Live: The Sequence Of Waves Exhibit Crams A Former Convent With 60 Artists, Including Chris Weingarten In Duet With Justin Bieber
On a quiet residential block near the BQE in Greenpoint, a vacant former convent and schoolhouse came alive on Saturday thanks to a collective called Rabid Handsand 60 or so artists they invited to collaborate with them on an exhibition utilizing "sound as the organizing and uniting principle." The four-story, single-day show, called "Sequence of Waves," had almost as many rooms as artists, with no bathroom, broom closet, or dishwasher left uninvolved. Most of the works were site-specific installations invoking both sonic and visual concepts; many were interactive and could be "played."
Guardian Alien's Greg Fox, in the house that Parts and Labor built. Pics by Rebecca.
The seven hours during which the exhibit was open to the public also included a full schedule of musical performances, and huge crowds turned out, at times creating gridlock. The budget for this spectacle, according to Rabid Hands' Nick Chatfield-Taylor -- who dutifully manned the door all day, politely soliciting donations -- was nonexistent; artists relied at least partly on salvaged materials.
It would be hard to call the combined show of effort and creativity on display (and the overall sensory experience of exploring the sprawling exhibit) anything less than epic. Even if some rooms disappointed, the exhibit as a whole was still above and beyond, certainly not the kind of thing that happens every week even around here, the center of the cultural universe. That this affair was one-day-only is a shame, but so it goes -- a film crew is moving into the freshly de-installed space first thing Tuesday morning.
The front yard featured a functional igloo by Nick Chatfield-Taylor. The ice blocks were made by stuffing snow into an old drawer. The star of the show was Taylor Kuffner's robotic, midi-controlled Gamelan orchestra (about 30 pieces strong, mostly hung on the walls) known as the Gamelatron, installed in the chapel. A noisemaker by Roberto C. Lange, made from the convent's air-vent system. Broadcast Room A snowy room by Kelly Nicholson House, by Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, an intricately built and decorated functional piece, ripe for exploration and bridging several other rooms A paper village A series of mic'd interactive sculptures made of things like piano parts, an industrial scale, and glass bottles by Steven Milton, Terence Caulkins, and Mike O' Toole. Even the bathrooms were tricked out The big wooden tumbler in the corner of this room contained a huge chunk of marble that visitors could send loudly crashing around, if they were strong enough The Parts and Labor/Nick Chatfield-Taylor room hosted band performances in a wooden house filled with DayGlo robot puppets initially constructed for a recent music-video shoot If you crawled through a mystery passageway, you were rewarded on the other side by a tea room courtesy of Adriana Atema. (Or, if you took a right instead of a left, by an alternate-universe room.) Partially Buried American Pie by Allen Riley, a nod to Robert Smithson's shed. It trembled unnervingly whenever its hidden internal speakers were cranked. G. Lucas Crane (of the band Woods) installed his Party Lab throughout the space, with the central recording/remixing component located in the basement boiler room. This piece in the kitchen made creative use of the house dishwasher and oven SOTC's own Chris Weingarten performed in the Parts and Labor house (he used to be a member of the band) as the Chris Weingarten/Justin Bieber duo, in which he drum-soloed over a slowed-down Bieber song Jessica Findley playing a dresser Lopi LaRoe perched on Ben Wolf's ramshackle, four-story climbable sculpture of wreckage, which spanned the height of the entire stairway shaft Taking a break with a friend inside the igloo. A female stranger crawled in and offered us free psychedelic chocolate a few minutes later. Nick Yulman's contribution dared people to put on this intimidating helmet Closing performance by Guardian Alien, during which Greg Fox played drums on my right arm (it was crowded, and I have bruises)