The Lab

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

Filtering by: Commissioned Artists
Claudia La Rocco: And What’s More
Jun
1
to Jun 22

Claudia La Rocco: And What’s More

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."

Events:

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.

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

View Event →

Suzanne Stein reading for Claudia La Rocco: And What’s More
Mar
20
6:30 PM18:30

Suzanne Stein reading for Claudia La Rocco: And What’s More

Reading starts promptly at 7pm
Free

"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." – Claudia La Rocco

Suzanne Stein’s poetry publications and performance documents include The Kim GameTOUT 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, just released from Gauss PDF, 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. In the mid-90s she was the co-director and film curator of a little San Francisco gallery called {four walls. After thirty years in the Bay Area, she now lives in San Diego, CA.

Commissioned Project
Claudia La Rocco: And What’s More
June 1–June 30, 2019 

Claudia La Rocco's And What’s More is a literary, performance, art, and sound project that refuses traditional audience/maker/doer relationships. The third in 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 working in service of others. For this project, rather than asking artists to explicitly interpret her creation, she brings talented individuals into her fictitious 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 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."

Claudia La Rocco is a writer whose work frequently revolves around interdisciplinary performances and projects. She 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; the final book is forthcoming from The Lab. La Rocco’s duo with musician/composer Phillip Greenlief, animals & giraffes, has released the albums July (with various musicians; Edgetone Records, 2017) and Landlocked Beach (with Wobbly; Creative Sources, 2018). Her poetry and prose have been published in numerous anthologies 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.

View Event →
The Committed Generation
Jan
10
7:30 PM19:30

The Committed Generation

A night of revolutionary poetry with:

Josiah Luis Alderete
Nia Mcallister
Isabelle Khoo-Miller
And Tongo Eisen-Martin

Thursday, January 10, 2019
7:30-9:00pm, readings start promptly at 8pm
$8 entry (no one turned away for lack of funds), free for members
Note: Please dress warmly – The Lab does not have heat

Josiah Luis Alderete is a full blooded POCHO Indio and Spanglish speaking poet from La Area Bahia.

Living at the intersection of blackness, womanhood, art, and activism, Nia McAllister uses writing as her sharpest tool for understanding and interrogating the complexities of her identity and the world around her.

Isabelle Khoo-Miller is a poet and student dedicated to social justice.

Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker, and educator.

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 →
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 →
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 →
Annea Lockwood
Nov
9
to Nov 18

Annea Lockwood

Annea Lockwood: It's Only Natural

A lecture presented by Other Minds, in collaboration with The David Brower Center  
Thursday, November 9, 2017; 7pm
Goldman Theater, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Tickets: https://thenatureofmusic.eventbrite.com

A Sound Map of the Danube open gallery hours at The Lab:

Friday, November 10; 7pm–1am (Saturday)
Saturday, November 11; 7pm–1am (Sunday)
Sunday, November 12; noon–6pm
Wednesday, November 15; 4–10pm
Thursday, November 16; 4–10pm
Friday, November 17; 7pm–1am (Saturday)

167 minutes in length, A Sound Map of the Danube will be played in its entirety twice each day and visitors are welcome to come and go freely (no door admissions required). Feel free to bring food, drinks, pets, pillows, etc. 

Jitterbug performed by Annea Lockwood, William Winant, Fred Frith

Saturday, November 18, 2017
8:30pm Doors / 9:00pm Performance
$20 Guests / $12 Members
Reserve seats: member login or guest registration

Born in New Zealand in 1939 and living in the US since 1973, Annea Lockwood is known for her explorations of the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and environments, in works ranging from sound art and installations, through text-sound and performance art to concert music. Her music has been presented in many venues and festivals, including the 2016 Tectonics/BBC Festival, Glasgow, the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, the Tactile Paths 2017 festival, Berlin, Issue Project Room, Brooklyn and the Israeli Center for the Digital Arts, Holon.

