Monday, November 1, 2010

What's been happening?

It's been almost four months since my last post (how did that happen?) so I thought I would spend some time describing what I've been doing.

Work on Children’s Games is moving slowly, mostly on hold in anticipation of - fingers crossed – funding, but thinking about the piece has continued. Recently, research has included Nietzsche on the Dionysian and studies of feral children... I am now convinced that the work will need to go in two directions, perhaps simultaneously. First, I'm imagining a series of installation “clusters”, using video projection, television monitors and speakers. This mode can allow a non-linear, looping sensibility, with random intersections between elements. It has the advantage of being transportable and of having the possibility to exist within the gallery realm. These clusters would be a way of testing material, following tangents or developing ideas that may eventually find their way into the second stage - that of the performance. I'm now realizing that the project will require much more elaborate video shoots that I previously planned. I have a dozen scenes sketched out or scripted, and I’m now starting to think about strategies for gathering material, technical and creative resources. I am most excited about working with rear projection screens and actors.

Secondly, I’ve been making music for a new band, a project that involves Taryn Tomasello and Gabi Villasenor on vocals. Formed over the summer as Crippled Athlete, we've played one show as a noise duo, and another show as a trio, with all new material that I might describe (tentatively) as "psychedelic noise dubstep". This music has furthered a fascination with vocal sounds and percussive textures that I began in Flock & Tumble and continued on Knives. It's been fun and a bit strange to work in a format that resembles the structure of a traditional band, something I haven't done since Alial Straa in the mid-90s. The music I've been making is quite a bit more condensed and forceful than past work, with electronic and acoustic drums, distorted layers, and other effects. I hope that the band will eventually exist in the "real world" as well as participating in Children’s Games. Here's a rough mix of a new track that will eventually include vocals.

breeze by Seth Nehil

I’ve also been continuing work on the cut paper pieces (see above), and working towards proper documentation of my last three years of visual work. I was recently nominated for the PortlandNW Contemporary Arts Awards (along with about 300 others), which has provided the needed pressure to rebuild my website, a long overdue task. On the new site, I'll represent my drawings in a more vigorous way, and elaborate on how my sound work has shifted toward performance in the last four years. Look for that soon!

Speaking of online activity, I've been writing for Intransitive magazine. Several interviews are underway, including conversations with Oregon Painting Society, Sean Griffin, and Micah Silver, among others. These articles will appear over the next few months.

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