Trauma Bar und Kino presents Songs for Attunement, an “exhibition of live works” featuring durational performances on July 1 and 3.
With performative installations from six artists including Colin Self, Iceboy Violet and Steven Warwick, the project will immerse Trauma Bar und Kino in activations spanning spoken word, movement and electronics. Also featuring Golin, Lil Asaf and Stine Janvin, the events explore the terms ‘attunement’ and ‘enaction’—borrowed from psychology and biology—to dissolve barriers of traditional musical performance. As noted in the press release: “Without beginning or end, and without the separation of “stage”, visitors can engage with the artists (and vice-versa) with no predictable linearity or outcome. The live works function individually, but also as a whole, creating a sonic/performative ecosystem, with the body and the voice both medium and artwork.”
“Essentially I’ve been making Donna Haraway fan art since I started having an art practice,” says Colin Self about the inspiration he draws from the ecofeminist philosopher’s unique use of the word ‘kin,’ through ‘staying with the trouble‘ of our planet and collaborating across species. “But this arrival of this term made sense to me as an anchor that sort of demands an expanded idea of who and what we consider to be family.” Speaking to associate editor Jared Davis about these alternative models for collectivity and queer family on AQNB’s bi-monthly Artist Statement podcast, the artist, composer and choreographer’s thoughts come as a bonus episode of the series, to support this month’s Patreon subscription drive.
Colin first appeared on AQNB’s radar as part of experimental drag collective Chez Deep. Formed in New York in 2012, the group that originally included Hari Nef, Sam Banks, Bailey Stiles, and Alexis Penney, along with Colin, produced a series of performance videos in collaboration with the site back in 2015. Now based in Berlin, Colin has released music on RVNG Intl. and presented performances, as well as workshops for the likes of 3hd Festival, MoMA PS1 and the Getty Center, while being a live and studio collaborator of musician Holly Herndon. Calling in from his home in early June, Colin discussed topics ranging from new notions of family and ecology, and what we can learn from queer elders and the AIDS epidemic in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Siblings & Survival’ is the second in our Artist Statement podcast series, following last week’s conversation between AQNB editor Steph Kretowicz and Katja Novitskova. Future episodes include Lawrence Lek and Joey Holder, among others, with a teaser for Colin’s chat available to listen to above. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now: www.patreon.com/aqnb
As part of a subscription drive aimed at keeping AQNB (currently volunteer-run and maintained by its dedicated in-house team) alive, the site will be rolling out a number of new incentives to join our Patreon community this month. This includes a regular music and digital art compendium series—building on the success of our previous release even my dreams don’t go outside—and exclusive artist edition merchandise to be announced this week.
AQNB is a trusted editorial platform for artists resisting categorisation and responding to changes brought on by technology and communication, and we’ve built a strong community around us over the years. Our Patreon will be crucial to the site’s survival moving forward. With this new programme of content, we’re gearing toward engaging and working with you—our readers and subscribers—in building a stronger foundation for our scene into the future.
Presented by Upset the Rhythm, the event is headlined by New York-based performer, Self; a part of drag collective Chez Deep and a touring member of Holly Herndon‘s live band —currently supporting Radiohead —who also contributed to the 2015 album Platform. Self’s multimedia performance of sequential opera ‘The Elation Series’ was a clear standout at last year’s 3hd Festival. His ritualised use of the voice, the body and computer software shares parallels with the supporting UK-based band’s approach to music in dual vocal patterns “augmented with amplified percussion” and looping rhythms.
The night promises an experience of “transhuman emotion”.
Open collective Dawn Mok, who took part in ALPINA HUUS, which aqnb covered the documentation of last summer, released their debut album, Eternal Love in 2015. It features tracks like ‘Like Thoughts or Moments We’ll Fall’ and ‘Fade Town, You’re my Evidence’ and mixes roots from Berlin, Seoul, Virginia, Bangkok and California, courtesy of the three primary producers Felix Mura, vocalist Bundi and pianist Kathy Kwon.
While Holly Herndon collaborator, Colin Self who is based in New York and has a debut album called Elation released on USB last year will bring to the evening a ‘monastic’ voice, sounds, presence and performance.
Creamcake are presenting New Consumerism, Multimedia Dualism, & Spiritual Madness as a part of 3hdFestival, running at Berlin’s HAU 2 on December 4.
The hybrid stage performance is their latest project, mixing a wide range of musical genres – from classical music to experimental violent sounds – with the art collective Aurora Sander‘s visual environment.
It will lead viewers and listeners to interpret not only music itself, but also the interdependence between sonic elements and “spiritual madness of modern technology”, ultimately to examine “the labor of sound” today.
Alexis Penney has written a short text below exploring some of the influences behind Gloria, accompanied by individual performances from each member and you can watch the show in full here.
Alexis Blair Penney
“Gloria represented a return or circling back to form as much as a new step for the collective. Our first show as Chez Deep was conceived for performance at Santos in 2012 and lead to a residency of sorts through the ensuing years in collaboration with venue co-owner and artist Spencer Sweeney. Our last performance at Santos – which was Dea Nova – had been six months prior and included the original Chez Deep lineup [which included Hari Nef], as well as a slurry of friends, new and old. So when Spencer asked us to return it felt like we could strip it back to just the basics and reaffirm the structure of many of the performances we had conceived together but with a different dynamic as four rather than five.”
“Many issues were surfacing at that time within social media contexts – police brutality and institutionalised white supremacy, murder and mass incarceration, the devaluation, degradation and violence faced by femme and trans people and bodies. American denial and unaccountability for illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay and abroad, and mass civilian casualties from drone strikes. These things kept bringing our initial conversations surrounding the piece back to the idea of violence. Gloria, as an eponymous concept, spoke to the glorification of violence within our culture and the sometimes brutal means by which empowerment seemed only able to be won within the framework of a culture founded on slavery, rape and subjugation.”
“Environmental issues form the backdrop of all of our conversations and the persistent question of trash collection in our technically illegal commercial loft space presented itself as a consistent excess of plastic shopping bags. They were fluttering in trees, piling up under the sink, moulding in corners filled with sweaty yoga clothes (lol). We decided to let plastic be the actual backdrop for the piece, as well as part of the costuming.”
“The performance was presented in keeping with the way a traditional drag show often represents a narrative stitched together like a collaborative mixtape, where several performers choose several songs from different artists each, with their own micro-arcs within a broader story. We decided to stitch together personal narratives from each of our lives with lyrics and quotations relevant to the material and cast Linda [Simpson] – who has hosted all of our shows at Santos and many others to date – as our omniscient over mind, as a drag show emcee often is anyway. Thus, Gloria.”
Gloria was filmed live on location at Santos Party House, New York by cinematographer Daniel Rampulla with Tyler Mariano on second camera, with DJ support from Brother Bruno Coviello and lighting from the Santos staff.
Art and economics is central to the Money Makes the World Go ‘Round series –exploring art and artists in a global market in collaboration with Video in Common –to publish every fortnight from the last day of March to July, 2015. It features artists and collectives from cities around the networked world. **
Watch the performances embedded above or see the accompanying editorial videos starting here for Part One.