Anastasia Clarke: Swans Lakeless

Wednesday, February 3, 2021. 8:00 pm

Roulette’s Winter 2021 Season will be live streamed from our stage and archived on our website. Watch the video of this concert below.


Anastasia Clarke: Swans Lakeless

Wednesday, February 3, 2021. 8:00 pm
Anastasia Clarke is a 2020 Roulette Van Lier Fellow

Swans Lakeless is an intermedia composition woven from experience and myth that gives voice to Odin, a trans amputee tenant union organizer facing mass eviction along with their comrades, who is assaulted by the police and held in custody for over 20 hours. The story is told from the nonlinear spaces of Odin’s recovery from the incident, wherein reflections upon the interrelationships between shame, violence, and trauma coexist in disjointed harmony with earnest explorations of radical empathy, self-healing, and a quest for transformative justice.

Odin’s story becomes suddenly relatable for many around him when an unexpected pandemic rattles the globe, prompting isolation and social collapse. Themes that once bantered through a Bushwick basement reverie of community organizing are suddenly found whispering through the wooded ravines, thickets, and campfires of the lake-filled region where Odin lands himself. From there, Odin uses telematic communication to organize a rent strike.

The collaborative process behind Swans Lakeless has been adapted to travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Confined to England, Dawn Felicia Knox began to physically configure the visual terrain of this work through video projection, material manipulation, and fields of colored light in the Star & Shadow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She filmed the evolving installation, layered with raw and source video to be premiered at Roulette as the audio score by Anastasia Clarke unfolds Shannon Lumpkin’s script.

*Content warning: This work includes descriptions and images of police brutality.

The process for creating and sharing this work is informed by anti-ableism, access and Disability Justice.

Anastasia Clarke, Shannon Lumpkin, Dawn Felicia Knox

Story and Script: Shannon Lumpkin
Dramaturgy: Chip Chapin
Additional Texts: Jaehyun Oh (Civil Rights Attorney), New York City Comptroller

Compositions and Sound Design: Anastasia Clarke
Sound Recordists: Anastasia Clarke, Sarah Hennies

Film: Dawn Felicia Knox
Installation: Dawn Felicia Knox
Video Source Footage (in order of appearance): Anastasia Clarke, Shannon Lumpkin, Dawn Felicia Knox, Chip Chapin, Jon Burklund, The New York City Police Department
Performances on Film: Daniel Carter, Jonathan Finlayson, Sandy Gordon, Jean Carla Rodea, Keiko Uenishi
Technical assistance: Star and Shadow

Sound Performance: Anastasia Clarke
Technical Production: Roulette

Roulette’s Fall season will be presented virtually and available for free on a variety of streaming platforms. Our 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 live embodied electronic music performances consider the artist’s role as a healer and activist while using custom-built instruments or performing systems to arrange narrative material modularly. 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 wide range of improvising instrumentalists in the NYC and San Francisco Bay Area. Clarke also speaks and presents, most recently at Expo ’74, NIME, The School for Poetic Computation, and as a visiting lecturer. 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 a Van Lier Fellowship at Roulette.

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 becomes 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?

Chip Chapin is an abolitionist, mixed-race, trans*disciplinary art worker and educator, based in New York. Working from a place of somatic proprioception toward the deterritorialization of shame, their practice engages text, dance, and collective care, as labor acts of mutual resistance. Their essay “Opacity ≠ Obscurity: Home, Camouflage, and the Manzanar Networker” was recently published in Heichi Magazine. Recent performances include Tipping Utopia with Yoshiko Chuma, A Weather of her Wake^ at Hunter College Gallery, and Intermundia for Ponderosa’s Taanzland Festival, in Stolzenhagen, Germany. Chapin’s first solo Far From Hot Baths (scored from drawings by Amy Sillman) premiered at Gauntlet, in a friend’s childhood loft in Soho in 2018. They received an MFA. from Hunter College, BA from Bard College, attended MSA^ [Mountain School of Art], and LANDING 2.0 with Miguel Gutierrez. Chapin is a recipient of The Agnes Gund Curatorial Fellowship, Kossak Painting Travel Grant, and several NYSCA community grants. They are currently quarantined with their partner and cat No.6 in Enfield (NY), where they co-founded Complimenta Inc. in 2012— an artist-run center now operating under the open acronym c.h.a.m.p.s. (come here and move people slowly).

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.

Roulette and Van Lier Fellowship
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm
Opera House Tenant Union
Crown Heights Tenant Union
Brooklyn Eviction Defense Network
The Manse
Grayhaven Motel
Michael Kozek, Ween & Kozek
Star and Shadow
Arts Council England

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.

Photo: courtesy the artist