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Z Programs History:

I moved to San Francisco in 1984 and immediately became active in the new music and performance communities. I remember playing and attending performances in little coffee houses, scruffy little punk rock bars, small performance galleries, and new wave night clubs all over The City.

There were the "Circle Arts" evenings at Club Graffiti on Valencia Street where I first shared evenings with people like Keith Hennessey and "Junglebook" (AKA Mark Gunniun). There was the 16th Note where I first heard the Club Foot Orchestra, and there was Club 9 with it's "Art Motels" (in the building that now houses the Stud) where I participated in the "Impact" New Music Series that also featured artists like The Longshoremen, Rinde Eckert, and Diamanda Galas. There were new music and performance series in the galleries of New Langton Arts, The LAB, and Intersection for the Arts. And there were crazy art parties produced by people like "Spoonman" (AKA Mark Petrakis) and Stephen Parr.

I discovered a lot of micro-communities of electronic musicians, or performance artists, or dancers, or instrument builders, and I was always flitting from one world to the other. I'd seen and participated in a lot of events where numerous people played, but those interminable evenings often went on into the wee hours with one group setting up their gear as their fans waited, while the previous group packed up and left along with their audience.

In 1987, I decided I wanted to create a performance event that included people from all those different communities in one seamless evening. Using a similar approach to the one I use when I do radio programs, I chose artists doing experimental work that I loved in various genres and disciplines and invited them to participate in an event where their works would segué into works by artists they may not even know. (One of the frequent participating artists, composer Donald Swearingen co-produced four of the events.) I called the first one "Z Program One", which kind of sealed the fate that there would have to be a "Z Program II" and the rest is, well, history...

–Pamela Z October 2000

ONGOING: Z programs: ROOM

2006 Royce Gallery: Z program 50

2004 The LAB: Z program Ten: A Delay is Better

2000 Theater Artaud: Z program Infinity

1998 Venue 9: XYZ

1996 The LAB: Z program 40

1995 The LAB: Z Programs Presents: DUETS

1992 Life on the Water: Z program V

1991 The LAB: Z Program 3 or 4?

1989 Studio 4: Z Program 2.5

1988 New Performance Gallery: Z Program II

1987 The LAB: Z Program ONE

 

 

 

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Z Program ONE

August 7 & 8, 1987

The LAB Gallery 1805 Divisadero, San Francisco

Pamela Z

Gretchen 5/Dancers Working

Alaric

Terra Incognita

Ned Van Alstyne

Liza Kitchell

Fred Anderson

Daniel Kane

(Presented by Z Programs, Produced by Pamela Z)

The flyer design for Z Program I included a woodcut of an I Ching symbol. Alaric (of Insect Funeral) who was one of the artists in the program decided it would be a good idea to throw the I Ching for our performance. The one that came up was number 46 "Sheng" (or Moving Upward), and he carved a woodcut of it and printed the first 100 of the posters with it. The rest were copies of one of the originals.

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Z Program II

August 12 & 13, 1988

New Performance Gallery 3153 17th (at Shotwell), San Francisco

Pamela Z

Donald Swearingen

Gretchen 5

Click Dark

Elena-María Bey

D. J. Lebowitz

Ned Van Alstyne

Blangton

Ed Herrmann

Hannah Kahn

The Morrison String Quartet

Mark Maggi

Bret Taylor

(Presented by Z Programs. Produced by Pamela Z and Donald Swearingen)

I created the TV logo because Z program II was glued together by an officious character (played by Mark Maggi) who periodically appeared on a Television monitor and bossed the other performers around, inducing them to take certain positions on stage and perform their works, and sometimes forcing them to perform absurd, inexplicable actions. In addition to the regular postcard, a limited number of special invitations went out for this show in the form of a mobile made of blue string and cards with the various artists' names on them.

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Z Program 2.5

November 17 & 18, 1989

Studio 4 2702 18th (at York) in San Francisco

Pamela Z

Donald Swearingen

David Lapp

High Risk Group

Forever Endeavor

Liz Ozol

Paula Frazer

Elena Bey

(Presented by Z Programs, Produced by Pamela Z and Donald Swearingen)

The number of this Z program was less than 3 because I originally intended it to be a small, simple event, but it turned out to be every bit as elaborate as the previous ones. The logo came from an image from cave paintings that I came across in an archeological journal.

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Z Program 3 or 4?

