Open Call: Yo-Yo Lin
About this commission
In the multisensory performance channels, Yo-Yo Lin explores the intricate pathways of the chronically ill body. Lin understands us all to inhabit multiple bodies: ones made up of what we commonly think of as our physical body composed of its parts and organs, and others seemingly invisible, extending beyond the skin, taking the form of energetic fields and kindred relationships. In her work, she generates connections within and between these bodies through the concept of qi 氣, networked technologies, and disabled embodiment. As materials for this exploration, she uses and amplifies the connective tissue of her own body as well as the care relationships that bond two or more bodies together.
Weaving audiovisual poetry, bodily music, and technology-mediated dance together, the performance invokes crip, cybernetic possibilities for how we imagine our bodies. To the audience, Lin poses a series of questions: What channels exist within ourselves that connect us to ancestral ways of knowing? Can pain be a portal, and care a feedback loop? What are the electrical currents that we signal to one another, reminding us that even in continued isolation, we are not alone? Isn’t virtual togetherness another form of astral projection?
Despina, a.k.a. Mica Matchen (they/them), is a Brooklyn-based producer, DJ, and composer. Fusing sonic influences from techno, experimental music, jazz, and tik tok memes, they create landscapes that are evocative and expansive, yet simultaneously sardonic and fun. A sense of groove and space are central to Despina’s compositions as well as DJ sets, juxtaposing color and energy with challenging rhythms and textures.
Despina’s debut EP, Data Soft, was released on Kindergarten Records in February 2021. After inclusion on several compilations from Kindergarten Records and Shubzin, they released their second EP, Limb Slip, on London-based label All Centre in February 2022. Limb Slip was hailed by Resident Advisor as “zanily detached from respectability or predictability…meticulously constructed, neither messy nor crowded, and in its glee,” and was included by Resident Advisor on their list of “February’s Best Music,” and included on Bandcamp’s list of “The Best Club Music on Bandcamp: January/February 2022.” Despina’s third EP will be released on their home label Kindergarten Records in July 2022.
She has worked with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gibney Dance Center, the New York Library for the Performing Arts, and other institutions globally. Selected residencies include Eyebeam, the Laundromat Project, and Dance/NYC. Her work has been featured in Art in America and the New York Times. She was recognized in 2020 with a Creative New Zealand Pacific Toa award.
More about the performance
The first movement, “channel 1,” investigates the internal pathways within the body, exploring the energetic channels of qi 氣 moving through the body as conceptualized by Chinese medicine, and the cyclical nature of the body living with chronic illness. As both qi and this cycle are seemingly invisible to the eye, the artist examines the illegibility of the body in illness, pain, and healing, combining poetry with animations derived from what she calls her ongoing “soft data” archive.
“channel 2” explores external pathways of the body through movement and sound. Using wired microphones attached to the artist’s moving body, electronic musician Despina amplifies, samples, and manipulates the creaking and crackling sounds of the artist’s connective tissue in motion, transmuting the sounds into an improvised soundscape. The artist responds in turn, augmenting the music with movement sensors, channeling herself as an instrument. Reflecting the ever-changing body, each performance is unique, no soundscape ever the same. Through deep listening, the duo engages in an interdependent, cyborgian feedback loop of generative music and dance.
The final movement, “channel 3,” invokes ways of being together across distance. Choreographed and performed with Pelenakeke Brown through means of virtual communication, the duo plays with the subjectivity of placehood. This piece exists as an homage to the movements of the disabled community, whose connections are made, and togetherness found, without leaving the walls of one’s own room.
The performance garments (designed by Weijing Xiao) embrace the performers’ physicality through fitted matte lycra and metal-fibered silk like a second skin, fully fabricated with couture hand finishings. Extending beyond the body are the “hyper-organs,” draped from a special, 100-percent stainless steel fabric and liquid-metal twill. Facial and hand wearables for all of the performers are composed of hardware, pipings and 3D-printed details. The design synthesizes a visceral hybrid of the natural and industrial, the body and machine.
over 1 year ago
Creative and Production Team
Avneesh Sarwate, Interactive Designer
Weijing Xiao, Fashion Designer
Coralys Carter, Screen Designer
David Lee Sierra, Creative Producer
A. Sef, Audio Describer
danilo machado, Sound Describer
ASL Interpretation: Body Language Productions
Brandon Kazen-Maddox is a grandchild of Deaf adults (GODA) and third-generation native signer of American Sign Language (ASL) who identifies as a nonbinary, Black Indigenous person of color and a member of the LGBTQAI+ community. Kazen-Maddox holds an MFA in dance and new Technology from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently works as a professional artist, choreographer, director, editor, and nationally certified ASL interpreter both in New York City and remotely.
