MIXER UNDERGROUND: Eyebeam presents a one-time, 5000-foot labyrinthine installation of subterrestrial delights
Thirty performers, artists, and musicians recreate the myth of the urban underground for a one-night art performance and party
Saturday, November 8, 2008 9PM — 2AM Tickets: $15 in advance at www.eyebeam.org; $20 at the door: Eyebeam 540 W. 21st St. (btw 10th and 11th Aves.) Limited press passes available: RSVP: press@eyebeam.
IMAGES, Release and Invite: http://www.eyebeam.org/about/about.php?page=release
New York City, October 28, 2008 – From sewer-dwelling alligators to underground shantytowns and smuggling tunnels; man-eating rats to illegal warehouse parties, New York City’s “underground”—mythical and actual—pulses just below the City’s radar. On Saturday, November 8, Eyebeam—the upstart of unconventional creativity and boundary-defying art and tech experimentation—will present the latest iteration of its quarterly live performance party: MIXER Underground, which will feature a 5000−foot maze and 30 performers.
The evening will include musical guests Roxy Cottontail and Judi Chicago; video by Benton-C Bainbridge, Chris Kaczmarek and Rob O’Neill; installations by JooYoun Paek, Christina Kral, Drayton Heirs, and Dan Ribaudo; sound by Jeff Feddersen, Brian Whiton, and Tetsu Kondo; robots by Jon Cohrs, Jeff Crouse and David Jimison, and more.
Eyebeam’s MIXERs routinely sell out to record crowds, and MIXER Underground promises to be Eyebeam’s most ambitious to date. Eyebeam’s MIXER is a quarterly A/V warehouse party dedicated to showcasing leading performing artists of live video and audio, which, in concert, offer immersive environments for audience participation and creative play.
A team of artists led by impresario/ technological wizard and Eyebeam fellow David Jimison (who, together with fellow Jeff Crouse, created the world’s first full-service, advice and spirit-dispensing robot, BoozBot), including, Grey Berreda, Stephan “Maze” Georges, and Jonathan Roberts, will create a fully immersive maze-like environment, with art installations, performances, human-sized rats and electronic insects lurking behind every corner.
“Festivals and parties, as important forms of social engagement, provide communities with the ability to temporarily engage in alternatives to their everyday lives. My work seeks to structure these events into pieces of personal expression —within the context of contemporary art—by incorporating the participants and blurring the lines between what is staged and what is personal theatrical expression,” Jimison said.
Jimison develops parties with what he terms “directed participation”: paths of interaction in which partygoers unwittingly become performers within the overall piece. In conceptualizing MIXER Underground, Jimison likened the process to that employed by video game designers, who create alternative universes by building a series of paths through an artificial environment.
Roxy Cottontail: A longtime NYC-based DJ, promoter, booker, “general tastemaker” and a “dynamo,” Cottontail spins a mix of punk, rap and disco-house, and has worked with DJs Diplo, Spankrock, and Devin the Dude. A party girl of the first order. http://www.oxycottontail.com/
Judi Chicago: Atlanta-based band Judi Chicago was recently awarded both the critics’ and readers’ picks for “Best Electronic Act” by the city’s Creative Loafing paper. Since 2006 the duo of multi-instrumentalists Travis Thatcher and British-born Benjamin Coleman have concocted a surreal blend of acid house, futurist disco, art-punk, psychedelic rock with the rhythm and grind of ragga, jungle and UK garage. In their own words: “dada-illogic and non-sequitur poetics […] come together under the guise of explosive party music.” http://www.judichicago.com
This all-inclusive sensory experience will include work by Eyebeam artists Benton-C Bainbridge, Jon Cohrs, Jeff Crouse, Jeff Feddersen, Drayton Hiers, David Jimison, Chris Kaczmarek, Christina Kral, Rob O'Neill, JooYoun Paek, Dan Ribaudo, as well as Tetsu Kondo, Bill Whiton and others.
Benton-C Bainbridge’s 3-channel video installation, entitled Goodbye, New York, is inspired by the artist’s experience of the historic demolition and concealment of the radical artistic and activist movements of the East Village in the late 1990s. For this piece, the artist will recreate a claustrophobic squat and screen his original documentary footage from the forced eviction, police occupation of the block, and the razing of the area. Shot from inside Bainbridge’s windows, the film documents the arrest of protestors and “the destruction of the freedom formerly enjoyed in New York City at the hands of the government and the wealthy,” Bainbridge said. http://www.benton-c.com/benton-c.html
Drayton Hiers, Christina Kral, and Dan Ribaudo’s VIDEO WOMB is an intimate maze and immersive audio-visual experience. A carpeted room will provide a comfortable respite from the party, where the audience can watch a video cycle on the ceilings and walls of the “womb,” which will include extracts from Kral’s video diary of daily life in New York, together with live video captured from the maze. Telephone handsets and headphones dangling from the walls of the space will play a soundtrack of slogans, quotes, random thoughts, and the noise of the party itself to create produce the effect of audio intoxication. http://www.christinakral.net/
BoozBot will provide liquid refreshment amidst the buzz of the party. This barkeep robot resurrects the stereotype of the friendly local bartender who serves the lush by listening to his/her complaints, mixing generous portions of comforting elixirs. The endearing robot—who can be prickly when crossed—references the charming, malfunctioning android popularized in sci-fi culture. BoozBot has been prototyped at three parties, and is undoubtedly the sympathetic life of the crowd. http://www.digitalsituations.com/boozbot/
Nearby, Jeff Feddersen, Tetsu Kondo and Brian Whiton will fill the labyrinth with an evolving soundscape of underground sounds using an array of custom instruments, including the impressive, 10-foot long, two-person Double Harmonics Guitar. http://fddrsn.net/sound/instruments.html
In JooYoun Paek's Six Walls, performers synchronously move within a space of six-foot walls, creating between them a "living room" that reacts both to the people that inhabit it, and to the music of the event. Fed up by being a wallflower at parties, Paek created a wearable structure that transforms the human body into a wall as a party costume, and choreographed movements of six wall performers to engage with the party crowd in an absurd way. http://www.jooyounpaek.com/
Whether it is the rush and cacophony of the passing subway, or the flashing lights, moving bodies and deep thudding beat of a late night dance club, the New York underground experience is marked by a blending of extremely high levels of aural and visual stimulation. Chris Kaczmarek's De Mengeling van New York will highlight this experience not by replicating it, but by dissecting the visual from the audio; allowing the viewer to both examine one aspect of overload by the marked absence of the other, and to perhaps find a state of peace within the excess. http://www.chriskaczmarek.com/
Rob O’Neill’s video Cryptid Memoir explores the hidden nature of creatures studied by pseudo-scientific cryptozoologists. By deconstructing popular video and photographic imagery of underground species like Bigfoot and The Loch Ness Monster, their existence is both doubted and validated. The work is part of a software program O'Neill is developing to track alleged and hidden creatures. http://www.morphometric.com/
To complete the audio-visual sensory experience, Jon Cohrs will release scuttling, robotic cockroaches within the space. Built from scrap metal and powered by rechargeable batteries, one type of roach will invite the partygoers to squash them. The other variety will produce a series of pulse waves controlled from the artist's step sequencer to mimic various insects. http://www.rabbitswithoutspleens.com/
Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 at the door. For more info and to purchase tickets visit www.eyebeam.org. The November 8 MIXER Underground is co-sponsored by The Onion and Pabst Blue Ribbon, 18+ entry; 21+ to drink (open bar with suggested donation).