City Paper is not for tourists
Emily Francisco would rather do almost anything other than play the piano, or so her piano-based visual performances might lead people to believe. For “The Trans-Harmonium: A Listening Device”—a piece that she is bringing to Artisphere while she serves as artist-in-residence —Francisco wires a distressed-looking keyboard to a series of radio alarm clocks. Playing the vintage keyboard activates various fuzzy radio stations. A video on the artist’s Vimeo page finds Francisco playing a toy piano in a wood-and-plastic installation, a chamber that fills with water as she plays. For another piece bound for Artisphere, she is installing an antique baby grand piano that was delivered to her studio in pieces—though it doesn’t sound like she’ll be building up to a recital. Francisco draws as much from the practices of aleatoric or indeterminate music as from installation or performance in visual contemporary art. By the end of her stay, whether her residency results in musical composition may not be a meaningful question. The exhibit is on view Wednesdays to Fridays 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays noon to 11 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. with open studio hours Fridays 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to Jan. 12, 2014, at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 875-1100. artisphere.com.