The Crossing: David Lang's "Lifespan" Performance

As part of its 2016-2017 Performing Arts Series, the Cleveland Museum of Art presented The Crossing performing “Lifespan” by David Lang, created for an installation by Allora and Calzadilla. Didn't get a chance to see the performance in person? Check out the video above!

In this unique performance, a Hadean-period rock sample, estimated to be more than 4 billion years old, hangs from the ceiling. During performances, this rock is “played” by three vocalists whistling and breathing, which subtly moves the rock like a pendulum. The singers’ breaths, acting as a poetic form of wind erosion, bring humans into close contact with this rock sample.

Commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fabric Workshop for their major exhibition by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, David Lang’s Lifespan connects the present moment with that of the earth’s origins—a time when there were no witnesses to the planet’s geological transformation.

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