Any Size Mirror is a Dictator (Unmastered)

by Panoply Performance Laboratory

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $888 USD  or more




Any Size Mirror is a Dictator is a process-based dance-opera that problemetizes reflective methodologies for researching “culture” by using them to research themselves. Dominant throughout contemporary Western anthropology, philosophy of mind, and other fields, reflective theories reduce “culture” to formal paradigms used to understand, diagram, contain, reflect, model, and mirror, essentially as derived from Platonian paradigms for the interpretation of reality.


released February 1, 2015

Music composition is by Brian McCorkle, Choreography by Lindsey Drury, Libretto text by Esther Neff, project conceptualization and production in collaboration.

Originating Performers include: Jessica Bathurst, Lorene Bouboushian, Lindsey Drury, Matthew Gannt, Kaia Gilje, Paige Fredlund, Rene Kladzyk, Thea Little, Brian McCorkle, Esther Neff, Adrian Owen, Ellen O'Meara, Valerie Kuehne, Sarah McSherry, Butch Merigoni, and Matthew Stephen Smith.



all rights reserved


Panoply Performance Laboratory New York

Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) is unbounded by discipline or field, we collect ourselves around processes, theorizing social systems, ideological structures, modes of production, and epistemic genealogies via actions, relational constructs, images, noise, text, interactions, and objects. ... more

contact / help

Contact Panoply Performance Laboratory

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Confuse
Confuse means to pour together
Track Name: Accepting Proposals
Accepting proposals

accepting proposals

accepting proposals

realizations immanent

funding and financial advice

for the most

feasible and innovative projects

for the most

reliably lucrative projects
Track Name: The Petitioner and the Engagements
The petitioner and the engagements
one should ask, the other should answer
like a silkworm
one be kept in captivity
Track Name: 3000 Cocoons
3000 cocoons are needed to make a pound of silk.
To gather silk from cocoons
boil intact cocoons
for five minutes in water
turning them gently
until the individual strands of silk
begin to float free
Remove the cocoons from the water
use a dissecting needle to pick up strands
wind the silk onto a wand
Several of these strands should be woven
to make a single thread
Track Name: Prima Ballerina
Now that you are
Prima ballerina assoluta
There shall be no more science fiction
since the existence of fiction is constructed by the real
start at the beginning madame
several of these strands should be woven to make a thread
Track Name: How Would I Do It?
how would I do it?
I would get into a small ship
only big enough for one person
I would set myself adrift
yes, I would set myself adrift
I would set myself adrift
Track Name: The Ships of James
the ships of james cook
the ships of james cook
the ships of james cook
the ships of james kirk
the ships of james cook
the ships of james kirk
the ships of james kirk
the ships of james kirk
the ships of james cook
Track Name: The Space
The space is so grand, so right, so idealized and urban
low to the ground, a hangar or a restaurant rinsed
in the polite sounds of engines and napkins

Bred to hit
mourning fascism
breeding is everything

be reverant
be twice the people
Where there is sand
employees will be emotions
Reverence is everything

Our persons are hit in the face
lucky injury
Track Name: Paving Bricks
Paving bricks made of white porcelain
clear at tips with delicacy, and still unchipped
one teacup-shaped lotus or rose
or other lovely grantmotherly system
is loose, I gently backpack it.
He is fucking huge as he runs naked
after me, down the narrow tubes of steps
down the center of the dirt and straw road
beneath the bridge

a cult of “girls,” sitting in extinct gender
in mustard colored sweaters on the sofas
sip black ink and simmer
with pursed lips the word
“see see see” (continued…)
a cult of internal sight, see
samovars central
gossip iceskates the rims

