2018 MAAF Individual Artist Grantees Announced
Acra, NY—Wave Farm announced today ten recipients of the 2018 New York State Council on the Arts in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF) for Artists: Claudia Hart, Ekene Ijeoma, Cecilia Lopez, Simon Liu, Kristin Lucas, Heidi Neilson, Efraín Rozas, Julia Weist & Nestor Siré, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, and Betty Yu.
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, and advances artistic exploration and public engagement in the media arts.
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 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.” 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 2018 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 90.7-FM, and Media Arts Grants—provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form. http://wavefarm.org
GRANTEES AND PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS
Claudia Hart—The Flower Matrix
With The Flower Matrix, Claudia Hart proposes a new kind of liminal space: an augmented-reality environment that is both hypnotic and contemplative, created for immersion in a VR world. The Flower Matrix environment is a reinterpreted “labyrinth of the minotaur,” a mythological maze from which there is no escape, but instead is a chamber for live, virtualized performance. Hart’s mixed-reality architecture is fantastical, embellished by decorative elements embracing an aesthetic of the fake in which technology has replaced nature: sugary sweet and chemically toxic in equal measures. MAAF funding will support multiple installations of The Flower Matrix in 2018, including at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, New York.
Ekene Ijeoma—Deconstructed Anthems
Deconstructed Anthems is sound-reactive light installation which transforms the Star-Spangled Banner into a multisensorial social barometer that responds to the state of the race equality and The American Dream starting with mass incarceration. Audiences are confronted with a large prison cell room barred with LED lights and two-way mirrors. Inside, a player piano and separately a performance ensemble repeat "The Star-Spangled Banner" multiple times, each time selecting, editing and eventually removing notes at the rate of mass incarceration, and finally ending in silence. MAAF funding will support the installation of Deconstructed Anthems in New York City in 2018.
Cecilia Lopez—Red / Eardrumcluster
Lopez’s Red / Eardrumcluster explores the relation and interaction between unstable acoustic feedback systems. Employing nets of woven speaker wire, or amplified steel-drums with live performers and feedback, Lopez’s work is presented as installation or performance in a variety of scales and formats, where components are arranged with a site-specific regard. MAAF funding will support the distribution of a first physical edition of recordings derived from her sound art work realized during Mixology Festival 2017, at Roulette, Brooklyn, and during a 2017 artist residency at Harvestworks, New York.
Simon Liu—Ocean Terminal
Ocean Terminal is the product of the artist’s photographic and structural experiments on 35mm film throughout 2017 and continues Liu’s personal exploration of migration, cultural dislocation, memory and the interconnectedness observed in city life. By exploiting the material potentials of the film strip, the work ruminates on the overwhelming number of images and disparate ideas we are confronted with on a moment to moment basis. The first component of the project (Star Ferry) premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and will be screened at the upcoming Hong Kong International Film Festival and European Media Art Festival. MAAF funding will help facilitate the technical needs for an upcoming multimedia installation edition of Ocean Terminal, fund film prints for theatrical exhibition, and aid the long-term preservation of the work.
Kristin Lucas—Dance with flARmingos
Dance with flARmingos is a tech-enabled mixed reality experience that stages a kinship between humans and virtual flamingos in an ecologically ethical way. MAAF funding will support modifications to infrastructural code of two apps that communicate through network software to create a shared experience for multiple participants. Modifications will simplify the installation setup, reduce presentation costs, and make the work more accessible to a broader audience at a greater number of venues without altering the participant experience. Media assets will be archived and a preservation package will thoroughly document the context, purpose, and use of technological and software components.
Heidi Neilson—Sonic Planetarium
Sonic Planetarium is an audio model of the stuff in earth’s orbit, in real-time. Sound files representing individual satellites play directionally across a speaker array as the actual objects pass far overhead, as if you can hear into space. Visitors walk or sit between and beneath speakers, arranged in a dome configuration emulating the sky, and hear sounds from all directions representing orbiting satellites within range of the installation’s location. MAAF funding will support the exhibition of Sonic Planetarium in 2018.
Efraín Rozas—Myth and Prosthesis
Rozas’s Myth and Prosthesis series asserts that technological devices have become prosthetics that modify our bodies, mind states, and our perception of reality, and that these prosthetics are powerfully informed by the mythologies of modernity, science, and capitalism. Myth and Prosthesis I is a site- specific installation that creates a meditation environment with the aid of a robot that improvises in real- time on Santeria bata drums and synthesizers. MAAF funding will support three installations of Myth and Prosthesis I in New York including promotion, and documentation.
Julia Weist & Nestor Siré—ARCA
El Paquete Semanal (“The Weekly Package”) is a one terabyte digital media collection that is aggregated weekly in Cuba and circulated via in-person file sharing. El Paquete is an extension of decades of black market media circulation responding to the Cuban government’s total control on broadcast, publication, and distribution. ARCA (2016-2017), presents an interactive archive of 52 weeks, or one year, of El Paquete Semanal. Because El Paquete is completely ephemeral (each week is deleted to make room for the next), ARCA is the only existing archive of the paquete files circulated from 2016 to 2017. MAAF funding will support making the archive available for research and exploration at Rhizome at the New Museum and Triple Canopy, New York.
James N. Kienitz Wilkins—Mediums
Mediums is a medium-length movie filmed exclusively in medium shots about a group of potential jurors gathered on break who anticipate their involvement in the American legal system while channeling real world advice to pass the day. Taking the form of an “experimental sitcom,” it is an unofficial sequel to Kienitz Wilkins’s feature film, Public Hearing (2012). MAAF funding will support a distribution plan including ongoing film festival screenings, subtitling, and publishing on Bluray and online platforms.
Betty Yu—Three Tours
Three Tours is a documentary film that captures the lives of three U.S. military veterans, Nicole Goodwin, Ramon Mejia, and Ryan Holleran, as they work to heal their wounds and battle with PTSD resulting from their deployments in Iraq. The film follows their transformation from U.S. military trained soldiers to agents of change advocating for proper mental health treatment of veterans and an end to unjust wars. MAAF funding will support a three-tiered distribution plan including co-presentations with veteran, peace, mental health, and Iraqi NGO organizations. Festival submissions will target those with niche audiences invested in the film’s subject matter, and a DVD distribution strategy will engage audiences through nonprofit and educational screenings.