The Lab

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

Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux presents "Wordless Music"
Jan
12
8:00 PM20:00

Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux presents "Wordless Music"

Moon Bros to open

8:00pm Doors / 8:30pm Performance
$15 Guests / $10 Members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

In reaction to current state of affairs Haley Fohr abandons all song prowess and willingly presents a 60-minute collection of etudes & undulations of the mouth, WORDLESS MUSIC.

Vocalist, composer, and producer Haley Fohr has been Circuit des Yeux since she was eighteen years old. Born in the year of the Dragon in Indiana’s own “Star City” - that’s Lafayette IN - she released records regularly over the past decades; four full-length albums, along with several mini-albums and singles. Meanwhile, she has played shows everywhere, touring all the time. She has been based in Chicago since 2012.

All this was endeavored to be done out of necessity, in order for Haley to be Circuit des Yeux and for Circuit des Yeux to be Haley. The records and shows have been done in primarily DIY fashion, as a means of navigating the world, genuflecting with Sagittarian energy. Circuit des Yeux reflects from a singular angle, looking deeply, at times unblinkingly, at connections and collisions of the cerebral and the physical, with a sense of colloquial grit and an equally opaque transcendent spirit in her words and her music.

Circuit des Yeux is an ardent collaborator, numbering Glenn Branca, Lee Renaldo, Bill Orcutt, Bitchin Bajas & Bonny ‘Prince’ Billy and Olivia Block among her fellow performers. Circuit des Yeux has received enervated and affirmative commentary from The Quietus, NPR, New York Times, Chicago Reader, Brooklyn Rail, Pitchfork and The Wire, among many others. They have all made interesting speculations on her brand of entertainment. All we can tell you in addition is that she has a 4-octave range - at least on days when it isn’t raining.

View Event →
Monitored Feldman: Triadic Memories by Tania Chen, Wobbly, and Thomas Dimuzio
Jan
16
7:30 PM19:30

Monitored Feldman: Triadic Memories by Tania Chen, Wobbly, and Thomas Dimuzio

7:30pm Doors / 8:00pm Performance
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration
Note: Please dress warmly – The Lab does not have heat

A night of Morton Feldman’s piano work Triadic Memories transformed by Tania Chen, piano; Wobbly & Thomas Dimuzio, electronics.

Morton Feldman began exploring extended duration composition in earnest with his composition for solo piano "Triadic Memories", the unlikely intersection of Satie & Webern; the melodies and intervals normally associated with atonality are revealed as unexpectedly beautiful when given appropriate space and time to unfold. For this unique performance at The Lab, devoted interpreter of the New York School of 20th century composition Tania Chen will perform this cornerstone of Feldman's work with two electronic musicians: live sampling specialist Thomas Dimuzio, and amateur cyberneticist Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly). This pair will train their microphones on Chen's piano to augment and underline Feldman's composition with contemporary layers of sonic detail, performed with instruments that themselves listen. Expect a performance respectful to the original score, yet a completely spontaneous arrangement: whatever will happen on this night, will be happen here for the first time.

Chen, Dimuzio and Leidecker have performed together as a trio at Stanford's CCRMA, and Chen and Leidecker have recently released their duo recording of "Triadic Memories", a document of a live performance on Negativland's "Over the Edge" radio program, which broadcasts from KPFA FM Berkeley. This night at The Lab will be the premiere of the work as performed by the trio.

View Event →
Dynasty Handbag: Shell of a Woman
Feb
23
8:00 PM20:00

Dynasty Handbag: Shell of a Woman

8pm Doors / 8:30pm Show
$25 Guests / $15 for Members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Shell of a Woman is "crackpot genius" Dynasty Handbag's expert powerpoint lecture on the "10 Greatest Works Of Art" according to the internet.  Professor Bags will "explain" (make up lies) about the work's origins which naturally devolve into semi-autobiographical/insane narratives peppered with songs, dance numbers and psychedelic inner monologuing.  For example, did you know that Picasso's Guernica is about PETA activists setting free cows from a factory farm on the I5 and the subsequent rebellion of said cows against their liberators and Jackson Pollock's famous sloppy wiggle paintings are representations of wild 90's pasta dishes that were served in a revolving restaurant in Time's Square - plus more true facts plus a tap dancing numbers to Black Sabbath's "The Wizard" plus a remake of the pirate classic "Yo Ho Ho It's The Artist Life For Me".

Jibz Cameron is a performance/video artist and actor living in Los Angeles. Her multi-media performance work as alter ego Dynasty Handbag has spanned 15 years and been presented at such institutions as MOCA, PS1, Joe's Pub, The Kitchen, REDCAT, The Broad Museum, The Hammer Museum, The New Museum of Contemporary Art New York, among others. She has been heralded by the New York Times as “the funniest and most pitch perfect performance seen in years” and “outrageously smart, grotesque and innovative” by The New Yorker. She has written and produced 7 evening length performance pieces and countless short works that have been performed in clubs and venues internationally. She also has produced multiple video works and 2 albums of original music. In addition to her work as Dynasty Handbag she has also been seen acting in films, theater and television (internet web series no one has seen). She works as a professor of performance and comedy related subjects as well as lecturing and teaching workshops. Jibz also produces and hosts Weirdo Night!, a monthly comedy and performance event in Los Angeles.

