The Lab

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

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Experience It: Rosa Barba
Nov
19
6:00 PM18:00

Experience It: Rosa Barba

Rosa Barba is an artist with a particular interest in film and the ways it articulates space. Taking a conceptual approach to filmmaking, questions of composition, physicality of form, and plasticity play an important role in the perception of her work. She interrogates the industry of cinema with respect to various forms of staging, such as gesture, genre, information, and documents, taking them out of the context in which they are normally seen and reshaping and representing them anew. Recent solo exhibitions include Solar Flux Readings, Palacio de Cristal, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2017); From Source to Poem to Rhythm to Reader, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2017); Spacelength Thought, Secession, Vienna (2017); Elements of Conduct, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2017); From Source to Poem, CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2016); Blind Volumes, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2016); and Spaces for species (and pieces), Albertinum, Dresden (2015). Barba is based in Berlin.

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.

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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/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.​​​​​​​

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Experience It: Jon Rafman
Mar
26
6:00 PM18:00

Experience It: Jon Rafman

6pm Doors / 6:30pm Talk
Free

Jon Rafman (b. 1981) is a Canadian artist and writer interested in the impact digital technologies have on society. In his films and installations, he explores online subcultures, multiplayer video games, and our increasing obsession with digital life, virtual and real. His immersive works and exhibitions interrogate how our collective human experience and individual desires are shaped and mediated by continually evolving digital and communication platforms.

Experience It is a conversation series about this work. In close dialogue with visiting artists, the series will examine, among other things, the social and architectural conditions of an exhibition site. The format will include conversations between each artist and the writer and art historian James Voorhies, as well as viewings of film clips, performances, and images of their work to dissect and analyze their multivalent, time-based activity. The series will address questions around the making and reception of this work by looking closely at artists’ practices and processes, their engagement with institutional infrastructures, and discussing how they negotiate the economics of making 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.

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keyon gaskin: this is an artwork…
Mar
15
to Mar 16

keyon gaskin: this is an artwork…

Thursday, March 15, 2018
7:00pm Doors / 7:30pm Start
$20 Guests / $12 Members
Thursday registration: member login or guest registration

Friday, March 16, 2018
8:00pm Doors / 8:30pm Start
$20 Guests / $12 Members
Friday registration: member login or guest registration

this is an artwork
this is for you
you are a community
you are my material
this is a prison
leave when you want

keyon gaskin prefers not to contextualize their art with their credentials

Co-presented by the CounterPulse Festival and in conjunction with Limited Edition. Limited Edition is an Open Space partnership with CounterPulse, The Lab, ODC Theater, Performance at SFMOMA, and Z Space, exploring questions of legacy and lineage through performances, discussions, and gatherings at various locations throughout the city, with commissioned texts appearing regularly online. For more information about the partnership, please visit Open Space

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False Starts: Elizabeth Robinson, Melissa Mack, and Aaron Simon
Mar
12
7:00 PM19:00

False Starts: Elizabeth Robinson, Melissa Mack, and Aaron Simon

7-9pm, readings start promptly at 7:30pm
$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds), free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Elizabeth Robinson is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Rumor from Free Verse Editions.She has been a winner of the National Poetry Series and the Fence Modern Poets Prize and the recipient of grants from the Fund for Poetry, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Brown Foundation/Museum of Fine Arts Houston.  Her mixed genre book On Ghosts was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry.

Melissa Mack is a poet and working person whose book The Next Crystal Text is just out from Timeless, Infinite Light. Recent poems appear in Elderly and forthcoming from 1913 Journal. Her chapbook Includes All Strangers was published by Hooke Press in 2013. Other earlier work includes poems and other writings in ATTN:, The Capilano Review, Try!, With+Stand, the anthologies What We Want: A List of Our Fucking Demands (Small Press Traffic) and Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot (PEN America), Poet’s Theater, the Alette in Oakland conference, and the Oscar Grant Plaza Gazette. She loves collective learning, participates in multiple reading groups, and helped organize the Bay Area Public School and the Oakland Free University. She lives and works in Oakland.

