Finally, here is the video documentation of my Mountain installation at Kristi Engle Gallery from earlier this year.
Mountain is an attempt to build a mountain using methods inspired by image mapping in 3d modeling software and Google Earth’s terrain view – composited video landscapes are projected onto a faceted construction, stretching the image out as it follows the shapes of the form. The video is in some places abstracted, distorted and pixilated, and in other places a clear representation of landscape.
My new video installation, Mountain, will be showing next week at Kristi Engle Gallery in Highland Park in Part 5 of her show TBD: A Group Video Exhibition in 7 Parts. Mountain is my attempt to build a mountain using methods inspired by image mapping in 3d modelling sofware and Google Earth’s terrain view – composited video landscapes are projected onto a faceted form, stretching the image out as it follows the shapes of the form. The video is in some places abstracted, distorted and pixelated, and in other places a clear representation of landscape.
The show will be open from the 23rd to the 29th (noon-6pm each day), with a reception on the 29th from 7-10pm. See here for a map.
For the past few months I have been learning how to say “I have to tell you something, but I don’t know how,” in several languages as an ongoing performance/video/installation project. This endeavor is proving to be both challenging and rewarding. I think there is inherent failure in it, but I recite the sentences in my head frequently to keep what I’ve learned, and will take Erika’s suggestion to make an MP3 of all my instructors/collaborators saying the sentence so that I can listen to the correct pronunciations and intonations on a loop while driving. I can now say this sentence in Japanese, German, Thai, Armenian, Korean, and Spanish – although with a slight American accent. I also learned Farsi and Hebrew, but have yet to memorize them. So far even with two years of Hebrew School under my belt (although 26 years ago) that was the hardest, and perhaps a bit disappointing to realize how little I retained from Hebrew School. Or perhaps just that originally learning Hebrew with a NY accent made perfecting the Isreali accent much more difficult than I anticipated. Gil was a patient, yet serious teacher, working with me to get the sounds right, but after over an hour (and a change of videotape) we resigned to the fact that certain sounds cannot be made by everyone. Video stills from each lesson with be added as the project continues… email me if you have a language to teach and want to participate.
video still from Japanese lesson with Takeshi Kobayashi
video still from German lesson with Rashad Navidi
video still from Thai lesson with Hataya Tubtim
video still from Armenian lesson with Maria Khachatryan
video still from Korean Lesson with John Kim
video still from Farsi lesson with Solange Petrosspour
video still from Spanish Lesson with Erika E. Reynoso
The first four videos in my project “i dream in your language” will be included in Part 2 of TBA: A Group Video Show in 7 Parts at Kristi Engle Gallery, in Highland Park (North East LA). The opening is this Saturday Dec. 11, 7-10 pm, and the show is open everyday 12-6 pm through Dec. 18. View full schedule of this 7 part show here. For those of you out of town, you can watch the videos here.
I finally edited the video footage I shot of this past year’s Vivarium installation at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. The Vivarium is an installation by Matter Management exploring biology, technology and mythology in a complex architectural and multi-media environment. I developed the sound design for the project, which involved inventing a system to monitor the biology in the black pyramid and to use that data to both generate and modify audio signals. The sound included audio amplified from the biology itself, sounds I had previously recorded, and sounds generated by software using the data captured. I developed the data system using Max/MSP.
For all of you out there that didn’t get to see the play Meditations: Eva Hesse that Michele and I worked on this past fall (doing video design and set design, respectively) – I just finished editing a short video that documents the performance at Highways Performance Space. The video also features the director David Watkins, the actress Heather Tyler (who played “Dying Eva”), and the playwright Marcie Begleiter discussing the work and the process in making it.
For the past month or so, Michele and I have been working on video and set design for Marcie Begleiter’s play Meditations: Eva Hesse. The piece, a fictionalized account of Eva Hesse’s life and last days, combines theater with elements of sculpture and video installation, and touches on several key moments in Hesse’s life and career. As the video and set design team, we have been working closely with Marcie and director David Watkins to bring the piece to life. Very early on, Marcie had created story-boards visualizing the feel of the performance, combining the essence of Hesse’s work with the reality of her brain cancer until her work and life become merged in the finale.
production design sketch, by Marcie Begleiter
Armed with her early sketches, and following the evolution of the play through the rehearsal and workshopping progress, the set has emerged as a few key elements that loosely define the required settings. One is an installation/studio wall for the actors to work with as the play unfolds. The idea for the installation/studio wall is to create a work in progress, which the actors will build upon, that has the feel and materiality of Hesse’s work, without trying to re-create any of her work in particular. This element references an underlying order layered with organic complexity and rooted in process and materiality. The other major set piece is a rolling, rear-projection video rig – built with an industrial aesthetic so that when it is not carrying video, it will serve as a portion of a wall or part of a space. The steel-angle construction precisely frames the area required for a short-throw projector to create a seven by five foot image, in a compact geometric form.
