Magazine

Goodbye Party

Publié le 24 mai 2013 par Mainsdoeuvres

6 Los Angeles artists were hosted at very enthousiastic Parisians and audoniens appartements. Each day an artist performed and make us discover their creation process.

Monday’s Performances by Ana iwataki

LA had been in Paris for a week. LA had asked Paris to listen to birds, reconsider the Turkish toilet, canonize a saint, go to a tanning salon. Paris was happy, remembering a certain sunny January in LA.

LA had eaten cheese. LA had drunk wine. LA learned how to find each other up various windy staircases and behind huge doors. LA was sick of bread. LA was getting rained on.

And then, suddenly, magically, on a very rainy Monday, LA taught Paris to leave Paris and venture to Montreuil. Umbrellas were left outside and friends and strangers entered a home that was transformed, if only for an afternoon, into Dawn and Nate and Luke’s playful, ethereal kingdom.

« I’d follow Dawn anywhere » said Emily Lacy, and so we did, going from basement to backyard. Dawn brought us into her intense, charmed state – creating a fortress to put between us and various harms, like rain.

Nate gave us a portal – a way to solitarily plunge headfirst into America, or some frenzied version of it. Paris was shocked. Paris began to understand.

Luke – clever boy – found a way to make himself understod to Paris, and he found out their dreams, their rents. Luke and Paris drew together, that simplest and most intimate of collaborations.

Dawn, Nate, and Luke came together for the echo-iest, dream-iest, giggly-est round table Paris has ever seen. The 3rd Street Tunnel was discussed, and urban stresses, and sunrises, and Baywatch’s version of LA.

By the end of the afternoon LA and Paris were refreshed and happy and willing to brave the gray skies and wet concrete. Paris and LA went to a movie. LA and Paris would start again tomorrow.

Wenesday’s performance by Chelsea Zeffiro

On Wednesday, May 22, Nate Page held an exhibition in Saint-Ouen at Akatre’s studio. What started as a simple one-piece looping projection set to music turned into a four-part, two-hour sequence. Page pieced together a contemporary opera, based on ideas of consumerism and media from a mid-Western American’s perspective. To state it simply : movie trailers looped for segments of 15-30 minutes, accompanied by different genres of music for each part. In fact, he had created his own radio stations : top 40 (circa 2011) contrasted with the trailer from Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s, American country music contrasted with the trailer from Larry Clark’s Kids, heavy metal music contrasted with the trailer from Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Ameilie and, finally, American patriotic orchestral music contrasted with the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

This experiment made a statement about American consumption and media ; as it had been staged in France, in front of people who were not familiar with certain genres of American music. The artist presented the audience the choice of taking in the project directly or indirectly as they mingled and drank. Comments overheard included : “This is painful for my ears.” ; “Who listens to this music ?!” ; “Now, I want to go home and watch this movie !”. Initially, one sees how music can manipulate the mood of an audience (regardless of nationality). Upon further reflection, one can see that Page’s radio stations mixed with seemingly contrasting movie trailers actually maintained a unifying theme located at the center of two distinct and unfamiliar environments.

This event showcased Nate Page’s thought process : to think about familiar environments in an unfamiliar way, and above all, to reshape them in a way that made sense for him.

Luke Fischbeck wrote about the last week performances :

friday night at Dominique and Anne-lou’s :

The first sounds, playing in the background as guests arrived, were quick experiments made in convincing two different sounds to share the same space, using songs from Dominique and Anne-Lou’s vinyl collection.

Sound waves share physical space, areas of pressure in the air. When they are asked to move closer together, they get very flat, music loses its cleanness, and frequencies take turn in order to contain maximum energy in a minimum area.

The second sounds were made from singing by my friend Willow Gibbons, along with a "shadow" of the singing, created by a piece of software that listens and re-creates what it hears in a very specific way—like a colored light shining on a thing in space.