Recent projects include In Our Name, a collaboration with Thomas Buckner based on poems by prisoners in Guantánamo; Water and Memory, composed for the Holon Scratch Orchestra, Israel; Wild Energy, in collaboration with Bob Bielecki - a site-specific installation focused on geophysical, atmospheric and mammalian infra and ultra sound sources. She was a recipient of the 2007 Henry Cowell Award. Her music has been issued on CD, vinyl and online on the Lovely Music, Black Truffle, New World, Ambitus, 3Leaves, EM and other labels. annealockwood.com

View Event →
Brontez Purnell: Unstoppable Feat, The Dances of Ed Mock
May
31
8:00 PM20:00

Brontez Purnell: Unstoppable Feat, The Dances of Ed Mock

Special preview on Friday, March 31, 2017
Final cut on Wednesday, May 31, 2017
8pm Doors / 8:30pm Film
$7 donation, no one turned away for lack of funds

During his residency at The Lab, artist Brontez Purnell created a documentary film and archive exploring the late San Francisco postmodern choreographer Ed Mock. 
 
Ed Mock died in 1986 at the height of the AIDS epidemic; his story continues to engage contemporary conversations. Purnell states, “I believe Ed Mock is the missing choreographic link between Alvin Ailey, Anna Halprin, and Bill T. Jones.  He is my direct predecessor, creatively. We – artists, black queers, Bay Area dancers, gay men - have to extract our collective past and create the historical record.” 

View Event →
Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon
Mar
12
1:00 PM13:00

Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

Free

The Lab and Art Practical invite you to participate in a Edit-a-thon to contribute to the online presence of under-documented artists, activists, queer elders, women, and people of color. People of all gender identities and expressions are welcome to participate, and we especially encourage women, transgender, and gender non-confirming/non-binary individuals to take part.

Presented in conjunction with Brontez Purnell's film project expanding knowledge on Ed Mock, this is a DIY campaign to improve archives on marginalized populations and address information gaps in our collective knowledge. Dorothy Santos will provide tutorials for those new to Wikipedia and the editors of Art Practical and staff of The Lab will provide ongoing editorial support, reference materials, extra laptops, childcare, and refreshments. Not an editor? Come by to show your support and help with research.

A few things to note beforehand:
1. Bring a laptop and power cord, if you have one available
2. Bring notes and citation materials for your Wiki-entries
3. Set up a Wikipedia account before you arrive

View Event →
Brontez Purnell: No New Art No New Dance Festival
Mar
11
10:00 PM22:00

Brontez Purnell: No New Art No New Dance Festival

$5-10 donation, sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds

No New Art/No New Dance Fest is a collective queer-centered art / performance / dance party. There has been some confusion about the name: it is not our intent to negate the significance of "new works," but rather to highlight the point that – as artists working across different mediums – it is not our task to re-invent the wheel. Rather we are charged with the Sisyphean labor of just keeping the wheel moving forward…

Performances by:
Channing Joseph
Dia Dear
Ugly
Collaboration between Brontez Purnell, Xara Thustra, Jason Graf

Art by:
Ezra Rabin
Victor Vasquez
Jade Ariana
Jason Graf
Webster Borealis
Fabian Echevarria
Wizard_Trix

Film performance by:
Irwin Swirnoff

A film by:
Yetunde Olagbaju

Screen Tests ($10):
Gary Fembot

DJs:
Trill Team 6
No No

View Event →
Brontez Purnell: Cry for Everything Bad that Has Ever Happened
Feb
24
10:00 PM22:00

Brontez Purnell: Cry for Everything Bad that Has Ever Happened

Free

Cry for Everything Bad that Has Ever Happened is a meditation on grief and rage that is part public ritual, part sound experiment. Navigating the space alongside drummers and microphones, participants are asked to scream, run, cry, or be still – whatever fits the mood. This will feed into a live audio recording.