Aaron Simon is the author of Carrier (Insurance Editions 2006), Periodical Days (Green Zone Editions, 2007), Senses Himself, (Green Zone Editions, 2014), Rain Check Poems (BlazeVOX [books], 2015), and On My Way (Breather Editions, 2018). His recent poems have appeared in NoWhere, The Delineator, and Across the Margin. He lives in Oakland, CA.

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Stranded presents: Ellen Arkbro / Sarah Davachi
Mar
11
8:00 PM20:00

Stranded presents: Ellen Arkbro / Sarah Davachi

8pm Doors / 9pm Music
Ticket link: https://www.strandedrecords.com/collections/tickets/products/ellen-arkbro-sarah-davachi-march-11th-at-the-lab
There will be a limited amount of $12 tickets available for members of The Lab, but they must be reserved in advance. Please email thelabsf@thelab.org to have your name added to the member list.

Ellen Arkbro is a composer and sound-artist primarily working with intervallic harmony in just intonation. Her work includes long duration compositions for ensembles as well as electronic sound environments in the form of installations and live performances, employing both traditional acoustic instruments as well as digital algorithmic sound synthesis. In 2017 Arkbro released her first album, For Organ And Brass, a set of recordings of her compositions in just intonation for renaissance organ, horn, trombone and microtonal tuba. ellenarkbro.com

As a composer of electronic and electroacoustic music, Sarah Davachi's compositional projects are primarily concerned with disclosing the antiquated instruments and forgotten sonics of a bygone era in analog synthesis, with concurrent treatment of acoustic sources – particularly organ, piano, strings, and woodwinds – often involving de-familiarization through processing. Her work considers the experience of enveloped sonic dwelling, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize variations in overtone complexity and psychoacoustic artefacts. sarahdavachi.com

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Experience It: Sharon Hayes
Mar
5
6:00 PM18:00

Experience It: Sharon Hayes

6pm Doors / 6:30pm Talk
Free

Sharon Hayes (b. 1970) is an American artist who inhabits a space between activism and performance, exploring the intersections of politics, history, journalism, and linguistics. She often uses installation and video recordings but also works through public engagement on city streets. Hayes gained notoriety in New York’s East Village scene of the early 1990s for reciting, or “re-speaking,” political speeches of the 1960s and ’70s and continues to explore the political power of language and media in our interpretation of contemporary life. 

Experience It is a conversation series about this work. In close dialogue with visiting artists, the series will examine, among other things, the social and architectural conditions of an exhibition site. The format will include conversations between each artist and the writer and art historian James Voorhies, as well as viewings of film clips, performances, and images of their work to dissect and analyze their multivalent, time-based activity. The series will address questions around the making and reception of this work by looking closely at artists’ practices and processes, their engagement with institutional infrastructures, and discussing how they negotiate the economics of making 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.

Organized by James Voorhies, Dean of Fine Arts and Acting Chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts, in partnership with Dena Beard, Director of The Lab.

 

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Maggi Payne / John Krausbauer & Kaori Suzuki
Mar
3
7:30 PM19:30

Maggi Payne / John Krausbauer & Kaori Suzuki

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

John Krausbauer and Kaori Suzuki will present an improvisational-composition with voices, amplified strings, electronics, and bell percussion.  Their work originates from their shared interest in ancient and spiritual musics as much as the western “avant-garde”.  Their performance utilizes sustained tones (drone), long durations, and playing endurance, aiming to create environments that are ‘experiential’ in nature, more than exclusively ‘musical’.  Krausbauer and Suzuki will be touring together performing their solo and duo sets in Japan in March 2018 and have multiple forthcoming releases later in the year.  Maggi Payne will open.

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Experience It: Martine Syms
Feb
26
6:00 PM18:00

Experience It: Martine Syms

6pm Doors / 6:30pm Talk
Free

Martine Syms (b. 1988) is an American artist who coined the term “conceptual entrepreneur” in 2007 to describe her area of critical inquiry. Working with digital media, film, and installation, Syms examines the construction and performance of black identity as a response to the experience of surveillance and consumer culture, while operating publication platforms such as Dominica Publishing, a press that has published and distributed work by Laurie Anderson, Diamond Stingily, and Hannah Black.    

