Beyond the Grave 2023

Beyond the Grave: A Performance Series

Artboard 1

Saturday, May 20, 2023,
5pm - 6pm

Evergreen Cemetery
261 Evergreen Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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$25 General, $15 MAH & Indexical Members

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Join us for Beyond the Grave, a series of site-specific performances at the historic Evergreen Cemetery, featuring Ghost Ensemble, LuLing Osofsky, Tasting Menu, and Isola Tong.

A Ghost—geist, spirit—is a trace that is left over from a history. It lives through the collapse of vision and hallucination, of memory and invention, of the collective history of a site and of the subjective experiences and trauma of an individual. Through performances evoking the personal and the sociological, the historical and ever-present hauntings, the four artist-ensembles engaged with this year's program, entitled Writing Ghosts, explore what happens when a no-longer-present entity is written, fixed. These artists encompass musical practices dependent on writing, language, and phonography, written accounts of trauma, and a meditation on the physicality and ghostliness of Chinese script.

Performance Dates:
Friday, May 12 • 5-6pm
Saturday, May 13 • 5-6pm
Friday, May 19 • 5-6pm
Saturday, May 20 • 5-6pm

Image at top: Beyond the Grave, 2022, photo by R.R. Jones.


Writing Ghosts
Performances evoking the personal and the sociological, the historical and ever-present hauntings, featuring:

  • Ghost Ensemble engages in the Deep Listening practice of composer Pauline Oliveros, in which participants are instructed to listen both inside and outside themselves, to sounds real and imagined. This practice dissolves the boundary between objective (exterior) and subjective (interior) listening. Ghost Ensemble leads attendees in one of Oliveros’s many Deep Listening exercises in order to attune to the surrounding space and develop awareness of one’s interior soundings.
  • LuLing Osofsky writes of a former relationship with an individual later killed in a police shootout. She asks: In the name of the ghost, is there a kind of ethics? Weaving this narrative together with written police reports, flashbacks, and a meditation on her mixed Chinese-Jewish heritage, Osofsky considers the Chinese ghost in the frame of memory—something to be tended to, not dispersed, not exorcised.
  • Tasting Menu will use lost, found, and made sounds to map an aural history of Evergreen Cemetery conjuring what you may have heard yesterday, today, or never heard at all. What did the cemetery sound like in 1865? 1950? 2000? Tasting Menu asks these questions through a performance of fabricated and historical field recordings, live performance, and found objects. You’re encouraged to move freely through the site and imagine where these sounds place you in time and how these sounds complete a broader picture of this singular place in Santa Cruz.
  • Isola Tong enacts the performativity of Chinese script, and the haunting of Chinese ghosts as it relates to the early histories of Evergreen Cemetery. In a discussion of Chinese script, the philosopher Jacques Derrida writes: “Nonphonetic writing breaks the noun apart. It describes relations and not appellations.” Tong transforms her body—trans-femme, bi-cultural Filipino-Chinese—into an instrument of this writing, bringing these ghostly spirits into relation with the living.
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Seating is limited – this event series is limited to 50 guests per performance.
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Event FAQs

No, seating is not reserved and will be on a first come, first served basis. The gate will open 30 minutes before each performance. Some of the performance asks the audience to move throughout the cemetery grounds.

For questions, concerns, or requests regarding a disability-related accommodation please contact Marla Novo.

For the safety of our guests, staff, and community, the museum continues to encourage masking, social distancing when possible, hand hygiene, and other preventive measures.

No, but there is a public restroom that is about a 5-minute walk from the event at Harvey West Park.

No, in the case of rain, we will work to reschedule any cancelled performance(s) to Sunday, May 21. You will be contacted prior to the event if a weather cancellation occurs.

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