View Event →
Jibz Cameron/Dynasty Handbag: Artist - Show Thyself! Workshop
Feb
24
1:00 PM13:00

Jibz Cameron/Dynasty Handbag: Artist - Show Thyself! Workshop

1-4pm Workshop
$40 Guests / $30 Members
Member Login
Guest Registration

Many creative people have a hard time getting “out there” and being seen as the brilliant makers that we are. In this workshop, we’ll work through some of the roots of these false narratives that help keep us hidden-untangling what get's us stuck and staying stuck, what inspires us and what our biggest fears around art making are. We will also learn basic marketing tips and practical steps for growing a project and a practice (time management, social media outreach, asking for help from your community and helping your community). Bring a notebook and something to write with and your big questions!  P.S. This workshop is FUN, despite the above description. 

View Event →

Roscoe Mitchell Quartet
Dec
7
to Dec 8

Roscoe Mitchell Quartet

8pm Doors / 8:30pm Show
$25 Guests / $20 for Members
SEATED TICKETS SOLD OUT – Standing room tickets and floor seats will be sold at the door depending on space. Add your name to the queue at the front desk when you arrive and we will start releasing tickets at 8:30pm. Please have payment in hand when your name is called.

The Lab will host saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell and his quartet with Ambrose Akinmusire, Junius Paul and Vincent Davis. The project marks Mitchell’s last performance before he returns to Madison, Wisconsin, celebrating his eleven-year contribution to the Bay Area as the Darius Milhaud Chair of Composition at Mills College. An iconoclastic figure in contemporary music whose work ranges from classical to contemporary, from wild and forceful free jazz to ornate chamber music, Mitchell is an internationally renowned musician, composer, and innovator.

“If one wants to be a good improviser, one has to know how composition works so one can execute it in real time. Therefore, it is imperative to study composition and improvisation as a parallel. Music is 50 percent sound and 50 percent silence. If one sits down and listens to nothing but silence in a very quiet place, it's very intense. So, when one interrupts that silence with a sound, one must make sure that the sound has the same intensity as the silence. When this is achieved, sound and silence start to work together opening doors to multiple choices that should always exist in good improvisation and composition. When writing a composition, one is given more time to make these selections. Improvising in real time, one must be able to make these selections spontaneously. I strive to incorporate these elements in my work and have found them to be extremely helpful." – Roscoe Mitchell, 2014

Roscoe Mitchell serves as the Darius Milhaud Chair of Composition at Mills College. His virtuosic resurrection of overlooked woodwind instruments spanning extreme registers, visionary solo performances, and assertion of a hybrid compositional/improvisational paradigm have placed him at the forefront of contemporary music. Mr. Mitchell is a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and the Trio Space. He is also distinguished as the founder of the Creative Arts Collective, The Roscoe Mitchell Sextet & Quartet, The Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble, The Sound Ensemble, The New Chamber Ensemble, and the Note Factory.

View Event →
Beam Splitter & Voicehandler
Dec
5
7:30 PM19:30

Beam Splitter & Voicehandler

7:30pm Doors / 8:00pm Performance
$15 Guests / $10 for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Beam Splitter is a duo for amplified voice, trombone and occasional analog electronics. Utilizing the pure sounds of acoustic and closely amplified sound sources, Audrey Chen, voice/electronics (www.audreychen.com), and Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø, trombone/electronics (www.henriknorstebo.com), join together two individual voices into a distinct dialog that delves beyond the borders of the corporeal elements of extended technique and sound. There is an intimacy and conflict that becomes evident as the two personas intertwine, in moments joining together seamlessly and in the next, being left with the feeling of irrevocable fracture. The two manage between these extremes with a kind of improvised grace that reveals an effort towards a common goal. It is an honest metaphor for a human relationship in process that even in the most serene moments can leave one raw and entirely exposed.

Voicehandler plays intuitive, incantatory music grounded in the most primitive and somatic instruments -- the voice and percussion -- juxtaposed with contemporary, disembodied electronics. We situate ourselves in our physical and social environment through our music. Our improvisations are shaped by their setting and context, and we use site-specific installations to more deeply experience spaces. We deconstruct song forms in relation to mythology and literature to explore our humanity and the shifting discourse surrounding it.

