About Members Press Blog Facebook

March 29, 2009
Chicago, IL

The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials presents the Chicago premiere of Theoretical Isolation: A Post-Atomic Experiment
The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL – April 24-25, 2009
The performance is at 7:30 PM, suggested donation of $10.

Theoretical Isolation: A Post-Atomic Experiment is a collaboratively generated performance that premiered in March 2009 at Arcosanti, an urban laboratory in the high desert of central Arizona, as the culmination of a week-long residency. The performance is inspired by the development of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and the theories of Paolo Soleri, the Italian architect who founded Arcosanti. This original multi-media, interdisciplinary, site-specific work incorporates scientific experimentation, Congressional testimony and vaudevillian magic. The performance has been re-imagined for its newest incarnation at the Neo-Futurarium.

Inspired by the discovery that The Tempest was among the literary texts discussed by scientists at Los Alamos, the performance investigates historical and fictional characters who retreated from civilization in order to re-imagine it, working in geographic isolation to create books and bombs with the potential to change the world. Theoretical Isolation: A Post-Atomic Experiment focuses on two of these individuals: J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who oversaw the Manhattan Project, and Prospero, Shakespeare’s most famous magician.

Support for this project comes from Northwestern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and The University of Chicago’s Summer Inc. program.

About The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials

The Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials (LDSM) is:
Seth Bockley, Jessica Hudson, Chloe Johnston, Ira S. Murfin, Kerensa Peterson, Angela Tillges, and Seth Zurer. The members of LDSM are performance, literary, and visual artists variously affiliated with a number of prominent Chicago theatre companies, including Redmoon Theater, 500 Clown, Collaboraction, and the Neo-Futurists. Previously, these artists collaborated on Impossible Cities: A Utopian Experiment, produced by Walkabout Theatre Company at the Peter Jones Gallery in Chicago in 2007. Directed by Seth Bockley, the show featured three original performance pieces, each exploring a different American utopian society, woven together with text from Italo Calvino's novel Invisible Cities. An accompanying art exhibition, curated by Redmoon Theater's Angela Tillges, featured an international roster of artists. Impossible Cities played to sold-out houses and was recommended by Chicago Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Reader.

For information about LDSM and this performance, or to schedule interviews or acquire images, contact Chloe Johnston at johnston@substitutematerials.org or 773-203-0807.


Past Press Releases