The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Jacqueline Gordon


Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon: A Space for Looking is a Space for Listening (installation view at Western Front, Vancouver, Canada), 2016. Ceramic, fabric, extruded aluminum, HSS directional speakers, software. Photo by Maegan Hill-Carroll.

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon: A Space for Looking is a Space for Listening (installation view at Western Front, Vancouver, Canada), 2016. Ceramic, fabric, extruded aluminum, HSS directional speakers, software. Photo by Maegan Hill-Carroll.

During the month of October, artist Jacqueline Gordon will create Inside You Is Me, a dynamic sculpture with moveable walls, a multichannel sound composition, and staged performances inside The Lab. Local artists Maryanna Lachman, Jose Abad, Oscar Tidd, and Sam Hertz will be joined by Los Angeles composers FAY and Jonathan Mandabach, Bolivian-American musician Elysia Crampton, and New York dancers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener. Over the course of the month, all ten artists will use Gordon’s sonic installation as a system in which to create new compositions, sculptures, and performances.

Each day the walls – comprised of varied sculptural acoustic treatments that affect the audience’s sonic and visual perspective – will be arranged into different configurations to change the dynamics between audience and performer. There will be no gallery opening, no stage, and no ideal place to view the performers, challenging the easy familiarity audience/performer relationships. Viewers can audience exit and re-enter the performances and the installation at their discretion, moving the walls and changing the space at will.

Sound is a tool that Gordon uses to confront and materialize issues that are often philosophical. The vast majority of our study of perception focuses on vision, and yet Gordon talks about the feeling of being eaten alive by an Adele song playing at the gas station pump, of hearing the song’s sterility and yet being unable to stop listening. Sound — weightless, seemingly immaterial — has the capacity to turn corners, to bounce off surfaces, to penetrate us. As such, sound has the power to redefine how reality feels.

When we are listening we are made aware of our fleeting subjectivity, we are reminded that the world surrounding us, as well as our body, reverberates and changes with the results of our actions. The sound of visitor footsteps walking through the space is as integral to the feeling of Gordon’s installations as are the sculptures and sonic compositions themselves. Here, being is not given but rather emerges over time.

SOUND INSTALLATION: Inside You Is Me
Open to the public on Thursdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27, from 5-10pm; Sundays, October 16, 23, 30, from 12-5pm. Available for workshops and off-hour visits by appointment. Email thelabsf@thelab.org or call 415-864-8855 for information. Free.

Inside You Is Me will feature an ongoing sound composition created by Elysia Crampton, Jonathan Mandabach, and Jacqueline Gordon. It explores sonic hierarchies in public and private space; modeling how powerfully sound can communicate and create emotion with or without our consent. Integrating sound design techniques with live and recorded voice recordings from the neighborhood, the composition will be changed throughout the residency and continually build and shift with the different wall configurations and choreography. Visitors are welcome to move the sculptures to influence the dynamics of the space. A library of reading materials and tools that influenced Gordon will be available for perusal.

PERFORMANCE: Playlist with Maryanna Lachmann, Jose Abad, and Oscar Tidd
Saturday, October 15, 2016; 7pm doors / 8pm performance. Free.
Sunday, October 16, 2016; 3pm doors / 4pm performance. Free.

For Playlist, dancers Maryanna Lachmann, Jose Abad, and Oscar Tidd, will inhabit their own sound zones inside the installation, each choosing from a playlist of preselected sounds to compel their movement. Over the course of the performance the sounds will shift and change, using granular synthesis and reverb to move from cacophony to cohesion. Sam Hertz and Jacqueline Gordon created the software used in Playlist.

PERFORMANCE: FAY
Saturday, October 22, 20162016; 7pm doors / 8pm performance. Free.

Rhythm has an immediate, often involuntary effect on the body — heartbeats adapt to sonic rhythm quickly, depending on rate and volume, and aperiodic rhythms like ocean waves or the sound of city traffic often lull us to sleep. FAY creates music that takes immense pleasure in creating hand-edited repetitions — the feedback loops between woman and machine. During the performance Gordon will do a live dismantling of FAY’s songs in the space, revealing their inner heartbeat.

PERFORMANCE: Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener
Saturday, October 29, 2016; 7pm doors / 8pm performance
Tickets must be purchased or reserved in advance, $15 General / Free for members

Since 2010 Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener have created dance in response to complex and active spatial environments, often merging elements of fantasy, absurdity, and quiet contemplation. Their collaborative work revels in the possibilities of the highly articulated dancing body where current and historical influences and aesthetic forms are collapsed into a hybrid physical and visually charged language. Their work takes many forms, from site-specific installations, improvisational dances, traditional proscenium pieces, to highly crafted immersive experiences. After working together in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Mitchell and Riener began collaborating on dance projects at MoMa PS1, The Chocolate Factory, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Danspace Project, REDCAT, and ICA Boston that continually push at the unraveling boundaries of dance research. They are both drawn to space as an agent of performance and have been particularly interested in creating dance in response to complex and active spatial environments.

THE LAB BOX: Inside You Is Me
The Lab Box is a proposition to both artist and collector: how do we think beyond objects, collecting, archiving, and stewarding nontraditional practices? Gordon, who has been working with sound and movement for over a decade, is now seen as a critical player exploring the intersection between the performing and contemporary art worlds. In the tradition of the Fluxus Boxes and René Block Editions, The Lab has invited Gordon to create a 3-D representation of her project using materials from the installation, conceptual ephemera, sonic documents, and publications. 5 editions of the box will be made available for $3K each.