January 25,26,27, 1991

The LAB Gallery 1805 Divisadero, San Francisco

Pamela Z

Donald Swearingen

Rinde Eckert

Hank Hyena

Charlie's Web

Zach Ma

(Presented by Z Programs, Produced by Pamela Z and Donald Swearingen)

This ambiguous name was inspired by less-than-three-ness of the previous Z Program. Triangles and squares showed up in a lot of places in the program- including a piece performed by the audience called "A Game of Chance" in which they watched for numbered triangles and squares on a monitor an performed various sounds according to an instructional score in the printed program. I also created a mobile for this one, using triangles and squares. A giant version of that mobile was part of the set.

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Z Program V

March 8 & 9, 1992

Life on the Water Fort Mason Center, San Francisco

Pamela Z

Donald Swearingen

Rinde Eckert

The Qube Chix

Nebuchadnezzar Pehz Dispenser

Hank Hyena

Barbara Imhoff

Paul Lundahl

Sqaunch

The Art Guys

(Presented by Z Programs and New Music Theatre, supported in part by the Zellerbach Family Fund and the LEF Foundation, Produced by Pamela Z and Donald Swearingen)

The numbering got back on track in this Z Program, which included "Go-go Boys" who wore white, fringed mini-dresses and danced in cages to The Qube Chix' "If You Want To". The special limited edition invitation for this program was a "Cootie Catcher" (otherwise known as a "Fortune Teller"). This is the little Origami mouth-like device that you open and close with your fingers and thumbs and then read the information under it's many flaps.

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Z Programs Presents: DUETS

 

July 7, 1995

The LAB Gallery 1805 Divisadero, San Francisco

Pamela Z performing duets with:

Amy Knoles

Amy X Neuburg

Barbara Imhoff

Dierdre McClure

Donald Swearingen

J Y

Julie Queen

K. Atchley

Laura Carmichael

Laurie Amat

Leigh Evans

Miya Masaoka

Pamela Zed

Squantch

Tom Nunn

(Virtual) Rinde Eckert

(Presented by Z Programs, Produced by Pamela Z)

This was the first Z Program that didn't have a number in its title. It was also unique in that I performed in every piece (in duets with the other artists on the program.) A special little artifact of this show was a limited number of plastic babies tied with twine to shards of broken bus shelter glass, which were available in the lobby.

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Z Program 40

July 12 & 13, 1996

The LAB Gallery 2948 Sixteenth (at Capp), San Francisco

Pamela Z

Donald Swearingen

Kinji Hayashi

Miya Masaoka

Laetitia Sonami

K. Atchley

Marion Gray

Shnacker

Helena Kolda

Noggin

The Qube Chix

 

Z Program XL Details

(Presented by Z Programs, Produced by Pamela Z)

The roman numeral XL represented the fact that this Z Program occurred on my 40th Birthday. The special invitation for this show was a set of refrigerator "magnetic poetry" containing the names of the performers and crew members.

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Z Programs Presents XYZ

August 12, 1998

Venue 9 252 Ninth (near Folsom), San Francisco

Amy X Neuburg

J Why

Pamela Z

The Qube Chix

Hillary Maroon

XYZ Details

(Presented by Z Programs, Produced by Pamela Z, Amy X, and J Y)

This Z program got it's name from it's key players Amy X Neuberg, J Why, and myself. It's been the only Z Program to focus on a particular subset of it's participating artists.

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Z Program 8

October 5,6,7, 2000

Theater Artaud 450 Florida (at 17th), San Francisco

Pamela Z

The Qube Chix (w/David Lapp)

Miya Masaoka

Donald Swearingen

Sten Rudstrom

Ink Boat

Leigh Evans, Kinji Hayashi, Shinichi Momo Koga, & Tanya Calamoneri

Matthew Brubeck

K. Atchley

Jeanne Finley & John Muse

John Chiara

Z Program 8 Details

(Presented by Z Programs and Theater Artaud, Produced by Pamela Z)

This event was a benefit for Theater Artaud. The rubberband logo came into my mind when remembering a Polaroid photo installation by a Cal Arts student which included a photo of a rubberband on the floor with a paragraph about how it resembled the symbol for infinity. I also thought this was the eighth Z Program when I named it. But I had miscounted. It is the 9th. The special invitation for this one was a Mbius strip complete with instructions on how to assemble it properly.

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