[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Laetitia Sonami is a performer and sound artist who creates her own instruments, most notably her Lady's Glove. Artist SUE-C creates live visuals by combining photographs, drawings and lighting effects. The pair is collaborating on a performance for TONIGHT'S Now Playing event.]
Do you collect anything?
LS: Electrical wire. I started with thin wire wrap wires and now am expanding to larger wires. I look for colors and textures, mostly older wire spools. It is getting harder to find. I love wires, their potential and apparent inertness until connected. If you have any, contact me! I also started collecting core memories, the earliest form of data storage.
SUE-C: Photos of store windows with odd items in them. Videos of chandeliers.
If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?
LS: I don’t steal, in general. I would rather encounter beautiful work outside of my home than living with it. Most of what i have around are found objects that have not been worked on further than their found states, so i can image what i could do with them.
SUE-C: It depends what kind of house I had but I would say something very old, ancient Egypt or Incan or Mayan. The weathering of objects from that period, and the idea that I know nothing about whose hands actually made it are fascinating to me.
What do you listen to while you work?
LS: The outside world mostly, or naturally occurring sounds in the house. If I am lucky these sounds find their ways in my work, or act as counterpoint.
SUE-C: Either rocksteady or AGF. I know so much about AGF, how she works and the energy she put into her recordings that I find it really inspires me to work. It’s like I can picture her in her studio or on a train somewhere working and it sets my mind in motion.
What’s your favorite tool?
LS: A small, sharp knife. One can do many things with it. I also love electrical saws. They still scare me a bit.
SUE-C: A still camera. It is best when combined with a computer and printer but on its own I find it really powerful. I can make animations, stories, poems, portraits—and really see the world differently just through the lens and act of recording a moment in time and space.
What should I ask you?
LS: What is the relationship between sounds and the mind? Why are sounds ignored, in favor of music? I do not have answers to these, but am curious and am trying to figure it out.
SUE-C: That’s a beautiful question.
Join us on April 15th for Now Playing – a Vertigo themed evening at the museum. The evening will kick off with a Vertigo-inspired menu by Meatpaper and Blue Bottle Coffee in the Rooftop Garden at 6pm, followed by a curator talk at 6:30pm on visionary architecture. Douglas Gordon’s Feature Film screens at 7pm and Laetitia and SUE-C perform at 9pm. Also, not to be missed: free hor d’oeuvres and a cash bar.