The OpenEnded Group
For the past two years, EMPAC has hosted a residency by The OpenEnded Group, an innovative digital arts collective specializing in the creation of 3D digital works. Now audiences can see the result. Upending, a work commissioned by EMPAC and appearing here in its world premiere, is a revelatory stereoscopic theater performance, an actor–less drama of disorientation and reorientation that compels us to rethink our relationship with the material world. Using ordinary flat photographs and processing them with non-photorealistic rendering and stereoscopic HD video, Upending transfigures familiar objects, spaces, and persons in ways that are both beautiful and uncanny. The play of images is accompanied by a gutsy EMPAC-made recording of Morton Feldman's first String Quartet by the FLUX Quartet, which The New Yorker's Alex Ross describes as “legendary for its furiously committed, untiring performances.” The music provides an aural lens that renders the video almost balletic, even as the visuals allow us to hear Feldman as never before.
Listen to a short interview on WAMC with Curator Micah Silver and Paul Kaiser of The OpenEnded Group
The OpenEnded Group is three digital artists – Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser – who create works for stage, screen, gallery, page, and public space. These include the collaborations BIPED, with Merce Cunningham, and Ghostcatching, with Bill T. Jones; Pedestrian; Loops, which self-regenerates by means of artificial intelligence; and Enlightenment, a piece that autonomously reconstructs an extraordinarily complex fugal passage in late Mozart. In 2008, it released Field, an open-source authoring system that promises to revolutionize digital art-making.
“One of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around,” (Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle) “who has brought a new renaissance to quartet music,” (Kyle Gann, The Village Voice), the FLUX Quartet has performed to rave reviews at many music centers around the world. It has appeared at Da Camera of Houston, Miller Theater, the Walker Art Center, the Library of Congress, and Carnegie Hall's When Morty Met John Festival. It has also recently made two rave debuts, in Ireland at the Samuel Beckett Centenary Festival, and in San Francisco with the Morrison Series, which invited the quartet back as special guests for its 50th anniversary gala concert. FLUX's numerous radio credits include NPR's All Things Considered, WNYC's New Sounds and Soundcheck, and WFMU's Stochastic Hit Parade.
The spirit to explore and expand stylistic boundaries is a trademark of the FLUX Quartet. Partly as an homage to the 60's Fluxus art movement, violinist Tom Chiu founded the FLUX Quartet in the 90's with a quest similar to that of some of the original Fluxus artists: a search for a living art for all people with an embracing "anything-goes" spirit. To that end, FLUX has always been committed to projects of unique vision that defy aesthetic categorization.