Book Table Chair

With support from CSV and NAISA



Ellen Moffat

Book Table Chair is a sound, text and image project, inspired by Gertrude Stein’s writing. In Tender Buttons, Stein emphasizes sound and rhythms over rational sense, shifting the identity and stability of words, inverting expectation and predictability. Objects, food and rooms are metaphors that privilege the body, sound and the mind over conventional meaning. Stein reveals or obscures the text and identity through punning and spatial relationships as a means of playing with language and meaning. She applies a Cubist analysis to language, rotating perspective to open up the form of language through deconstruction and spatial orientation. She recognizes the ‘in-between’ through engendered, poetic language and experimentation.

Moffat uses Stein’s text as a conceptual framework to develop an interactive installation consisting of multiple objects and materials for sound-generation, sound-making and creation of visual poetry. As such, the installation is an electroacoustic and graphic instrument. Actions are sonic; sound is spatialized, sometimes extended, sometimes fragmented; text images are projected. In the process of rotating objects and texts through direct engagement, participants create sound, trigger engendered sound recordings and create visual poetry. The elements variously refer to theatre, performers and writing.

Book Table Chair extends Stein’s Cubist analysis of language to visual and aural space, shifting perspective and understanding of the text through materials, objects, actions and interactions. Moffat explores Stein’s text through objects, spoken word recordings, experimental soundmaking and projection with analogue and digital elements as an iterative, interdisciplinary exploration. At NAISA, Book Table Chair is both an instrument and an interactive installation using structure, chance and randomness. Audiences explore Stein’s text and meaning to create new text and sound through engagement and play. In previous variations, Moffat has collaborated with composer and vocalist Lia Pas on a new media musical theatre project, performed with members of the Saskatoon Symphony for the Core Series (Saskatoon, 2014), and with dancer Kathryn Ricketts in Nightswimming’s Pure Research (Vancouver, 2013).

Year: 2015
Office Hours: Weekdays 10:00 - 17:00
416.603.6564      Fax: 416.603.6566
76 Geary Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6H 2B5 Canada
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