Swans Lakeless is an intermedia composition based in lived experience, and cradled in myth. It gives voice to Odin, a nonbinary amputee tenant union organizer facing eviction and organizing a rent strike along with their comrades. The story is told from the nonlinear spaces of Odin’s recovery after a traumatic incident wherein they are assaulted by the police and held in custody for over 20 hours. The work offers reflections upon the interrelationships between shame and violence that coexist in disjointed harmony with the protagonist’s earnest explorations of radical empathy, self-healing, and a quest for transformative justice.
This Roulette showing uses the empty theater to stage Swans Lakeless as live interaction with fixed media, acknowledging the creators’ intentions to further iterate the work. From 2019–2021, Anastasia Clarke, Shannon Lumpkin, and Dawn Felicia Knox developed the sound world, script, and visual terrain of the piece by compiling documentary source footage, musical performance footage, and Lumpkin’s solo performances for camera and microphone. Knox has projected the video source material onto nontraditional surfaces intercepted by fields of colored light in the Star & Shadow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The resultant work is a film of the evolving installation, mixed with raw source footage and brought to life through Clarke’s audio score, which unfolds Lumpkin’s harrowing script.
TRIGGER WARNING : This work investigates the violence of policing and PTSD as subject matter and lived reality in the wake of a specific violent incident. The incident will be described from multiple perspectives, and sound and video from a police officer’s body-worn camera will be shown. The timestamps between which this material occurs will be posted here prior to showtime, as well as given in a statement at the top of the program.
The process for creating and sharing this work is informed by anti-ableism, access and Disability Justice.
Anastasia Clarke is a 2020 Roulette Van Lier Fellow
Dawn Felicia Knox
Shannon Lumpkin, Odin, Bohemian Waxwing
Anastasia Clarke, narrator
Anastasia Clarke, original compositions
sampled from live performance footage:
Keiko Uenishi, audio feedback performance with tubes
Jean Carla Rodea, voice
Daniel Carter, horns and flute
Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
Sandy Gordon, percussion
Shannon Lumpkin, script
Jaehyun Oh, legal text
Anastasia Clarke, sound recordist, sound editor, sound design
Sarah Hennies, sound recordist
Jon Burklund, sound recordist
Dawn Felicia Knox, filmed installation and installation intervention, source footage, video editor
Anastasia Clarke, source footage
Shannon Lumpkin, source footage
Chip Chapin, source footage
Jon Burklund, source footage
The New York City Police Department, source footage
Camilla Padgitt-Coles, live projections consultant
Star and Shadow, technical assistance
Roulette, technical assistance
Chip Chapin, dramaturg
Gayle Fekete, consultant
Van Lier Fellowship
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm
Opera House Tenant Union
Crown Heights Tenant Union
Brooklyn Eviction Defense Network
Michael Kozek, Ween & Kozek
Star and Shadow
Arts Council England
Roulette’s April programming will be presented virtually and available for free on a variety of streaming platforms. The theater is currently closed for public performances as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety measures that Roulette has put in place to keep staff, artists, and the public safe.
Anastasia Clarke (b. 1987) is a New York-based composer, performer, technologist, sound designer, and archivist. Anastasia’s embodied electronic music performances consider the artist’s role as a healer and activist, and focus on the de- and re-construction of narrative material. Performances have taken place in galleries, concert halls, DIY venues, and unsuspecting community spaces across the United States. Collaborations have included Boom Bat Gesture Performance Group, Mechanism Dance Theatre Collective, 2019–2020’s Uncommon Circuits ensemble, and a range of improvising instrumentalists and dancers/movers in the NYC and San Francisco Bay Area. Clarke also speaks and presents on her work, most recently at Expo ’74, NIME, The School for Poetic Computation, and as a visiting lecturer at colleges and universities. In 2018, Anastasia earned an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College, and subsequently received support for work and research from the Queens Arts Fund, EMS (Stockholm), Tri-tryagain, CCRMA, and the Van Lier Fellowship at Roulette. | https://anastasiaclarke.info
Shannon Lumpkin (b.1978 Tucumcari, NM) is an interdisciplinary trans-media activist and artistic producer working in New York between fields of film, politics, finance, and agriculture to explore how disability-based deaccumulation of capital acts as an intersectional framework for establishing human rights for all. Through grassroots union organizing and collaborative production, Lumpkin interrogates acts of violence and sustainable community development. As a queer amputee and survivor of Ewing’s Sarcoma (2014), daily acts of living necessitate building tools for social change. Everyday life is a political (and artistic) practice in the age of crip times. What do we do when one person’s needs become someone else’s measure of austerity and pain? | https://operahousetenants.org/
Dawn Felicia Knox is a UK based artist and curator working across mediums and disciplines to create interventions and multi-layered installations that explore toxicity, remediation and transformation as articulated through the body as well as the built and natural environments. Working in collaboration with scientists, artists and performers, she is drawn to the parallels in processes and investigative techniques, often creating work that blurs the lines between intent, process and outcome. She has been the recipient of six Arts Council England awards and numerous commissions and residencies resulting in installations, films and exhibitions across the UK and beyond. | https://dawnfelicia.com
Anastasia Clarke is a Roulette 2020 Van Lier Fellow, made possible with funds provided by the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust. This performance is presented through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support.