I am late for the task, which is punching
her out, arranging bangs over her nag fore head
feeding her spoonfuls of creamy shit under
the awning of ritual, the dawning of the supernatural
situational, umbilical burden of the self

of course they won’t let
us in, it’s sleeting
each eye is an asshole
lost in a small foreign town
the lateness of the sentiment
taped shut
by teenagers with painted fingernails
and rolled up skinny jeans
expensive hiking boots
for marching
imore ifast
in foursomes across the uneven ground
Track Name: Why Do There No More Happenstance
why do there no more happenstance
why do there no more rigorous
why do there no more studying the happenstance:
more vigorous than that is the why of no more
why are we
used to it
why did we used to
make so much joke of it?
Track Name: A.S.M.I.A.D.
I am rooting for him
I am misunderstanding
I am taking the flaw too far

child, I say, stuffing up my shirt with mama

any size mirror is a dictator
Track Name: Mayonnaise Knife
He took up a mayonnaise knife and started slashing 2-foot ruts in
The carpet down to the concrete
I was insulted
maybe it was just a sore throat that made him suddenly a problem
a racism or function of class that made him loosen

believe you me, maps are coming out of pockets
ghosts are butter
an uninvited uncle giving
windex wet willies

stop “wasting time” on soup mixes
stitches will get you fed-x-ing matches for
the drive-thru types of
long shots for tetanus or shingles or scabies
the REAL are not playing around

she’d shout accusations
BOILERPLATE mistakes: vision impairment
missing cells, flat chest, fiscally liberal, tentative with sugar

fingerling fish snip lies RE: the health of the clematis
the invasive attitude of the prickly pear cactus

he thumbs down the thinning hair, swiffering his pate
tonguing a puckered cut tracking between hinge & ear
I see his armful
tendering many oil lamps

is that what treasure you got there?
Track Name: This That Pip Yup
Track Name: The Size
The size of the mirror means how much it affects
or its
potentiality for operating in causation
or how much
see in it
Our combined desires
wildfire, cannons, escapes into the woods
Cover the faces of them with dough
or defenestrate their sous as waste:

Not anyone will be a professional
Track Name: He Oversees
he oversees the summit entitled “confronting inequity”
“the bourgeois,” he claims, are “every inch their own disgusting
an autonomous disgusting
a feat of disgusting, virtuosic body in its own failure
to self-realize”

outside it is 55degrees
bulbs are seen crowning
exercises are undertaken to combat
situational obesity, loose bowels, you know, college for it
each demands it

In which history
the sandy house, the beachy hump, the rotting couch
whoer professors argue/high—who nudes/stake
the house on the lake is still here

no militia pounds across the choppy water dinging
floation minuets out with bicycle bells
attached to their bayonets
not yet

platoon memoirs he graces her

pours the sub bourbon to encourage pontoon shits
eats ships for curtains and gypsies for stews
I become confused, wander home without my views
in circles, or worse, oer wrought-iron fences

so manies too the ones who
Lost their nannies? Or built the country club to sink
the stars to cover the other side of the house
the son to leave for Africa

What is this? Certainly not
A brig? A bench?
A feeling about what is right
Who waits for what samovar
To outpour

what shall I seep through
(pellets for the ducks, another kind for the geese)
of fuel for speed
or sauce for sweets
or otherwise chew through the mats of
weeds, either medicine taken
with strangers come to dinner
Track Name: Tell Me/You in My/Your Own Words
Tell me in my own words
Tell me in your own words
Tell you in my own words
tell you in your own words

I saw her hand come in under the lock chain, between the frame and door, it was pink and a little swollen from the wind, grasping a black envelope.
I took the edge of the envelope, she immediately dropped it and her hand disappeared. The wind was too loud to make out her footsteps, but by the time I unlatched the door and opened it all the way, she was gone.
I held the black envelope she had delivered.
It was cold but perfectly dry.
Track Name: The Cognizing Self
Track Name: Cactus Pear
a sponge-like
neural net should be saturated
to the point of paralysis
cognizing selves adapt
if I become unrecognizable
in the process

a gelatinous mass
or a half of a half

—what are fortunes—
will I be caught in a cycle of explosion
like a sun or a single cymbal?

is this just the way I will see it,
as a cactus pear?
Track Name: I Make 12th Century Wood Carvings
I make 12th century wood carvings with shining tongues
tape petals to paintings made for motels
The best hobbies are asemic, without semantic form
Asemic writing is a list of likes
asemic painting is splashing it on
asemic fugitives are impossible, they never lack meaning
A person can not be asemic
yet my nose is in the
lilacs which grow in purple mounds
through the wrought iron fence

hand in hand
a certain familiarity with these flourishing
of an exalted feverishness

what is it that they want to be a part of?
of which do they want to be a part or



so not sure what an artifact is
craving for attention?
tasting our room already
smacks of semantics
Track Name: 21-22-23 Kaia's Diagram Aria
Artists (and all individuals) are products of their socially, culturally, economically, and politically constructed contexts, thus an artist’s praxis operates as a sub-conscious/collectively conscious/universally instinctual (heteronomous) procedure of socio-systemic conception and extrusion. She is a conduit in a logical system, her product is a by-product of that system-reality itself, her product functions as any other technic/technique, if every technology is a metaphor then every art is technology

