2019 MAAF Individual Artist Grantees Announced

Apr 1, 2019 12:03 am • Galen Joseph-Hunter

2019 Individual Artist Grantees Announced The New York State Council on the Arts Electronic Media & Film Program in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF)

Acra, NY—Wave Farm announced today sixteen artist grantees for the 2019 Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF), a regrant partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts Electronic Media and Film Program. Grantees were named in two categories:

Completion Support: Annie Berman, Peter Burr, Sofian Khan, Laura Kraning, Madsen Minax, Robert Nideffer, Andrea Steves, and Sasha Wortzel

Distribution/Exhibition Support: Flatsitter, Sarah Friedland, Michelle Handelman, Victoria Manganiello, John Morton, Matthew Ostrowski, Lindsay Packer, and Laura Parnes

The Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF) supports electronic media and film organizations, as well as individual artists, in all regions of New York State.

For individual artists, MAAF provides support for the completion, distribution and exhibition of new works in all genres of sound and moving image art, including emergent technology. Grant awards assist artists in completing new work, reaching public audiences, and advance artistic exploration and public engagement in the media arts.

NYSCA Electronic Media & Film Program Director, Karen Helmerson, said “The NYSCA Regrant program managed by Wave Farm benefits us all in many important ways. This investment of public funds in New York State creates opportunity for public engagement in the media arts, and the development of creative culture through new technology and emerging fields.” Wave Farm Executive Director Galen Joseph-Hunter said, “Wave Farm is delighted to be able to support these sixteen outstanding projects that represent the diversity of the media arts landscape in New York State. We are also very happy to have expanded the available opportunities this year. Now artists have two opportunities for support: Completion support for works nearly finished, and Distribution/Exhibition support for works completed in the prior year that are now ready for public audiences.”

The annual deadline for the Media Arts Assistance Fund for Artists is January 15. Grantees are selected through a competitive panel process. Detailed information about the 2019 MAAF projects is included on the following pages of this release.

The New York State Council on the Arts is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens. The Council believes in artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure, and the rights of all New Yorkers to access and experience the power of the arts and culture, and the vital contribution the arts make to the quality of life in New York communities. http://arts.ny.gov

Wave Farm is a non-profit arts organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media and the airwaves. A pioneer of the Transmission Arts genre, Wave Farm programs provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form. Major activities include the Wave Farm Artist Residency Program, Transmission Art Archive, WGXC 90.7-FM, and the Media Arts Assistance Fund in partnership with NYSCA EMF. http://wavefarm.org

COMPLETION SUPPORT
GRANTEES AND PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

Annie BermanThe Faithful
The Faithful is a feature length essay film exploring the enduring phenomenon of three global icons: Elvis Presley, Pope John Paul II, and Princess Diana. Launched by the discovery of a Pope lollipop for sale at the Vatican, the filmmaker embarks on what will become an obsessive 20-year journey to the annual memorials of these icons documenting the rites and rituals of their followers, in this meditation on fans, faith, and image. MAAF funding will support the sound design, mix, and voice-over recording.

Peter BurrDirtscraper
Dirtscraper is a room-sized computer simulation of an underground structure whose “smart architecture” is overseen by artificial intelligences—spatial and social designers that observe, learn, and make changes to the system. Unaware of the control exerted by these entities, residents move through spaces that reflect varied economies and class hierarchies. Over the course of its lifetime, we may observe the corrosion of this zone, the decay of its philosophy, and the solitary voice of its caretaker trapped in the contradiction between her health and the societal demands placed upon her. MAAF funding will support the completion of single-channel film format of Dirtscraper, formatted to a cinemascope Digital Cinema Package with 5.1 surround sound.

Sofian KhanAn Act of Worship
An Act of Worship is a feature length documentary currently in post-production. The diverse team of Muslim filmmakers have followed Muslim-American female activists around the country over the past two years, in this timely meditation on the country’s current political climate. Each of the women featured in the film build on themes of resistance, community and the personal experience of Islamophobia that they share as their lives and stories intersect.

Laura KraningTerra
Terra builds upon the kinetic immersive exploration of Kraning’s previous archival project Meridian Plain, mining the slips between stillness and motion, time and space, but filming her own earthly images of ecological forms and textures. Exploring the forests and glacial debris of Western New York, as well as a unique fossil park, and industrial mineral quarry, Terra will reveal invisible histories imbedded in the strata of precambrian stone, the tentacles of molds and lichen, and the imprints of ecological time writing intricate patterns across the surfaces of living and decaying trees. MAAF funding will support the necessary tools for completion.

Madsen MinaxNorth By Current
Filmmaker Madsen Minax returns to his rural Michigan hometown following the death of his infant niece and the wrongful arrest of his brother-in-law. Through first-person cinema vérité and genre-bending storytelling, Madsen navigates a town steeped in opioid addiction, economic depression, and religious fervor, while using the act of filmmaking to rebuild familial bonds and reimagine justice. Posing empathy as a tool for creating a more just world, North By Current creates a relentless portrait of an enduring pastoral family, poised to reframe and reimagine narratives about incarceration, addiction, trans embodiment, and ruralness. MAAF funding will support consulting editors and color grading services.

Robert Nideffer12 Years in Azeroth: A Case Study
12 Years in Azeroth: A Case Study is an ethnographic account of a subject who's spent more than a decade immersed, at times casually and at times competitively, in the online role-playing game "World of Warcraft." Authored as an electronic book/game, it deals with co-mingled realities, and explores a range of topics including work, play, relationships, illness, death and dying. What exists as a 750+ page written text will be finalized by end of summer 2019, and the first playable level of the game (which requires completion to access following sections of the written text) will be completed soon after with programming assistance made possible by MAAF support. Electronic distribution is planned for late 2019/early 2020.

