Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) is Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle working with collaborators such as (in this instance and quite often) the performance artist, writer, and cellist Valerie Kuehne. PPL combines conceptual music, sculpture, and performance art. Each site-and-context-specific performance theorizes compositional and constructive systems, ideological structures, modes of production, and epistemic geneologies via precise, viscereal actions. Often participatory and created in the moment with a collaborating audience, PPL performances swing violently between the hyper-structural and the indeterminate, dealing with causation, reaction, conception, cognition, and active human practices of construction and reality-projection.
In addition to and often as social performance work, PPL researches social construction and communal cognition by performing organizational actions ranging from the production of operas through the organization of conferences on philosophical and disciplinary questions. These larger and longer-term PPL projects have many layers, existing as clouds of interviews, public “Focus Workshops,” interactive surveys, theoretical writings, video, participatory frameworks, hand-made props, public meetings, installation elements, roles, and pieces of through-written music and text. These projects have a collective, public form, culminating as hyper-complex and tightly wound long-form “operas,” often rehearsed over a period of 6-10 months and performed in collaboration with audiences, artists, and “non-artists” from all over the world and from many different walks of life.
As part of Hitparaden, PPL will actualize a framework from their current long-form social performance in progress, Any Size Mirror is a Dictator, a relational opera of refractions and “inaccurate” reflections. Performed by Valerie Kuehne, Brian McCorkle, and Esther Neff.