Janet Biggs / Mary Esther Carter / Richard Savery / A.I. Anne
On yet another ubiquitous ZOOM meeting, a friend with Asperger’s syndrome expressed how much easier it was for her to have her human interactions mediated by this technology. Augmentation and Amplification explores inclusive creative expressions and adaptability within isolation, confinement and the spectrum of neural development.
Vocalist/dancer Mary Esther Carter will sing an improvised duet with “A.I. Anne.” A.I. Anne is a machine learning entity created by composer and music technologist Richard Savery. Trained on Mary’s voice, A.I. Anne is named and patterned after Janet Biggs’ aunt, who was severely autistic and nonverbal due to apraxia. Biggs’ aunt could hum, but was not able to speak. A.I. Anne has the ability to vocalize, but not create language. In this new work, A.I. Anne will expand agency and initiative, using deep learning combined with semantic knowledge to generate emotions and respond to emotions.
Mary Esther Carter will be alone in the space. The autonomous A.I. entity and all other technology, including multiple microphones and cameras will be run and mixed remotely, allowing the performance to operate in accordance with NYC’s shelter-in-place guidelines.
Broken Gargoyles, an audiovisual installation by Diamanda Galás, is a work in progress resulting from a remote collaboration between D. Galás, artist and sound engineer Daniel Neumann, video artist Carlton Bright, with guest reading of excerpted pages from Das Fieberspital by artist Robert Knoke. Presented as part of Fridman Gallery's lock-down series SO⅃OS, this quadrophonic sound work is not a live performance.
The expression Broken Gargoyles was used in World War I to describe the soldiers who were facially mutilated by skin-melting gases and machine guns, both of which were introduced during this war.
Music, video script, video and other photography was done by D. Galás, along with the photography by Ernst Freidrich of disfigured men. Das Fiebersptal and Die Dämonen der Städte were written by poet Georg Heym. An excerpt from the later poem will be read by Diamanda Galás.
Space, lack, abundance, deficiency of touch, the certainty of uncertainty..."An Incredibly Long Inhale." Rena Anakwe creates an audio visual collage as an escape from current isolation while confronting gain and loss. "An Incredibly Long Inhale" uses archival footage and an organic sound score of voice, home recordings and improvised sound creation.
Cellist Leila Bordreuil will perform a piece guided by and interacting with New York’s urban soundscape, a subject that is essential to her practice. The piece uses a multichannel audio configuration that spans across the gallery’s rooms onto the sidewalk.
C. Lavender presents a new site-specific work: “The Impulse Chamber,” that will utilize Fridman Gallery as an unique reverberation room. “The Impulse Chamber” features rapidly moving recordings of tuning forks with percussion and brass instruments made in the anechoic chamber at Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey less than two weeks before the pandemic was declared in the U.S. The nature of the recordings being made in an anechoic chamber and then played out into a reverent space, naturally modifies these recordings into how they sound only within the confines of Fridman Gallery.
Bell Labs, where the recordings were made, was also at the forefront of research and technological innovation for telepresence; a current pervading part of our world that we have learned to adapt to quickly to sustain communication through the pandemic.
This presentation of “The Impulse Chamber” will also feature the debut of the film “Reflections: Azul” created by C. Lavender in May 2020 playing throughout the duration of the performance.
“The Impulse Chamber” was developed with assistance from the Harvestworks Technology Immersion Program.
Victoria Keddie's work explores the cacophony of media ecologies that we operate within, both as an intimate and planetary exchange. The technologies built for transmission come from universal principles of electromagnetic energies. In relatively recent history, these tools for transmission within an unregulated sphere of communication systems, have altered our ways of seeing, being, and communicating in the world. The overwhelming level of radiation and energy reaching to, and passing through our bodies place us in a new phase in the Anthropocene. No longer are we participating at will, rather, we are engrossed in a system that merges the animate with the inanimate in a congealed machinic exchange between the signal and the receiver. Keddie's focus is to expose the particular gestures of the body in tandem with tools of broadcast and transmission and to decipher the patterns that have become an operative language with the machines she works with.
Musician Luke Stewart will premier a new piece for in his series of Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier. Utilizing movement, the amplifier and cabinet become part of the instrument. A dance ensues as the sound generated is manipulated into specific tones and frequencies. Building upon numerous recent live performances, the piece showcases the electro-acoustic possibilities in a new composition. Electronics inspired by the focused approach to feedback manipulation. In both elements, the acoustic and the electric, there is the exhibition of the One Sound. Tapping into the energy of the OM, universal frequency. Unity Elements.
Daniel Neumann opens SO⅃OS, the new performance series at Fridman Gallery, with a performance titled Soundcheck, which simultaneously functions as the actual check for the series. Neumann’s art is influenced by his technical profession as a sound engineer. With this opening performance he is inverting his technical role – being the engineer for the series – into an explicit part of his artistic practice.
For Soundcheck Neumann activates the whole apparatus: playback devices, multiple microphones, spatial amplification, cameras, the gallery space itself, recording, time layers, solitude and online liveness. The limitations of this SO⅃O are actualized as generative potentialities, the engineer::performer taking on the empty gallery one-on-one.