Laetitia Sonami – “Your Presence is Required: Performance, Control, and Magnetism”


Composer, performer and sound artist Laetitia Sonami will present an overview of work carried out over three decades, including her legendary lady’s glove, wire writings, hijacked plungers and current attraction to uncontrollable interfaces.
The trajectory of Sonami’s research is guided by careful attention to the notion of presence in both the staged performative works and its concomitant gesture of embodiment in installations. Exploring invisible media on the electromagnetic plane, Sonami’s unique approach questions the validity of “efficiency” long associated with the medium. Rather, she poses a series of questions which invite viewers to discover new behaviors through erratic performance, and to project imagined connections onto networks of silent copper.

Laetitia Sonami was born in France and settled in the United States in 1975 to pursue her interest in live electronic music. Recent projects include the lady’s Spring Spyre–an uncontrollable controller for live performance, Sound Gates a public sound installation on a 2.5 km pier in Rijeka, Croatia and Sheepwoman , a live film in collaboration with SUE-­‐C, based on a Murakami novel. Sonami has received numerous awards among which the Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Awards. She currently is visiting faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute, Mills College and Bard College MFA Summer program.

UC Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture lecture series, founded in 1997, is an internationally recognized forum for ideas that challenge conventional wisdom about technology and culture. The series, free of charge and open to the public, presents artists, writers, curators, and scholars who consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies, and cultural history from a critical perspective.