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OUTER EAR: Lynn Book & Shawn Decker

Transmedia and vocal artist Lynn Book, in collaboration with electronic musician and sound artist Shawn Decker, will perform The Phaedra Escapes—a song-cycle that deploys Phaedra as a divining tool to denature the form by way of voluptuous frictions between release and containment, stasis and white hot freedom. Part history and part possibility, Phaedra is both a mythical figure and a contemporary sign of escape. The artists spring her from a Baroque opera where she migrated from Racine’s stage, having threaded through centuries of story, including conflicting fragments that Euripides wrote, lost, then wrote again in ancient Greece. Phaedra becomes the ideal escape body for our time, resonant with multiple histories and radiant with propositions for possible futures.

Lynn Book has a vibrant stream of transmedia arts practice that cuts across boundaries between performance art, theater, visual art, language, dance, and new music forms resulting in hybrid projects that explore self in the world through embodiment, cultural critique and radical imagination. For more than 25 years, her works have been seen in the U.S. and Europe, and heard internationally, including Roulette, the Kitchen, Bowery Poetry Club and the Knitting Factory in New York City; Hothouse, Experimental Sound Studio, Club Lower Links and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art in the US, and in Europe at Emmetrop Festival in Bourges, France as well as Vienna, Berlin, Marseilles and recently Art Stays International Festival of Contemporary Art in Slovenia.

Lynn lived and worked in Chicago from the mid-80s to the mid 90s where she had the pleasure and privilege of working with many Chicago-based artists including Lou Mallozzi, Robert Metrick, Tatsu Aoki, Kristin Mariani, Michael Zerang, Terri Kapsalis, Sharon Couzin and many others.  She currently lives in North Carolina where she develops progressive curriculum at Wake Forest University, and spends the summers, in Europe making performance, music and exhibition based projects and conducting intensive workshops at Transart Institute in Berlin where she is a faculty associate. The work she is developing with Shawn Decker is slated to have its full premiere in Italy in August, 2012 at the Asolo International Art/Film Festival.


Shawn Decker is a composer and artist who creates sound and electronic media installations and writes music for live performance, film, and video. His work has been frequently performed, seen, and heard in the US and Europe at a wide variety of venues. He frequently collaborates with other artists, including most recently Jan Erik-Andersson and Anne Wilson. Recent exhibitions of both solo and collaborative work have shown at venues such as: the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago’s Millenium Park, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the 2003 Biennial of Electronic Art in Australia, Art Basel Miami,  the Klosterruine in Berlin, ISEA2002 in Nagoya,  the 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, CAM Houston , ISEA2000 Paris, the Waino Aalto museum in Turku, Finland and numerous others. Decker is a Professor in the Art and Technology and Sound departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.