Illuminations: “Human and Machine”
Illuminations is a central part of our Education programming that connects groundbreaking UC Berkeley scholarship to themes taken up by the world-class music, dance, and theater presented by Cal Performances. Illuminations programming, which includes performances, panel discussions, lecture demonstrations, Q&As, and more, sheds light on pressing topics with the power to transform our understanding of the world and shape the future.
Through the 2022–23 season theme “Human and Machine,” Illuminations explores the many roles technology plays in both catalyzing and challenging creative expression and human communication. Onstage performances, public programs, and conversations will engage communities on and off campus to explore how the arts, the humanities, and the sciences grapple with the influence of technology on human expression. Through six main stage performances and even more educational events held in partnership with thought leaders (to be announced soon!), Illuminations programming follows the evolution of musical instruments, the complex relationships between technology creators and users, technology’s impact on the creative process, and the benefits and potential dangers of the growing role of artificial intelligence in our society.
Save 25% with an Illuminations: Human and Machine Subscription when you purchase four or more main stage events!
2022/23 Season Illuminations Performances
Kristian Bezuidenhout, harpsichord and fortepianos
Keyboard virtuoso Kristian Bezuidenhout has programmed a recital that illustrates the evolution of the keyboard predecessors of the
modern piano, celebrating these instruments as gloriously man-made inventions and marvels of human ingenuity.
Colin Currie Group
A Steve Reich Celebration
Colin Currie, conductor and percussion
Percussionist Colin Currie’s acclaimed ensemble is devoted to realizing the musical vision of Steve Reich, the maverick minimalist composer whose innovations and experimentation went on to redefine the sound of 21st-century chamber music.
Sō Percussion navigates the addition of novel sounds—noisemakers, computer timekeeping devices, pre-recorded samples and loops—and unseen electronic collaborators into their performance environment to realize works exploring complex human emotions.
With music composed and conceived by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd
In his meticulously crafted new chamber opera, revered South African artist William Kentridge connects ancient wisdom with modern data-tracking and ruminates on the role of algorithms in contemporary life.
Michel van der Aa’s
West Coast Premiere
In composer and producer Michel van der Aa’s genre-defying chamber opera Blank Out, video and electronic music techniques entwine to invoke the textured, fragmented experience of processing personal tragedy and loss.
Octavia E. Butler’s
Parable of the Sower
Bay Area Premiere
Octavia E. Butler’s dystopian novel Parable of Sower is realized as a congregational opera by the daughter/mother musical team of Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon, exploring humanity’s attempts to recover and heal itself after its dependence on technology has gone too far.