Cities Are Natural (Composition Three)
In collaboration with Christine Tran (Witches of Bushwick and Discwoman) and Mike Sheffield (She was Freaks), Melissa F. Clarke and Clocktower present an evening of performances and visuals inspired by the city as our natural habitat.
Ending her three month residency with Clocktower at Pioneer Works, Clarke creates an immersive and responsive installation, incorporating data collected in collaboration with Matthew LaBrecque Betlej and special laser designs reflecting the local, urban environment. In the main hall of the Pioneer Works building, Clarke and artist Sue Ngo construct paper and wire structures, alongside small clusters of glass illuminated by sound reactive LEDs. Monica Mirabile of Fluct dance company choreographs B.A.S.I.C., a new gaming system that uses the body, brain function, and nervous system as a source of power. The dance performers interact with Clarke's structures and the ethereal music, engaging the architecture of the building, as well as the audience. These visuals are accompanied by sound acts from UMFANG, Volvox, WETWARE, Drippy Inputs, and Clarke. Throughout the event, Sarah Rothberg presents a multichannel 3D interactive environment on a large stretch of wall, that builds off of Clarke’s own video work. Carbon Pictures ends the night bringing the audience and performance into the 3D landscape using networked smartphones and dancers, blurring the line between the audience, performers, and the surroundings.
Cities Are Natural (Composition Three) takes into consideration music and art making in the city during the Anthropocene, the first geologic age in which humans have markedly impacted the environment, and addresses how we perceive the urban city as our wilderness, our natural habitat. Techno, industrial, noise, and experimental dance music work in tandem with the visuals to invoke how human’s play, contemplate, and create in their natural habitat.
Since April of 2013, Mike Sheffield of Alan Watts and Heavens Gate has been working on a curatorial project entitled She was Freaks. The name was taken from a biography of photographer Diane Arbus wherein the author William Todd Schultz refers to Arbus’s obsession with photographing eccentrics and how she would lose herself in her subjects, giving over to them completely rather than just winning their trust for her own personal gain, “She was freaks.”
Discwoman is a platform showcasing and representing the wealth of female-identified DJ talent in the electronic music community.
WETWARE is the collaborative project of Matthew Morandi (Jahiliyya Fields) and Roxy Farman. Morandi said of the project: fried punk weirdness....a(nti)-techno. Warped vocals and synth-trails a la the Screamers and the more agnostic characters in 'Sword of Doom'. Post NY confrontational personality disorder.
Volvox embodies the spirit and sound of underground dance culture. Her sensitive and energetic sets capture the crowd with everything from raw acid and EBM-flavored techno, to dreamy sensual deep house. Volvox holds a residency in Brooklyn: JACK DEPT. NYC, 1st Fridays at the notorious hotspot Bossa Nova Civic Club with John Barera of Supply Records. She has played gigs with The Long Count, Lost Soul, and S!CK parties, and opened for dance luminaries The Hacker and Tony Humphries.
Drippy Inputs delivers experimental and twisted dance beats and squishy, far-out jams from North Carolina.
UMFANG is a resident DJ at Bossa Nova Civic Club and runs a monthly Technofeminism series. She has played alongside Kim Ann Foxman, opened for Aurora Halal’s festival Sustain Release in its inaugural year, and has performed with DIY duo Long Count Cycle and closed out DISCWOMAN in Puerto Rico. UMFANG is one of the leading women in the rapidly growing New York City techno scene and has releases coming out on 1080p and videogamemusic.
Carbon Pictures is comprised of Winslow Turner Porter III, Sue Ngo, Jules LaPlace, Sarah Rothberg, and Yotam Mann.
Monica Mirabile (of Fluct and Otion Front Studios) is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, whose work addresses themes of technology, sensuality and control. Created and coordinated by Mirabile, BASIC (Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a new gaming system that uses the body, brain function and nervous system as a source of power. Performers include Chelsea Pfohl, Susannah Simpson, James Thomas Marsh, Eva Jaunzemis, Kathleen Dycaico, Sara, Blazej, Ariele Hertzoff, Gina Chiapetta, SHireen Ahmed, Emily Varnam, Amanda Salane, Alexandra Drewchin, Bethany Dinsick, Travis Sisk, Martha Moszcynski, Jason Jick, Samantha Cornwell, and Sarah Zapata.
Matthew LaBrecque Betlej (found sound collaborator) is a sound designer and production sound mixer, who records and documents with up to 8 channels of audio. He is invested in gathering natural sounds from environments, to be manipulated, combined, and formed into its own natural organic soundscape. Betlej has collected sound from the far corners of the world, from the arctic Greenland to the center of pyramids in Egypt. He has worked for Vice, HBO, Animal Planet, Al Jazeera, Pitchfork Media, Unsound, Mutek, and Communikey.