Speaking from her Los Angeles home, while tending to her new kid, artist/director/writer Miranda July gave us one requirement for this interview: "I don't want to talk about the show." But she's not being difficult.
July, who skyrocketed to fame within the indie intelligentsia sect with her breathtaking 2005 feature film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, returns to San Francisco in April for the West Coast premiere of her latest performance project, New Society. And she has a good reason for keeping mum on the details of the show.
"I am only doing this performance two times in the U.S. Hardly anyone will get to see it, which is why I want to protect those who are seeing it by saying very little about it," she says.
What we can tell you, according to the Berkeley native, is that idea for New Society (produced in conjunction with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco International Film Festival) sprang to life after July was asked to concoct an intimate performance.
"This idea of an intimate performance created a framework that finally made everything purposeful," she said.
Since we couldn't ask her much about the show, we instead took aim at her roots. What is her favorite thing—and least favorite—thing about her crunchy utopia of a hometown? "The level of consciousness in Berkeley is quite high—there's an expectation that everyone is supposed to be well aware of everything. That is both wonderful, as it made for an incredible experience growing up there, and almost too special. I ended up glamorizing normal life."
Though she lives in LA, she wants to instill some of her hometown roots in her five-year-old son, Hopper. "Now that I have a kid, part of me wants to raise him there. I want him to have that Berkeley thing that's inside me."
Miranda July's New Society happens on April 28 and April 29. Advance tickets are sold out, but more tickets will be available on March 31.