Unboxing The Compass, Bending The Axis – MoMA PS1

Unboxing The Compass, Bending The Axis was written, directed and composed by Sarah Kinlaw in performance residency with MoMA PS1 featuring talent and movement collaborators Kathleen Dycaico, Kellian Delice, Quenton Stuckey and Tara-Jo Tashna.


Video courtesy of MoMA PS1 with photos by Maria Baranova.


Built from personal change and the untangling of identity, Unboxing The Compass, Bending The Axis is a laboratory to elongate and inspect dualities and examine relationships. Blending her background as a composer and choreographer, Kinlaw’s strategic use of light, sonic texture, sculpture and movement magnify how we interpret complex bonds and the pain we feel as they change. She explores sound with a technical curiosity and tangible sensitivity, employing surround sound, installation and microphone technique to amplify choreography. Kinlaw challenges the aesthetic and somatic nature of choreography by making it functional and integral to the composition through physically-triggered sound installation and interactive staging designed specifically for the production.


Applying textural treatments with microphones to the stage floor, Kinlaw brings the environment itself into the choreography and attempts to more fully integrate the functionality of choreography and score. Having long incorporated everyday objects into the sound and movement of her pieces, this performance seeks to deepen the way that these disciplines are able to be used together by introducing specifically-designed sonic sculpture as part of the set landscape. Throughout the process, the intention is to find new reasons for sound, choreography, and set to truly coexist and more deeply explore the effect that this can have in engaging an audience with the environment of a work. What shifts occur in perception when the soundscape is also coming from the physical choreography, when the movement itself is considered in terms of the overall composition? The questions inherent in this pursuit echo the path worn by the artist’s development of the work itself.