Yau (organizer): So, the performance is about 'time' and 'space'--and
a chair. Can you elaborate on time and space--And how these elements relate
to the added dimension of the chair and your body (action/video) becoming
an object of transformation?
Brandon LaBelle: Time becomes the time of the performance as highlighted
in the video—the video will form a composite that gets built up
over time, and will signal the duration of the event; space gets articulated
through the video as well, as a series of frames that implode on themselves—yet
in turn, by emphasizing the chair as an object: building the chair, as
a mutant form, is also about turning the chair into a different space,
and therefore, how the body gets “fitted” into it.
Yau: What inspired you to take Alvin Lucier’s original work two
steps further? As well as taking it from a private
recorded situation to a public performance.
BL: Lucier’s work, particularly “I am sitting…”
always fascinates me, simply because it brings the dimensions of sound,
space, and the presence of the body, into play in a stimulating way; to
refer to it in a way is simply a beginning—it has a conversation
with Lucier, in a playful manner, as well as breaks off from it, to form
something else, possibly by situating it within a public performance—to
make public the body and the act. Also, for me the chair talks about the
“power” of architecture, which I don’t think Lucier
addresses—his is strictly a “phenomenal” interest (though
there is the stutter…). The chair for me signals how architecture,
or the forms of the built environment, situate the body, and through such
situatedness causes it to function a certain way: the chair tells me how
to sit. By transforming the chair, through a performative act, I’m
also hoping to underscore it as a powerful and determining object. This
is how I think of architecture…
Yau: What are your expectations of the audience?
BL: That they’ll think about the chair they are sitting in.
Yau: As a work that is specifically relative, in its context, to a previous
work, what significance does it hold for those with no previous knowledge
of this context?
BL: It really doesn’t matter whether they know Lucier or not—I
think the piece, while making a reference, doesn’t rely upon it.
If you know the work, then maybe you have a little private laugh to yourself,
and think about it a little.