Experience It is a conversation series about this work. In close dialogue with visiting artists, the series will examine, among other things, the social and architectural conditions of an exhibition site. The format will include conversations between each artist and the writer and art historian James Voorhies, as well as viewings of film clips, performances, and images of their work to dissect and analyze their multivalent, time-based activity. The series will address questions around the making and reception of this work by looking closely at artists’ practices and processes, their engagement with institutional infrastructures, and discussing how they negotiate the economics of making 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.

Organized by James Voorhies, Dean of Fine Arts and Acting Chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts, in partnership with Dena Beard, Director of The Lab.

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Tawil & Khoury: "Atlas" / Lord Tang
Feb
24
7:30 PM19:30

Tawil & Khoury: "Atlas" / Lord Tang

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

Weight of the world.
We crack.

Atlas presents an urgent sonic experience where silence is as meaningful as the nervous but minimalist vocabulary raining down. Atlas is concerned with the negotiations of burden – who holds what. It teases assumed agreements between performer and audience – using immersive physical sonic states to press weight upon the room. Atlas is a score of disorientation that places the performers at the mercy of their own doing.

Atlas was developed at TAC (Oakland) and Movement Research (NYC).  Atlas premiered at New York Live Arts/Live Ideas 2016 and shortly thereafter was presented at the After the Last Sky Festival (Berlin).  This is the duo’s first bay area appearance. Dominic Cramp’s Lord Tang will open.

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Simone Bailey: Sway, Clench, Release (Requiem No. 415)
Feb
24
7:00 PM19:00

Simone Bailey: Sway, Clench, Release (Requiem No. 415)

Saturday, February 24, 2018; 7-7:30pm
16th and Mission BART Plaza
Free

100 years after the beginnings of the Great Migration, San Francisco's black population, like the black populations in urban cities around the country, has been gutted. Historically, the North and West offered black Americans social and economic opportunities that could not be found in the Southern states our predecessors sought to escape. Now that has shifted to what many are calling a New Great Migration back to the South. Bailey asks, what does it mean for current socio-economic conditions to force black Americans back to the South?

The Lab’s 16th and Mission Project invites artists and the public to use the 16th Street and Mission BART plaza as a public art forum: a site for active social exchange through the medium of constructed situations. Events programmed for the corner’s regulars and passing pedestrians will inspire curiosity, participation, dialogue, and active witnessing. The actions are led by artists working in fields ranging from social practice and dance to mixed visual media and social justice.

Presented in conjunction with Limited Edition. Limited Edition is an Open Space partnership with CounterPulse, The Lab, ODC Theater, Performance at SFMOMA, and Z Space, exploring questions of legacy and lineage through performances, discussions, and gatherings at various locations throughout the city, with commissioned texts appearing regularly online. For more information about the partnership, please visit Open Space

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False Starts: George Albon, giovanni singleton, and Julien Poirier
Feb
19
7:00 PM19:00

False Starts: George Albon, giovanni singleton, and Julien Poirier

7-9pm, readings start promptly at 7:30pm
$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds), free for members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration


George Albon’s most recent books are Fire Break (poetry) and Aspiration (essay), both from 2013. Earlier books include Momentary Songs, Step, and Brief Capital of Disturbances. Fire Break won the NCIBA award for Best Poetry in 2014. Brief Capital was the Book of the Year from Small Press Traffic in 2004. Work of his has appeared in Chicago Review, Hambone, O Anthology 4, New American Writing, Crayon, Poetry Salzburg Review, Talisman, Stonecutter Journal, and elsewhere; and in the anthologies The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry, Blood and Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard, and Bay Poetics. Pieces on Morton Feldman and Otis Redding have appeared in Shuffle Boil. His essay “The Paradise of Meaning” was the George Oppen Memorial Lecture for 2002. This fall Nightboat Books will bring out a book of essays, Lyric Multiples: Aspiration, Practice, Immanence, Migration. He lives and works in San Francisco.

