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Denning Visting Artist Janani Balasubramanian presents "The Gift"

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Denning Visting Artist Janani Balasubramanian presents "The Gift"

Thursday, May 23, 2024
9am to 4pm PT

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Memorial Church
450 Jane Stanford Way, Building. 500, Stanford, CA 94305
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Event Details:

Experience The Gift, an installation that animates contemporary astrophysics research to open up metaphorical space for grief, care, and renewal, co-created by Janani Balasubramanian, Natalie Gosnell, and Andrew Kircher.

In this experience, visitors encounter an all-ages illustrated book that invites responses both tactile and emotional. This book tells the story of two stars that are so close to one another yet so far from us that they appear as a single point of light in the sky. Their fates are intertwined; one star, at the end of its life, transfers its material to the companion, allowing the companion to appear—for a moment—younger, brighter, bluer. A recorded score accompanies the book.

The work will be available in English and Spanish, all in large-print text. Descriptive audio is also available in English for blind and low-vision audience members. 

Stanford Memorial Church
450 Jane Stanford Way


The Gift is created by
Janani Balasubramanian
Dr. Natalie Gosnell
Dr. Andrew Kircher

Tina-Hanaé Miller
Amy Myers

Katie Hodge
Solomon Hoffman

Story by Janani Balasubramanian and Dr. Natalie Gosnell
with artwork by Amy Myers
and book design by Katie Hodge
Based on the research of Dr. Natalie Gosnell

Spanish translation by Sam Kircher

Original score by Tina-Hanaé Miller
with arrangement by Solomon Hoffman
featuring performances by Molly Aronson, Ellie Kirk, Aaron Kisslinger, Kevin Kuh, Bill Todd, and Cameron West

Mixed by Peter Geiser
Mastered by Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone

Produced by Dr. Andrew Kircher

Created with generous support of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Public Theater, New York Community Trust, the Sundance Institute, the Guild of Future Architects, MAP Fund, Stanford University, Brooklyn College, Creativity & Innovation at Colorado College, The University of Colorado, and The Tow Foundation


Janani Balasubramanian, ‘12, practices across immersive media, conceptual art, and literary work and in long-term collaborations with scientists, inviting deeper connections with nonhuman worlds while nurturing social imagination for care, complexity, and play.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office for Religious & Spiritual Life, and the Office of the Vice President for the Arts. Janani Balasubramanian's residency is hosted by the Department of Electrical Engineering, the Stanford Compression Forum, the Physics Department, and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, with funding from the Stanford Visiting Artist Fund in Honor of Roberta Bowman Denning.