STARRY HEAVENS · MoMA NYC
Starry Heavens is a game that incorporates a life-sized gameboard of 67 steel plates and ten large-scale, helium-filled meteorological balloons.
It is a social and strategic game that is also a moral fable – for one Ruler and any number of silent players. The Ruler stands in the center and calls out “BLACK,” “WHITE,” or “GRAY” – commanding the other players how to move. The game creates a stylized dance, as players shift about the gameboard, working with and against each other to overthrow the Ruler.
The game unfolds within a space defined by the gigantic hovering balloons. The Ruler’s goal is to stay in power long enough to pull down a central helium balloon.
A later staging of the game in Berlin incorporated a live band that improvised along with the Ruler’s commands, making the Ruler the conductor of a procedural musical experience.