My Electric Genealogy, a performance work by Sarah Kanouse

  • Sarah Kanouse

The UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Department of Art, the Department of Art History, and the Environmental Humanities Research Center present

My Electric Genealogy
a performance work by Sarah Kanouse

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022
Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL)
in the Contemporary Arts Center, Building #721 on the UCI Campus Map

Organized by James Nisbet with Simon Leung and Deborah Oliver

Free admission

“My Electric Genealogy” is a 60-minute, auto-ethnographic lecture-performance that weaves together live narration, choreographed movement, documentary video, and sound to address the climate justice ramifications of the electrical grid my grandfather helped to design and build. For nearly forty years, Ed Kanouse designed, planned, and supervised the spider-vein network of lines connecting Los Angeles to its distant sources of electric power. Years later, I learned his legacy also included some of the most polluting fossil fuel infrastructure in the country—mostly located on Navajo land. Both aesthetically and politically, then, his vision of progress was rooted in modernist models of extraction, centralization, and consumption that are both highly racialized and gendered. Any just transition to a post-carbon society demands not only an overhaul of the electric grid but also the underlying values and assumptions that produced it. Weaving together episodes of my grandfather’s life, anxious fantasies about my child’s climate-challenged future, and stories of resistance and resilience from the front lines of centuries of extractivism, “My Electric Genealogy”, is an essayistic, auto-ethnographic working-through of this personal and collective inheritance. - Sarah Kanouse

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Tuesday Oct 4, 2022, 12:00 pm