Performa '09 Picks


Performa, New York's super duper mega whirlwind performance biennial, will take over the city for the next month. I thought I'd assemble a list of events that might be of interest to our audience. Before you dive in, I want to mention that one of our 2009 commissions, Brody Condon's Case, is also part of Performa. Case, a six hour performance and installation based on the classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer by William Gibson, will take place at the New Museum on Sunday November 22nd from 12pm-6pm, so pencil it in!

Brody Condon * Without Sun * The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd Street * Monday, November 2 7:00pm

Condon’s “Without Sun” (2006), is an edited collection of ‘found performances’ - online videos of individuals who recorded themselves while having a psychedelic experience. The 15 minute video will be followed by a performative re-creation featuring the dancer Linda Austin and actor Russell Edge. Utilizing the original video as choreography document and script, the performers simultaneously repeat the gestures of the individuals, the actor mimicking the voices and the dancer matching the body movements. The title connects the references of memory, technology, and travel in Chris Marker’s seminal personal essay film “Sans Soleil” to the dissociation of bodily control and mental function induced by the hallucinogenic experience in the online videos.

Broadside * Radio Broadcast * Saturday, November 7 - Monday, November 9, times vary

BROADSIDE, the collaborative initiative of Alexander Fleming and Alistaire Knox, will broadcast a series of feminist inspired audio performances, including experimental readings, consciousness raising dialogue, presentations and live music. Contributors include Danny Snelson, Strength in Numbers founder Karen Soskin, curator Wendy Vogel, artist Liz Linden, art historian Jen Kennedy, The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Windy and Carl’s Windy Webber, experimental musicians Crown Now, and more.

Einat Amir * Ideal Viewer * Scaramouche, 53 Stanton Street * Saturday, November 7 - Sunday, November 8, times vary

Scaramouche presents Einat Amir, “Ideal Viewer.” Opening a voyeuristic lens onto conflicting authorship, “Ideal Viewer” is a two-phased series of performances, beginning with actors hired from Craigslist to improvise three biographical archetypes in the “neutral” gallery space—a Crying Woman, an Ex-Boyfriend, and an Interpreter. Amir then gives the reins to select viewers, enabling them to interact with an archetype in their own apartments. Provoking sexual sport, “author function” dysfunction, and technological disorientation, “Ideal Viewer” explores sexual and artistic identity, blurring the very notion of what is “real.”

Mike Kelley and Michael Smith * Camp Kid Friendly * SculptureCenter, 4419 Purves Street, Long Island City * Sunday, November 8 5:00pm

Malcolm Stuart’s hoop dance troupe, Color Wheel, performs with Baby IKKI within Mike Kelley and Michael Smith’s video installation, a multi-sensory environment that traces the Baby’s journey through a festival of radical self-expression. This performance is part of Mike Kelley and Michael Smith’s “A Voyage of Growth and Discovery,” a collaborative video, sculpture, and sound installation at SculptureCenter.

Erratic Anthropologies * Art in General, 79 Walker Street * Wednesday, November 11 - Wednesday, November 18, 7:00pm

A trio of performance projects-by Shana Moulton, Rancourt/Yatsuk, and Guy Benfield-that mine the artifacts and visual culture of defunct utopian communities, drawing from sources ranging from primitivist references in hippie culture to the latent promise of prosperity intrinsic to American suburbanite culture to define the psychological profile of contemporary Western society.

Music for 16 Futurist Noise Intoners * Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd Street * Thursday, November 12 8:00pm

Performa is delighted to present “Music For 16 Futurist Noise Intoners,” an evening-length concert of original scores and newly commissioned compositions for the intonarumori, or “noise-intoners” As part of its celebration of the 100th anniversary of Italian Futurism, the Performa 09 biennial, in collaboration with the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and SFMOMA, has invited Luciano Chessa to direct a reconstruction project to produce accurate replicas the legendary instruments (8 noise families of 1-3 instruments each, in various registers) that Russolo built in Milan in the summer of 1913. As the first instruments capable of creating and manipulating noises through entirely mechanical processes, the intonarumori can be considered to be the original analog synthesizer, and the ancestors to the latest electronic synthesizers used today.

With Blixa Bargeld, John Butcher, Luciano Chessa, Joan La Barbara, Nick Hallett, Pauline Oliveros, Mike Patton, Anat Pick, Elliott Sharp, Ulrich Krieger, Jennifer Walshe with Tony Conrad, Ghostigital with Skuli Sverrison, Finboggi Petursson, and Casper Electronics.

Candice Breitz * New York, New York * Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St * Thursday, November 12 - Friday, November 13, 8:30pm

Video and installation artist Candice Breitz presents “New York, New York,” her first-ever live performance, which features two nearly-identical casts composed of four pairs of identical twins—with each pair of twins split into two groups of four actors each—presenting two evenings of improvised performance. The performances will be based on intensive “character development sessions” that Breitz will hold with each set of twins to develop a single character that both will play, although in separate casts and improvisations. Moving the probing of sameness and difference that has been central to Breitz’s video-based work (most recently in “Factum,” a series of double-portraits of twins) into the space of live performance, “New York, New York” brings her interest in what she has called ‘the scripted life’ together with an ongoing reflection on the fragile condition of individuality.