Andrea StevesTrinity Downwinders: Audio Countermonument
In collaboration with the Trinity Downwinders—victims and survivors of the world’s first atomic bomb test—and their organization, the New Mexico-based Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, Steves has been working for the past year with a multidisciplinary team of artists and scholars to collect oral histories. Using these histories, archival material, and other recorded sound, Audio Countermonument will be comprised of transmission-based monuments to commemorate the 1945 test and to document ongoing impacts on the New Mexico community. MAAF support will enable editing support and supplies.

Sasha WortzelThis is an Address I, II
This is an Address I, II is a two-channel video installation that archives queer space and meditates on care networks, interdependence, world-making and un-making in relation to the ongoing, entangled impact of HIV/AIDS and gentrification on the landscape of New York City. Support from the Media Arts Assistance Fund will go towards completing the score, sound mix, and title design for the artwork. This is an Address I,II will be presented in the exhibition Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall at the Brooklyn Museum (New York) from May 3 through December 8, 2019.

DISTRIBUTION/EXHIBITION SUPPORT
GRANTEES AND PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

FlatsitterEl Ramo
The latest virtual reality experience from artist Flatsitter—is an intense and visceral short film paired with virtual reality and was produced entirely in Oaxaca, México in collaboration with a team of Oaxacan artists, musicians, actors, and writers—including the powerful music of Ensamble Kafka. The US premiere of El Ramo will take place on a month-long tour of New York State and will include stops in Buffalo, Corning, Binghamton, Syracuse, the Hudson Valley, and New York City—with a focus on engaging Latino audiences in New York by partnering with arts and cultural organizations working in these communities.

Sarah FriedlandCROWDS
A three-channel video installation of a durational dance, CROWDS investigates the choreography of crowd typologies and the slippages between them. Focusing on collective formations, movements, and gestures, CROWDS uses dance to interrogate the distinctions we make and to destabilize the relationship between ideologies and moving bodies. It attempts to articulate the embedded choreographic register of our political discourses and polemics, reflecting what is amassed and what is lost as we gather and disperse. MAAF funding will support exhibitions in New York City and State, preservation, and publishing online.

Michelle Handelman—Hustlers & Empires
Hustlers & Empires is a moving image installation that interweaves the stories of three hustlers who each find themselves pushed out of their own game and forced to confront what their lives have become. It looks at transgression as a mode of survival, examining the complicated relationship between pleasure and risk, and how identity is formed in resistance to oppression. The project will be distributed through gallery and museum installations (upcoming April 18 - May 26, 2019 at signs and symbols, NYC,) live performances, and a vinyl/digital release of the original songs written by John Kelly, Shannon Funchess, and Viva Ruiz, along with a companion book featuring monologues, notes, and production stills from the project.

Victoria ManganielloComputer 1.0
Opening May 17, 2019 at MAD Museum in New York, NY, Studio Focus: Victoria Manganiello features work from a new project by the artist entitled Computer 1.0 created in collaboration with designer Julian Goldman. Computer 1.0 is a textile woven by the artist's hand using hollow polymer tubing and cotton thread. A patterned series of colored liquid and air is pumped into the hollow tubes in a sequence dictated by an Arduino micro-controller creating sound, movement, and light in the form of a lo-fi textile screen. Conceptually exploring the history of the computer and humanity’s relationship to it, this representation of our digital heritage recalls current topics of data, privacy, and communication infrastructure.

John MortonFever Songs
Fever Songs is an interactive public sound installation project that brings together the vocal traditions of many religions, creating an active sonic experience that explores spiritual commonality and seeks to break down religious divisions. The work is a commingling of ritual and scriptural vocalization, recorded live whenever possible, woven together and sonically altered by ever-changing computer processing and sensor-proximity location. The installation is devoid of doctrine - rather, a bringing together of the commonality of the human ecstatic experience. MAAF funding will support new technology of proximity sensing that will simplify and expedite the distribution and exhibition of Fever Songs, which will be installed in November at Bronx Art Space.

Matthew OstrowskiSummerland
Summerland is an installation for 24 computer-controlled telegraph sounders, exploring the intersection of technology and spiritualism at the dawn of the electrical age. The sounders are driven by texts from Samuel Morse, the telegraph’s inventor, and medium Kate Fox, who communicated with the dead through a ‘spiritual telegraph.’ These voices from beyond materialize in an electromagnetic séance of clicks and taps, sending messages we cannot quite grasp. Summerland examines the faulty nature of any medium, inevitably entangled with magical thinking, blind faith, and the ever-present possibility of humbug. MAAF funding will support Ostrowski’s touring exhibition of this new work.

Lindsay PackerMotion at a Distance
Motion at a Distance is a stop-motion animation on 16mm film by Lindsay Packer with optical sound by Andrew Yong Hoon Lee. Packer animates a colorful series of luminous, temporary geometries while Lee’s soundtrack builds abstract textures to evoke mood and memory. With support from MAAF and MONO NO AWARE NPO, the artists will share the film with curators of moving image and screening programs in New York State and beyond, approach galleries and exhibition spaces where the work can be exhibited on loop over a longer duration, and apply to select festivals that exhibit on 16mm.

Laura ParnesTour Without End
Tour Without End (2014-present) , is a multi-platform project that casts real-life musicians, artists and actors as bands on tour, and expands into a cross-generational, Trump–era commentary on contemporary culture and politics. The project was shot between 2014-2018 and includes an extensive archive of live performance and four Terabytes of raw footage. The installation version highlights this archive. Tour Without End is exhibited as a film, installation and as a performance event. MAAF funding will support the promotion of future presentations including a multi-channel installation version of the project as which it was initially conceived.

For more information about the The New York State Council on the Arts in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF) visit wavefarm.org/mag/artists

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