In the summer of 2020, Kazen-Maddox became a co-founder of Up Until Now Collective, a newly established nonprofit organization focused on radical empathy and inclusion. Within their commitment to creating work for and with the Deaf community, Kazen-Maddox also highlights and empowers BIPOC and LGBTQAI+ artists, building multicultural bridges of collaboration and community for artists of all backgrounds and abilities.
Body Language Productions, their professional ASL performance interpreting company, has served as the lead liaison for providing ASL services at The Shed, Little Island, Lincoln Center, and the Park Avenue Armory, where they are bringing Deaf directors of ASL into the inner workings of arts organizations themselves and integrating both the Deaf perspective and Deaf performers onstage, on camera, and behind the scenes.
For more information, follow their instagram and Twitter accounts @bkazenmaddox, visit their websites, BrandonKazen-Maddox.com, UpUntilNowCollective.com, BodyLanguageProductions.org, or email them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Community Engagement, Events Coordinator, and Director of Artistic Sign Language
Shelly Guy is originally from Haifa, Israel, and is fluent in ISL, Hebrew, ASL, and English. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in Deaf education from the University of Northern Colorado. Guy has taught at Sign Language Center for 10 years in NYC and at Excellence School. Aside from her work as an ASL teacher, Guy works as an actor and ASl consultant/producer for numerous theatrical companies and productions. She has served on the staff of New York Deaf Theater and has worked in collaboration with the New York Deaf Theater and The Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park. Guy has worked with Body Language Productions as a director of community engagement, events coordinator, and Deaf director of artistic Sign Language. BLP emphasizes working with all aspects of the arts and giving Deaf people opportunities to own the stage. Her goal and passion is to spread awareness within the hearing community of ASL and Deaf culture.
Director of Programming, Events Coordinator, Administrator, and ASL Performance Interpreter
Jamie Rose Hays started her journey with the Deaf and hard of hearing community over a decade ago through her volunteer work with New York Deaf Theatre (NYDT). She later became a pro-bono staff member with NYDT and worked alongside Shelly Guy and Seth Gore developing work with Playwrights Horizons, Broken Box Mime, and The Public. In 2018 she led a collaboration with The Public Theater’s Public Works production of Twelfth Night directed by Oskar Eustis. Hays met Brandon Kazen-Maddox at a wedding of a Deaf couple in NYC, and insisted they become a lead interpreter for Twelfth Night. Hays has been working as an ASL/English interpreter for eight years in the medical, business, education, and arts field. She joined the Body Language Production team at Little Island NYC in 2021 and appreciates the ongoing opportunity to create accessible moments for the Deaf and hard of hearing community. She is grateful to continue these close knit relationships with Kazen-Maddox, Guy, and Gore, and this common drive to showcase more Deaf artists.
Technical Director and Director of Artistic Sign Language
Seth Gore is a Deaf bilingual creative house. Specializing in interplay between English and ASL languages, arts, teaching, and technology, Gore allows his deafness to permeate and influence his work. His work is centered around signed language and effective and authentic human communications. As director of ASL and ASL coach for several Hollywood and Broadway productions, including Paramount’s A Quiet Place 2, Freestyle Love Supreme, and To Kill a Mockingbird in MSG, Gore ensures the signed message gets through to the audience. He lives in New York City and currently is developing signed script collaboration solutions (Visual Script) and English grammar learning (Grammar Shapes) and teaching workshops (Unlearning Words) that aim to unlock people’s signed thought and make their communications more whole. Gore has worked with Body Language Productions as the technical director since 2022 and provides his expertise in website design, social media, and coding knowledge to the infrastructure of Body Language Productions.
Shed Production Team
DJ Potts, Audio Design Coordinator
You-Shin Chen, Scenic Design Coordinator
Josh Galitzer, Head Carpenter
Maytté Martinez and Stuart Burgess, Head Electricians
Seth Haling, Head Audio
Micah Zucker, Head Video
Caren Celine Morris, Stage Coordinator
Acknowledgments from the artist
Thank you: my parents, An-Li and Li-Ting, fam in LA and NYC and Taiwan, disabled/crip fam (online and offline), my loving partner, Zachary Filkoff, community from Eyebeam, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Sundance Interdisciplinary Lab, NYU ITP for supporting the development of this work, Perel, and The Brothers Sick.
