Alexa Echoes is a chamber opera by visual artist Amanda Turner Pohan in collaboration with composer Charlie Looker and choreographer Dages Juvelier Keates. The first iteration in a series of three performances, Alexa Echoes recasts the relationship between cultural movements and commercial technologies through the history of women’s devocalization and disembodiment, beginning with mythical Greek figures including Echo and leading up to Amazon’s smart speaker Echo for Alexa, its digital voice-based assistant.
As in much of Pohan’s interdisciplinary oeuvre, this performance looks at the body’s complicated relationship to technology as it relates to autonomy, animation, and the melismatic sound of breath. Using choreographed movement, spoken word, and song set to an orchestral score, Alexa Echoes abstracts the gendered decisions that go into framing these newer media technologies, pointing toward the corporate entities which choreographed them.
Dates + Tickets
EMPAC Spring 2020
The premiere of Alexa Echoes is curated by second-year students from CCS Bard, working with EMPAC curator Vic Brooks.
Supported by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
EMPAC Spring 2020 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and Vlaamse Gemeenschap, department of Culture, Youth, and Media.