Sarah Kanouse

Part of the MIT Fall 2023 Architecture Lecture Series. In collaboration with the the Art, Culture, and Technology program. 

ONLINE Webcast:

My Electric Genealogy

Written, produced and performed by Sarah Kanouse

Sound design by Jacob Ross

Part storytelling, part lecture, and part live documentary film, Sarah Kanouse’s solo performance “My Electric Genealogy” explores the shifting cultures and politics of energy in Los Angeles through the lens of her own family. For nearly forty years, her grandfather designed, planned, and supervised the spider-vein network of lines connecting the city to its distant sources of power: rivers that are now drying up and power plants that are finally coming down. This physical infrastructure subtended diffuse “infrastructures of feeling” that included assumptions of perpetual growth and closely held beliefs about nature, gender, race, and progress. The performance weaves together signal moments in the city’s history, episodes of her grandfather’s life, anxious fantasies about a climate-challenged future, and stories of resistance and reinvention in the face of extraction. “My Electric Genealogy” is an essayistic working-through of energy as a personal and collective inheritance at a moment of eco-political reckoning. 

LA-based musician and sonic artist Jacob Ross contributed original music and sound design for “My Electric Genealogy.” Ross has worked with wide variety of filmmakers and performers including Lucky Pierre, Terri Kapsalis, Deke Weaver, Deborah Stratman, and Califone.

Sarah Kanouse is a Boston-based interdisciplinary artist, writer, and filmmaker whose solo and collaborative work has been presented at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Documenta 13, the Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, The Cooper Union, The Smart Museum, and numerous film festivals, academic institutions and artist-run spaces nationwide. 

Lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures will be held Thursdays at 6 PM ET in 7-429 (Long Lounge) and streamed online unless otherwise noted. Registration required to attend in-person. Register here or watch the webcast on Youtube.