Electricity is on the move. So, too, is language. The 'Lectric Collective is interested in orchestrating collisions between the language arts and other art forms, to re-establish a kinetic relationship among them, and to ignite artistic mobility through its diverse contemporary vehicles. We are devoted to process and the healthy continuation of artistic junctions.

Together, the collective has written one collaborative chapbook (One Hundred), a short play (Breadsongs), has created a variety of visual works, and curated a number of events, detailed on the PROJECTS page.

The collective was formed by Jillian Roberts, Kelsa Trom, and Sarah Rothberg in March 2010. They once resided happily together in Oakland, CA and are now scattered between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn.


(a full list of past events and collaborators can be found on the EVENT INFO page)

Ekphrastic! reading series:

Our reading series, “Ekphrastic!”  (Latin for "out speak" and meaning the portrayal of one work of art through a different medium--traditionally, through literature) is our effort to revivify the language arts for all artists, demonstrating that a poetry reading is not less captivating than other artistic displays, that it is a moment of critically (or beautifully, or experimentally) engaging with language.

To enact this, we solicit a handful of local artists to create a response in their own medium (painting, film, sound, installation, etc.) that is in conversation with work by contemporary writers. The resulting art pieces are exhibited, accompanying a reading by the writers whose work underwent reinterpretation. Our hope is that by exemplifying methods of actively engaging with poetry, we will foster a cycle of creativity that moves in both directions between the language and plastic arts.

Some past poets have included Cecil Giscombe, Gillian Conoley, Jessica Fischer, Kevin Killian, John Sakkis, Brian Ang.

 Bowerbird Treasury:

The Bowerbird Treasury was a month long group show which explored the nature of collection. It featured original work by poets and artists, along with presentations from the members of the collective.

'Lectric Collective does America/ thereyet.me

Our most extensive broad-based effort to date a documents of our interaction with various pockets of literary and artistic productivity throughout the United States (and a bit of Canada).  In the summer of 2011, the collective was on the road generating audiovisual interview content with a handful of literary figures, soliciting original visual artworks on 2-dimensional postcard-format squares, and hosting readings with poets we admire (including Ariana Reines, Robert Fitterman, Susan Holbrook, Ish Klein, and the SP CE collective, among others). This project culminates ongoingly at thereyet.me, an interactive multimedia documentary. 

Incidental Footage: A Reading/ Screening on the Politics of Personal Media: 

This event documented the felt effects of a multitude equipped with the power of media-making through readings and screenings of films on footage shot on non-professional devices of upstaged subjects, with a particular focus on accidental footage and footage of the #OWS movement. 

Statement from the event:
If propaganda is an aesthetic that refuses to be critical of itself, raw footage purports to be its opposite, an unmolested documentation of the real. But what is being represented? Consider the issue of framing: documentation ceases to be objective. We’d like to present a progression of footage with increasingly controlled (and controlling) frame structures. 

Here we examine the proliferation of personal media-making. Personal recording devices are empowering aids to an increasingly visual reality, made rich and frenzied by its viewers and by its makers equally. This accessibility blurs the definition between producer and recipient, enabling a culture of immediacy and communicability. Due to this proliferation, digital recording has become tantamount to its predecessor in personal, reproducible communication technology: writing. This evening is an ecosystem of leveled realities.