View Event →
Semiconductor: Earthworks
Nov
27
to Dec 2

Semiconductor: Earthworks

Semiconductor: Earthworks presented by The Lab and Recombinant Media Labs as part of the Recombinant Festival 2018

Opening
: Tuesday, November 27; 6-8pm
Gallery Hours: November 27–December 2, 6-8pm
Free

Earthworks, created in 2016, is a five-channel computer generated animation, which creates an immersive experience of the phenomena of landscape formation through the scientific and technological devices that are used to study it. Masses of colorful layers are animated by the soundscapes of earthquake, volcanic, glacial and human activity, recorded as seismic waves, which form spectacular fluctuating marbled waveforms.

Semiconductor have acquired seismic data captured as a result of land shifting and forming, from all over the world. There are four distinct sections to the work, each using a different set of seismic data. This includes; glacial, earthquake, volcano and man-made seismic activity captured at La Planta quarry, Spain, to represent the Anthropocene, a new geological era influenced by humans. The data has been translated to audio to form the soundtrack of the work, and simultaneously control the animation of the layers. The data as sound directly sculpts the image, re-animates the landscape, and reflects the symbiotic relationship between landscape formation and seismic vibrations. The seismic audio is rich and full of the intricacies of the dynamics of our planet in motion.

Semiconductor: Earthworks is part of the Recombinant Festival // Nov 26 - Dec 2, 2018 

View Event →
Club Chai and Shade present DJ Lag
Nov
15
to Nov 16

Club Chai and Shade present DJ Lag

9pm–2am
$15 general admission / $10 members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Club Chai and SHADE present South African DJ and producer DJ Lag. DJ Lag is known for pioneering the quintessentially Durban bass driven genre of Gqom beyond his own city and across the international dance music underground.

Club Chai is a label, event series, radio show and curatorial project founded by 8ULENTINA and FOOZOOL in Oakland, California. Club Chai centers diasporic narratives, women, and trans artists, DJs and producers while hybridizing nonwestern sounds with club music.

Shade is a concept. An art house. A name cultivated out of a friendship between two creative women of color who saw a void online and in the art world. Shade is currently run out of the Bay Area. Our space is ever changing and uncontainable.

DJ Lag: ‘Poster boy’ or his preferred descriptor of “king of gqom”—there’s no disputing DJ Lag has propelled the raw, foot-stomping, quintessential sound of Durban’s townships into the global music arena. A dark, minimalist, bass-heavy sound, full of offbeat thumps and stunted vocal snippets—DJ Lag’s visceral, evocative tunes continue to showcase its continued mutations. mutek.org/en/montreal/2018/artists/9595-dj-lag

View Event →
Experience It: Simon Fujiwara
Oct
29
6:00 PM18:00

Experience It: Simon Fujiwara

6:30 pm, doors open at 6 pm
Free!

Simon Fujiwara has shaped a complex and rich practice that interweaves performance, film, sculpture, and text into highly immersive environmental installations exploring the inherent contradictions in meaning and interpretation of image and representation. Often bringing personal experiences (both real and imagined) into contact with broader historical, social, and political topics, his expansive practice examines the influence marketing, advertising, social media, and other communication mechanisms have on the construction of personal identity. Recent solo exhibitions include Joanne, Galerie Wedding, Raum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Berlin (2018); Hope House, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz (2018); Figures in a Landscape, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf (2016); Joanne, The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2016); The Humanizer, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2016); White Day, Tokyo Opera City Gallery (2016); The Way, Yu-un, Obayashi Collection, Tokyo (2016); Three Easy Pieces, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge (2014). Fujiwara is based in Berlin and represented by Esther Schipper, Berlin.

Experience It is a conversation series about this shift. In dialogue with visiting artists, the series examines, among other things, the social and architectural conditions of an exhibition site. The format includes conversations between each artist and curator and art historian James Voorhies, as well as viewings of film clips, performances, and images of their work. Experience It aims to reveal why artists choose their given artistic approaches, how institutions support them, and how they imagine their audiences as integral to the art, ultimately arriving at a better understanding of the “it” in the work.

View Event →
A Night of Poetry with Joyce Lee and Tongo Eisen-Martin
Oct
23
8:30 PM20:30

A Night of Poetry with Joyce Lee and Tongo Eisen-Martin

8:30-10:00pm, readings start promptly at 9pm
$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds), free for members

Joyce Lee, whose talent defined Bay Area poetry, returns for a special evening of poetry. Accompanied by Tongo Eisen-Martin, catch her for this brief stint before she leaves for international waters again.

Joyce Lee is a writer, educator, performer, poet and an Oakland, California native whose gift with words and expression have made her an international talent. Joyce was the 2009 and 2010 Oakland Grand Slam champion, the 2014 Ill List champion, and is a featured storyteller for WNYC's Snap Judgement.

Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker, and educator. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His book titled, "Someone's Dead Already" was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book "Heaven Is All Goodbyes" was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won a California Book Award and an American Book Award.

