In Theory of Flight, a scientist's biology lecture on flight goes awry when she reveals her own extreme experiments. Dreams of flight, avian arias, a magical chalkboard, transgenic experiments, animated cellular processes, orchestral bird songs, and molecular music intersect in this emotional and scientific pursuit of human flight.
"Anna Lindemann's Theory of Flight is a unique tour-de-force of science-inspired art. Lindemann is a brilliant animator, composer, and performer who really has the audience unsure whether she is biologist or artist as she tells us all what is necessary to truly learn to fly. This work marks the birth of a whole new genre, and I hope it is performed all over the world."
—David Rothenberg, philosopher and musician, author of Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution and Why Birds Sing
"As a molecular biologist in the audience I felt that I had a unique position to fully appreciate the beauty of Theory of Flight. Both fanciful and scientifically accurate, Theory of Flight reveals the emotional power of scientific discovery and makes molecular processes accessible and compelling. I would love to use Lindemann's animations of cell signaling to help my students appreciate the magic of molecular biology."
—Barbara Hoopes, molecular biologist, Associate Professor of Biology at Colgate University
“Growing Wings and Rising Oceans” by Jascha Hoffman. February 25, 2013.
Yale performances of Theory of Flight announced in the The New York Times.
The creation of Theory of Flight
Theory of Flight was premiered and Filmed at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy NY in April 2011. Music, animation, and story created by Anna Lindemann. Performed by soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon as the bird spirit and Anna Lindemann as the scientist. The premiere performance was directed by Emma Lunbeck with costumes by Kylin Mettler and lighting design by Jay Maury. The premiere was followed by a Flying Feast concocted by Ellie Markovitch and Rose Mitchell—a multi-taste experience inspired by the avian world. Performance development was funded in part by the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts and the RPI Arts Department.
Theory of Flight has been featured in the book Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution by David Rothenberg and has been performed at The Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY, the Ho Tung Planetarium and Visualization Lab at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, and at the Cantor Film Center in New York, NY.
Theory of Flight was premiered in partial completion of Anna Lindemann’s MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at the Department of the Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Anna's written thesis discusses the integration of biology and art and the creation of Theory of Flight, a performance intended to be an emotionally gripping and intellectually challenging experience emerging from the integration of music, performance, animation, and evolutionary developmental biology.