sketch of rolling rear-projection rig and set wall, by Jeremy J. Quinn
early sketch of the “art wall,” by Jeremy J. Quinn
The video design consists of two main conceptual threads – one channel that fills in set elements and another channel that represents abstractions of Eva’s memories and psychological states, both of which follow the emotional arc of the play. Michele has been shooting and editing at a furious pace, attending most rehearsals and working in the space while watching the rehearsals progress. Rise Industries member Sarah Rushford was also able to shoot some video for us while traveling in Germany, which will be used in a German train station scene in the play.
still from video projection, by Michele Jaquis
Meditations: Eva Hesse is written by Marcie Begleiter, and directed by David Watkins
Michael Vanderbilt : Producer
Michele Jaquis : Video Designer
Jeremy Quinn : Set Designer
Alice Tavener : Costume Designer
R. Christopher Stokes : Lighting Designer
Casey McGann: Stage Manager
Marisa Blankier: Assistant Stage Manager
Rosalyn Myles: Prop Master
Young Eva-Alexandra Ozeri
Adult Eva-Bianca Gisselle
Dying Eva- Heather Tyler
Tom-Robert Manning Jr.
Mutti/Dr. P/German Curator- Shanti Reinhardt
William/Sol/German Transit Officer-Barry Saltzman
Art Worker 1 (Daniel)-Tuddy Monteanu
Art Worker 2 (Jane)-Kimberly Patterson
I have been fooling around with a contact mic that I made over at Machine Project last week in their workshop, and had an idea for modifying the sound of a metronome live via guitar pedal delay and synth effects. So – this is what I worked up today. It sounds a bit better live, I need to get a mic closer to the amp, not near the metronome to pick up more of the modified sound, but it looks better with my little point-n-shoot at this angle. I have been working on a bunch of sound sculpture projects lately, so there are more to come along these lines.
Michele and I have been working on set and media design for Caleb Hammond’s experimental theater project Walks Through Walls over the past months, and production is ramping up for the upcoming show:
Walks Through Walls Highways Performance Space
at 18th Street Arts Center
1651 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404 8:30 pm, June 4th and 5th
for tickets, call 310-315-1459
or purchase online at www.highwaysperformance.org
tickets are $20/$15
Walks Through Walls is written and directed by Caleb Hammond
it features performances by Susan Josephs, Amber Skalski, Tim Ottman, Ceasar F. Barajas and Samantha Gregg
Set, video and sound design by Rise Industries (Jeremy J. Quinn and Michele Jaquis)
Costume Design by Ben Rosenberg
Lighting Design by Christopher Stokes
Director’s Assistants: Nathalie Sanchez, Andrea Dominguez
Production Assistants: Hanna Kovenock, Jonathan Stofenmacher, Alex Becerra
Walks Through Walls is a transcendent installation/performance piece investigating the human condition as an expressionistic landscape of continually disappearing experiences of agony and ecstasy.
It is a portrait in motion of the ephemerality of memory and desire created by boldly physical actors enmeshed in a canvas of beautiful theatrical imagery and sound.
Performers careen and slide through space, accompanied by a mesmerizing mantra-like fugue of poetic text that is spoken, projected, and heard echoing in the sound design. Walks Through Walls is part sound and video installation piece, part performance art, part poetry made flesh.
We have developed a minimal set to shape the space and provide depth for movements, which will also provide surfaces for the video projections.
Onto these structures, we will be layering four channels of video and a soundscape that intertwines with the performers’ actions and dialogue.
The central text, a long, multi-voice poem of fragmented narratives, beauty and chaos, is presented throughout the work as projected text, spoken dialogue, audio and video interpretations, and recorded monologues in both video or on the soundtrack.
The result is that the text shifts through the piece, echoing in the many media presented to the audience, fractured and recombined over and over again for the duration of the performance.
Here are some images from the early rehearsals and production:
Tim Ottman, rehearsing in test makeup
Ben Rosenberg applying test makeup to Amber Skalski
Ben Rosenberg applying test makeup to Tim Ottman
Susan Josephs and Amber Skalski at first rehearsal
Caleb Hammond and Tim Ottman confer while Michele Jaquis and Hannah Kovenock look on