The third sound, which was heard last, everyone sitting together quietly, was a five minute recording of birds and electrical hum made in front of the house at dawn the morning of the event.
monday afternoon at rozenn’s : At first, there were things going on all over the house. I sat in the studio and interviewed people one at a time. I typed questions into a translation program that spoke (hopefully) what i wanted to say in French. I had a group of questions prepared, and would choose different questions for each person, but always ended by asking if we could make a drawing together. We then made a quick ink drawing together, myself and the person i had been interviewing, and they were able to keep the drawing if they liked. here are some of the questions i was choosing from :

may i interview you ?

what do you miss about the sun ?

where can i buy a cool scarf like french men wear ?

during the night, i saw an animal with a tail, maybe it was similar to a weasel, or a ferret. what kind of animal is this ?

what is a picpus ?

why is there a metro station named robespierre ? are you afraid of him ?

will you visit california ?

do you have any pets ?

do you have a car ?

do you have any children ?

are you hungry ?

are you tired ?

have you ever been to africa ?

do you remember any dreams ?

could you tell me your dream ?

do you know any french jokes ?

could you tell me a french joke ?

do you recognize this music ?

do you believe that the great-great-grandchildren of slaves should take land from the great-great-grandchildren of slave-owners ?

do you drink coffee ?

where will you go when you leave this house ?

is your rent expensive ?

can we make a drawing together ? After this, Dawn, Nate and I set up a panel discussion on the loose theme of "LA/Paris". Each of our voices was accompanied by an echo, the same sound three seconds later. This seemed to us the perfect amount of time to a.) be embarrassed by what we had just said b.) interrupt whoever was answering your question c.) laugh at the sound of your own laughing to create a torrent of laughter that was really contagious.
tuesday night at Alexandra’s : This was a formal performance of music, so i will just list what happened : 1. a sequence of short syllables played through multiple speakers, creating a rhythmic pulse, something like words, not really. 2. i asked if anyone knew how to play the piano (there was a piano in the house). laura said yes, and went over to the piano. I called out note names and said she could play whichever note with that name she liked, could hold down as many notes at a time as she liked, for as long as she liked. I called out thirty or forty notes in a row, at a regular steady speed. 3. at a certain point i asked her to hold the notes she had played, and captured the sound into a computer so that it stayed constant, a drone layer. 4. i wrote the syllables from part 1 on slips of paper and distributed the slips on the table in front of people. a tiny video camera (attached, conveniently, to a bundle of incense sticks) watched for the slips. the video image was read using software, each scan line oscillating at a different fundamental frequency. depending on where the slips of paper fell, they created a unique spectral chord, in tune with the notes played on the piano. 5. the sequence of syllables from part 1 was played again, this time mixed with the spectral chord created by the slips of paper to make a sort of vocoded sound, halfway between a musical sound and a spoken sound. 6. different permutations of the syllable sequence were tried out, creating different rhythmic patterns, different arrangements of slips of paper on the table were tried out, creating a variety of harmonic patterns. the performance ended with two syllables and two slips of paper, a chord of two notes.

Some Cultural Differences noticed by Jon Bernad

When a song on the radio says to "turn up the volume," an American might actually do it, for the fun of being literal, but a French receives no pleasure from such instructions. Americans like to feel connected to others. French like the feeling of connecting deeper to themselves, perhaps to go deeper into life to better understand others. To go so deep inside yourself that you end up on the other side, with something universal, like Proust. Americans are universal by just staying near the surface. It’s easy to overthink things and get mixed up. An American watching TV is not alone — there are people on the screen. A French watching TV alone is alone. In France, a face is appreciated, savored like a wine, explored, analyzed, using references to art history. In America, a face is compared to people famous today, like movie stars. Americans compare everything, and think in terms of "better," "best," and "perfect." French enjoy what’s there, without trying to make things better, and never seem to enjoy things, unless they’re perfect, because of a strange vanity. Americans complain about little things, but do so with passion and pleasure, from a belief in justice and a love of improvements.

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Nate Page video at Rozenn le Gloahec

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Dawn performance at Rozenn le Gloahec

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Luke performance at Rozenn le Gloahec

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we profoundly thank the hosts, the visitors and everyone who were involved in this adventure. We hope to see you at the good bye party !


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