The Great Outdoors2017

The Great Outdoors takes us on a sublime journey through inner space in the darkness of a planetarium. A lone performer reads texts culled from internet comments and fed through an algorithm, giving voice and body to the thoughts of countless individuals all tapping away at their keyboards in isolation. As fragments of narrative emerge from the chatter, Dorsen invites us to imagine the internet’s infinite possibilities as a new form of celestial authority, and the comments as the internet’s id—unrestrained and protected by anonymity.


Annie Dorsen
text programming
Miles Thompson/Marcel Schwittlick
starshow design
Ryan Holsopple/Annie Dorsen
Sébastien Roux
Onome Ekeh
starshow programmer
Ryan Holsopple
technical director
Ruth Waldeyer
Kaija Matiss
original producer
Alexandra Rosenberg
Natasha Katerinopoulos
photo by Julieta Cervantes
photo by Julieta Cervantes


"Watching The Great Outdoors might be what it is like to listen to outer space at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array, on a clear night in the New Mexico desert. While the cosmos whirls above us, the horizon tilts and the moon comes into greater and greater focus, we can hear what’s being said “out there” somewhere."

-Molly Grogan,
"The Great Outdoors (2017), set in an inflatable planetarium, fashions a script from harvested Reddit comments, inviting spectators to contemplate the nature of human expression and communication... its text spanned a spectrum of expression from the banal to the idiosyncratic and deeply personal."

-Miriam Felton-Dansky,