Lisa Karrer: Interdisciplinary performance, installations, video and audio works 2003 to the present

My professional resume: Lisa Karrer Artist CV 2018

My educational resume: Lisa Karrer Educational Resume

A chronological list of my multimedia works:

#1 Spiritual Ecstasy 2017 / 9:00 Commissioned by artist David Simons and Harvestworks Digital Arts with funds from NYSCA, as a section of Simons’ interactive performance entitled “Activating Electro-Magnetic Life Forms.” Premiered at Harvestworks December 2, 2017.


Spiritual Ecstasy is a meditation on the transformation of organic life forms, and how humans interpret these events. The supernatural treatment of organic objects links life and decay with the phenomenal interconnectedness of cellular materials. Simons treats this video as a silent film, performing a live score on velocity-controlled theremin. Spiritual Ecstasy acts as a threshold between the cyclical phenomena of life on Earth, juxtaposed with imagined alien presences. Musicians, dancers and performers trigger a variety of projected images, audio samples and sound processes, evoking extra-dimensional life forms which appear to be communicating from another planet. Excerpt from the premiere at Harvestworks:


#2 OVERLANDERS 2016-’17 / 23:38 Premiered at the City College of New York, May 2016, at the studio for Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice (DIAP). Also installed at the University of Rhode Island, as Guest Artist/Faculty lecturer for URI’s conference on Phenomenology and the Arts; and for SUNY Empire State’s Performing Arts Department.


OVERLANDERS is an interdisciplinary installation, a study in digital set design based on pioneer migrations in America, focusing on women who settled the prairies and western regions of the United States. My conceptual approach is informed by Jacques Derrida’s theory of hauntology, which investigates the phenomenal presence of specters and apparitions in our everyday lives.

The looped installation video utilizes green screen technology, with costumed figures set into both real and pastel landscapes. The soundtrack libretto is a collage of archival journal excerpts written by pioneer women, and texts from period writers such as Willa Cather and O. E. Rølvaag. In addition to the video above, the project includes an exhibit of abstract ceramic architectural objects embedded with micro audio and video elements. The overall project is an experiment with non-linear, narrative and literary-based installation, offering multiple visual and audio environments.





#3 There But Not There (two sections) 2015 Three Strangers and Two Women are sections from There But Not There, a five-part installation with projections and live performance, examining psychological states of dissociation from various perspectives. Premiered at Outpost Art Resources, Ridgewood NY, April 2015.

Three Strangers 3:06 Featuring Bill Hochhausen, David Simons and John Morton


Two Women 2:08 Featuring Jacques DuPree and Wanda Phipps



#4 Les Plateau (excerpt) 2015 / 1:05


Les Plateau is a conceptual meal for eight. Viewers use French menus as mobile screens to sample all the dishes on the table.
*Please note: there is no soundtrack for this project; background audio is generated by a live dj.


#5 Meeting Chen Zhen: Drum As Doorway Between Worlds (excerpt) 2014 / 2:24

Excerpts from Lisa Karrer’s multimedia performance, in collaboration with percussionist and MAX/MSP designer David Simons. This work is based on the late artist Chen Zhen and his sculpture Traitment Musical/Vibratoire, and was commissioned by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA). The artists play Chen Zhen’s sculpture and also trigger sounds and images with web cam, velocity and movement with MAX/MSP software. Premiered March 29 & 30 2014 at HVCCA, Peekskill, NY.


#6 LANDSCAPE Re: Form (excerpt) 2014 / 1:39 Collaboration with Bill Hochhausen. Painting/concept by Hochhausen, video by Karrer, score by John Morton.

A combination of warm technology (a painting, a string quartet, a music box) with digital design. I filmed Hochhausen’s painting, left-to-right, in horizontal panning shots, then shot close-up areas of the canvas that I found compelling in terms of texture, juxtaposition of color and build-up of surface paint.

Hochhausen removed a section of his canvas, embedded a video monitor in the void, and attached the cut-out to the edge of the frame. Morton’s soundtrack was then added to the video. The result is a re-examination of the physical painting, with layered windows of color, movement and sound. The full-length video (set to loop) is 10:42.


#7 WHO READS WHO SPEAKS WHO HEARS (excerpt) 2012 / 4:58 Video, soundtrack, narration and voice by Karrer, featuring Pat Hickman’s gut skin book and hands.


WHO READS WHO SPEAKS is a study of literature, language, voice and sculpture in collaboration with sculptor Pat Hickman. With additional narration by Barbara Benary, Robert Egert, Daniel Goode, Pat Hickman, Lisa Karrer, Denman Maroney, Rimma and Valeriy Gerlovin, Sheila Schonbrun, Mimi Seton and Norman Simons.

Installed at the Garnerville Arts Center Resurrection Exhibit, Garnerville NY, October 2012. The full-length video (set to loop) is 11:02.


