In this powerful performance, Cassils collaborates with fight choreographer Mark Steger to stage a brutal two-person fight. Illuminated by car headlights in the depths of a parking garage, Cassils is the sole figure, sparring with an invisible force. The stereos of the surrounding cars broadcast a multi-channel score of static noise and radio samples designed by Kadet Kuhne. By amplifying the sociopolitical conflicts at each performance location with sound, The Powers That Be explores the radical unrepresentability of certain forms of trauma and violence. Here the radio signal is a transmission of site-specific issues, both proximate and distant.
Designed to be viewed and recorded on mobile phones, The Powers That Be further addresses the mediation of violence by calling into question the roles of witness and aggressor on the part of the spectator.
Broad Museum, Los Angeles, 2015
In Los Angeles, Cassils and Kuhne simulated a local radio dial to illuminate oppressive and oppressed forces in contemporary US culture. Transmissions about #BlackLivesMatter, a woman’s right to choose, and violence against the LGBTQI community mixed with hacked sections of The Broad’s audio guides and random radio samples. This sonic backdrop informed and contextualized Cassils’ performance movement, highlighting the cyclical forces that govern and regulate the bodies of “others.”