Image
a woman in a white tanktop sitting in a theater alone, staring at the stage with wide eyes

Alexa Echoes

Amanda Turner Pohan
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 5PM
Livestream

Alexa Echoes is a film in the mode of a chamber opera by visual artist Amanda Turner Pohan in collaboration with composer Charlie Looker, choreographer Dages Juvelier Keates and performer Katy Pinke. The first iteration in a series of three performances, Alexa Echoes recasts the relationship between cultural movements and commercial technologies through the history of women’s devocalization and disembodiment. It begins with mythical Greek figures, such as Echo, and leads up to Amazon’s smart speaker and digital voice-based assistant, Alexa. 

In this film, EMPAC is concurrently the site of production, setting, and subject that surrounds three manifestations of the voice: candid, staged, and disembodied. As in much of Pohan’s interdisciplinary oeuvre, the film looks at the body’s complicated relationship to technology as it relates to autonomy, animation, and the melismatic sound of breath. Alexa Echoes incorporates movement, speech, and an orchestral score to abstract the gendered decisions that frame new media technologies, gesturing to the corporate entities which choreographed them.

The film will be released on EMPAC’s website on Thursday, February 4 at 5PM (EST) followed by a conversation between Amanda Turner Pohan and curator Marisa Espe. This project is accompanied by a text version of the project’s script. 

Alexa Echoes is organized by Muheb Esmat, Marisa Espe, Bergen Hendrickson, Ciena Leshley, Ana Lopes, Liz Lorenz, Brooke Nicolas, Elizaveta Shneyderman, and Rachel Vera Steinberg from Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies class of 2020, working with EMPAC curator Vic Brooks.

Main Image: Production still from Amanda Turner Pohan's Alexa Echoes. EMPAC Theater, October 2020.
Photo: Sara Griffith/EMPAC.

Media

Alexa Echoes, 2021.

Image
a single woman on stage in a white jumpsuit

Alexa Echoes, 2021 (still). Image courtesy of Amanda Turner Pohan. Photo: EMPAC/Sara Griffith.

Dates + Tickets

Film/Video
Talk
Alexa Echoes
Amanda Turner Pohan
Thursday 4
5:00 PM
February 2021

This event will be Livestreamed on Feb 4 at 5PM. Check back for more info.

Presented By

EMPAC Spring 2021

Program

Season

Production Credits

Written and Directed by Amanda Turner Pohan; Composer: Charlie Looker; Choreographer: Dages Juvelier Keates, Amanda Turner Pohan; Performer: Katy Pinke; Vocalists: Daisy Press, Megan Schubert; Flautists: Kelley Barnett, Isabel Gleicher; Dancers: Dages Juvelier Keates, Amanda Turner Pohan.

Alexa Echoes is organized by Muheb Esmat, Marisa Espe, Bergen Hendrickson, Ciena Leshley, Ana Lopes, Liz Lorenz, Brooke Nicolas, Elizaveta Shneyderman, and Rachel Vera Steinberg from Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies class of 2020, working with EMPAC curator Vic Brooks.
 

Funding

Supported by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

EMPAC Spring 2021 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with additional support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and Vlaamse Gemeenschap, department of Culture, Youth, and Media. Additional project support by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; New Music USA; CCS Bard; National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund; Creative Capital; the Graham Foundation; and the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan; Music on Main and PuSh Festival (with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, Lēna, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Action at a Distance, SFU Woodwards, The Scotiabank Dance Centre, and CCOV, as well as the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Jim and Lisa Peers and an anonymous sponsor.)