#8 Multimedia Performances (excerpts) Two performances utilizing sculpture as conceptual reference points and “warm technology”. In these works I seek to integrate myself as an element, rather than appearing as a featured performer.

The Day My House Came To Visit 2008 / 2:56 Video and live performance by Karrer, in collaboration with sculptor Jacqueline Shatz and composer/ thereminist David Simons. Combining interviews, documentary footage, live video feed and 3-D house, the work explores the divergent concepts of home and familial memory. The Living Theatre, NYC.


Mary’s SITE 2011 / 2:26 Video and soundtrack by Karrer, text by sculptor Mary Ziegler, with thereminist David Simons. SITE features a kinetic sculpture by Ziegler which uses random occurrence, motorized magnets and metal findings that mimic social interactions. The Flea Theatre, NYC.

Mary’s SITE


#9 Prussian Blue 2010 / 6:58 (looped audio) Soundtrack by Karrer, mounted wall image by Robert Egert.

#13 Prussian Blue installation photograph

A 2010 site-specific installation in collaboration with visual artist Robert Egert, installed at the Garnerville Arts Center Dye Works Gallery, Garnerville, NY. Prussian Blue examines the cultural, economic and environmental impact of an industrial factory that produced civil war uniforms at this site in Garnerville, NY.


#10 Ziarah Dalam Gereja Gunung 2009 / 4:43 Video, vocal composition and soundscape by Lisa Karrer, Indonesian text by Sitor Situmorang, featuring the late actress Dina Paisner.

This work for voice and video was installed in the Media Project Space at Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) in 2009. As a live multimedia piece, I have performed Ziarah Dalam in NYC venues and across the U.S.


#11 Schismism: Natural Law 2008 – 2010 Premiered at the Living Theater/NYC in 2008, followed by tours to universities and cultural venues throughout the U.S. Performed in collaboration with musician, composer and sound designer David Simons.

Erasmus and Charles 2008 / 4:57 Voice and video by Karrer, instrumental soundtrack by David Simons.

Erasmus and Charles is a section from Karrer’s multimedia performance installation Schismism: Natural Law, examining the life of Charles Darwin. In Schismism, Karrer links personal stories from her own life with Darwin’s to illustrate and link personal, historical and scientific elements from Darwin’s breakthrough theory of evolution.

Schismism: Natural Law 2010 / 54:54 Full performance at Binghamton University in 2010. Guest artists of the EvoS Department of Evolutionary Studies, at the invitation of David Sloan Wilson, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology .


#12 Schismism: Fractured America (excerpt) 2007 / 7:25 Karrer’s 2007 multimedia performance installation at the Flea Theatre, New York City.

Lisa Karrer:Schismism

Schismism: Fractured America examines the global landscape and diversity of the American voice and the American experience during the Bush Administration, illustrating a common ground of lives both fixed and in movement, grounded and ungrounded. This excerpt features a soundscape featuring war journalist Jon Lee Anderson, stilts, fluorescent “bomb” belt, and a triggered light device created in collaboration with sculptor Gregory Barsamian.


#13 Woman’s Song: The Story of Roro Mendut Karrer’s multi-arts music theater project premiered at the Kitchen, 2003. Excerpt (10:05) and full performance (50:19).

Woman’s Song is a multi-arts music theater project created and directed by Karrer, in collaboration with Gamelan Son of Lion music ensemble, visual artists Kate Yourke and Jenny Lynn McNutt, and lighting designer Carol Mullins. The production incorporates texts by Walt Whitman and the late Indonesian poet Sitor Situmorang, and includes original music scored for gamelan and voice, innovative wayang shadow screen and puppet designs (including fiber-optics and phosphorescence), video sequences and elegant lighting design. The musical and visual elements are interwoven with Balinese and Javanese mask and dance forms, martial arts and a stilt-dancing wayang puppet, to create a unique multi-tiered storytelling hybrid.

Karrer’s narrative is based on the 17th century Javanese legend of Roro Mendut, a strong and independent woman who resists the tyranny of oppression put upon Indonesian women of that period. The production explores cultural mores such as gender hierarchy, sexual taboos, self-immolation (death by kris knife, practiced by widows and servants), the impact of tobacco in Javanese society and the introduction of written text into the royal courts, transforming and formalizing traditional oral storytelling.

Score and libretto by Lisa Karrer
Gamelan Son of Lion ensemble: David Demnitz, Lisa Karrer, Jody Kruskal, Laura Liben, Bill Ruyle. Soloists: Barbara Benary (erhu/violin), Richard Cohen (clarinet), Lara Hicks (viola), and David Simons (zheng/jawharp).

Wiroguno: George Crayton
Spy/Servant/Assistant: Deena Burton
Roro Mendut: Ayu Armini
Pronocitro/vocalist/Wiroguno’s voice: Lisa Karrer
Narrator’s voices: Inggita Notosusanto and Kukuh Sukoyono


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