Artists (and all individuals) are agents or “actors” who interpret the sybols/signs/rules/modes of their socially, culturally, economically, and politically constructed contexts through an active process, thus an artist’s praxis operates around a verb, as an intentional objective: to describe, to record, to communicate, to reflect, and to express her subjective reality. The artistic product is a maryoshka, a mirror, a model, or an assimilation of reality into object. As an object, good art is that which accurately and successfully objectifies reality for human consumption.

Artists (and all individuals) produce their own constructed contexts through their emotionally/psychically-driven conclusions, thus an artist’s praxis is one of “organic” generation/origination, difficult to distinguish from the cooking of foods, the conceiving offspring, the growing of gardens, a many-headed hydra of desires and decisions. The “reality” of existence is that it is created, thus art is inherently a part of constructed reality, made of the same matter as all the known universe and equally subordinate to the emergent economic, politic, cultural, philosophic, (and so on) systems/logos/nomos/etc as any other human action/interaction/decision/instinct/impulse.
Track Name: Aristotle's Kin
Finally, Aristotle’s
kin, kind, and brethren

have emitted an aghast sound
and admitted
to certain fissures,
(as exhausted and worn down as they are now)
certain fissures
certain cracks
in the empiric and static nature of nature
or in the existence of such at all.

I’ll tell you,
It happened like this:
I followed them defeated

as they dragged themselves out of the water
as streamers of pink effluvium
half floss, half bodily fluid
slipped from their bodies and
back into the dark socket
of that glacial pond
where we had been performing all afternoon.

They went across the rocks
following a little boy
--Aristotle himself I assume—and I followed them
until we came to a place where the grasses of the dune
lay down as if a pregnant animal had rested there.
We paused, and into this clearing came
a tiny fox
soft, clean, beautiful but
nothing but flat fur
where his black “buttons” should be
he turned his head as if to look at me
but could only aim the flat planes on either side of his snout
towards that which he hoped could be seen

Farcical really, how it only took one small flaw
in the façade
to crack ‘em
to shake ‘em
send ‘em running into towers,
cursing nature like grackles, knocking their shins and elbows
on every conclusive angle they could break
stamping all the little white star-shaped flowers we call
into sharp-smelling hash and
As they finally went running up the hill towards the last standing shack

I wanted to seize each one of them
as iron-clad and aesthetic as Les Bourgeois de Calais
and hold them and kiss them
as if they were my own grandfathers.
Track Name: The Same Sort of Engine
the same sort of engine
or a better one
one knob one function
Make Sure
Source feed
intellectual property is a rapidly shrinking area for investment
if you move, please take your object with you
feed Source
a slowly rotating rhombus
fetching a loved one
Track Name: The Hungry Boy
For dinner, I attempt to take a bite
of a boiled slice of pork loin
with a slice of onion on top of it
and on top of that, a slice of lemon
and on top of it all,
dollops of catsup
sliding and browned
and all buried like the animals and servants
alongside Incan lords
in catsup-flavored rice.
Track Name: Late Night Munchies
I do understand the success of all of this interpretation
through a comfort in confusion
perhaps pairing the tamale cart with
the treasury’s obsessive re-design of quarters with
Louis and Clark and Sacagawea as elementary school mascots
on the placemats?
Track Name: Rubber
Rubber wheels bulging as they overlap curb and street
who’s to say/that they are not /swallowing the concrete
who’s to say/that they are not/ enamored of it
who’s to say rubber doesn’t stink when it’s bathed in milk
who’s to say it can’t be spread like apple butter on toasted bread

who’s to say it—reflection or empathetic interpretation—isn’t our greatest invention
from the grand prehistoric time of tasting?
Track Name: Carry-out Chinese
Pros don’t underestimate the importance of events
they acknowledge grand narratives
set expectations for historical understanding high
allow and invest in embodiment
de-hierarchize violence and daily sensation