This show is dedicated to Elise Ingber.
Each performance includes accessible seating. Please let our ushers know if you are staying in a wheelchair for a performance or using a theater seat.
Assistive listening is available at The Shed via the free Listen Everywhere app on your personal device. To find directions on how to download the app, visit the Accessibility page. Devices are available for you to borrow at the ticketing desk if you do not want to use your own smartphone.
The Shed offers free Wi-Fi to facilitate your use of Listen Everywhere. Connect to the network TheShedFreeWiFi.
ASL interpretation will be available Saturday, July 9. Audio description and text-based sound description (during Act 2) will be available for each performance.
For ASL interpretation, there will be a reserved section of seats if you would like to sit in proximity to an interpreter.
Audio description is delivered via the free Listen Everywhere app.
A quiet room will be available for audience members before, after, and during the performance to either prepare for or take a break or recuperate from the stimulus of the show. The quiet room will be open 30 minutes before show time and will remain open at least 30 minutes after the performance.
The Shed’s online ticketing system includes the option to submit accommodation requests beyond the access points detailed here.
- Running time: 1 hour, no intermission
- Sections of the performance include overhead flashing strobe lights
What to Expect
Thank you for planning a visit to The Shed. We’re looking forward to welcoming you for Open Call. You are welcome to enter the building through one of three different entrances. These are located off of The Shed’s Plaza, at 545 West 30th Street, or on the Hudson Yards Public Square.
The closest accessible subway station is the 34 St–Hudson Yards/7 train station. It’s the final stop on the 7 subway line in Manhattan arriving from the east side and Queens.
The bus lines with stops closest to The Shed include the M11 along 10th Avenue, the M12 along 11th Avenue, and the M34 SBS, which provides select bus service to Hudson Yards along 34th Street.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority operates the Access-A-Ride program as a service for people with disabilities. Please visit the MTA’s Access-A-Ride webpage for more information.
This entrance provides an accessible passenger loading zone allowing for automobile pick-up and drop-off access to the building.
There are two parking garages in close proximity to The Shed on West 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. One is on the north side of the block, beneath Hudson Yards. An additional garage is located across the street from The Shed at 552 West 30th Street.
Tickets to Open Call will be checked by a staff member at the entrance to the theater or performance space, once you are inside. You should have received your tickets in an email. You can find them by searching for the address email@example.com.
Currently, visitors must wear a properly fitting mask covering their nose and mouth at all times while in The Shed, except when dining or drinking at Cedric’s, a bar in the lobby. Please noteL proof of vaccination is required for Yo-Yo Lin’s performances (July 8 – 9) and Kinetic Light’s performances (August 25 – 27).
The Plaza is adjacent to the High Line, on the same level as the Hudson Yards Public Square and the 34 St–Hudson Yards/7 train subway station, which is serviced by an elevator.
On Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 pm to sunset, The Shed’s Plaza will be lively, with visitors enjoying DJs, dance, and music performances outside. There will be wooden structures covered in soft, recycled rubber that you can sit or lounge on to rest or enjoy the evening.
The Plaza entrance at the southwest corner of the building is staffed by a friendly member of our Visitor Experience team who will greet you. They’ll be wearing a black t-shirt and ID badge on a purple lanyard. At this entrance, there are two glass doors that open outward. The floor inside the building is level with The Plaza as you enter.
Once inside, the building feels airy with high ceilings and large windows along the escalator bank a short distance down the hall from the entrance. Immediately on your left after entering will be an elevator if you would prefer to ride it to Level 4 for The Overlook or to Level 6 for The Griffin Theater. The escalators and elevators both open onto the hallway on each level where you will find the entrances to the performance spaces.
There are restrooms on the floor below in the lobby and on the floors above. The closest accessible and all gender restrooms are on Level 4, up one level.
This entrance is located along Hudson Yards Boulevard. The entrance is marked with The Shed’s name above it in white letters.
This entrance is equipped with a push button to open the door, with a friendly staff member to greet you as you enter the building. They’ll be wearing a black t-shirt and ID badge on a purple lanyard.
From the entrance doorway, continue straight ahead, past the video screens and staircase , and then turn left. Down a short hallway you will find three restrooms: one with stalls, one with stalls and urinals, and a private, all gender restroom.
The staircase leads down into the main 30th Street Lobby. Behind the staircase to the right is an elevator that you can use to reach the lobby or to go up to Level 2 (Gallery), 4 (The Overlook), or 6 (The Griffin Theater).
