Allele Wake (2014) w/ Bhob Rainey & Christina Zani

(Live ensemble w/ score, HD video, MAX/MSP, dry ice, salon dialogue between three artists and three physicians with speciality in pediatrics and genetics, edited transcription of salon dialogue)


Allele Wake is a collaborative project sketch by Catherine Pancake and Bhob Rainey with dancer Christina Zani. The project was developed through mentored workshops at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The project continues Pancake and Rainey's collaborative interest in technocratic practices and poetic emergence. The project reaches beyond the artists' own creative practices to include female physicians specializing in pediatrics and genetics. Pancake organized a two hour structured salon with the physicians, Rainey and visual artist Erica Prince. The salon dialogue facilitated a frank, intense private discussion about practice, creativity, failure, success, physical processes, and personal philosophy. The salon dialogue was recorded and transcribed by Pancake with all the participants left anonymous.


Based on the salon transcript, video material was generated with physicians enacting common medical procedures with dancer Christina Zani re-iterating and transforming their movement as the physicians watched and interacted with her. The video material was live-mixed by Pancake and the audience at the exhibition to reveal text from the private salon. The point of the project is not to find easy overlap in the practices, but create tension around the differences clarifying overarching themes such as documentation vs. performance, contemporary theraputic vs. poetic vs. labor-oriented lines of visual motion, and concepts of creative risk in medicine as compared to fine arts practices. Bhob Rainey created a score for harps and strings based on the salon dialogue which was played live in the exhibition space with the video material.



Supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage "No Idea Too Ridiculous" grant & workshop



July 16th, 2014, Department of Making & Doing, Unversity City Science Center, Philadelphia PA


A web page was created for the event with links to videos as well as an edited transcription of a section of the salon.

Allele Wake page