View Event →
An Evening of Improvisation with Phillip Greenlief and Joelle Leandre / Fred Frith, Gabby Fluke-Mogul, and Nava Dunkelman
Oct
14
7:30 PM19:30

An Evening of Improvisation with Phillip Greenlief and Joelle Leandre / Fred Frith, Gabby Fluke-Mogul, and Nava Dunkelman

7:30pm Doors / 8:00pm Performance
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

French double bass player, improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre is one of the dominant figures of the new European music. joelle-leandre.com

​​​​​​​Since his emergence on the west coast in the late 1970s, Evander Music founder and saxophonist Phillip Greenlief has achieved international critical acclaim for his recordings and performances with musicians and composers in the post-jazz continuum as well as new music innovators and virtuosic improvisers. evandermusic.com

Fred Frith
 has been performing and composing in a broad range of musical contexts for more than 50 years. fredfrith.com

Nava Dunkelman
 is a Bay Area based percussionist and improviser. Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in a multi-cultural environment by an American father and Indonesian mother. navadunkelman.com

gabby fluke-mogul 
is a violinist, improviser, composer, & educator living in Oakland, CA. flukemogul.com

View Event →
All the Self Canonized Saints of Becoming: a reading by Juliana Huxtable
Oct
13
7:30 PM19:30

All the Self Canonized Saints of Becoming: a reading by Juliana Huxtable

7:30pm, reading starts promptly at 8pm
Free

Please join us for a reading by artist, DJ, and writer Juliana Huxtable, introduced by Anne Lesley Selcer. Huxtable’s recent book, Mucus in My Pineal Gland, takes on media's constituting powers in our desires. These poems and performance texts memorialize the internet in loud clanking blue letters, they time stamp the ephemerality of screen text. Mucus in My Pineal Gland was co-published in 2017 by Capricious and Wonder. Life was co-written with artist Hannah Black and released in 2017 by König.

View Event →
POOLREADY!
Oct
2
7:30 PM19:30

POOLREADY!

7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performances
$10 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Circuit Network is producing POOLREADY!, a new dance and multimedia piece choreographed by Butoh artist Ledoh that explores the complexities of climate change, and the irony in the futility of individuals being able to act collectively in their self-interest and for the good of humanity. POOLREADY! is slated to premiere in the spring of 2019, and The Lab welcomes the artistic team for a short residency to test some of the production elements.

The design and fabrication of a mobile performance environment is at the crux of the presentation of POOLREADY! A cube that can be loaded on a trailer and hitched to a van or pickup truck will contain set, lighting and media presentation elements. This will form the backdrop of the playing area for our traveler equipped to float in an illuminated display case, surrounded by a digitally-induced desert yet threatened by flood, creating a light-based diorama that speaks to the coming weather extremes. Videographer Perry Hallinan will develop the visual and media elements, and dancer Monique Goldwater will join Ledoh in the performance.

View Event →
A Sentimental Punk: An Incomplete Kurt Kren Film Retrospective, 1956–1996
Sep
22
to Sep 23

A Sentimental Punk: An Incomplete Kurt Kren Film Retrospective, 1956–1996

Saturday, September 22, 2018; 7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performances
    $15 Guests / $10 for members: member login or guest registration
Sunday, September 23, 2018; 7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performances
    $15 Guests / $10 for members: member login or guest registration
Festival Pass $25: guest registration

Pioneering Austrian experimental filmmaker Kurt Kren (b. Vienna, 1929; d. Vienna 1998) is an elusive yet persistent figure in twentieth-century histories of both performance- and film-based experimentation. His practice was idiosyncratic to say the least, staked in experimentation across media communication platforms in film and the visual arts no matter where that took him—from cooperative theaters, midnight screenings at commercial theaters, fringe film festivals in abandoned subway stations, and punk shows in warehouses; to art schools, artist studios, galleries and international art and film festivals, across nations and continents. In projects ranging from pseudo-pornographic collaborations with the Austrian performance art group known as the Vienna Actionists, to meticulously durational records of everyday space and time, to self-reflexive ‘documents’ of film cooperative life and experimental worlds, Kren combined and re-combined structural film techniques with inquiries into social space, re-constituting what ‘film about film’ or ‘film as film’ might mean.

This event is co-organized by Canyon Cinema FoundationBlack Hole Cinematheque and Megan Hoetger. Presenting partner: The Lab. Community sponsors: San Francisco Cinematheque and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

View Event →
Wizard Apprentice & Julius Smack / Madalyn Merkey
Sep
13
7:30 PM19:30

Wizard Apprentice & Julius Smack / Madalyn Merkey

7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performances
$10 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Wizard Apprentice is an independent electronic music producer, motion graphics and live performance artist. As a highly-sensitive introvert, her multimedia projects are strategies for energetically managing an overwhelming world. Her music is a combination of lyrical precision, minimalistic composition, and technically amateurish charm. She creates digitally-based media that takes advantage of accessible, user-friendly technology; allowing her to skip time consuming learning curves and get straight to focusing on inventing personalized yet highly relatable language for deeply subtle and internal experiences. She's not a gear-head, rather, a digital folk artist who vividly and simplistically expresses her inner world using resourcefulness and honesty. Her video work incorporates green screen graphics, digital puppetry, and minimalistic compositing to produce imagery that’s cerebral, campy, and hypnotic. She combines song and video to create multimedia live performances that explore intimate emotional themes ranging from the challenges/triumphs of being an empath to overstimulation in the Internet Age. url-gurl.com