Open Call performances take place in either the Level 4 Overlook or The Griffin Theater on Level 6.
The 30th Street Lobby entrance, between 10th and 11th Avenues, is on the street level beneath the Plaza level (beneath the High Line on West 30th Street). The 30th Street Lobby entrance is equipped with a push button to open the door, with a friendly staff member to greet you as you enter the building. They’ll be wearing a black t-shirt and ID badge on a purple lanyard.
Before a performance, the Lobby may be lively. Cedric’s, a bar, is located in the lobby. Friends and visitors may be sharing drinks and snacks while music plays on overhead speakers. When less crowded, Cedric’s offers a calm, cool spot to sit and relax before or after a performance.
At the back of the lobby, you will find the escalator and elevators to the upper floors. The escalator is directly across from the main lobby doors, behind a transparent glass wall. Two elevators are located at either back corner of the Lobby, on the same wall as the escalator. One to the left and one to the right. The escalators and elevators both take you up to the main hallway on each level where you will find the entrances to the performance spaces.
Open Call performances take place in either the Level 4 Overlook or The Griffin Theater on Level 6.
Accessible restrooms are located in the back corner of the lobby, behind the escalators and adjacent to the bar. These restrooms include one with stalls and one with stalls and urinals. The nearest private, all gender restroom is located on Level 4.
Once you’re on Level 6, a staff member will be standing outside the performance space to greet you and check tickets. If you have any questions, there will be a solution station with another staff member to help you.
Once inside the theater, seating for performances is general admission, so you can choose from any available spot. The seats have armrests and thick cushions, and some are folding chairs that flip up as you stand up from them. If you would like help in finding a seat, a staff member at the entrance can guide you. If you would like to remain in a wheelchair during the performance, please let a staff member know. For ASL interpretation, a staff member will be available to direct you to a reserved section of seats close to the interpreter.
The nearest restrooms are located on this floor, to your right as you exit the theater. Follow the hallway away from the escalator landing. You will find one restroom with stalls and one with stalls and urinals, as well as a private, all gender restroom.
As you enter the theater, you will find seats raised as in a movie theater. Seats are arranged in a U-shaped configuration around a stage area on the theater floor. You can either climb the stairs to find a seat or choose a seat on the floor level. If you’d like to remain in a wheelchair, a staff member at the entrance can direct you to the best position on the theater floor.
Staff members can also direct you to a position in proximity to an ASL interpreter on Saturday, July 9.
There will be a quiet space available on Level 8 in The Tisch Skylights if you would like to prepare for the performance, or recuperate from the stimulus during or after the performance. To find the quiet space, take the escalator or one of the elevators up to Level 8.
The performance is divided into three acts:
Act 1 (15 mins)
The performance begins with the lowering of the house lights to create a dark room. At the center of the room is a cube made of a translucent fabric scrim. It is lit with animated projections that move across its surface. Inside the cube, the performer rests motionless in a nest of cables connected to her body and costume.
If you are sensitive to flashes of light, please note that there are sequences of overhead flashing strobe lights and there are brief moments when the projections flicker and flash.
Act 2 (30 mins)
As the performance continues, the costume glows and the performer begins to move slowly within the cube. As the performer moves, the music builds. The performer’s movements add sound to the music, and the energy continues to increase. Eventually the sound returns to the raw sounds of bones and joints produced by the performer.
This soundscape could include sounds that some may find uncomfortable or challenging, including quick tone and frequency shifts, high pitches, piercing pops, low booms, and heavy droning.
This act includes text-based sound descriptions projected onto the scrim.
Act 3 (25 mins)
In the final act, the lights are turned out. The music is dream-like. A lantern lowers down from the ceiling. The performer uses the light as a signal, flashing the light on and off. Child-like drawings appear on the fabric screens. The drawings move faster and interact with the performer. A live feed projected on the scrim reveals the image of the remote performer. The music is dream-like. When more light returns, a live feed projected on the scrim reveals the image of a remote performer. The remote performer and the performer in the space mirror each other’s movements. The remote performer looks like she is made up of a constellation of stars in the projection. Their movements slow down as the performance ends.
For any additional access needs or requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (646) 455-3494.
Thank you to our partners
Additional support for Open Call is provided by Warner Bros. Discovery 150, The Wescustogo Foundation, and Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation.
The creation of new work at The Shed is generously supported by the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Commissioning Fund and the Shed Commissioners. Major support for live productions at The Shed is provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.