherwise — like back alleyways or unexpected passageways — setting a unique soundtrack to the things you see.
Created by German group Rimini Protokoll, and tailored specifically for Denver, this live art experience has been replicated in 20 countries around the world. The original experience is called Remote X.
“Fifty people watch each other, make individual decisions and yet remain always part of a group,” Remote X creators Stefan Kaegi and Jörg Karrenbauer state on their website. “While the artificial intelligence observes human behavior from a distance, the voice step by step sounds more familiar. Along the way, binaural recordings and film scores provide a soundtrack for the urban landscape. The journey through the city feels more and more like a collective film.”
Participants will start out at the corner of 13th Avenue and Mariposa Street and cover approximately 2.5 miles over a two-hour time period, ending up a 40-minute walk from where they started out. Children ages 6 and under are not permitted to participate, and the experience is not recommended for children under 13 or anyone who is not mobile and capable of walking without assistance (a wheelchair accessible route will be available with two weeks notice).
“You’re not just audience members,” the DPAC website states. “You’re actors and spectators, observers and observed, individuals and hordes, all at the same time.”
“The encounter with this artificial intelligence leads the group to perform an experiment on themselves,” say Kaegi and Karrenbauer. “How are joint decisions made? Who do we follow when we are guided by algorithms? … Remote X questions artificial intelligence, big data, and our predictability. As the project tours from city to city, each new site-specific version builds upon the dramaturgy of the previous city.”
Here’s an interesting snapshot that BBC put together about Remote New York in 2015 …
What do you think? Fascinating, right? I know I’m on board! This sounds like an amazing experience! Have you participated in an experience like this in another city? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!