Shana Moulton and Nick Hallett's 'Whispering Pines 10' on Art21

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Wake up, sleepyhead. Art21 just posted their profile of Shana Moulton and Nick Hallett's opera, Whispering Pines 10, presented by Rhizome at the New Museum in 2011. Not only do Moulton and Hallett come off as the sweetest performance artist/composer collaborative duo ever, but the documentation of the projection-oriented opera isn't bad either.

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Stories from the New Aesthetic

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Last week, Stories from the New Aesthetic, part of Rhizome's New Silent Series, took place at The New Museum of Comtemporary Art. 

The New Aesthetic is an ongoing research project by James Bridle, investigating the intersections of culture and technology, history and memory, and the physical and the digital. At a panel at South by Southwest this past March, Aaron Straup Cope, Ben Terrett, James Bridle, Joanne McNeil, and Russell Davies discussed ideas related to the project, which sparked a series of responses and ideas from artists, writers, and theorists across the web.

For this event, Bridle was joined by McNeil and Cope again to share their stories related to these ideas.

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Reminder: Whispering Pines 10 at the New Museum Jan 8 and Jan 9

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Join us this weekend for two performances of Shana Moulton and Nick Hallett's multimedia opera Whispering Pines 10 at the New Museum.



Saturday, January 8, 4 p.m. BUY TICKETS
Sunday, January 9, 4 p.m. BUY TICKETS

Whispering Pines 10 is a one-act opera by artist Shana Moulton in collaboration with composer Nick Hallett, and featuring vocalist Daisy Press. It features a live performance by Moulton as her alter ego Cynthia, a hypochondriac agoraphobe prone to colorful hallucinations and absurd fantasies. While Cynthia seeks health and total happiness within her virtual environment—an interactive video set that utilizes real-time multimedia techniques its creators call “live animation”—she usually settles for fad cures and new-age kitsch, creating situations in turn comic, contemplative, and surreal. This new production of the opera is directed by Elyse Singer.

Whispering Pines is the celebrated video serial created by Moulton in 2002 that has previously spawned nine episodes, along with related performances, videos, and gallery installations. Whispering Pines 10—the latest installment—is an innovative performance hybrid that incorporates elements of traditional opera into contemporary video and performance art. Its premise—a woman alone in her private environment, aided by technology—enables a flexible sensibility wherein popular and experimental forms can mingle. The original music and libretto composed by Hallett takes advantage of the narrative’s dream logic to weave what is essentially a pop music vocabulary into an experimental idiom, enabling a virtuosic exploration of the human voice. As the protagonist does not effectively speak, the sounds of her inner psychology are sung—glossolalia and the songs in her memory, ostensibly derived from tacky pulp culture, but somehow heightened. The work is a conversation-generating update of the monodrama or “mad scene,” realized within a mediated, medicated, feminized, and quintessentially American vernacular.

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Whispering Pines 10 at the New Museum, Jan 8-9

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Shana Moulton and Nick Hallett's epic multimedia one-act opera Whispering Pines 10 will run at the New Museum on Saturday and Sunday, January 8 and 9, 2011. If you missed the performance of this piece at the Kitchen last Spring, now is your second chance to see the show! Read more about Whispering Pines 10 below, and be sure to pick up your tickets early through the New Museum site.

Note: We ran a short essay in Rhizome News by Brian Droitcour on Moulton's series Whispering Pines when the opera debuted, check it out.



Whispering Pines 10 is a one-act opera by artist Shana Moulton in collaboration with composer Nick Hallett, and featuring vocalist Daisy Press. It features a live performance by Moulton as her alter ego Cynthia, a hypochondriac agoraphobe prone to colorful hallucinations and absurd fantasies. While Cynthia seeks health and total happiness within her virtual environment—an interactive video set that utilizes real-time multimedia techniques its creators call “live animation”—she usually settles for fad cures and new-age kitsch, creating situations in turn comic, contemplative, and surreal.

Whispering Pines is the celebrated video serial created by Moulton in 2002 that has previously spawned nine episodes, along with related performances, videos, and gallery installations. Whispering Pines 10—the latest installment—is an innovative performance hybrid that incorporates elements of traditional opera into contemporary video and performance art. Its premise—a woman alone in her private environment, aided by technology—enables a flexible sensibility wherein popular and experimental forms can mingle. The original music and libretto composed by Hallett takes advantage of the narrative’s dream logic to weave what is essentially a pop music vocabulary into an experimental idiom, enabling a virtuosic exploration of the human voice. As the protagonist does not effectively speak, the sounds ...

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Interview with Nicoline van Harskamp

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Nicoline van Harskamp, Any Other Business (Stage) (Photograph by Willem Sluyterman van Loo)

On June 18th at 7pm, artist Nicoline van Harskamp will present for the first time in the U.S. her performance work Expressive Power Series Part 1: Max Bonner on the Phenomenology of Speech at the New Museum, an event part of Rhizome’s New Silent Series. Her practice investigates the political implications of language and speech, and her pieces often take the form of performance. Van Harskamp took some time to answer a few questions regarding her upcoming Expressive Power Series Part 1: Max Bonner on the Phenomenology of Speech.

What of your other projects and/or research may have laid the groundwork for Expressive Power Series Part 1?

