(via Wrong by Quentin Dupieux aka Mr. Oizo to be presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Saturday 5.18)
We all know that Together is going to make you dance.
With a line-up stacked with international talent—Four Tet, !!!, Toy Selectah, and Agoria to name a few—it would be hard not to. Last year, we felt the effects of the week-long love affair well into the summer. Tales were penned, creative enterprises were built, friendships were made and relationships were born somewhere in that magical space between our bodies and the music.
As the festival continues to grow, an expanding interest from the larger community has begun to reshape its collaborations across all creative sectors. This year, as Together brings some of the most innovative forces in new music, it has also formed a budding program of contemporary art: designed as a visual experiment or prototype of the many possibilities that can ensue when genres and mediums, personalities and cultures, converge for a collective purpose.
These thoughts have brought more new connections. Forging partnerships with Boston’s major museums, Together week grants pass holders reduced entrance to the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. A 4-day film exhibition, organized in part by Curator of Film Carter Long, brings Modeselektor’s limited-screened documentary to the Museum of Fine Arts. A re-mix of archival footage from artist Brian Kane’s expansive, 20-year portfolio also receives MFA treatment. Planetarium Director Darryl Davis—scheduled to free-style star systems—works with curator Maggie Cavallo to amalgamate cross-cultural fine art with empirical knowledge, in a live event perfectly suited for the Museum of Science. Artist and curator Ethan Kiermaier in collaboration with ethnomusicologist Wayne Marshall—inspired by the concepts behind Portland Museum of Art’s recent Azawad Libre!—developed a featured arts panel on grassroots communications in our global, digital world. The MIT graduate student collective Sept/May designs a child-friendly public installation for University Park as part of the Cambridge World Fair. And, nestled in Together’s partner gallery, George Fifield exhibits twenty iPad applications in a unique fine art context at Boston Cyberarts: the showcase traveling from The Fellows of Contemporary Art gallery in Los Angeles.
As a Together staffer myself, it has been a great privilege to have worked on the team that has facilitated these people, ideas and bonds.
With the guidance of the festival’s founding directors, the 2013-initiated Art Board, and our many community colleagues, Together promises to continue to intersect music, art and technology in broad ways for years to come.
Like we said, we know we’re going to make you dance.
Here are some other things our new art program will make you do as well:
VISUALIZE THE RHYTHM
SKEPTIC: LIGHT INSTALLATION AT TOGETHER’S CENTRAL STAGE
(Skeptic’s Installation Video for Middlesex Lounge / December, 2012)
When you’re enjoying concerts at our Central Stage at the Middle East, make sure to look up: a large-scale, music-reactive LED display will be fluxing with the beat. The project, conceptualized by MassArt MFA collective Skeptic, uses the audio from the performing artist to create colorful animations in real-time shifting “the audience’s focus from the DJ to the dance floor, making the dancers an integral part of the performance.”
ASSES YOUR ENVIRONMENT
KEITH ROCKA KNITTEL: VIDEO LOOP AT TOGETHER CENTER
(Keith Rocka Knittel, Way of Sorrows / Thesis Exhibit, CalArts D301 Gallery, Valencia, CA)
Interested in “history and ruins,” LA-based Knittel’s work often features a manipulation of his current location with social ideas. Represented by Together’s Art Board member and South End curator Anthony Greaney, Knittel has created a program of LA-based VJ’s who use video to analyze the history of pop-culture, blending music with their social environment.
EMBRACE FOREIGN CULTURE
GRASSROOTS DIGITAL: FEATURED PANEL AT TOGETHER CENTER
(Christoper Kirkley / Sahel Sounds: Music from Saharan Cellphones: Volume 2)
“Drawing on the expertise of several actors in this wide, weird world, our panel seeks to explore a few stories of spectacular circulation that shed light on new forms of media exchange and exploitation,” describes moderator Wayne Marshall. The 90-minute conversation will feature the legendary Latin music producer Toy Selectah from Mad Decent, headlining Pico Picante during Together.
PLAY WITH MAGIC
DANDELION CLOCK BY JOHN CARPENTER: POETIC CODINGS AT BOSTON CYBERARTS
(via ACME / Los Angeles, CA 2011)
This digitally-rendered, glowing dandelion is just as fragile as the ones we would play with as children: when you get close to the projection, the seeds blow away frantically. If you’re gentle, the particles will simply flutter around its stem. Part of Poetic Codings, the exhibition also features 20 iPad applications, sourcing the accessibility and digitization of contemporary art.
PREDICT THE WEATHER
MIT’S SEPTEMBER/MAY: PUBLIC INSTALLATION FOR CAMBRIDGE WORLD FAIR
(SEPT/MAY Perception, Eva Naumann & Tim Dunn / April 2013, Cambridge MA)
Fabric carefully tied to inflatable weather balloons are all that is needed for MIT collective Sept/May to “unleash a friendly swarm of giant spheres upon Central square.” The large installation, set to be the central focus at University Park during the Cambridge World Fair, beckons visitors of all ages to play in the grass below it. The sculpture uses the days weather patterns to evolve and shift in shape and size, and will shield our little ones from the bright sun under it’s shadowy canopy.
BREAK YOUR ADDICTIONS
BRIAN KANE’S HDADD+ LIVE: TOGETHER + THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
(Analog Screen Cap / Brian Kane)
According to recent studies uncovered by major news outlets such as CNN and The Guardian UK, the average smart-phone user will check their mobile device upwards to 34-times per day, without being prompted. Consumers have developed what authors refer to as “checking habits,” in which the user spends less than 10-seconds typically every 10-minutes refreshing e-mail and social media applications. Artist Brian Kane, who makes work based on addictive internet culture, manipulates these hard-to-ignore statistics in a 90-minute live showcase of video art and movie clips.
Aggregated blogs, which consolidate the images placed under a particular hashtag, combine the thoughts and actions of millions of users worldwide; a fact that CEMI Institutes Priscilla Graeff deems as important. #TGTHR2013, the festivals official hashtag this year, will merge all Instagram posts tagged as such to a streamlined blog. Want to experience Together through the lens of the entire city? Done. Take your own photos and share them with us, too.
COMMUNICATE WITH ALIENS
A NEW COSMIC MIX, NOW IN 5D!: MUSEUM OF SCIENCE PLANETARIUM
(HEXbeam by Vela Phelan rehearses for exhibition / Photo: Maggie Cavallo)
What happens when 4 artists, all spanning diverse backgrounds and cultures meet for a few hours? What happens when they meet under a dome, in the most technologically advance planetarium on this side of the United States? A New Cosmic Mix: Now in 5D!, envisioned by Maggie Cavallo and brought to life by Together, aims to “highlight the cosmic exchange common in our community.” Visitors can expect re-mixed sounds, edited and sampled video footage, and a level of originality only possible from contemporary artists. We’re hoping that our transmissions will beam down the aliens. We’re waiting for them…
PS: TOGETHER LOVES YOU.