2017 MAAF Individual Artist Grantees Announced

Apr 3, 2017 12:00 am • Galen Joseph-Hunter

The New York State Council on the Arts in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF) 2017 Individual Artist Grantees Announced

Acra, NY— Wave Farm announced today ten recipients of the 2017 New York State Council on the Arts in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF) for Artists: Tara Najd Ahmadi, Natalie Bookchin, Peter Burr, Joe Diebes, Michael Garofalo, Maximilian Goldfarb, Hank Linhart, LoVid, Elizabeth Orr, and Fern Silva.

The New York State Council on the Arts in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF) supports electronic media and film organizations, as well as individual artists, in all regions of New York State. The Fund provides unique and critical support with a focus on sustainability and public engagement. Grants to media artists support the distribution and exhibition of works in all genres of time-based and moving image media, including emergent technology. Funding assists artists in making recently completed works available to public audiences.

The Media Arts Assistance Fund is a Regrant Partnership of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Electronic Media and Film Program and Wave Farm.

NYSCA Electronic Media & Film Program Director, Karen Helmerson, said "The NYSCA Regrant program managed by Wave Farm benefits our community 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." Wave Farm Executive Director Galen Joseph-Hunter said, "Wave Farm is delighted to be able to support these ten outstanding projects that represent the diversity of the media arts landscape in New York State."

The Media Arts Assistance Fund for Artists opportunity is in January, annually. Grantees are selected through a competitive panel process. Detailed information about the 2017 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. Our programs—Transmission Arts, WGXC-FM, and Media Arts Grants—provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form. For more information, visit http://wavefarm.org

Grantees and Project Descriptions

Tara Najd AhmadiProductive Frustration
Productive Frustration is a short experimental film investigating an artist’s ongoing, everyday struggle to remain creatively productive in an exasperating atmosphere that has robbed her of the sociopolitical conditions that used to define her artistic practice. MAAF funding will assist Ahmadi’s self-distribution of the film to independent cinemas; including application fees for various experimental, documentary, and short film festivals in the United States; and the creation of a promotional package and the services of a professional distribution consultant.

Natalie BookchinLong Story Short
Long Story Short is a film in which over 100 people at homeless shelters, food banks, adult literacy programs, and job training centers in California discuss their experiences of poverty: why they are poor, how it feels, and what they think should be done. Numerous interviews are stitched together to create a polyphonic account of American poverty told from the inside. MAAF funding will support Bookchin’s efforts to increase awareness of the film, including theatrical screenings and DVD distribution to educational art, underserved, and activist audiences.

Peter BurrPattern Language
"Pattern Language" is a term coined by architect Christopher Alexander describing the aliveness of certain human ambitions through an index of structural patterns. Some advocates of this design approach claim that ordinary people can use it to successfully solve very large, complex design problems. In his multi-channel video installation Pattern Language, Burr employs the vocabulary of Alexander’s system towards the construction of an endlessly mutating labyrinth. MAAF funding will support Burr’s ability to mount Pattern Language at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY, as well as subsequent venues.

Joe Diebesoyster
oyster is a multi-channel sound and image installation that traces the surprising musical history of Last.fm and Pandora. In the 1960s, renowned American folklorist Alan Lomax developed a wildly ambitious system called cantometrics for coding and analyzing folk songs from every corner of the world using the IBM360 mainframe computer. Using this data, Diebes has worked with his BOTCH vocal ensemble to synthesize world song styles, incorporating the results into an audiovisual software engine that generates a never-repeating montage. MAAF funding will support Diebes’s ability to mount oyster at Harvestworks in New York, NY, as well as subsequent venues.

Michael GarofaloBestiary
Bestiary is a meditation on the relationship between human and non-human animals, and a response to catastrophic climate change. These collected sound works are constructed around field recordings and found sounds (for example, the yowling of a feral tom-cat), making the creative act a human/non-human collaboration—albeit unwittingly on the part of Garofalo’s collaborators. With Bestiary, Garofalo reframes how he actively listens and responds to non-human creatures. The track “Surprisingly Deaf,” refers to birds’ range of hearing in relation to our own. Implied, however, is our own deafness to animals and the perils of environmental collapse. MAAF funding will support vinyl pressing and distribution.

Maximilian GoldfarbRemote Viewing: 500 Tableaux
Remote Viewing: 500 Tableaux is an edition of audio/books comprised of observational passages based on a photographic archive of interactions between humans and machines. The work depicts failures, abstractions and innovations of mediated experience. Tableaux examines structures and infrastructures as, ‘humans attempt to adjust to a landscape of their making.’ MAAF funding will support the audio cassette edition, which contains Goldfarb’s 30-minute soundscape.

Hank LinhartBlissville...An Investigation
Blissville...An Investigation is a video docu-poem about a remote corner of Queens,NY, at once within the shadows of midtown Manhattan, yet isolated from the rest of the city. Embracing Hi8 video to conduct informal street interviews, Linhart investigates the origin of the name of Blissville, the character(s) of the town, and images and sounds collected over many years. MAAF funding will a DVD for distribution, as well as an accompanying website, and outreach across New York State for community screenings.

LoVidYoung Antiquities
Young Antiquities, a series of media objects, embraces relationships between time and physical presence, a utopian post-material world and the reality of decomposition. Using an array of 3D capture devices, from high-end tools used in archeological research to handheld App-based camera-scans LoVid translated textile sculptures from their Video Taxidermy series into virtual form. The digital re-compositions are presented as animated virtual sculptures, GIFs, and downloadable 3D files that others can produce at their local 3D printing facilities. MAAF funding will assist with the cost of distributing Young Antiquities, including rendering costs, at participating venues.

Elizabeth OrrMT RUSH
MT RUSH is a near-future science fiction movie chronicling the day-to-day activities of a Mt. Rushmore Park Ranger leading up to the 2016 Presidential election, as she navigates an onslaught of interactive fundraising emails from Democrats and Republicans. MAAF funding will support self-distribution, including a series of editioned artist-designed usb sticks and packaging, as well as a promotional website.

Fern SilvaRide Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder
Framed within the vision of the Hudson River School and the Washington Irving novel Rip Van Winkle, the film Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder unfolds as a storm approaches. An uncertain future is in store as the creeping hand of history disrupts nature and civility in the Hudson River regions of Upstate New York. MAAF funding will support the creation of both digital and film formats for distribution.

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