With What Tongue
Performance and Video Screening
This presentation plays with the permeable boundaries between visual, sonic, and verbal fields to break down and cross-fertilize these categories. Each piece engages a different compositional strategy to encourage an active attentiveness. Language becomes sound,sound becomes image, and image becomes language.
1. Selections from Sixty-Two Mesostics re Merce Cunningham (1971) John Cage
Performed by Carmina Escobar -‐15 min.
The score for each mesostic will be projected and then followed by its vocalization. A mesostic is a text with a keyword spelled vertically through the middle of the lines, in this case, the name Merce or Cunningham. Cage constructed these mesostics using the I Ching and printed them in approximately seven hundred and thirty different typefaces and sizes. Published as a musical score, instructions are given to the performer to create a cohesive "cry, shout, or vocal event" in response to each mesostic’s visual elements.
2. The Junicho Video-Renku Book ( 2014) Eve Luckring
Single channel video projection ‐‐27 min
Twelve short “twelve‐tone” video-poems (1:45-‐‐3:00 min each) adapt the 17th century Japanese poetic form of renku to video. Similar to an exquisite corpse, renku uses a complex set of rules based on the structural devices of “link and shift” for the writing of verses that journey through the everyday. In my translation of renku to video, I’ve chosen the shortest and most flexible type, the Junicho, meaning “twelve-tone”. The name Junicho is a nod to the composer Arnold Schoenberg’s method of writing music, which uses a manipulation of the twelve tones of the chromatic scale to create atonal music avoiding any one key. Likewise, renku eschews conventional narrative. I’ve invented video-renku as a framework to explore the “link” between the mundane and the ineffable, and the perpetual “shift” in defining boundaries between the "natural" world and the culturally constructed.
NOTE: An expanded version of With What Tongue including two other performances premiered at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles on Sep. 11, 2014.