Julius Smack is the stage persona of Peter Hernandez, an American musician and performer whose work philosophizes technology and modernity. In addition to music production and keyboard performance, he composes scores for woodwind and vocal ensembles, which is performed as Julius Smack Ensemble. His performances feature dance and theater segments integrating heightened drama, pedestrian movement, and vogue dance. His discography includes solo and collaborative releases on Los Angeles-based Practical Records, which he directs as a shared context for performance and music releases by American queer, transgender, and POC communities. He performs in spaces ranging from institutions to farm stands to queer dance clubs. His work has been presented at Hammer Museum, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, the historic Aunt Charlie’s Lounge in San Francisco, Zebulon, Trans-Pecos, Human Resources, and Rogaland Kunstsenter in Stavanger, Norway. juliussmack.com

Madalyn Merkey is a composer and performer of live computer music based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her recent work observes the principles of acoustic instruments and material spaces to design real-time sound synthesis programs for site-specific performances. In 2015, Merkey translated the pioneer electronic music text, Due scuole di musica elettronica in Italia (1968) by composer Enore Zaffiri (b. Turin, 1928), from Italian to English. She first realized the audio portion of Zaffiri’s projects at Mills College in 2014 as part of her MFA thesis in Electronic Music. She then completed further research at the Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini in Florence, Italy. madalynmerkey.bandcamp.com/

View Event →
Experience It: Shahryar Nashat
Sep
10
6:00 PM18:00

Experience It: Shahryar Nashat

6:30 pm, doors open at 6 pm
Free

In his sculptures, photographs, and films, the work of Swiss artist Shahryar Nashat often addresses the representation of the body and the conventions of mediation and presentation. Nashat finds great pleasure in details, and his works—with their near-obsessive methods of framing and cropping—draw the viewer into a world of clandestine forms, artful gestures, and posturing. His work has been exhibited widely, including the Kunsthalle Basel (2017); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2017); Portikus, Frankfurt (2016); Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin (2016); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2016); 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles (2015); and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge (2015). He took part in the 20th Sydney Biennale (2016); La Biennale de Montréal (2016); the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); and the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Nashat is represented by David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, and Rodeo Gallery, London. He is currently based in Los Angeles.

Immersive exhibitions that stimulate multiple senses—hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, even smelling—are common in contemporary art today. Museums, galleries, biennials, and art fairs are presenting work by artists who interweave objects, images, texts, sound, video, and performance into dense, enveloping environments. These presentations physically implicate viewers in orchestrated situations, both inside and outside the institution, where art and ideas coalesce through the direct experience of space and time. Often complex in the making, the work requires artists and their studios to corral a range of skilled resources to produce something well beyond the expertise and confines of an artist’s studio.

This development speaks to the changing characteristics of the artist figure—manager and artistic director, negotiator and administrator—in reaction to expectations of art institutions and audiences who crave more experiential engagement with contemporary art.

Experience It is a conversation series about this shift. In dialogue with visiting artists, the series examines, among other things, the social and architectural conditions of an exhibition site. The format includes conversations between each artist and curator and art historian James Voorhies, as well as viewings of film clips, performances, and images of their work. Experience It aims to reveal why artists choose their given artistic approaches, how institutions support them, and how they imagine their audiences as integral to the art, ultimately arriving at a better understanding of the “it” in the work.

View Event →
The Drum and the Word: An evening of percussion and poetry with Dame Drummer and Tongo Eisen-Martin
Aug
22
7:00 PM19:00

The Drum and the Word: An evening of percussion and poetry with Dame Drummer and Tongo Eisen-Martin

7-9pm, performance starts promptly at 7:30pm
​​​​​​​$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds), free for members

A virtuosic combination of two liberation artists pushing the bounds of expression and resistance. Tongo and Dame bring all facets of the diaspora to bare in a night of haunting and relentless percussion and poetry.

Dame Drummer has toured in over 4 continents performing in London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Nepal, Palestine, Moscow, Colombia, Victoria BC, Germany, Panama and Portugal to name a few.  His solo music has reached people all over the world. He has worked with a long list of artists including Los RakasLeVICEJazz MafiaMartin LutherMarcus MachadoUriah DuffyAisha Fukushima,ShapeshifterDaM-FunKKev ChoiceConya DossAlvin FrazierMyronMugpushDJ TeekoSarah's GirlFantastic Negrito and the list goes on.  Dame is currently playing with PRINCE protege and vocal powerhouse Liv Warfield. With the same ear for music beyond his drumming abilities Dame is also a well versed producer across multiple genres and is currently in the studio wrapping up his full length LP entitled "Loveolution."  "Loveolution" is the the divine solution to the pain and suffering amongst the community that Dame identifies with the most; The Meek, Poor and Oppressed. 

Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His book of poems titled, "Someone's Dead Already" was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book "Heaven Is All Goodbyes" was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series.

Organized by The Lab’s writer in residence, Tongo Eisen-Martin.

View Event →
A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness
Aug
11
8:00 PM20:00

A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness

Saturday, August 11, 2018
8pm Doors / 8:30pm Performance
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

During the experimental live cinema experience A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness, Brent Green and musician Walt McClements (Lonesome Leash, Dark Dark Dark, Hurray for the Riff-Raff) will present Green's films with live narration, music and foley effects.  The evening will feature A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness, Carlin, Paulina Hollers, and Strange Fates, all featured at the Sundance FestivalFocusing largely on stirring visuals the emotionally charged films enchant audiences with southern gothic narration and flickering stop-motion animation.

View Event →
ICON: a night of poetry with the new work of F. Doug Brown, Mike Sonksen, David Lau, and Tongo Eisen-Martin
Aug
3
7:00 PM19:00

ICON: a night of poetry with the new work of F. Doug Brown, Mike Sonksen, David Lau, and Tongo Eisen-Martin

7-9pm, readings start promptly at 7:30pm
$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds), free for members

F. Douglas Brown is author of ICON, a new collection of poetry from Writ Large Press in 2018, and Zero to Three (University of Georgia 2014), winner of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize selected by US Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith. He also co-authored with poet Geffrey DavisBegotten (Upper Rubber Boot Books 2016), a chapbook of poetry as part of Upper Rubber Boot Book's Floodgate Poetry Series. Brown, an educator for over 20 years, currently teaches English and African American Poetry at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, an all-boys Jesuit school. He is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow. His poems have appeared in the Academy of American PoetsThe PBS News HourThe Virginia Quarterly (VQR), Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review (CQR), The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House ReviewCura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism.

Mike Sonksen, is a 3rd-generation L.A. native whose prose and poetry have been included in programs with the Mayor’s Office, the Los Angeles Public Library’s “Made in LA,” series and Grand Park. Most recently, one of his essays was nominated for an Award with the LA Press Club. Sonksen teaches at Woodbury University.  

David Lau has published two books of poetry: Virgil and the Mountain Cat and Still Dirty. His poems and essays have appeared in New Left Review, Bookforum, Boston Review, The Margins, and Literary Hub. He is co-editor of Lana Turner: a Journal of Poetry and Opinion.

Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His book of poems titled, "Someone's Dead Already" was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book "Heaven Is All Goodbyes" was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series.

Organized by The Lab’s artist in residence, Tongo Eisen-Martin.

View Event →
Body/Head: Kim Gordon and Bill Nace / Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase
Jul
14
8:30 PM20:30

Body/Head: Kim Gordon and Bill Nace / Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase

8:30pm Doors / 9pm Performance
SOLD OUT

Kim Gordon and Bill Nace's debut album together as Body/Head, Coming Apart, from 2013, was more of a rock record—heavy, emotional, cathartic, spellwork in shades of black and grey. The Switch is their second studio full-length, and it finds the duo working with a more subtle palette, refining their ideas and identity. Some of it was sketched out live (if you’ve not had the fortune of seeing them in that natural environment yet, see 2016’s improvisational document No Waves), but much of it happened purely in the moment. Working in the same studio and with the same producer as Coming Apart, here Body/Head stretch out, making spacious pieces that build shivering drones, dissonant interplay, Gordon’s manipulated vocals, and scraping, haunting textures into something that feels both delicate and dangerous. Less discrete songs than one composition broken up into thematic movements, a slow-moving narrative that requires as much attention and care from the listener as it did from everyone involved in its creation, it is a record that sticks around after it’s done playing.

View Event →
Ieva Misevičiūtė: A Night with Lord of Beef
Jul
12
7:30 PM19:30

Ieva Misevičiūtė: A Night with Lord of Beef

7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performances
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

A Night with Lord of Beef fuses elements of academic reverie, physical theater, dance, and sexual slapstick. Lord of Beef (aka Ieva Misevičiūtė) is alone at home and is overwhelmed with her thoughts about society, economy, and the meaning of life. Come join her as she swings through animalistic loops, propositions for new models of society, horror film scenarios, and maybe even impersonations of objects, people, and phenomena.

Ieva Misevičiūtė is a New York-based artist, working in both visual arts and theater. Her practice combines physical theatre, dance, stand-up, Butoh, perverted academic language and sculptural work.