Kabir Carter * Drifts and Traps * Bronx Museum of Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx * Sunday, November 15 1:00pm

Working with radio scanners and synthesizer modules, artist Kabir Carter will create a sound piece specifically for this event that commemorates the centennial of the Futurist movement. As a pre-performance talk, literary critics Marjorie Perloff and Richard Sieburth and poet Charles Bernstein will discuss topics related to the legacy of Futurism.

Eva and Franco Mattes aka * Pseudo-Futurist Video Game Improvisation Extravaganza * Online in Second Life * Sunday, November 15 5:00pm

Synthetic Performances are online live gaming sessions inside the virtual world of Second Life, performed by Eva and Franco Mattes through their avatars. The actions are loosely inspired by well-known performance artworks from the last 100 years. [Second Life Link]

Circular File * Circular File Channel * Manhattan Neighborhood Network * Saturday, November 7 - Sunday, November 22, 11:00pm

Circular File will present three half-hour television shows that will premiere new artist videos, interspersed with in-studio interviews, discussions and performances.

Lucy Raven * This Is Only A Test * Monday, November 16 - Friday, November 20, 11:00pm

This is a test. Five nights of public television service announcements performed before a live studio audience. [For the next 30 minutes, normal programming will be suspended. This is only a test.]

JODI, Jeff Crouse & Aaron Meyers * Performing the Web * Eyebeam, 540 W. 21st Street * Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22, times vary

Bringing together net art pioneers such as JODI with emerging practitioners from Eyebeam’s studios like senior fellow Jeff Crouse, “Performing the Web” will feature performances including JODI’s ongoing performance project, folksomy.alpha, which remixes the comments and video responses of YouTube users, and Jeff Crouse’s “The World Series of ‘Tubing T”, an augmented reality card game in which players compete against one another by selecting and presenting their “best” YouTube video clips.

A Fantastic World Superimposed on Reality: A Select History of Experimental Music * The Gramercy Theater, 127 E. 23rd Street * Friday, November 20 - Saturday, November 21, 8:00pm

A mini-festival of noise music curated by visual artist Mike Kelley. Staged over two days, the festival will present both historic works from artists such as John Cage, Fred Frith, Fluxus, Bruce Nauman, and Max Neuhaus as well as performances by contemporary proponents of experimental music including Airway, Joan La Barbara, Tony Conrad, Jad Fair & Lumberob, Arto Lindsay, Genesis Breyer P.Orridge, z’ev, and John Zorn.

Brody Condon * Case * New Museum, 235 Bowery Avenue * Sunday, November 22 12:00pm

A performance and installation based on the classic cyberpunk novel “Neuromancer” by William Gibson. The event is a deadpan reading of the novel by mostly non professional actors in a casual, dress rehearsal like atmosphere. Combining the 1980’s dystopian techno-fetishism of Gibson with early 20th century abstraction, faux “virtual reality” scenes will unfold via moving Bauhaus inspired sculptural props accompanied by the Gamelan ensemble Dharma Swara.

The event at the New Museum is the premiere of “Case”, which will also be performed at a small outdoor community theater in rural Missouri Summer 2010. The New York production of “Case” will feature many of the 10 cast members from the upcoming Midwest event, such as political activist (and notorious local hell-raiser) Ray “Bad Rad” Radtke who stars as the main character, Henry Dorsett Case, a drug addict and computer hacker hired to execute an impossible cyber-crime. “Case” will also feature Brooklyn based performance artist Sto as Lupus Yonderboy, leader of the techno-anarchist gang the Panther Moderns and the actress Sasha Grey as the street samurai Molly. The script has been prepared by the writer Brandon Stosuy, with sound design by Peter Segerstrom, and graphic props by Breanne Trammell.

Marina Rosenfeld * P.A. * Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue * Sunday, November 22 7:00pm

A sound art performance by Park Avenue Armory artist-in-residence Marina Rosenfeld, “P.A.” uses the massive airspace and complex social function of the Armory drill hall as both a reflecting and distorting structure, inviting audiences to enter and traverse an almost architectural unfolding of sonic space.

Katie Paterson * Ancient Darkness TV * Manhattan Neighborhood Network * Sunday, November 22 11:59pm

Working with astronomers from the Mount Kea Volcano telescope, Katie Paterson will transmit an image of ‘ancient darkness’ from deep space on television station MNN, inviting a New York audience to stare into the void and look back in time. Broadcast for one minute, the image will reveal darkness from the furthest point of the observed universe, 13.2 billion years ago, shortly after the Big Bang, and before Earth existed, when stars, galaxies and the first light began to form.