Such is the Game of Authenticity (2009)

8-channel video Installation and vocal performance
November 18, 2009 | 'Saturday Sessions', MoMA PS1, Queens, New York
 

 
 

Such is the Game of Authenticity is a 35 minute musical performance taking place within an 8-channel video installation in the main hall at MoMA PS1.  The stage is designated by two identical videos projected side by side as a digital backdrop for the vocal performance; in these videos the camera surveys a large industrial interior punctuated by paper stage-sets, filmed by Colin Whitaker.  Six related videos featuring a sculptural stage-set from the 'Studies in Authenticity (Crystal Series)' are also projected throughout the gallery, refracting the visual dramaturgy of the performance in a 360 degree span. Musical score from the performance will be released as Tender Mortal Means, EP (Static Recital, 2010).

With video projections running as a virtual backdrop, this piece best articulates my interest in the capacity of vocal performance to mid-wife experience and the exchange with the audience.  It explores vocal expression —what it means to use the voice, the voice as most human of gestures possible —but also expressionism as an artistic idiom in general. I had a certain mise en scene in mind for the music, one that vaguely conjures ancient Greek theater and also a graphic music video set, but if they were married inside a paper thin, disposable Goetheanum. Like anything worth seeing, I had hoped it would be gorgeous and possibly cringe-making, simple but not inane, or ironic; earnest, but also certainly spiritual; virtuosic but not at all mean-spirited.

New Mexico, April 2009