paths of least resistance outline existing structures
for example, you make me hungry for carry-out chinese
Track Name: It Is Cheap
It is cheap to eat cornmeal and pork
while others sit under antlers and debate the best
sexual positions for it
as the homeless man has convinced the you
that there aren’t enough white babies being born
and insists on his suggestion,
noble, pretentious pigeons, they could be your offspring
and be taught tricks to perform onstage
The body feels bad
You and me are ground together
with some of our best pieces left sausage
as an offering on the sidewalk
some of our crimes left entirely ignored
Track Name: Implications
That which we do not wish to reinforce
via its representation or reflection
implicates us
we can no more separate it from ourselves
construct a smaller model of
or domesticate a subspecies of
Than we can
Categorical defamation for all involved
Arithmetic is worth its weight in gold
motes of it measure her eyelashes in distance
rakes the bark of her cuticles
across the snow
this is the hearth, huh
where she sat with her
humble factories of
fashion mantises?
New York City in movies, home to
a triage situation
the turkey sits cooling in its juices
Track Name: THE HUT
Bring lady into the hut
disgrace her shirt
foil her lunch-wurst

I should use this
she disclaimers

a white bunny chips
rhythmically away
at the plaster
Track Name: I Too Would Rule The Rules
I too would rule the rules
I too would vigorously
moustache my mouth with the juices
of THE lady clerk
check the label
that old fitting room excuse,
should I be general

should I come home from the war
a military maiden
with a sweet corn on a stick and a
snow cone on a stump
I would be a girlie
searcher, you know what that means?

dialogue gets me high, son
it’s the rhetoric which is
ripping my kidney out through my new shirt.
Track Name: Foregazing
Foregazing takes some time and shoe polish
A darkened room
with boarded up windows
a lookout for the authorities
Compression produces strange effects
we have become quite ineffectual
in the prime of our lives

a gorgon for example
can only catch whisps of life from the corner of her eye

Mud will not suffice
grain will not suffice
Compliments only make us feel worse

surfaces collapse when folded in half (repeat)
Track Name: The Significant Force of Feeling
the significant force of feeling:
emotions are manifestations of “situatedness”
making things to matter to us
by confirming our material-slash-embodied existence
Track Name: My Name is Burger
My name is burger
I rally the troupes
faring better
than my neighbors
I pluck the rubble from my dishwasher
a fire is lit in a nearby pre-refrigerator
I love love love love appliances and applications of any kind

mountainous landscapes of salted cod in
mint Styrofoam trays and swaths of
thick plastic wrap are the theme of my diner

Catherine in new perfume’s husband
is inside

she soaks the corpses
until the fins soften and
scales rise
to cancer-cell cluster up
on the surface of the warm water

below her raisin
her train-jet-terrain
the gush and stink
the bowl out the window

she walks in flip flops and
instead of inheriting his attitude
she nods at me and throws my chunk
against the chainlink fence
Track Name: The Inventor
The inventor of carpeting lives
in a nest of human hair

Softness is equated with luxury because
we always want the best for our babies

Through work on the metropolis he becomes famous

sandwiches are built in the shape of his face
teachers wear lucky charms with his initials

dangling down around their arms
and attached to their genitals
Track Name: Rhoda
Thank you so much for coming into the circle of undoubt
Rhoda got in here some how
Rhoda was here before all of us, somehow
this was her story until the plaster fell down
this was her handheld face
this was her secret place
Track Name: NUMBER 40
When I say “any size mirror is a dictator,” how many of you picture a dictator looking in a mirror?
If you can imagine that now, a dictator looking in a mirror, focus on that image, but not too hard.
don’t focus too hard on the face, just the general shape or character of it
focus on the image as a whole, the size of the mirror
Notice the color of the dictator’s clothing…and hat?
If the dictator begins to become vaguely historical, or even to resemble a specific historic dictator
that’s ok, allow your mind to make these decisions but don’t focus too hard on the face
let the rest of the picture come into focus
The dictator is looking in a mirror and doesn’t see you….
now allow the face to slowly come into focus

the dictator is looking in the mirror
You’re behind the dictator, it doesn’t see you