Mallory Catlett


Mallory Catlett is a creator and director of performance across disciplines from opera to installation. Her ongoing focus is the connection between linear constructions of time, language, and the destructive impulse. She is the artistic director of Restless NYC, a company that re-constructs and re-situates old stories to ask what else can time and language do? Employing strategies of disruption, site-specificity, mixed media, fragmentation and reconfiguration, Catlett creates unique time machines, that blur the senses and destabilize the word. The dismantling and re-purposing of stories that have already been told is a practice in transformation; an attempt to create openings, to find a way out, and forward. 


Archive: This Was The End (2019) | In this interactive archival sculpture, Mallory Catlett has created a theatrical memory machine that evokes a past production based on Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.  In the work, a system she created with longtime collaborators video artist Keith Skretch, cassette tape DJ G Lucas Crane and interaction designer Ryan Holsopple captures the live mixing of analog sound and audio recordings and the simultaneous manipulation of digital video, which is reprojected and mapped onto a wall removed from the old PS122 building.  The synesthetic relationship between sound and image that emerges blurs the line between past (the recording) and present (the physical object), a central theme in Catlett’s work. 

Decoder 2017 (2016) | In this multi-media concert series,  Catlett explores William Burroughs’ Nova Trilogy and his use of the cut-up technique.  They have expanded the sound and video system to create a cut-up machine that spans the analog tape technology that Burroughs used himself and the digital technology that he predicted in the 60’s, to replicate the messy and dangerous fusion of human brain with disruptive mass-media technology.  The concerts (Soft Machine, Ticket That Exploded, and Nova Express) decode the current cultural and political moment by cutting in episodes of this intergalactic space odyssey, blurring the lines between past, present and future.