The performance takes as its basis the script for Any Other Business, a 6-hour performance that I made last year, set in a conference center in Amsterdam. I wanted to bring out the central thesis of that work, to summarize it down to an hour in a way. So, for Expressive Power Series Part 1, I took four of its most contradictory and most outspoken characters and planted them in a seminar room of an art center. During the 6-hour Any Other Business piece, the characters never get to speak to each other, but are merely juxtaposed. In the new piece, I wanted them to confront each other directly. And when writing their new lines, they started to say things they didn’t say before.

Things that I learned or heard since last year; things that I am working on for new pieces; things that I was thinking about a long time ago and that suddenly seemed relevant again. They ended up summarizing my own thinking at the moment, in a way representing the voices in my ...

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Upcoming New Silent Series Event

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Dutch artist Nicoline van Harskamp will present the US premiere of Expressive Power Series Part 1: Max Bonner on the Phenomenology of Speech (2010), a new performance that builds upon an expansive body of work focused on politics and language. This ambitious, hour-long theatrical piece centers on an Interpersonal Dynamics consultant named Max Bonner and members of his audience, including a human rights activist, an academic, and a dogmatic anarchist, whom he attempts to convince of popular psychological models for social persuasion that are used variously by the Pentagon, corporations, and NGOs worldwide. The evolving discussion demonstrates, in the artist’s words “the impossibility of political consensus by way of verbal interaction”—a situation that is here framed productively, with generative meaning to be found in points of dissonance, paradox, and negotiation.

Friday, June 18, 7pm
at the New Museum, New York, NY
$10 Members/ $12 General Public
BUY TICKETS

This event is part of Rhizome’s New Silent Series at the New Museum.

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The Headless Conference on Rhizome's Vimeo

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Video documentation of last month's New Silent Series event The Headless Conference is now online through Rhizome's Vimeo account. Check 'em out below!

Thanks to Matt Gaffney for putting these videos up.



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Triple Canopy: The Medium Is Tedium on Rhizome's Vimeo

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If you weren't able to attend February's New Silent Series event, Triple Canopy: The Medium Is Tedium, the videos are now available online via Rhizome's Vimeo account. Check it out!

Thanks to Matt Gaffney for putting these clips up.



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Reminder

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Join us for the Headless Conference this Friday March 19th at 7pm in the New Museum's Theater. Tickets are $6 members, $8 general, and they can be purchased here. Description of the event below, for additional reading please check out Ginny Kollak's "Putting the capital in decapitation" as well as Brian Droitcour's "Interview with Goldin+Senneby" from Rhizome News. Ginny Kollak and Brian Droitcour are the co-organizers of the Headless Conference.



“I was still living in Gibraltar, working through my notice at Sovereign Trust, an offshore management company. [...] One of thousands of companies that Sovereign manages is called Headless. It was incorporated (i.e. registered) on the Bahamas through our Gibraltar office. Headless is a strange name, and it got me thinking. Then we got a call from Goldin and Senneby, two Swedish artists. They said they were looking into Headless Ltd. This definitely was strange. Companies like Headless are not really ‘open to investigation,’ so I didn't really understand Goldin and Senneby's angle here.”

—In Search of Story: A journal in eight parts by K.D.

Goldin+Senneby are Swedish artists. They are also characters in Looking for Headless, a novel they commissioned, a detective story involving a murder (by decapitation, of course) that has been published serially since 2007. In it, Goldin+Senneby appear as shadowy figures, remotely controlling the action as it unfolds in exotic locales like the Bahamas and Gibraltar—glamorous but bureaucratic hubs of the offshore finance industry.

“While they implicate art institutions in the narrative they enact, G+S are ultimately interested in how the virtual world of global finances performs a sleight of hand to fictionalize the boundaries between public and private interests, in order to make them disappear.”

—Gregory Burke, director of the Power Plant, Toronto

The ...

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Putting the capital in decapitation

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Goldin+Senneby, Headless, 2007- (Photo: John Barlow)

As a lead-up to the Headless Conference, co-organizer Ginny Kollak shares her essay “Putting the capital in decapitation” which is excerpted from the brochure accompanying the exhibition “The Office for Parafictional Research Presents Headless: Work by Goldin+Senneby” on view through March 21 at CCS Bard. The Headless Conference is a mini-symposium for this exhibition.

Goldin+Senneby is the identity-resistant “framework for collaboration” established by Stockholm-based artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby in 2004. An interest in capitalist logic and networked culture guides their investigative practice, which explores juridical, financial, and spatial infrastructures through performance and role-playing, invented (and often virtual) realities, writing and publishing, and public interventions.

Headless (2007-) is the artists’ ongoing analysis of the shadowy realm of offshore finance. The subject represents a nearly perfect encapsulation of Goldin+Senneby’s many preoccupations, but perhaps its most relevant feature is its provocative and strategic use of masking, secrecy, and withdrawal. The system is evasive by definition: its procedures allow a company’s assets to be protected from taxation or other bureaucratic regulation, and the identities of its owners and their true business practices can be concealed. In spatial terms, examining an offshore company can be thought of as encountering a space that shifts readily from an impenetrable barrier to an empty void—like a hologram, it appears and disappears according to the perspective from which it is viewed. From a moral standpoint, offshore’s slippery visage is just as apt to inspire bored yawns as righteous indignation: one man’s exploitation is another’s tedious paperwork. Still, like most unknown territories, offshore triggers mainly sinister readings. A more anthropomorphic understanding might conceive the offshore company as something monstrous—a decentralized, elusive body that moves without any visible means of control—a ...

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