The Lab

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

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Claudia La Rocco: And What’s More

December 15, 2018 – June 22, 2019

Claudia La Rocco's And What’s More is a literary, performance, art, and sound project that plays with traditional audience/maker/doer relationships. The third installment of her experimental Olivia Trilogy, And What’s More developed from years of La Rocco's collaborations with artists in different fields, exploring how form and content mutate but also cohere across disciplines, and how an artist can remain true to herself while also working in service of others. For this project, rather than asking artists to explicitly interpret her creation, she brings talented individuals into her imaginings (through the book form of And What’s More) in order to create a loose conversation between and among forms, both on and off the page: "A lot of what sparks my enthusiasm here is curiosity. What would happen if...? Specific to all of the individuals is a bristly intelligence — for some this is structural, for some physical, for some linguistic, philosophical, and so on… And there isn't anything I like more than intelligence. Even (especially?) when intelligence fails, it's interesting." With characteristic humor and poetry, La Rocco invites her collaborating artists to use The Lab’s space as a "page or a performance, or something else entirely."


Saturday, December 15, 2018
Amanda Nadelberg: Life Forms

A private workshop for the staff of The Lab 

Tuesday, March 20, 2019
Suzanne Stein: New Sutras
6:30 p.m. doors/ 7 p.m. reading

What is it to construct the time-based artistic creation that is a book-length work, while dealing with the minute-by-minute concerns and distractions of a day job? Suzanne Stein’s book-length poem New Sutras was written during the eight years that mark her tenure as founding editor-in-chief of SFMOMA’s Open Space; the same day job I have had while writing And What’s More. You could say the two books have nothing in common, and on one level that’s true. But that isn’t the level that interests me at all. —clr

Saturday, June 1, 2019
Teresa Baker: And What’s More
A limited edition of 20 works
All copies in the edition have been reserved

I will be making small, individual editions inspired by the landscapes, colors, and senses in Olivia’s world.  —tb 

Sunday, June 9, 2019
Alexandra Pappas: And What’s More
6:30 p.m. doors/7 p.m. event; free

I’m always asking Alex for research assistance, in order to make my forays into mythology a little less dilettantish. This time, I decided to cut out the middle-man (my art), or rather to let it be fodder for wherever she might like to go. At the time of this writing, here’s what I know about that wherever: It will likely involve “something about myth and myth-making, something Greco-Roman, something early Buddhist, and something(s) in gritty images.” —clr
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Anne Walsh with Leena Joshi: And What’s More
7:30 p.m. doors/8 p.m. performance; free

Anne just spent a bunch of years making a book into an exploded studio into a performance back into a book. For this performance, if that’s what it will be, she’s teamed up with writer, artist, and performer Leena Joshi. —clr

Saturday, June 22, 2019
Phillip Greenlief: The Known Universe for Olivia
7:30 p.m. doors/8 p.m. performance; $10-15 sliding scale

A map score for live electronics, voices and movement, The Known Universe for Olivia is organized to represent characters, places, and events found in the final installment of claudia la rocco's Olivia Trilogy. performers are allowed to enter and move freely in the open work with additional conduction cues from composer phillip greenlief.

the ensemble:

phillip greenlief - composer, conductor, saxophone
aurora josephson - voice
danishta rivero-castro - voice, electronics
sandy sleeper - voice, electronics
kyle bruckmann - electronics
thomas dimuzio - electronics
madalyn merkey - electronics
wobbly - electronics
alex escalante - movement
jesse hewit - movement
eleanor hullihan – movement

Claudia La Rocco is the author of The Best Most Useless Dress (Badlands Unlimited, 2014) and the chapbook I am trying to do the assignment ([2nd Floor Projects], 2018). The first two installments of The Olivia Trilogy, petit cadeau and Interstitial, were published in print, performance, and digital editions by The Chocolate Factory in 2015 and Michelle Ellsworth’s Man Pant Publishing imprint in 2016. With musician/composer Phillip Greenlief she is animals & giraffes, an ongoing experiment in improvisation; a&g performs regularly with artists from different disciplines and has released the albums July (with various musicians; Edgetone Records, 2017) and Landlocked Beach (with Wobbly; Creative Sources, 2018). La Rocco’s poetry and prose have been widely anthologized and she has bylines in such publications as Artforum, BOMB, and The New York Times, where she was an arts critic and reporter from 2005-2015. 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, and her work has been presented by The Walker Art Center, The Kitchen, The Whitney Museum of American Art, et al. She is editor in chief of SFMOMA’s interdisciplinary commissioning platform Open Space.

Collaborating Artists:

Teresa Baker is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in Western North Dakota. She has exhibited widely throughout the U.S., was a Tournesol Award Artist-in-Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts, as well as an artist-in-residence at The MacDowell Colony.  In 2018, her visual essay, Sego Lily, was published by Open Space (SFMOMA).

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. He has performed and recorded with Wadada Leo Smith, Meredith Monk, Rashaun Mitchell, and They Might Be Giants; albums include LANTSKAP LOGIC with Fred Frith and Evelyn Davis (clean feed) and THAT OVERT DESIRE OF OBJECT with Joelle Leandre. His critical writing has been published in Artforum, Open Space (SFMOMA) and Signal to Noise.

Amanda Nadelberg is a poet and lives in Oakland. She is the author of three books: Isa the Truck Named Isadore, Bright Brave Phenomena, and Songs from a Mountain.

Alexandra Pappas is Raoul Bertrand Chair in Classics and Director of the Center for Greek Studies at San Francisco State University. She is also a member of The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women/HIV Circle. Her teaching and research centers on ancient Greek words and images and how they make meaning together. She also makes sure to sit quietly every day.

Suzanne Stein’s poetry publications and performance documents include The Kim Game, TOUT VA BIEN, and Passenger Ship; her book-length poem New Sutras is forthcoming this spring. With the poet Steve Benson, she is the author of DO YOUR OWN DAMN LAUNDRY, which collects the 36 improvisational dialogues they performed together between 2011 and 2012. Writing has appeared recently in The Best American Experimental Writing, Elderly, and Open Space; performance recordings are archived at PennSound. Suzanne was the founding editor, and for eight years editor-in-chief, of Open Space, SFMOMA'S hybrid art and language platform and publication.

Anne Walsh is a maker of performance, video, sound, and text works, many of which re-mediate the works and lives of other artists and her own family. Walsh’s book Hello Leonora, Soy Anne Walsh (2019, no place press/MIT Press) epitomizes the aggressively indexical, personal, and analytical nature of her practice: it is a visual and written ‘adaptation’ of Leonora Carrington’s 1950 fantastical feminist novella The Hearing Trumpet. Other recent adaptations include Walsh’s live performances with poet Jocelyn Saidenberg of Camille Roy’s play Sometimes Dead is Better, and her video installation Anthem, in which she performed, with a troupe of Oakland elders, the Oscar winning song “Let It Go,” from the 2014 Disney film Frozen.  

Funding for Claudia La Rocco: And What’s More generously provided by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.