Performance, 2011, 60 minutes
The middle class home at the turn of the century includes numerous technological devices with which Americans developed strange relationships. As if trying to coax the phantom phenomenal specter from the mechanisms, surfaces, and wirings of the parlor piano, the living room radio, Kodak Brownie cameras, door hinges, and table tops, 19th/20th century American lifestyle cultivated a repertoire of gestures and sounds that transcend pure object-hood. Via psychoanalytic experiments with hysterics, human radio antennae, and vibration therapy, Rochester Knocking conjures the spirit of the silent film star, Louise Brooks, in order to lead a vaudevillian tour of real and imagined historical homes.
Rochester Knocking was premiered on May 16th, 2011 at California State University, San Marcos. With music by John Cage, Henry Cowell, James Tenney, Ben Johnston and Martin Hiendl. Choreography by Monica Duncan, Eric Geiger and Karen Schaffman. Performances by Emily Aust, Justin DeHart, Eric Derr, Dustin Donahue, Christine Herde, Jeff Treviño, Bonnie Whiting Smith, and Meghann Welsh. Rochester Knocking was supported by CSUSM MediaMakers and IRA funds.