This is intended to be the starting point of resistance against our current political climate and an expression of rage echoed through the cosmos. Someone somewhere will hear us...

View Event →
Constance Hockaday: Noise Club
Jan
12
to Jan 14

Constance Hockaday: Noise Club

Attention! We’ve moved highlights the ongoing displacement of artists and cultural spaces by bringing audiences to a floating, itinerant version of an underground club. Created by artist Constance HockadayAttention! We’ve moved. will be cruising the San Francisco Bay from January 12–14 and launching from Pier 40

Thursday, January 12, 2017 – VIP Cruise
With Dynasty Handbag, Las Sucias, MSHR, Voicehandler, Kevin Blechdom, and a psychedelic dance party by International Freakout A Go-Go.
7–10pm VIP tickets, $160 each, available at http://bit.ly/AWM-VIPCruise
*Drinks and light appetizers will be served.

Friday, January 13, 2017
With Dynasty Handbag, Las Sucias, MSHR, and International Freakout a Go-Go.
7-8:45pm cruise, tickets $35 each,
SOLD OUT
9-10:45pm cruise tickets, SOLD OUT
*Cash bar.

Saturday, January 14, 2017
With Dynasty Handbag, Voicehandler, Kevin Blechdom, and International Freakout a Go-Go.
7-8:45pm cruise, tickets $35 each,
SOLD OUT
9-10:45pm cruise, tickets $35 each,SOLD OUT
*Cash bar.

View Event →
Jacqueline Gordon and Zackery Belanger: The Acoustic Deconstruction of 2626 Bancroft Way
May
30
10:00 AM10:00

Jacqueline Gordon and Zackery Belanger: The Acoustic Deconstruction of 2626 Bancroft Way

Image by J. Parkman Carter

Image by J. Parkman Carter

Lecture and performance.

Artist Jacqueline Gordon teams up with acoustic designer Zackery Belanger to map the unique sonic properties of 2626 Bancroft Way, original home of the Berkeley Art Museum. Designed in the Brutalist style by architect Mario Ciampi and opened in 1970, the Museum’s galleries were stark and strong, constructed of massive, nonresonant concrete balconies cantilevered over a cavernous atrium—all of these components tend to retain and mix sound. Throughout its 45-year tenure, celebrated musicians like Terry Riley, Ellen Fullman, and Pauline Oliveros were invited to perform in the building, distinctly exposing the underlying relationships between sound and architecture.

Recognizing a rare opportunity, Gordon and Belanger sought to document the building’s exceptional acoustic properties before the building’s closure. At The Lab, invited composers will interpret acoustic data gathered from the original home of the Berkeley Art Museum live on a custom array of 45 loudspeakers.

LECTURE, 5:00pm
Zackery Belanger – "Acoustic Concrete: What Brutalist Architecture Can Teach Us About Sound"
All materials are acoustic, and concrete’s mass and form make it an ideal material for designing to sonic limits. Few architectural styles will likely champion concrete materials in the totalizing manner of Brutalism. So, as one of its last remaining edifices, 2626 Bancroft Way provides us with a trove of information about acoustic design.
 
PERFORMANCE, Doors at 8:00pm, Performances 8:30pm
Matt Ingalls, Maggi Payne, David Dunn with David Kant, and Jon Leidecker with Willie Winant were all given access to the acoustic data collected from 2626 Bancroft Way. Ingalls created a new piece combining an improvised clarinet recording captured in the museum alongside a virtual reproduction of the Museum’s acoustics. Payne will perform a new 8-channel recording using the impulse responses. Leidecker and Winant will sonically blend 2626 Bancroft Way with the natural acoustics of The Lab, performing Max Neuhaus' realizations of John Cage's score "Fontana Mix" for percussion and feedback.

This project is supported by the generous donations of 185 backers on Kickstarter, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, and equipment donations by Meyer Sound.

For further information about this project please visit acousticdeconstruction.org

View Event →