View Event →
Art & Dialogue: Chrissie Iles
Jun
30
6:00 PM18:00

Art & Dialogue: Chrissie Iles

Doors at 6pm / Talk starts at 6:30pm
Free

Please join Artadia for a free public program at The Lab. Chrissie Iles is a senior curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her curatorial focus is contemporary art, and film and video. She is part of the curatorial team that shapes the artistic program of the Whitney Museum, and is responsible for building the museum’s film and video collection. She has curated a number of thematic survey exhibitions of the moving image, and co-curated the 2004 and 2006 Whitney Biennials. She publishes and lectures widely, and is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, New York, a member of the Graduate Committee of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, an Advisory Board member of the Integrated Media Arts Program at Hunter College, New York, and a member of the Joan Jonas Knowledge Base Advisory Board at New York University. Iles was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the History of Art Department at Bristol University. She was previously Head of Exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, England.​​​​​​​

View Event →
Lonnie Holley / Sun Foot
Jun
20
7:30 PM19:30

Lonnie Holley / Sun Foot

7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performances
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Lonnie Holley combines recycled materials to construct stories, and each finished sculpture has a definition. Each element—from a piece of wire or twine to a small button or stone—is rich with meaning and is intended to be educational. Holley’s art and music invite audiences to engage with his personal philosophy: “My thing as an artist, I am not doing anything but still ringing that Liberty Bell, ding, ding, ding, on the shorelines of independence. Isn’t that beautiful? Can you hear the bell I’m ringing? And will you come running?” lonnieholley.com

Sun Foot is a Portland/Los Angeles-based three-piece outfit who play low-volume tunes through small amps and a drum set that consists of a hand drum, cymbal, pan lids, and electronic drum pad. All three sing, maybe play random cheap electronic keyboards, and probably switch off instruments. Good to listen to if you are interested in the sun and tired of negativity. Sun Foot is Ron Burns (Smog, Hot Spit Dancers, Swell), Chris Johanson (visual artist, The Deep Throats, Tina Age 13), and Brian Mumford (Dragging an Ox through Water, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Deep Fried Boogie Band, Jewelry Rash). j.mp/sunfootrbc

View Event →
Keith Hennessy: Crotch
Jun
7
to Jun 9

Keith Hennessy: Crotch

Thursday, June 7, 2018; 7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performance
Friday, June 8, 2018; 7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performance
Saturday, June 9, 2018; 7:30pm Doors / 8pm Performance

Reserve an advanced ticket (good for any of the three performances): $15 Guests / Free for members 
Door tickets: $10–20 sliding scale

Crotch (all the Joseph Beuys references in the world cannot heal the pain, confusion, regret, cruelty, betrayal or trauma...) references the images and actions of artist Joseph Beuys. On the surface the work is about art, its histories and heroes. Deeper, a sadness grows, a queer melancholy. A song, a dance, a lecture, talking to the dead. All labor is creative. This is the tenth anniversary performance of Hennessy’s Bessie Award winning solo.

View Event →
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: Friday 6/1 and Saturday 6/2
Jun
1
to Jun 2

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: Friday 6/1 and Saturday 6/2

8:00pm Doors / 8:30pm Performance
$20 Guests / $12 for Members
FRIDAY general admission tickets
SATURDAY general admission tickets
Member login

The Pyramids was founded in 1972. Alto saxophonist Ackamoor had originally left his hometown of Chicago to study music at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, where his teachers numbered legendary pianist Cecil Taylor. Via the Antioch Abroad Program, Ackamoor landed a year’s study overseas in 1972, which allowed him, and two Antioch students, to travel to Europe and Africa where he co – founded The Pyramids.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids feature the bandleader on alto/tenor saxophones, percussions, keyboard, and vocals, Sandy Poindexter violins and vocals, Skyler Stover acoustic and electric bass, vocals, and percussions, Silvestre Martinez drums, and percussions, David Molina guitar, percussions and vocals, and Bradie Speller congas and percussions.

View Event →
Kevin Drumm / Cameron Shafii
May
19
8:30 PM20:30

Kevin Drumm / Cameron Shafii

Saturday, May 19, 2018
8:30pm Doors / 9pm Performances
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Drumm’s work draws upon musique concrète, free improvisation, and noise music. He is also a black metal fanatic. kevindrumm.bandcamp.com

Cameron Shafii is an Iranian composer practicing electronic and electroacoustic music. His compositions are inflected with a host of digital synthesis processes and are informed by aspects of acousmatic theory, particularly spectromorphology. cameronshafii.com

View Event →
24 Hour Telethon!
Apr
20
to Apr 21

24 Hour Telethon!

Tickets available at the door

4:20–6:30pm Hellfire Yoga (DOOR $30)
7–9:30pm Mutant Makeover (DOOR $40)
10pm Sleepover w/ William Basinski (DOOR $60)
6–11am Rave & Shine (DOOR $30)
Noon–4:20pm Gar(b)age Sale (DOOR $30)

All Access Pass (DOOR $150)

Join us for 24 hours of non-stop performances presented before a rotating studio audience and simultaneously broadcast online. The Telethon celebrates all that is bizarre & beautiful about our fair city and enables The Lab to continue paying rent and paying artists! Tickets for each event are limited – get yours today.

