Courtroom drawing by Joe McKay.

Refresh, 2007, courtroom intervention

On October 5, 2007 Lucas became the most current version of herself when she succeeded in legally changing her name from Kristin Sue Lucas to Kristin Sue Lucas in a Superior Court of California courtroom. On the name change petition that she submitted, she wrote: "Refresh", as the reason for the change.

After a philosophical debate on perception of change, and two hearing dates, the presiding judge who granted the request said: "So you have changed your name to exactly what it was before in the spirit of refreshing yourself as though you were a web page."

Read the transcript.

Order a copy of the "Refresh" book through Soberscove Press in Chicago.

Refresh Cold Reads, 2007-2013, participatory event

Lucas shares the story of Refresh by having guest readers and volunteers read aloud the Refresh transcripts. Guest readers are cast into the roles of Kristin and Judge based on their personal backgrounds. Refresh Cold Reads have been performed by guest readers and volunteers at artist talks, performance events, and exhibitions in multiple cities, internationally.

VVORK : Variety Evening at the New Museum from Rhizome on Vimeo.

As a part of Variety Evening at the New Museum, volunteer readers from the audience read for the parts of Kristin and Judge.

Vienna-based collective VVORK present a contemporary variety show, composed of daring and experimental translations of original artworks. Variety is inspired by how culture of all kinds—sound, moving image, graphics—cycles easily between states and forms. For this one-night event, local performers will stage works by artists Wojceich Kosma, Vladimir Nikolic, Tao Lin, Kristin Lucas, Adrian Piper, Pierre Bismuth, and Claire Fontaine. Containing readings, video, performance, dance, and music, Variety will present the acts together in a dramaturgy that can be understood as a single performance, allowing for new interpretations of each piece. When finished, the evening will be carried on as a single score, with instructions for how it can be repeated at different venues in the future. VVORK is a website ( and curatorial project by artists Aleksandra Domanovic, Oliver Laric, Georg Schnitzer, and Christoph Priglinger.

Refresh Cold Reads with Bob Edgar, FREE, The New Museum, December 18, 2010.

Refresh Cold Reads, 2010, participatory event: audience interaction with guest reader

New Museum visitors were invited to perform live impromptu cold reads of the Refresh transcripts with guest readers. Cesar Alvarez read for the part on Kristin on December 11 because of his personal name story. Bob Edgar read for the part of Judge on December 18 because of his professional capacity to influence change.

Cesar James Alvarez is named after Cesar Cauce and Dr. James Waller, two victims of the Greensboro Massacre. On November 3 1979, members of the KKK caravaned through an Anti-Klan protest at a public housing project in Greensboro, NC. After verbal altercations the Klansmen pulled guns from the trunks of their cars and opened fire on the demonstrators, killing 5 and injuring 11 others. Alvarez grew up with 2 other Cesars who were named for Cauce. He has lived, together with the others, in remembrance of those who died. His name has always signified the loss of a close family friend along with the hope for rebirth, healing, and courage to stand up for justice. There are many others who share the names of the 5 victims of the Greensboro Massacre. The multiplication of these names represents a ripple of loss sent through a community and the desire to keep their memory and values alive.

Bob Edgar is the Vice President of Donor Relations for NY Community Trust, a New York City community foundation that assists donors with charitable giving. Like his great-great grandfather, Judge Hugh Lennox Bond, a humanitarian and early civil rights leader appointed by President Lincoln with the task of integrating the South, Bob Edgar also holds a position of social importance. His awareness of emerging issues and the changing needs of the public directly influences charitable activity and has a profound impact on public life. Edgar asked that his honorarium for participation in the event series be redirected as a charitable gift to The Osborne Association.

"The Osborne Association offers opportunities for individuals who have been in conflict with the law to transform their lives through innovative, effective, and replicable programs that serve the community by reducing crime and its human and economic costs."

Public Access Installation View, "Refresh Cold Read", Living Space Internet Cafe, London, UK, June 12, 2012. Photo: Ritika Karnani.

Refresh Cold Reads, 2012, Skype chat between with guest readers

Curator Augustina Matuseviciute and Lucas worked together to cast guest readers into the roles of Kristin and Judge for a live public reading of the transcripts. The "Judge" was to be performed by an authority figure or someone in a position to effect change. "Kristin" was to be performed by someone who has the experience of living more than one life. The reading was planned to take place in the form of a Skype chat between two locations.

The internationally-recognized art center Dia: Beacon opened its doors in Beacon, NY, a small town in New York state in 2003, where Lucas now resides. She invited Beacon's City Councilman, Justin Riccobono, to read for the part of Judge because Beacon is undergoing major changes directly related to the presence of Dia: Beacon, and Riccobono is playing an important role in the formation of Beacon's new identity.

London-based Xie Rong who has changed her name, identity, and persona on more than one occasion, in more than one country, between China and the UK, read for the part of Kristin. Under the persona Echo Morgan, she is a writer, designer, illustrator, and performance artist. She chose her first name, Echo after a character in Greek mythology. Echo was a young nymph who loved to tell stories but whose voice was taken from her from Hera, the goddess of women and marriage. She was then only allowed to speak when repeating the words of others. Echo Morgan, who recently experienced a life change and has been in search of a new persona, performed Kristin as Echo.

Read a review of the event by Bevereley Knowles.

Public Access Installation View, "Refresh Cold Read", Living Space Internet Cafe, London, UK, June 12, 2012. Photo: Ritika Karnani.

Refresh Cold Reads, Visions of the Now, Fylkingen, Stockholm, May 25, 2013. Photograph: Märta Thisner.

Refresh Cold Reads, 2013, festival event with guest readers

Read a frieze blog entry about this event by Tyler Coburn.

Robert Whitman is an artist who known for his imagistic theatre pieces. In 1966 he was invited to attend Visioner av Nuet, a festival in Stockholm focused on the subjects of art and technology. An ideological dispute between festival organizers and the American artists spurred the Americans to pull out of the festival before it opened. The artists and collaborating engineers from Bell laboratory consequently formed Electronic Arts & Technology (E.A.T.).

In 2013, Kristin was invited to perform an iteration of Refresh Cold Reads at Visions of the Now festival in Stockholm - a reconsideration of the 1966 festival, also focused on subjects of art and technology. At the time, Robert and Kristin were living in small towns on opposite sides of the Hudson River in New York State and they would meet on occasion to talk about each other’s work. Kristin invited Robert to participate in Visions of the Now (2013) by reading for the part of Kristin as a phone-in guest. Robert agreed to participate, but only if he could read for the part of Judge. 47 years after Visioner av Nuet (1966), Robert Whitman was present in Stockholm as a disembodied voice.

Maja Gunn is a costume designer for a theatrical company in Stockholm. She volunteered to read for the part of Kristin because she thought it would be good practice. The week following the festival she was to read a different text aloud at a conference.