Announcing our Fall 2012 lineup

Theatre 7 of Chicago

Theatre Seven of Chicago will be in residence at High Concept Labs for its entire 2012-13 season. The award-winning company’s seventh season includes four new-to-Chicago plays which explore the diverse Chicago experience, a monthly reading series and other auxiliary programming.

In November, the company opens American Storm, a Chicago premiere from Carter Lewis, where in the summer of 1962, a small Ohio town discovers a prize thoroughbred in the stables of the local track. With big business promising to take Weldon Downs corporate, the track workers learn soon enough that not even hope comes for free. In February 2013, Theatre Seven participates in Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep with the Chicago Premiere of Blacktop Sky, by Christina Anderson. After police rough up a resident of the local housing projects, Ida takes an interest in the homeless man who sleeps by her favorite bench. …read more at  their page.


Dance: Nicole LeGette
Sponsored Project: Of Marrow, Moonlight & Mirth

Existing somewhere between performance art and dance- unclaimed by either- Of Marrow, Moonlight & Mirth is an immersive, sensory rich, destabilized dream-world investigation of the illusory nature of the fixed Self, presented in three vignettes. The ever shifting, fluidity of ‘I’ makes an unreliable protagonist in a disruptive narrative framed within a moody, sparse environment of atmospheric, decidedly d-i-y lighting, props, costuming. All components revel with inherent materiality, decay, thick metaphor and delicate craft…Read more at her page.


Two Histories by Sara Black and Jillian SotoVideo/Sculpture: Sara Black and Jillian Soto

Artists Jillian Soto and Sara Black have recently initiated a body of projects that: examine the landscape and its horizon as inherently mutable; that consider building, un-building, and migration as primary currents within their collective imaginations (whether literal or metaphorical); and call into requisition the history of objects, forms and texts so that they may carry on with their stories.

Black and Soto’s projects are process driven and responsive to site and context, both materially and conceptually. It is their interest to draw upon multiple forms, infusing the languages of ar chitecture, art and text in the production of their work…read more at  their page.


Puppetry: Rough House
sponsored project: Into the Uncanny Valley

Into the Uncanny Valley is a lyrical tragedy in the spirit of Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick told through puppetry, music, and dance. The story focuses on Alana, a young woman who attempts to resurrect her sister Majel’s memories by implanting them into an android replica. The Android of Majel indeed comes to life, but as a robotic infant with records of human memories recorded by rote, with neither human impulses nor human experience. As Android Majel matures, she begins to assert her own identity as a sentient robot while having the uncanny yet false resemblance to the woman after whom she is modeled. Alana is faced with the responsibility of having created a living creature that she cannot tolerate and perhaps even fears…read more at  their page.


Chicago Q EnsembleChicago Q Ensemble

In this community arts partnership residency, Chicago Q Ensemble will work together with HCL staff to develop programming that fosters a deeper connection between the ensemble and its community in Chicago. This programming will aim to develop connections with ordinary Chicagoans — who may not consider themselves fans of classical or contemporary music — through informal concerts, pop-up performances, open rehearsals, one-on-one interviews, and group discussions.

The quartet is keenly aware of the shrinking presence of live chamber music in our society, yet also optimistic about the art form’s ability to move and inspire everyday listeners. The ensemble hopes to create settings that demystify the ritual of classical performance and give new audiences an approachable, personal point of access….read more at their page.


Monica WestinSponsored Scholar:
Monica Westin

Monica will be working with HCL’s artists in residence this fall to produce catalog essays for the HCL yearbook that reflect themes and threads suggested and explored by the various sponsored art projects. She is particularly interested in the different potential methods of collaborating with the artists on these essays, and she will be blogging about these processes and relationships, as well as various ideas that emerge during observations and conversations with the artists this fall. Monica will also be hosting at least one curated talk with a speaker whose work is fruitful for exploring issues that the sponsored projects uncover and intervene with. Intellectually, Monica’s strongest interest right now is in the conception of “presence” and what it means to “presence” an idea through art– a conception that unites her academic work in rhetorical theory (“rhetorical presence” being a long-standing and strange notion in that field) with her interest in aesthetics and the artistic process…read more at her page.


Presenting the Major Sound Series
This season, HCL has invited three music ensembles to develop their work in a series of workshop showings centered around the exploration and presentation of new sound. Combining elements of installation, video, sculpture, electronics and movement, each of these artist, in their own way, seeks to uncover unique territories that engage the listener in a new definition of sound.

Good Willsmith

Good Willsmith will use their time at HCL to explore the physical, temporal and referential properties of sound, by designing and executing live performances within a series of thematic structures.  Because the group’s sound is rooted in seemingly “static” drones and sustained tones, simple variations in the acoustic properties of the performance space, the instrumentation, and the sound sources sampled can yield seismic changes in the “outcome” of each new performance.  With this sonic dynamism in mind, each group member will use rehearsal time at HCL to incorporate new instruments and sound sources (tape machines, analog synthesizers, digital samplers, unique noisemakers) into live performances meant to exist within specific spaces / conceptual headspaces of HCL. These rehearsals will culminate in a showcase performance in which the space’s physical constraints (across three floors) will be exploited to their maximum…read more at their page.

Sound RoomSound Room

Sound Room is a collaboration between Chicago based composers/ sound artists Kyle Vegter, Ryan Ingebritsen, and Daniel Dehaan. Using custom built software and a complex, multi-channel speaker system they will create a unique and intuitive three dimensional sound spatialization system, specifically tuned to the acoustic nuances of the High Concept Laboratories space. Once this system is in place, the three composers will work to uncover the full range of methods by which such a system can be used to create meaningful, sonic experience. Along the way, they’ll invite artists and musicians from across disciplines to engage with the system in a series of improvisation sessions focused on exploring it as a creative provocation…read more at their page.

NbNNbN Trio

While in residence at High Concept Laboratories, NbN will prepare material for an evening- length performance entitled AMBEDO. The ensemble will explore sonic relationships between instruments and develop new sound ideas through improvisation in response to the unique architectural design of HCL. NbN will also begin work on a new multimedia project with projection, lighting, and sculpture. In an age of fast-paced media and immediate satisfaction, NbN’s goal is to heighten awareness of the most quiet aspects of sight and sound by encouraging the audience to become absorbed by sensory details……read more at their page.