Fall 2022: My Electric Genealogy

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Blue and white risograph poster with image of electric transmission tower and waves. Text reads "My Electric Genealogy: a performance by Sarah Kanouse"

Thursday, September 29
7:30 PM
2220 Arts + Archives
2220 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Tuesday, October 4
12:00 PM
University of California Irvine 
Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL)
Contemporary Arts Center
Building #721 on the UCI Campus Map

Wednesday, October 5
11:30 AM
Cal State Fullerton
Department of English + Program in Environmental Studies
SGMH 2205

Thursday, October 6
6:00 PM
Scripps College
Vita Nova Lecture Hall
385 East 9th Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Tuesday, October 11
6:00 PM
1409 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA  95060

Thursday, October 13
7:30 PM
Hope Theater
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97401

Monday, October 17
12:00 PM
CalTech Program in Visual Culture
(attendance limited to the Caltech community)

It’s humbling to be on the cusp of bringing “My Electric Genealogy” to the stage after a two-and-a-half year Covid delay during which climate change went from being a thing “out there” to an undeniable reality of every day life – even as the US response still tends to obscure its racial capitalist and settler colonial dimensions.

For nearly forty years my grandfather designed, planned, and supervised the network of transmission lines connecting Los Angeles to its distant sources of power. The electric grid was his second family: when he died, he left behind boxes of snapshots that mixed birthday parties and family Christmases with portraits of power plants and transmission towers. Years later, I learned his legacy also included some of the most polluting fossil fuel infrastructure in the country—much of it located out of state, on Indigenous land. This solo performance combines storytelling with moving images, movement, and an original score to reframe the power grid as a dynamic entity connecting unequally vulnerable communities. Weaving together signal moments in Los Angeles history, episodes of my grandfather’s life, anxious fantasies about a climate-challenged future, and stories of resistance and reinvention, “My Electric Genealogy” is an essayistic working-through of energy infrastructure as a personal and collective inheritance.

All performances free, although tickets may be required and Covid protocols vary.

I hope to add Midwest and East Coast dates soon.

Light-skinned hands hold a black and white photograph of a light-skinned, male-presenting person at a control console in what appears to be the early 20th century.
Light skinned, femal-presenting figure in a men's suit stands with hands raised animatedly against a black background.