Archive Live: warren-crow+warren-crow

  • Museum of Performance + Design 893B Folsom Street San Francisco, CA, 94107 United States

As artists-in-residence, the collaborative team of warren-crow+warren-crow are approaching the collection of the Museum of Performance + Design with an ear for the sonic traces of theater and dance. Paying special attention to the audio tracks of performance documentation, oral histories taken from performance practitioners, and textual descriptions of the sound of live performance, warren-crow+warren-crow are creating a live performance/installation in which audiences move into, out of, and through the museum space while listening to an audio piece on a personal playback device with headphones.

The audio piece is using binaural recording techniques and sound positioning to produce a believable sonic space at times similar to, at times different from, the real space in which the listener is situated. Always attuned to the musicality of the voice and the difficulty of describing sounds and acoustic experience, warren-crow+warren-crow are inviting audiences to think through the relationship between the archive and the senses, the live and the prerecorded, the private and the public, and speech and noise. The artists are facilitating a panel discussion with members of the Bay Area’s performance community about archiving sound design for posterity.

warren-crow+warren-crow create live art concerned with the musicality of the voice and the circulation of collective fantasies through the space of media culture. Referencing the formal structure of lectures, press conferences, news reports, cabaret shows, and museum audio tours, their work uses the tension between speech and noise to draw attention to mediation as the basis of communication and to identity as a negotiation between the private and the public. Their collaborations are both performance art and sound art—mash-ups of live vocal expression and manipulated audio or video clips culled from a wide variety of sources. The Warren-Crows have exhibited at Porsgrunn International Theater Festival (Norway), PNEM Sound Art Festival in Uden (the Netherlands), Resound Festival of Sound Art in Penzance (UK), Soundwalk festival of sound art in Long Beach (USA), the Electric Nights festival in Athens (Greece), and in galleries and performance spaces across the US.