Michelle Ellsworth
Evidence of Labor and the Post-Verbal Social Network

November 9-11, 2023
Thursday through Saturday at 7pm

Performances will take place at The Chocolate Factory Theater, 38-33 24th Street, Long Island City.

View the show program.

Co-commissioned with EMPAC.

Michelle Ellsworth returns to The Chocolate Factory Theater with two distinct but related and intermingled premieres: Evidence of Labor and Post-Verbal Social Network.

Evidence of Labor: State of the Kitchen
Evidence of Labor functions as a reverse Turing test and a prototype for life After-AI (AA). By putting the allegory back into algorithm, Evidence of Labor reconstructs our accident and considers the ethics of living in a cave with shadows and smoke, using dance’s innate methodologies (black box) to replace the labor of AI to create glitch-heavy kitchen hygiene. Evidence of Labor is the sequel to the Post-Verbal Social Network, and continues to propose that the labor involved in disseminating ideas should be more proportional to the impact of the disseminated ideas.

Evidence of Labor: Dish Towels Division
A subsidiary of “State of the Kitchen,” “Dish Towels” are less technically complex but share the Kitchen’s commitment to alternative language-based thought representations and publishing platforms. Predictably, the venue of the “Dish Towels” is 100% cotton fabric dish towels. The content includes several original kinetic alphabets and multiple new fonts (including sand ball font, dead-man pant font, ceramic q-tip font, and hair font), as well as instructions on how to make several language disposal systems. Central to this work is the knowledge that if the language-based ideas expressed on the “Dish Towels” are unhelpful intellectually/politically/spiritually – they are at least still absorbent.

Evidence of Labor: Audience Division
People who like the idea of going to Evidence of Labor (but don’t actually want to go) can pay other people to go for them. Patrons get full credit and are provided evidence of audience labor – (they receive a physical ticket, a dish towel, and photo of their paid proxy attending) for supporting Ellsworth, The Chocolate Factory, EMPAC, and Art – but don’t have to go to “another” show. Modeled after the Mormon practice of baptisms for the dead (also called proxy baptisms) and sex work, this new audience opportunity liberates patrons to simultaneously be responsible citizens of an art eco system, while doing what they really want.

Post-Verbal Social Network employs both contemporary and pre-industrial technologies to augment the physical labor of choreography and community. In a series of prototypes, Ellsworth and friends commingle simple mechanical apparatuses, choreography, and code to test possible non-language based human-to-human systems.

Evidence of Labor
Creators: Michelle Ellsworth and Satchel Spencer. Dancers: Jadd Tank, Elle Hong, Ondine Geary, Uli Miller, Onye Ozuzu, Michelle Ellsworth. Lighting Designer: Madeline Best. Sound and Video Designer: Max Zara Bernstein. Programmer: Satchel Spencer. Apparatus Builder: Bruce Miller. 16mm Filmmaker: Laura Conway. Additional Music: Ben Donehower.

Post-Verbal Social Network
Creator: Michelle Ellsworth. Dancers: Lauren Beale, Jadd Tank, Michelle Ellsworth, Ondine Geary, Uli Miller, Laura KimElle Hong, Laura Ann Samuelson, Constance Harris, Kevin Sweet, Luke Iwabuchi, Ondine Geary, Max Zara Bernstein, Zoe Scofield, Ryan Seeling. Lighting Designer and Reactive Artist: Ryan Seelig. Sound and Video Designer: Max Zara Bernstein. Programmer: Satchel Spencer. Apparatus Builder: Bruce Miller. Production Manager: Emily Rea.

Post Verbal Social Network was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Post Verbal Social Network is also supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Headlands Center for the Arts Residency program, MacDowell, the Atlas Institute and the Center for Humanities and the Arts at CU Boulder, and the Boulder County Arts Alliance.

Evidence of Labor is co-commissioned by EMPAC / the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and The Chocolate Factory Theater.

“Rice Krispie Treats in a Plastic Tube, and Other Dances” – Siobhan Burke, New York Times