Live Shorts is a series of performances for the stage commissioned for Filament. Invited artists were asked to create a performance for a specific period of time under 20 minutes that made use of the following constraints: a 20’ x 30’ stage, with the possibility of using only one screen, one projector, and a sound system. Standing in contrast to EMPAC’s typical embrace of flexibility and open-ended possibility, these create a platform for working within a specific structure.
The result is a varied and vigorous set of short works created by a range of artists, from performers in the worlds of contemporary theater and dance, to experimental and electronic musicians, to visual artists whose work is typically exhibited in museums and galleries, all sharing the same stage and set of technical parameters. The interstitial space between performances is activated by dynamic lighting design by Wingspace Theatrical Design.
Act Curtain — Like the grand drapes of the great old theater houses, this installation transfers the audience's attention from the performance area to the auditorium during the interstitial moments between performances. Using the medium of light, it animates the whole of the theater architecture through both space and time. ACT CURTAIN was conceived and installed by Scott Bolman, Zane Pihlstrom and Lee Savage of Wingspace Theatrical Design.
Wingspace is a Brooklyn-based collective of artists, designers, writers, and thinkers committed to the practice of collaboration in theatrical design. Wingspace has created lighting environments for numerous projects at the Old American Can Factory, including the 2009 Beaux-Arts Ball for the Architecture League of New York. Wingspace members have collaborated with artists such as Robert Wilson, Isaac Mizrahi, the Kronos Quartet, Shen Wei Dance Arts and the Grammy-nominated Lila Downs. Their work has been appeared at the Roundabout, the Public Theater, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Alliance Theater, Baltimore Centerstage, the Old Globe, the Shakespeare Theater and the Guggenheim Museum as well as internationally at venues in Canada, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and South Korea. In addition to creating dynamic work of their own, Wingspace co-produces a salon series with XO Projects. Each salon brings featured artists together with the broader performance community for open-ended discussions of vital issues in contemporary theatrical design.
Sheepspace (SUE-C & Laetitia Sonami) — Sheepspace is a live film inspired by the writings of Haruki Murakami. Adapted from the Sheep Man character in Dance, Dance, Dance and The Wild Sheep Chase, the film is brought to life through the manipulation and projection of photographs, drawings, scale models and various three dimensional objects, along with the processing and amplification of electronic music, nostalgic songs, and field recordings. The artists draw from their palette of a suitcase-sized animation booth, miniature televisions, a train-propelled camera, motors, sensors, flash bulbs, and talking lamps to blur the boundaries of the real world and the cinema world. It is up to the audience to determine where dreams end and reality begins.
Intervention #2 (Created by Wally Cardona + a local expert) — Each Intervention is the meeting of Wally Cardona and a local specialized expert. Through their intimate encounter, they generate a new version of Cardona’s “empty solo,” designed to make itself completely available to an outside eye or opinion. The re-conceived solo is performed as a new entity. Intervention is a game leading to other games of meaning, intent, and form that can create multiple interpretations of “a dance.” It is also the first stage of development for Tool Is Loot, a collaboration between Cardona and Paris-based choreographer Jennifer Lacey.
You Don’t Know What You're Talking About (MTAA) — Internet artists M.River and T.Whid (MTAA), like you, have often wished while listening to a lecture, speech, or newscast to stand up and tell the speaker, "You don't know what you're talking about." MTAA, sitting behind a desk with two laptops and two microphones, and with a projection screen behind them that displays a timer and the text “#mtaa,” will invite the audience to start twittering. For the duration of the performance, they will read any and all texts sent to Twitter with the hash tag "#mtaa."
A Narrow Vehicle (Trouble) — Performers acting like ushers and doubling as shaman enact a cleansing ritual on the audience, which becomes a screen for projections of familiar spiritual imagery and the five elemental lights. Culminating in a performance of trance R&B saxophone meandering, a narrow vehicle brings up a promise — made by universities, militant groups, spiritual organizations, and pop culture. The promise is of freedom and self-actualization via transmutation of defiled elements, and we locate this process in (or on) each audience member. Imparting the message evokes a claustrophobic, aggressive style, but the promise is kept.
Another Circle (Jen DeNike) — Using video, performance, and sound as live ritual magic, a series of circles transforms the space into a vessel for scrying, an act of obtaining spiritual visions by peering into a reflective surface. In DeNike's video a prima ballerina in classical tutu and toe shoes performs what appears to be an infinite pirouette. The ballerina's circular movement becomes the pendulum for scrying. A live ballerina (Lucy Van Cleef) will perform abstract choreographed movements in reaction to and mirroring the video in collaboration with Rose Kallal who will perform an improvised sound accompaniment using a combination of vintage analog synth, guitar, and tape delay; her dark ambient sonic drone providing a complementary yet contrasting circular soundtrack.
AMAZINGLAND IN TROY EMagicPAC (Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle) — Amazingland is the second in a trilogy of theater pieces that embrace and subvert American popular entertainment. The piece is about illusion, delusion, and the role of deception in American culture. Cuiffo, Lyford, and Sobelle will enter magic contests as their illusionist personas, Louie Magic, Dennis Diamond, and Daryl Hannah, and, succeed or fail, create faux-documentary video to be integrated into performance. Their goal is to expose the pathos behind the gloss of popular Vegas-style illusion shows — and also to blow your mind out of the back of your skull with some incredible magic.
