mandymachine

VR is here and it’s cool! Comparing this round of shorts to an experience I had over 20 years ago in a VR ‘Cave Lab’ at the University of Illinois, the tech has come into its own! For one thing, you’re having a seamless encounter wearing adjustable VR goggle with no breaks in the visuals or sound. Hence, a real sensation in a virtual space. One still sees pixels (less so in the animated works) and you don’t get the smells or the weather of a real place. But in the hands of mindful creator/director(s) there is something amazing that occurs in this medium which can immerse you in places or experiences you are not likely to encounter otherwise (except in a dream state).

In ‘Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart ‘ (New York Times, Key Collaborators: Lunar Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association) image grabs from the Hubble are used to…

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VR is here and it’s cool! Comparing this round of shorts to an experience I had over 20 years ago in a VR ‘Cave Lab’ at the University of Illinois, the tech has come into its own! For one thing, you’re having a seamless encounter wearing adjustable VR goggle with no breaks in the visuals or sound. Hence, a real sensation in a virtual space. One still sees pixels (less so in the animated works) and you don’t get the smells or the weather of a real place. But in the hands of mindful creator/director(s) there is something amazing that occurs in this medium which can immerse you in places or experiences you are not likely to encounter otherwise (except in a dream state).

In ‘Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart ‘ (New York Times, Key Collaborators: Lunar Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association) image grabs from the Hubble are used to compose this dramatic view of the planet from a distance as well as up close. It’s as if you were standing on its surface. I was struck by the mountainous, canyon-like, and glacial aspects of this planet; its primordial appearance giving the sensation of deep-time cast in the black void of space.

Other favorites are ‘Nomads’ (https://www.felixandpaul.com) about the Maasai peoples of Kenya, which puts you in situ and angled in a seated position amidst a group of Maasai, in a mud dwelling, in a village, and occasionally face to face for prolonged singular encounters. Also, ‘Old Friend’ (Tyler Hurd/ http://wevr.com which is a lively music -animated experience.

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Presented a  paper at Connecticut College’s 15th Biennial Symposium ‘Open All Ports, at Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, on‘Users’ in a Performance about Systems of Control.   It was a three day event highlighted by paper sessions, performances, exhibitions, and new works at the intersection of arts and technology.

A great night and a terrific audience!  This is the 2nd installment of the work-in-progress that is ‘Users’.

Users, is a performance that illuminates the perspectives of two women on opposite sides of the cultural divide; one a woman who works and lives in the digital landscape of data analysis; the other a law enforcement officer in the prison system. This interwoven narrative examines the contrasting lives of these two fictive characters as they move through their experiences looking at the present relevant to their past, and how they view their place in a world which gets thrown into sharp relief through a sudden act of violence.

Dixon Place Lounge, 7PM Thursday, February 18, 2016 161A Chrystie Street

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Contact Information Ph: 347 742 6143 / Email: mandymorrison@mandymachine.com

 

 

 

 

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100 Days: Users (A Work-in-Progress)
Written and Directed by Mandy Morrison
http://dixonplace.org/performances/100-days-users/

100 Days: Users, is an interdisciplinary performance, that illuminates the perspectives of two women on opposite sides of the cultural divide; one a professional female who works in data analysis, and the other a law enforcement employee in the prison system. Taking into account a specific time-frame, this interwoven narrative, examines the experiences of the two fictive characters as they move through daily life, reflecting on the past and looking at the present relevant to their circumstances. How they see their place in the world, is highlighted by an act of violence.

This is a collaborative project with Lori Greene and percussionist Gabriella Dennery of Grace Drums.

Though I miss the Martians, I appreciate what’s taken its place; real-world initiatives – like Biosphere 2, NASA’s Rover- and creative efforts that give us a lively peek into the future of interplanetary habitation. Each weekend at The Boiler, The Menu for Mars Kitchen by Douglas Paulson and Heidi Neilson and chefs (a rotating cast of art-foodie futurists) concoct beverages, and assorted meals, all made from ingredients carefully chosen for space-travel duration. While this loosely translates into lots of dried stuff, liquid and lard, the surprise is in the taste and texture; (mine was mac n’cheese made from freeze-dried crickets) not to mention conversations that hover deftly above the earth’s gravitational field (references to sci-fi flicks). Real-time mini-cams project multiple views of chefs deep in thoughtful food prep, relaying ingredients and sharing cooking tips as curious earthlings, peruse and read text posted to set-ups, drawings and plants all sealed within a plastic enclosure that conjures up the possibility of thriving on the red planet.

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Participants: Albert Park, Alex Tsocanos, Alice Gorman, Anna Dabney Smith & David Grainger, Gil Lopez, Heather Kapplow & Thalia Zedek, Hoi Cheng, John Roach, Joshua Liebowitz, Justin Amrhein, Kerim Zapsu, Lindsay Iserman, Marco Castro, The Planetary Society ¬New York City, Sian Proctor, Tattfoo Tan, Ward Shelley, Will Owen with Matthias Borello.

Took a bus trip up to SUNY, NP,  from downtown NYC with many of the original members of this 60’s video collective. The trip up to New Paltz was animated and festive as Skip Blumberg a former freex-er, strolled the aisle welcoming old friends from the collective along with younger fans.  Bus monitors were ablaze with freex videos, and on-board noise cheerful with  introductions, stories and general hob-nobbing. EAI Executive Director Lori Zippay was aboard as was former MoMa curator Barbara London. Greeting us upon arrival the Samuel Dorsky Museum, was Andrew Ingall, Curator, who welcokmed  the group with  a wonderful spread; the Prosecco was flowing. A large community and distance traveling fan base turned out for the opening, and I bumped into videographer Kathy High (Associate Professor of Video Art & New Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic) and Paper Tiger’s Dee Dee Hallek.  Made the acquaintance of renowned theatrical  lighting designer Beverly Emmons (!) and another freexer, Davidson Gigliotti.  The  Museum did a great job of showing the video in the context of ephemera from that time, from photos of Maple Tree Farm, to events posters and news-media clippings. I was most impressed by footage of a performance taken on Prince street (late 60’s early 70’s) of naked artists being soaked in pigs blood dropped from above.

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How does one create a performative work that considers the aesthetics of narrative while simultaneously speaking to the political moment we are in? In 2014, I planned this performance to include several Staten Island, NY residents that would be presented in a prominent community space. Select participants, including myself, were given a notebook with 100 pages in which to capture an observation for each day that passed over a three + month period. Then, in late July of that year, Eric Garner’s death occurred within blocks of the performance location; a historic WPA, New York City Parks building. As I took in the events that occurred both in NYC and in Ferguson, MO, I saw the need for this group to create a narrative that spoke directly to their lived experience. In private conversations with each, issues of of marginalization came up whether for socio-economic, or other reasons and I spent hours with each person talking about a timeframe of their lives in which an experience or form of struggle had brought about enormous change or a shift in perspective.

This is the resulting piece from those conversations. In looking forward to 2015 (and beyond), I am seeking different environments and situations to present an updated incarnation of this idea.

30:00 clip: https://vimeo.com/118503791

10:00 minute excerpt: https://vimeo.com/119306210

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