The Lab

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

Lawrence “Butch” Morris: Book Launch and Screening @ The Wattis Institute

Butch Morris & David Hammons, Fax Festival, Madrid, 2000

Butch Morris & David Hammons, Fax Festival, Madrid, 2000

Location: The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, 360 Kansas St, San Francisco, CA 94103
7:15 pm: Book presentation by Daniela Veronesi and J.A Deane (via Skype)
7:45 pm: Zeena Parkins introduction and Butch Morris screening
FREE

Improvisation requires endless invention and discipline. It demands that decisions be made with conviction and commitment, but also without any kind of plan or map.

The late Lawrence “Butch” Morris (1947-2013) not only improvised, but invented new ways to improvise. 

When David Hammons installed dozens of fax machines on the ceiling of the Reina Sofia's Palacio de Cristal, he invited Butch to improvise based on the hundreds of faxed pages fell down onto the floor. (FAX Festival, Madrid, 2000)

But Butch also invented something called “conduction,” a technique used by a conductor who leads an ensemble with a series of improvised hand and baton gestures. In a Butch Morris performance, it's the conductor who's the improviser. 

The Art of Conduction – A Conduction® Workbook by Lawrence D. “Butch" Morris is a new book about Morris’s hand gestures edited by Daniela Veronesi. This event launches its publication and Veronesi, along with contributor J.A. Deane, introduce the book (via Skype).

Then, Zeena Parkins introduces a screening of Conduction #15, Where Music Goes II, one of the many conductions in which she performed. This one was recorded at the Whitney Museum of American Art on November 15 and 16, 1989.

This event is part of Abstract Languages: Three Musical Events, co-organized with Kadist and the Wattis. On December 17, Parkins also presents a live improvised duo with William Winant at The Lab.

This is the fifth event in the Wattis’ year-long season about and around the work of David Hammons.