The visual artists participating in VIA don’t always get proper attention but are a key aspect to engaging the total sensory experience. The Four Tet performance alongside Abstract Birds’ US premiere of Partitura, a system for translating sound into visual forms, from the 2011 festival is something that comes to mind when thinking about this aspect of the festival. While Four Tet is amazing on his own, the visuals brought that performance to another level, catapulting your senses into another dimension of stimulation. VIA makes a conscious effort to support visual artists as strongly as they do their musical guests and finds them to be an important element of any engaging set, which is why they include a visual component to every musical performance. We’re going to break down the visual artists and workshops you can find during this year’s festival. A lot of these events are free, so heads up if you’d like to experience this aspect of VIA but are short on cash.
Monday, October 1:
3D Burns! Screening | Fe Gallery | 6-9PM | All Ages | Free | Through 10/6
While most people consider 3D graphics software to be used primarily in video games, film and TV commercials, the artists in the 3D Burns! exhibition have experimented with the form to create personal works. Curated by Michael Mallis and Katie Torn, many of the artists have exhibited or screened their pieces internationally or at renowned venues. From the Sundance Film Festival, PBS, MTV, MOMA New York, Museum of Natural History in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, and more, you name it – these artists are known for their innovations to the medium. Check out the video End of Code below by participating artist, James Duesing, a “humorous depiction of two groups of animal/human hybrid characters competing for power as personified by traffic”.
Monday night also features a video installation inside the PNC Bank Vault on Penn & Highland by Michael Mallis, one of the night’s curators. Afterwards, head on over to underneath the 40th Street Bridge in Lawrenceville from 8-10PM for Azimuth – tours of an unidentified crash site on the Allegheny River. This event runs every night until October 8 and is presented by The Drift, a CMU project that was awarded a grant by The Sprout Fund. The Drift is a “floating platform for creative projects that explore the rivers and waterfronts within the city”. For more information, visit Azimuth’s website.
Tuesday, October 2:
Jonathan Walley Lecture + Experiments in ParaCinema | CMU | 2 – 6PM | All Ages | Free
Jonathan Walley is an Associate Professor of Cinema at Denison University who specializes in avant-garde and experimental film, focusing in particular on “expanded cinema” (multi-screen works, film-based performance, film/video installation, paracinema, etc.). The lecture and screening takes places in two parts. Part One’s lecture is titled “Not to Make Films: Dismantled, de-materialized, and unmade cinema” and takes place at CMU’s College of Fine Arts, room 307 at 2PM. The lecture portion will be followed by a screening in Lawrenceville at the Carnegie International Satellite Apartment on 113 44th St. Melissa Ragona, Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Critical Theory at CMU will be presenting Lightplay: Experiments in Paracinema, in conjunction with the Carnegie Museum of Art. Part Two of the event features a recreation of Hollis Frampton’s famed 1968 performance piece, A Lecture, by Melissa Ragona, introduced by Jonathan Walley, plus other “non-film” surprises. Space for this screening is limited, so if you’d like to attend please RSVP to Amanda Donnan at firstname.lastname@example.org. This event is programmed by Brett Kashmere, editor of Incite! Journal of Experimental Media.
Wednesday, October 3
Demdike Stare Live Film Re-score of Jean Rollin’s ‘La Vampire Nue’ | PGH Filmmakers | 7PM | 18+ | $7-$10
Demdike Stare’s music attracts the likes of many who don’t typically listen to electronic music. Their aesthetic is haunting, visceral, heavy and atmospheric, the perfect soundtrack to the 1970 surrealist classic ‘La Vampire Nue’ about a suicide cult led by a mysterious figure known as The Master. This film, according to VIA, is one of the “most visually stunning erotic horror films ever”. Take a look below to see and hear what you’re getting yourself into.
Friday, October 5
Babycastles Pop-up Arcade | Deeplocal | 5PM | All Ages | Free
New York City game collective Babycastles hosts a two-day hacker/maker event that makes for the most interactive art portion of this year’s festival. VIA advises you “bring lo-fi building materials, giant stuffed animals, toys, etc. to create your own fully-functioning arcade cabinets. Babycastles will provide instruction on software hacking and hardware building. There will also be some materials on hand if you want to help Babycastles construct and deck-out their own cabinet!” Deeplocal is a Pittsburgh-based company that “is able to employ its unique brand of “gutter technology” to create engaging real world experiences that ignore boundaries between technologies, digital space, and the physical world.”
Data Garden Workshop | Center for PostNatural History | 6PM | All Ages | Free
This exhibit is a part of the monthly Unblurred gallery crawl that takes place on the first Friday of every month along the Penn Avenue Arts District. Explore touch, technology, and sound and learn about plant-based electronic sound art in this one-of-a-kind workshop. Data Garden is a journal, record label and event-based collective that encourages the discovery of electronic music through the windows of history, science and community. The Center for PostNatural History is a somewhat new addition to Penn Avenue and the Unblurred crawl route. Their exhibitions explore the complex interplay between culture, nature and biotechnology – displaying living organisms that have been altered through processes such as selective breeding or genetic engineering.
Incite #3: New Ages | 6119 | 6PM | 18+ | Included in All-Access + Weekend Passes
This multimedia event and screening features videos, films and performances focusing on the renewed fascination with New Age spirituality, philosophy and aesthetics among contemporary media artists. It seeks to address the generational shifts brought on by the emergence of digital technology. Check out participating artist Jessie McLean’s ‘Magic For Beginners’ which examines the mythologies found in fan culture.
Saturday, October 6
Babycastles Pop-Up Arcade | 5PM | Deeplocal | All Ages | Free
Join Babycastles for Part Two of their interactive exhibit to play and explore the arcade, which features original games curated and designed by Babycastles, as well as the general public.
Make + Break w/ Assemble | Deeplocal | 3PM | All Ages | Free
Join Assemble for an afternoon of left and right brain exercise, taught by a 13-year old. Learn DJ programs like Scratch, Max MSP and Processing, draw on a life-sized Etch-a-Sketch and play with LEDs. What more could you want out of a Saturday afternoon? Assemble is a space that frequently hosts interactive events and exhibits, “providing a platform for experiential learning, opening creative processes and building confidence through making”.
Multimedia Performances | 6119 | 6PM | 18+ | Included in All-Access + Weekend Passes
Get yourself lubed up for Saturday night’s big performances by attending a screening of works from Mikey McParlane, Erica Gressman, and Robotcowboy.
While this might seem like a long post, it’s quite brief compared to all the research VIA has put into choosing artists this year. They’ve compiled a Rough Art Guide with many videos if you’d like to explore the artists a bit further. Or better yet, come experience them for the first time at each of the week’s engaging and inspiring art events. They’ve also released their official 2012 program and you can check it out in digital form here. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a pair of weekend passes! Instructions below.
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