Maine College of Art presents the world premiere of Burrow: Revisited, a collaborative performance piece by sound artist Alex Waterman and Assistant Professor Seth Rogoff.

Portland, ME – Maine College of Art presents Burrow: Revisited, a collaborative performance piece by world-class musician and sound artist Alex Waterman and MECA Assistant Professor, writer, and scholar Seth Rogoff, premiering at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at Maine College of Art (MECA) at 7pm on Friday, February 2, 2018, during the First Friday Artwalk. The performance, based on a prose piece written by Rogoff that engages with and interprets Franz Kafka’s short story “The Burrow,” explores our shrinking privacy and how the disruptive quality of sound shapes our personal and social lives. An interactive discussion will follow the performance.

Structured as a fictional lecture that is delivered to an imagined class, Burrow: Revisited offers an interaction with literature that is non-academic and explorative, probing exciting new ways of transmitting, teaching, and enjoying literary work. Alex Waterman, a New Music composer who is deeply interested in how to create artificial soundscapes in order to provide multi-dimensional imaginary landscapes for the audience, has created an original score.

Through this performance, sparked by Rogoff’s experiences as a teacher, the beauties of literature are revealed and become transformative. Rogoff’s short story, upon which the performance is based, is about a moment of conflict between a patient and a therapist triggered by the intrusion of the memory of another patient at a psychological clinic. Social media and the speed of communications impact our cultural atmosphere, our quality of discourse, and our political environment, creating anxieties similar to the psychological puzzles explored by Kafka. By staging the performance as a “fake” lecture, the typical classroom setting will be transformed and theatrically disrupted while Waterman’s score explores the subtly ubiquitous threat of noise pollution, such as cell phones, cars, and planes.

Burrow: Revisited takes place in the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA, an established art space that features innovative exhibitions and public programs that showcase new perspectives and trends in contemporary art. Off the Wall, the exhibit that will be on view at the time of the performance, provides a relevant backdrop for the performance and features a range of works by Brooklyn-based artists Rosy Keyser and Ryan Wallace that pays homage to American sculptor Eva Hesse in investigating how contemporary artists explore the relationships between painting and sculpture.

This project is funded in part by an Arts & Humanities grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maine Humanities Council.