Specially Processed American Me

Specially Processed American Me is a multidisciplinary performance using SPAM, the canned meat, to connect memories of the artist's Korean-American upbringing, share her family’s accounts of the Korean War, and examine SPAM’s influence on Korean cuisine. Specially Processed American Me investigates SPAM's legacy in the military, its place in individual and collective memory, and its consumer appeal through a narrative collage of monologues, animation, soundscapes, sculpture, and cooking. Thrashing between absurd humor and sober tragedy, genuine affection and biting criticism, Specially Processed American Me is a thought provoking exploration of one of America's most iconic and misunderstood foods.

In addition to performances, Specially Processed American Me holds food history and storytelling workshops over a communal SPAM meal. Attendees are welcome to share their own SPAM-related stories and recipes, which can be archived through our installation and website. To find out more, visit speciallyprocessed.com


Earshot

Strangers sit across from each other, listening to the characters through localized electronic speakers (Earshot, 2015, Bonnie Vee Bar, New York, NY). [1/8]

Listeners explore characters' props placed by their seats (Earshot, 2015, Kilo Bravo Bar, Brooklyn, NY). [2/8]

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Earshot is an interactive sound installation set in a bar. Earshot simulates bar crowd conversations through different audio narratives simultaneously playing at each table. As listeners stroll through the bar, they eavesdrop on moments in which old friends reconnect, drunks philosophize, lovers plot affairs and relationships fall apart. Once seated, listeners can examine characters' purses, wallets, and jackets to get a voyeuristic glimpse into their lives. Earshot is a paean to the diversity, and frequent absurdity, of the lives and stories around us every day.

Photo documentation by Taj Birkett.

See full credits and explore a show simulation at earshotplay.com.

Press: Culturebot

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Household

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Household tells the story of a dysfunctional family of household objects– Blender, Vacuum, Lamp, Curtain, Mirror. Anthropomorphized, their individual personalities are determined by their functions. Otherwise mute, musical instruments speak for our characters with the blaring sounds of modern life. Houseplants, in marked contrast to their mechanical housemates, sing gracefully and comment on the action. The play begins with domestic tranquility, but as the characters vie for dominance of the stage, exercising their utility in incompatible ways, unforeseen repercussions threaten the harmony of the household.

Press: Yale Daily News, 02.26.14, Yale Daily News, 02.28.14

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Rot

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A researcher at a biochemistry lab becomes infected with an unknown fungal disease, transforming into The Creature, a restless, impulsive, mischievous urchin. The Creature leaves the comfort of its rainbow fungal abode to spread its colorful spores onto the sterile spaces we all inhabit.

Documentation by Zach Bell and Andrew Wagner.

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The Creature

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An incompetent team of medical professionals tries to capture a person severely infected with an unknown fungal disease but ultimately fails due to bureaucratic setbacks. Doctors monitor the Creature’s whereabouts at Grand Central, Times Square, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, handing out public service announcement flyers to warn passersby of the fungal disease. They lure the Creature into a medical clinic, where it is quarantined. The staff interrogates the public to see if they’ve been in contact with the Creature, and deems the disease non-hazardous after administering a questionable treatment. Footage and photos from Rot (2014) were on display at the medical clinic as part of the PSA. The performance was held during the Ebola outbreak, playing on American media scare tactics and toying with public paranoia.

Collaborators: Shon Arieh-Lerer, Jessica Park, Evan Brandon.

Documentation by Drew Gibson and Taj Birkett.

The performance and installation was hosted by Leaf Medical, a DUMBO-based medical clinic.

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Safety Net

An autobiographical audio monologue about my childhood fear of sleeping alone. My mother sings a Korean lullaby throughout the story. Listeners experience the work in a dark blanket fort lit by a nightlight.

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