Friday, October 29 and Sunday, October 31
6:00pm — 7:00pm
Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center (Midtown)

“Being Silica” by architect Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation is an attempt to sense the interdependence of New York with seemingly far-flung territories such as Illinois, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, where raw material is extracted and energy produced for the city’s consumption. In his new performance, Jaque focuses his attention on silica, a low-iron mineral used both for the creation of Ultra Clear™ glass—a new type of float glass prevalent in contemporary skyscrapers—and as a propping agent injected in natural gas wells during hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”). With a physical sound performance set up at Rockefeller Center’s observation deck offering sweeping views of Manhattan and its periphery, the architect asks his audience to “attune” with this environmental complex reality and apprehend its impacts. “Being Silica” convenes anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins, environmental educator Ray Kemble, and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Doug CrowGhost and Simone TwoShields; it channels their voices to reflect on trans-species cohabitation, ecological dependencies, and environmental justice.

Act 1.
Being Silica. An introduction by Andrés Jaque.

Act 2:
Vera Scroggins and her dog, Oscar. Susquehanna County, PA. August 2021.

Act 3.
Ray Kemble. Dimock, PA. August 2021.

Act 4.
Doug CrowGhost and Simone TwoShields. Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, SD. October 2021.

Act 6.
Sensing Fracking. Sound transduction of an entire process of hydraulic fracturing, recorded through seismographic tracking.

Act 5:
The Choir of Dawn. Multichannel recording of the sound of dawn, reproduced from the perception of Oscar the dog, as he is walked by Vera Scroggins in Susquehanna County


Andrés Jaque is an architect, artist and writer based in New York. He is the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an agency that has brought a transscalar approach to the discussion and practice of architecture. In 2016, he received the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts, and in 2014 the Silver Lion awarded to the Best Project at the Venice Architecture Biennale. His work is part of the collections of MoMA and of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is Chief Curator of the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water, and was co-curator of Manifesta 12 in Palermo.

Paula Vilaplana de Miguel is a New York-based curator, visual artist, and architectural designer. Her work explores the intersection of bodies with technology and the media. She has developed projects for institutions such as The Victoria and Albert Museum London,The Shanghai Art Biennale, Triennale Milano, and Ca2M among others.

Jose Luis Espejo is a sound editor and researcher, and music advisor at the Reina Sofía Museum. He lectures on Musical Industry and Sound Studies at the Carlos III University. His research and projects are focused on the relationships between art and aural cultures.

Vera Scroggins is an anti-fracking activist, photographer, and filmmaker. She documents the industrial development of gas drilling in Susquehanna county, PA.

Ray Kemble is an environmental educator. He has been denouncing fracking-related practices by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation in Dimock, PA.

Doug CrowGhost is Director of Water Resources at the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance. He is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Standing Rock is allied with neighboring tribes to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in indigenous lands.

Simone TwoShields is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is based in Cannon Ball, ND.


A work by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation
In collaboration with Paula Vilaplana and Jose Luis Espejo

With the special participation of Doug Crowghost, Ray Kemble, Vera Scroggings, and Simone TwoShields

Curated by Charles Aubin

Performa 2021 Biennial Fellows: steph christ and Mariana Fernández

Research: Andrés Jaque, María Alejandra Linares, Jesse McCormick, Marcos Mouronte, and Paula Vilaplana

Scientific Advisors: Wojciech Gajek and Ryan Schultz

Text editing: Walter Ancaro and Mariana Fernández

Sound: José Luis Espejo

Models: VILAKANG (Chije Kang and Paula Vilaplana)

Music: José Venditti

Video Editing: Romke Hoogwaerts

Studio recordings: John Bravebull and Joseph Hazan (Newsstand Studios at Rockefeller Center)

Performance Assistants: P.J. Verhoest and Kelvin Ponder

Executive Producer: Esa Nickle

Producer: Joanna Cohen

Production Assistant: Andres Barbosa

Technical Direction: Andre Ferreira

Scenic Lead: JD Fontanella

Audio Engineer: Vincent Dee

Lighting Technician: Edward Charrette

Assistant Audio Technicians: Heidi Lorentz and Mike Nelson

Stagehand: Corey Hucks


Many thanks to Michaella Solar-March, Lorna-Rose Simpson, Allison Bevilaqua, BJ Delacruz, Carmen Perez at Rockefeller Center and their wonderful team for their enthusiasm and wonderful support.


“Being Silica” by Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation is supported by Toby Devan Lewis, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), and the Consulate of Spain in New York.


The land on which the Performa 2021 Biennial takes place is part of the ancestral homelands of the Lenape peoples, the Indigenous peoples of this land. Performa acknowledges the continued displacement of Indigenous peoples and pays respect to the Lenape peoples’ past, present, and future in their homelands and throughout the Lenape diaspora.