View Event →
False Starts: Kevin Killian, Claudia La Rocco, and Tongo Eisen-Martin
Apr
16
7:00 PM19:00

False Starts: Kevin Killian, Claudia La Rocco, and Tongo Eisen-Martin

7-9pm, readings start promptly at 7:30pm
$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds), free for members

Kevin Killian is a San Francisco-based writer and artist.  His books include Impossible Princess, Action Kylie, three volumes of  Selected Amazon Reviews, and Tony Greene Era.  Recent projects include a novel, Spreadeagle, and Tagged, nude portraits of poets, artists, writers, musicians, etc.  In 2017 Nightboat Books published Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative Writing 1977-1997, a capacious anthology Killian co-edited with Dodie Bellamy.

Claudia La Rocco is the author of the selected writings The Best Most Useless Dress(Badlands Unlimited, 2014) and the novel petit cadeau (The Chocolate Factory Theater, 2015). animals & giraffes, her duo with musician/composer Phillip Greenlief and an ongoing roster of collaborators, has released two albums: July (with various musicians; Edgetone Records, 2017) and Landlocked Beach (with Wobbly; Creative Sources, 2018)  Her poetry and prose have been published in 6X6 #34: I Like Softness (Ugly Duckling Presse), Imagined Theatres: Writing for a theoretical stage (Daniel Sack, ed; Routledge), On Value (Ralph Lemon, ed; Triple Canopy), et al. She has received grants and residencies from such organizations as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation, and Headlands Center for the Arts.

Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His book of poems titled, "Someone's Dead Already" was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book "Heaven Is All Goodbyes" was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series.

View Event →
Norman Westberg / Thor & Friends / Kal Spelletich
Apr
5
8:00 PM20:00

Norman Westberg / Thor & Friends / Kal Spelletich

Thursday, April 5, 2018
8:00pm Doors / 8:30pm Sound
$20 Guests / $12 for Members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Best known for his work with the seminal outfit SWANS, Westberg’s output beyond that group is sprawling and restless. His name recurs and ripples through many interconnected micro-histories surrounding New York City’s music and art scenes. From appearances in film works associated with the Cinema Of Transgression, through to his participation in bands such as The Heroine Sheiks and Five Dollar Priest, Westberg’s name is woven deeply into the fabric of New York over the past three decades.

After five years of touring as the percussionist of The Swans, Thor Harris began Thor & Friends in the autumn of 2015 as a vehicle to experiment with a cast of rotating Austin based musicians in the vein of American minimalism. As an instrument carpenter and acoustic polyglot, Thor & Friends is the sound of Harris’ return home — an elongated greeting and ode to his community, woodworking shop, and the instruments his hands bring texture too.

View Event →
Psychodropping: raising a hire self: consultations in blended mediums
Apr
1
8:30 PM20:30

Psychodropping: raising a hire self: consultations in blended mediums

8:30pm Doors / 9pm Performances
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

2018 tour launch for Oracle+ (OAK), RRLEW (NYC) and Frank's Tina Takes (OAK), also the release party for a new Oracle+ DVD on Resipiscent Records.

Oracle+
If video were marble slab, Oracle+ carves negative space to uncover its neolithic paintings and stained voices. This is free-form divined and reenacted aesthetics, not your art museum's brand of self-expression but something spookier by a fathom, teasing familiars into view only to dispel, casting them back into sinkholes of tactile video, sound art, costume, sculpture, guided nightmare humor and collective memory. Now, as in millennia past, to consult an oracle is to greet fate, not what transcends the blizzard, but what is hidden within it. Oracle+ are Stephanie and Miel Lister, sisters raised up from Florida, in the conflux of rusting muscle cars and computers, televangelical fashion and eco-cataclysm. None of which touched the haunted calm shared between them, a secret of sisters enlarged into another sphere. https://youtu.be/vzAqusbATKE

RRLEW
RRLEW is the Rube Goldberg Machine of performance art. The solo project of NYC's Rachel Lewallen, when RRLEW throws down, it's really all the world that comes unhung where it had been painfully hooked by its twisted underpants. Now naked and pancaked, all breath knocked from us, Lewallen has only just begun.  With gesture, costume, electronics, dance, she suspends all rules allowing her undead audience to hover above that void from where the next breath better come... whether choking gasps or song, commands or dance, laughter, screams or silence will erupt next is existential dread and disbelief itself, a shared fate she unfolds in real time. Recordings will not tell it, you'll need to leave your twisted unmentionables, come off your hung-ups, and unforgettably see her show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUJnqR-gENI

Frank's Tina Takes
“Armchair pathologist of the last century and beyond.” “Honest as a lunar landing and twice as close.” Laden with generational bait, Frank invites you to fake your first footsteps, run clear your history and delete your drive. https://soundcloud.com/franzrolloverminutes

View Event →