Denning Visiting Artist Janani Balasubramanian


Glimmer and Consequence: Faculty Reflections on The Gift

Listen and respond as faculty from a wide range of science, arts, and humanities disciplines share questions and reflections provoked by The Gift. This lunchtime roundtable discussion will create a space for interdisciplinary encounters in advance of seeing the installation later in the evening.

May 1, 12 - 1pm
CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union
520 Lasuen Mall


Lunch provided


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

In this rolling-entry experience, the Stanford School of Medicine Orchestra will perform a live score,  while participants 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.

The Stanford School of Medicine Orchestra will perform the score live from 6-7pm and a recorded score will be played for the remaining duration.

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. In addition, a destimulation space will be available.

May 1, 6pm (last entry at 7:45pm)
Stanford Memorial Church
450 Jane Stanford Way


A small-scale version of The Gift will be available to experience in Stanford Memorial Church during open hours through June 14, 2024.


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


If you need a disability-related accommodation, please contact Ellen Oh at Requests should be made at least one week in advance of events.

The events are co-organized by the Office for Religious & Spiritual Life and Stanford Arts. Denning Visiting Artist Janani Balasubramanian, ‘12, is hosted by the Department of Electrical Engineering, 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.

About the Artist

Janani Balasubramanian headshot
Photo by Rowan Haber

Janani Balasubramanian is an artist practicing across immersive media, conceptual art, and literary work and in long-term collaborations with scientists. Their work aims to invite deeper connection with nonhuman worlds and nurture social imagination for care, complexity, and play.

Denning Visiting Artist

The 2023-24 Denning Visiting Artist Janani Balasubramanian is hosted by Tsachy Weissman in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Stanford Compression Forum as well as Susan Clark in the Physics Department and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. They will work with Tsachy and Susan's groups respectively to incubate significant new art-science work, host a mini-podcast series, and develop novel research partnerships in Stanford Healthcare and the Stanford School of Medicine to create a study on the impacts of The Gift in healthcare contexts.


Ellen Oh Headshot


Ellen Oh
Director of Interdisciplinary Arts Programs
Office of the Vice President for the Arts