Sue Costabile, aka SUE-C, is a visual and performing artist based in San Francisco. Her works challenge the norms of photography, video, and technology by blending them all into an organic and improvisational live performance setting. Costabile has collaborated with musicians such as Morton Subotnick, Luc Ferrari, Laetitia Sonami, Antye Greie (AGF), and Joshua Kit Clayton at a variety of international venues
Laetitia Sonami is an electronic composer, performer and sound installation artist based in Oakland, CA. Her performance work combines text, music and found sound, in compositions that have been described as “performance novels.” Her interactive installations focus on embedding everyday objects with kinetic and sonic personalities. Best known for her lady's glove, an evening black Lycra glove studded with a myriad of sensors, she has performed at venues worldwide.
In the last 10 years, choreographer Wally Cardona has created projects of every scale, in a wide range of venues/festivals in the US and abroad, including BAM/Next Wave, PICA’s TBA Festival, Helena Presents, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Cannes Festival and Dance Umbrella/London. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NYFA fellowship and New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award for the creation of Everywhere, he resides in Brooklyn, NY.
MTAA (M. River & T. Whid Art Associates) is a Brooklyn-based conceptual and Net art collaboration. MTAA’s examinations and critiques of networked culture, participatory art, digital materials, and the institutional art world take the form of web sites, performances, installations, sculptures, and photographs. Their work has been presented at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, P.S.1, The Whitney Museum, Postmasters Gallery, Artists Space, the Walker Art Center, the Beall Center for Art + Technology, The Getty, and SFMOMA, as well as internationally.
Trouble (Sam Hillmer and Laura Paris) is a Brooklyn-based art collaborative is devoted to creating extreme environments that havewith no exterior;, public art both condoned and illegal;, and other kinds of visual/sound art intended to be used for some purpose. Their work is about community, spirituality, politics, craft, and beauty. Outreach is a part of all of Trouble's projects, as is what they call "in-reach": designing events that strengthen the ties within the DIY art community and the art world as a whole.
Jen DeNike lives and works in New York City. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Kunst-Werke, P.S.1/MoMA, Julia Stoschek Collection, Brooklyn Museum, CCS Hessel Museum, MOCA Miami, Site Gallery England, and Tensta Konsthall Sweden, among others. She received her MFA from Bard College in 2002. Her work is in the MoMA permanent collection and a solo exhibition of her work is currently on view at THE COMPANY Los Angeles.
Lucy Van Cleef is a dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet. She has performed in Jen DeNike's ballet Scrying at MOMA, Another Circle, and Hard Light, and is interested in finding ways to bring classical ballet's forms across boundaries to illuminate the other fine arts. Lucy grew up in Madison, NJ, and trained at the New Jersey School of Ballet, Ballet Academy East NY, the San Francisco Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet in NY. She completed an apprenticeship with North Carolina Dance Theatre in 2007 and joined Los Angeles Ballet later that year. As a dancer with LAB, Lucy has performed numerous roles in classical ballets, works by George Balanchine, and has recently had two roles created for her by Los Angeles choreographers Josie Walsh and Sonya Tayeh.
Rose Kallal is a NYC based 16mm film and sound installation and performance artist. She has performed at P.S.1/MoMA, Gavin Brown’s Enterprises at Passerby, Lisa Cooley Gallery, and has done projects for Performa, Creative Time, and most recently the exhibition Narcissus Trance in London. Kallal uses a variety of instruments such as analog synthesizer, tape delay, drums and guitar, and draws upon minimalism, drone, ambient and metal.
Louie Magic is an actor and magician. Credits include: "North Atlantic" (Wooster Group); “Theatre For One” (Christine Jones); "Digital Effects" (Off The Grid); "Hell Meets Henry Halfway" (Pig Iron); "Fluke" (Radiohole); "Major Bang" (Foundry Theater); "Lenny Bruce" (Joe's Pub); "Orange, Lemon, Egg, Canary" (P.S.122); "Passion of the Crawford;" "Patriot Act" (New York Theatre Workshop); "Amazing Russello" (Joe's Pub); and David Blaine's television specials (consultant).
Dennis Diamond is the co-artistic director of rainpan 43, a renegade absurdist outfit devoted to creating original actor-driven performance works. He is a member of Pig Iron Theatre Company and has been awarded two Independence Foundation Fellowships and three grants from the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. Geoff received a 2006 Pew Fellowship in the Arts as a performance artist and is a 2009 Creative Capital grantee. He is a graduate of Stanford University, and trained at École Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
Daryl Hannah is the co-artistic director of rainpan 43. Other recent credits include: “Phoenix” (Humana 2010), “The Africa Trilogy” (Luminato Festival), “The Great Immensity,” and “Gone Missing” (The Civilians). Trey is an associate artist with The Civilians, a 2009 Creative Capital Grantee, a recipient of the Princess Grace Award and the Fabergé Theatre Excellence Award. He is based in Brooklyn and has an MFA from UCSD.