October 20, 2017
The title of the workshop is taken from the multidisciplinary score collection Women’s Work edited by Alison Knowles and Annea Lockwood in NYC in 1975. The collection contains largely text-based and instructional works from sixteen women active at that time, and includes major figures such as Pauline Oliveros, Mieko Shiomi and Simone Forti, and others. In the workshop the works in the collection were explored through group reading, discussion and performance. The workshop culminated in the preparation of certain works from the collection for a performance on Sunday, October 22, which included Alison Knowles’ Proposition IV (Squid) and others we chose together.
The workshop raised several questions: With its explicitly feminist framing we might assume this is a collection of ‘feminist performance scores’. Yet some of these scores had already circulated in other contexts, and in some cases for a number of years prior, calling into question the extent that such works can be said to be ‘feminist’ beyond their framing in this collection. On the other hand we can address the generic qualities of such text instruction pieces (a generous offering out towards future collaborations, if not more?) that we come to understand as having a latent political aesthetic.