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Janani Balasubramanian

April 2019

Janani Balasubramanian is an artist and creative researcher.

Janani-Balasubramanian_1Janani frequently works in deep collaboration with astrophysicists to shift how we understand inner and outer space, and uses artmaking as an occasion to pursue ambitious research inquiries. Their practice centers experimentation with form and technology, wide accessibility, and play, and includes works of new media (augmented/virtual reality), film, immersive theatre, and literary fiction.

Janani's work has been presented at more than 160 stages across North America and Europe, including The Public Theater, MOMA, Abrons Arts Center, Andy Warhol Museum, Red Bull Arts, Ace Hotel, Brooklyn Museum, Asian American Writer's Workshop, High Line, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Residency support for this work has included the National Endowment for the Arts, Public Theater Devised Theater Working Group, Abrons Arts Center, and Mount Tremper Arts. Balasubramanian was a 2019 Innovator-in-Residence at Colorado College, 2019 Brooklyn College/Tow Foundation artist resident, 2018 artist-in-residence at the University of Colorado, and a 2018-2019 Van Lier Fellow at the Public Theater. Janani is currently a 2020 Hemispheric Institute fellow at NYU; a 2019-2020 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow; artist-in-residence in the brown dwarf astrophysics group at the American Museum of Natural History; a 2020 visiting artist at Stanford University; a 2020 Pioneer Works Narrative Arts Fellow; and co-founder of the Abundant Space Collaborative with astronomer Dr. Natalie Gosnell.

During their block 8, 2019 residency Janani worked with Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Natalie Gosnell on an ongoing collaborative project that that uses techniques of experimental theater experience to explore Dr. Gosnell's research area of blue straggler stars and the physics of mass transfer. Their project, entitled "The Gift," creates an accessible learning experience for participants, regardless of their previous knowledge about physics. As part of their residency, Balasubramanian worked with Dr. Gosnell and a cohort of eight students to develop, test, and refine a new iteration of the interactive piece. A group of fifty-eight students, which included Dr. Gosnell's Physics for the Physical Sciences students, experienced this new version and provided feedback.

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