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giovanni singleton’s debut collection Ascension, informed by the music and life of Alice Coltrane, received the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her writing has also been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute’s American Jazz Museum, San Francisco’s first Visual Poetry and Performance Festival, and on the building of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She is founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. A collection of her visual work entitled AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper is forthcoming in 2018 from Canarium Books. She holds the 2017-18 Holloway Lectureship in Poetry at University of California-Berkeley.

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Julien Poirier has taught poetry in the New York City and San Francisco public schools and at San Quentin State Prison. He was a founding member of the Brooklyn-based Ugly Duckling Presse Collective. Some of his book are: Out of Print (City Lights, 2016), Way Too West (Bootstrap, 2015), and El Golpe Chileño (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010).

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Julie Tolentino: .bury.me.fiercely.
Feb
18
7:30 PM19:30

Julie Tolentino: .bury.me.fiercely.

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

.bury.me.fiercely. derives from the inner workings of Tolentino’s recent residency working one-to one with five local artists. This final iteration of the project offers signature methods: durational performance, movement, exploration of abstraction and minimalism with aims to seduce the project into its barest presentational form.
 
.bury.me.fiercely. aligns temporality with radical peripheral gestures: resistance and the haptic politics of the archive, memory, and dependency. Tolentino's dedication to practice offers the body as a landscape, a container of record, and a living archive through the lens of raced, illegible, and tethered lives.

Presented with support from Hope Mohr Dance’s Bridge Project and in conjunction with Limited Edition. Limited Edition is an Open Space partnership with CounterPulse, The Lab, ODC Theater, Performance at SFMOMA, and Z Space, exploring questions of legacy and lineage through performances, discussions, and gatherings at various locations throughout the city, with commissioned texts appearing regularly online. For more information about the partnership, please visit Open Space

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Consumer Electronics
Feb
10
to Feb 11

Consumer Electronics

9:30pm Doors / 10:00pm Sound
$20 Guests / $12 for Members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Consumer Electronics is a punk / electro / noise trio comprising ageing renegade Philip Best (ex-Whitehouse), his wife, the US artist Sarah Froelich and acclaimed noise/techno guru Russell Haswell. The band's recent releases "Estuary English" (2014), "Repetition Reinforcement" (Diagonal 12", 2015) and album "Dollhouse Songs" (Harbinger Sound, 2016) have cemented CE's reputation as prime movers in the field of avant-garde electronics, twisted beats and apocalyptic performance poetry. Their new single is scheduled for release in February 2018.

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Bob Ostertag / Fred Frith
Feb
3
8:00 PM20:00

Bob Ostertag / Fred Frith

8:00pm Doors / 8:30pm Sound
$20 Guests / $12 Members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Bob Ostertag makes a rare San Francisco appearance playing solo and in duo with longtime collaborator Fred Frith. Ostertag, who has been working with keyboard-less synthesizers since the mid-1970s, will play the latest iterations of his many and varied instruments.

Bob Ostertag's work cannot easily be summarized or pigeon-holed. He has published more than twenty-five CDs of music, two DVDs, and five books. His writings on contemporary politics have been published on every continent and in many languages. Electronic instruments of his own design are at the cutting edge of both music and video performance technology. He has performed at music, film, and multi-media festivals around the globe. His radically diverse collaborators include the Kronos Quartet, postmodernist John Zorn, heavy metal star Mike Patton, transgender cabaret icon Justin Vivian Bond, and many others. Ostertag first began publishing as a journalist covering the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. His most recent book is Sex Science Self: A Social History of Estrogen, Testosterone, and Identity (U Mass Press 2016). His previous book, Raising expectations (And Raising Hell) (Verso 2012) was about labor union organizing in Las Vegas. Co-authored with Jane McAlevey, The Nation magazine named it the Most Valuable Book of 2012. bobostertag.wordpress.com

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