Studio On The Street: Liz Magic Laser, 2012 Artist-in-Residence
July 1-August 31, 2012
Public Hours: Thursdays, 12-6pm (and drop-in)
Reception: Friday, August 24, 2012, 6-8pm
Open Studio Weekend: Saturday & Sunday, August 25 & 26, 2012, 12-6pm
Liz Magic Laser: Weekly
From The Living Newspaper Performance Series
Presented in Partnership with Swiss Institute, New York
August 16, 2012, 6-8pm
Forever & Today, Inc. announces its 2012 Studio On The Street artist-in-residence, Liz Magic Laser. Laser, a New York-based performance and video artist, is in residence from July 1-August 31, 2012. A public reception to launch her Open Studio Weekend takes place on Friday, August 24, 2012, 6-8pm. On Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26, from 12-6pm, visitors may attend open studio hours as Laser rehearses with performer/collaborators Audrey Crabtree, Ray Field, Annie Fox, Michael Wiener, and Lia Woertendyke.
For her Studio On The Street residency, Laser transforms Forever & Today, Inc.'s Lower East Side/Chinatown storefront into a "situation room." The situation room-style set for news programs employs television and computer screens to convince viewers that they are comprehensively monitoring current events around the world. Using the set design and methodologies associated with a news bureau as a functional backdrop, Laser acts as a network anchorwoman within her studio. As such, she is stationed at a computer desk against a background of multiple monitors that emit topical news feeds alongside video footage from her recent news-based performances. A bulletin board with related ephemera and international time zone wall clocks complete the space as a headquarters for artistic activity.
During the residency Laser will continue to develop work that explores how television, print, and other news sources persuades the public to have faith in its authority. She draws from conventional theatrical techniques to direct performances by actors that often appear alongside live-feed video footage. Deconstructing the mechanisms of political melodrama, Laser reveals the underlying strategies present in face-to-face interviews, stump speeches, and debates that create heightened emotion to win trust among viewers, and questions the strategies used by political campaigns and the media to sway their audiences.
Laser processes the daily news as she plans, writes, edits, and rehearses a new series of performances based on the Living Newspaper theatrical form, a type of Soviet agitprop street theater. In the United States, the Living Newspaper form was adapted for the stage by the Federal Theatre Project under the 1930s Works Progress Administration. Laser's upcoming series of The Living Newspaperperformances dramatize to a live audience the daily news from The New York Timesand other sources.
The Living Newspaper performance series builds on Laser's Performa 11 commission, I Feel Your Pain (2011), and includes live and web-based programs produced in association with Performa. Thus far, events have taken place in various New York City venues including Family Business, The Canal Series, and Weekly, a Forever & Today, Inc. commissioned performance presented in partnership with Swiss Institute, and with the collaboration of performers Audrey Crabtree, Ray Field, Annie Fox, Frederic Nwaha Lindjeck, Liz Micek, Jeff Seal, Michael Wiener, and Lia Woertendyke among others. Other collaborators include Project Advisor: RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa; Producer: David Guinan, Director of Polemic Media; Videographer: Niknaz Tavakolian; Journalistic Dramaturge: Roman Léandre Schmidt of Courrier International; Resident Playwright: Hanna Novak; Costume Advisors: Zulema Griffin and Zuzka Kurtz; Production Assistant: Moriah Askenaizer; and Performing Production Assistant: Mallory Nezam.