There’s a lot of talk archived in SMA, but it would be wrong to assume that’s all there is. Since its start, SCI-Arc has provided a stage for music and dance. Not talk about music and dance, but actual performances.
Most performances occurred for their own sake, as demonstrated by the clips of Rubén Ortiz Torre, and Matmos, and documented by Adhe Lahti’s posters for special concerts.
Other performances were inflected by the context of SCI-Arc, and prompted engagement with architecture. Choreographers Bella Lewitzky and Mehmet Sander presented demonstration performances. Dione Neutra and Konrad Wachsmann presented music related to specific architects. And Steve Roden employed the ambient sounds of SCI-Arc as compositional material.
[Image: Beaux-Arts Ball performers, mid-1970s, at SCI-Arc’s original facility.]