HOW TO KNOW: THE PROTOCOLS AND PEDAGOGY OF NATIONAL ABSTRACTION
HOW TO KNOW, a new work by Pedro Lasch, frames the 2015 Creative Time Summit: The Curriculum, and is part of a larger series. Social interventions, visual compositions, flag displays, and musical works enable audiences to understand national anthems of other countries in their own language, while their own anthem becomes incomprehensible. For those speaking several languages, or having strong associations with more than one anthem, the experience is even more layered and representative of today’s cultural pluralism.
Each of the forty-eight flags of the installation at the Teatro alle Tese, in the Arsenale, combines four countries, so that all of the world’s countries are represented, in alphabetical order.
The flags are set in motion through simple choreographed movements
by members of a color guard, here called the curricular guard for the multilingual terms and phrases that appear on their shirts; together the flags and color guard propose a re-envisioned curriculum for All of the World’s Futures. The opening musical intervention is a live voice- ensemble rendition of Composition 20: Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, composed by Craig DeAlmeida and performed by Fran Newark, Erica Dunkle, Cameron Aiken, and Larry Speakman. Conducted by Rodney Wynkoop, this piece presents the anthems of all four countries simultaneously, each sung in the language of the country that follows it alphabetically. The closing intervention includes a new array of anthems, this time presented in a temporal sequence and accompanied by a video projection and participatory elements.