And What’s More

And What’s More, a Performative Audiobook June 2019, The LAB

Claudia La Rocco's And What’s More is the third installment of her science-fiction Olivia Trilogy, a literary, performance, art, and sound project that plays with traditional audience/maker/doer relationships. I was one of four artists commissioned by La Rocco to “read” And What’s More in and through their respective art forms. Collaborating with the writer, artist, and performer Leena Joshi,  I chose to inhabit Olivia’s world, turning a draft of a novel into a recording: a draft audiobook, edited, but carefully - with certain mis-readings and discussions of the text left in, as well as the presence of the body -  through shaky inhalations, ragged coughs, stomach rumblings.

The work-in-progress debuted June 15, 2019 at The Lab as part of La Rocco’s month-long residency there. As the audience arrived, a busy, early-model Rumba vacuum cleaner trolled the large, mostly empty space. We introduced our audio book with a screening of Joshi’s video of the wind-tossed Marin headlands inhabited by a green-screen suited character, accompanied by  musician and composer Phillip Greenlief’s live improvisations on the tenor saxophone. This prelude was followed by four different excerpts from the draft audiobook, also accompanied by Greenlief’s improvised, extended technique saxophone. We discussed our choice of excerpts, focussing on several questions explored in La Rocco’s book: What is KINSHIP in a world with auto-genesis? What myths persist when death no long does? What does carnal and romantic love look like in this world?

The work will continue to develop as a more extended performative audio book in collaboration with La Rocco.