Pamela Z

Making Faces: Theatrical Materiality and Technological Embodiment

Date 9/11/06

Affiliation Performance Artist, San Francisco


All artists are influenced by their tools. For contemporary performance artists, digital technologies are evolving so rapidly that their influence on artistic decisions can be greatly magnified. When the artwork, the tools, and the artist fuse into a single inseparable entity, can art maintain its strength and integrity or is it reduced to being a mere product of a culture seduced by new technology?

Pamela Z will explore this question in the context of her extensive experience with tools she considers to be extensions of herself. These include her gesture controllers - which by association make the body itself become the instrument, her two Powerbooks, "Callas" and "Cage", and the vocal instrument - an extremely high-tech tool in and of itself.


Pamela Z is a composer/performer who makes solo works combining a wide range of vocal techniques processed through MAX MSP software, sampled sounds, and MIDI controllers including The BodySynth and various light controllers. She has also composed scores for dance, film, and new music chamber ensembles. She has had audio installation works included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Erzbischöfliches Diözesanmuseum in Cologne, and the Dakar Biennale in Sénégal. Her work has also been presented at the San Jose Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio in New York, and La Biennale di Venezia in Italy. She has toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan in concerts and festivals including Bang on a Can, Japan Interlink, and Other Minds. Her multi-media performance works have been presented at Theater Artaud and ODC in San Francisco, and at the Kitchen in New York. Her multi-media opera Wunderkabinet - based on the Museum of Jurassic Technology will be presented at the REDCAT in LA in fall 2006. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Creative Capital Fund, the CalArts Alpert Award, the ASCAP Award, and the NEA/JUSFC Fellowship.

-- As of 9/11/06