Being Silica

Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center (Midtown) Entrance on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, New York, 10112

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Oct 29, 10:00 am—11:00 am

Oct 31, 10:00 am—11:00 am

In a 45-minute-long meditative sound piece performed for an intimate audience on three consecutive mornings at the Top of the Rock, the Rockefeller Center’s observation deck, architect Andrés Jaque and his Office for Political Innovation will invite spectators to sensorially experience the interconnection of the city and the countryside, buildings and nature. Set up 850 feetabove Fifth Avenue, in this epic achievement of the WPA era that offers sweeping views of Manhattan and its periphery, the performance will examine the complex history of construction in New York. Gathered at dawn, the audience will be invited to “attune” with their environment and study the city’s skyline, from its early skyscrapers downtown to the rise of post-war glass towers and the more recent “pencil towers.”

Curated by Charles Aubin, Senior Curator & Head of Publications

For any questions or accessibility needs please email the box office:

Press Release

Performance Program






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Being Silica (2021). Performa Commission for the Performa 2021 Biennial.


Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation): Being Silica is supported by Toby Devan Lewis, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), and the Spanish Cultural Services, Consulate of Spain New York City.

In collaboration with Paula Vilaplana and José Luis Espejo
With the special participation of Doug Crowghost, Ray Kemble, Vera Scroggins, and Simone TwoShields

Andrés Jaque, Eno Chen, María Alejandra Linares, Jesse McCormick, Marcos Mouronte, Paula Vilaplana

Scientific Advisors:
Wojciech Gajek, Ryan Schultz

Text Editing:
Walter Ancarrow, Mariana Fernández

José Luis Espejo

José Venditti

Field Recordings:
Guillaume Capsowl Voisin, José Luis Espejo

Seismic Records:
Wojciech Gajek

VILAKANG (Chije Kang, Paula Vilaplana)

Video Editing:
Romke Hoogwaerts

Studio Recordings:
John Bravebull, Joseph Hazan

Technical Direction:
André Ferreira

Scenic Lead:
JD Fontanella

Audio Engineer:
Vincent Dee

Lighting Technician:
Edward Charrette

Assistant Audio Technicians:
Heidi Lorentz, Mike Nelson

Stage Hand:
Corey Hucks

Production Assistant:
Andres Barbosa

Executive Producer: Esa Nickle
Producer: Joanna Cohen
Performa 2021 Biennial Fellows: steph christ
Performa 2021 Biennial Fellows: Mariana Fernández
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Portrait of Andrés Jaque

Photo by Miguel de Guzmán

ABOUT Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation)

Architect Andrés Jaque (b. 1971) lives and works in New York where he runs the Advanced Architectural Design Program at Columbia University. His architecture firm, Office for Political Innovation, is split between New York and Madrid, and covers a broad cross section of functions, including commercial developments, residential housing, fairs, the redevelopment of public spaces, as well as conceptual projects ranging from videos, live performances, multimedia installations, and exhibitions.

Jaque is currently Chief Curator of the 13th Shanghai Biennale, which was rethought as an incremental exhibition with its final phase opening in spring 2021. His work is part of the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2014, Andrés Jaque received the Silver Lion of the Venice Biennale and in 2016, he was awarded with the Frederick Kiesler Architecture and Art Prize.