2020 MAAF Individual Artist Grantees Announced

Apr 06, 2020 9:00 am

2020 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 fifteen artist grantees for the 2020 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 and Distribution/Exhibition Support.

MAAF Grantees: James Autery; Bob Bellerue; Caitlin Berrigan; Mariangela Ciccarello; Mike Crane; Michael Gitlin; Nicolas Jenkins; Emily Lobsenz; Michael McCanne, in collaboration with Jamie Weiss; Idrissou Mora-Kpai; Britt Moseley; Robert Nideffer; Stephanie Rothenberg; Woody Sullender; and Jingjing Tian.

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 "Now more than ever, this investment of public funds strengthens the advancement of creative culture through new technology and emerging fields, bringing new opportunity for artists and audiences alike." Wave Farm Executive Director Galen Joseph-Hunter said, “The 2020 application pool was the largest to date, and Wave Farm is delighted to be able to support these fifteen outstanding projects that represent the diversity and direction of the media arts landscape in New York State.”

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 2020 MAAF projects is available below.

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


James AuteryMantra
Columbia County, Completion Support
Mantra is a contemplative work documenting ten artists: Guya Fletcher, Angela and Jennifer Chun, Chris Fitzwate, Reggie Madison, Juliet Gentile, Sandra Koponen, Sheena Wells, Sita Gomez, and Philip Howe. The film portrays the meditative state many artists experience while making art. Shot entirely in slow motion and black and white, Mantra is accompanied with a score by Australian composer Austin Buckett. MAAF funding will support sound engineering and post-production editing of this experimental documentary.

Bob BellerueRadioactive Desire
Completion Support, Queens County
Radioactive Desire is a multi-dimensional sound work by Bob Bellerue, for chamber instruments, pipe organ, percussion, electronics, and homemade speaker objects. Working with skilled musicians in a guided improvisation, sound from their instruments is fed into Bob's feedback systems and amplified via resonant metal objects that have speaker drivers attached to them. These speaker instruments are used to make rich reverberant feedback, and can also be used to amplify the sounds of the instruments. Percussion played with bows and rolling spheres creates textures and rhythms and modulates the feedback, and the entire acoustic space is harnessed for its particular idiomatic sound. MAAF funds will support the completion of Radioactive Desire as a live public presentation, a recording, and 2xLP album.

Caitlin BerriganImaginary Explosions, Episode 3
Completion Support, Kings County
Contemporary science blurs with art and fiction in Imaginary Explosions as queer-feminist scientists interpret volcanic activities across place and time, cooperating with the desires of the mineral earth to simultaneously erupt all volcanoes. Artists and scholars whose real-life work pushes the limits of science and culture depict fictionalized versions of themselves in this video work and collaborate on the narratives. Improvised from scientific research and visits to active volcanoes, Imaginary Explosions is speculative fiction that explores possible presents and futures to think beyond the framework of the human. The video takes place at an Icelandic geothermal energy plant where heat from volcanic vents is transformed into electricity. It is the site of an experiment in carbon dioxide capture, where the CO2 gas is liquefied, injected into volcanic basalt in the earth, and remineralized into calcite. Ethics of disturbance, contamination, and geoengineering are explored. MAAF funding will support 3D modeling and animation, sound design, and color grading.

Mariangela CiccarelloCalypso
Completion Support, Kings County
Calypso iis a medium length experimental narrative film that explores intersections between female desire and a patriarchal classical legacy. Two young women traverse Naples during the course of a day: Angela intends to leave the city of her birth, Paola plans to stay. Both are theater actresses, preparing a production of The Odyssey. Rehearsing and discussing their roles releases them into a parallel world where dream and desire intertwine, pushing the two friends to free themselves from society’s masks on and off the stage. MAAF funding will support the film’s post-production.

Mike CraneFutures
Completion Support, Kings County
Futures is an experimental short fiction film outlining the psychological profile of an arson investigation, narrated by Constance DeJong. Recorded in the Needle Trades Auditorium, located in Manhattan's Garment District, a remotely operated camera performs a forensic scan of the space and the two WPA murals that line the walls. MAAF funding will support the necessary tools for completion and distribution, including 5.1 surround sound mix, color grading, and DCP authoring.

Michael GitlinThe Night Visitors
Completion Support, Dutchess County
The Night Visitors is a 60-minute experimental documentary that explores some aesthetic, theoretical and social questions about moths. While the film examines moths as organisms, with fascinating life histories, staggering biodiversity, and a functional importance as indicators of climate change and habitat degradation, its approach is not primarily entomological. Rather, the film is drawn to moths as aesthetic beings and as carriers of meaning. The Night Visitors proposes a kind of radical interspecies engagement that asks us to find a way into the inner life of these other creatures, whose way of being is so incommensurably different from our own. MAAF funding will support color correction and a 5.1 sound mix.

Nicolas JenkinsInverse/ The Future is Often A Step Behind
Distribution Support, New York County
Inverse/ The Future is Often A Step Behind is a multi-part experimental documentary project that weaves together the lives of a diverse group of people who celebrate difference by challenging the mainstream assimilation of LGBTQIA+ identity. Experimental in approach, the project takes form as a three-part immersive video installation that vividly combines stories, interviews, and portraits. Inverse foregrounds fluidity and change; both of gender and sexuality and our understandings around them. MAAF funding will support Jenkins touring exhibition of this new work in New York and beyond.

Emily LobsenzThe Clock
Distribution Support, New York County
The Clock is a futurist short film that opens in 2040 when Earth’s become a feminist utopia. Dr. Octavia shows Mel how to use the Abortion App on her Clock. This biometric device, invented by Octavia gives women precise control over their reproductive system. When Mel pries into the history of the Clock's invention, she tears open the dark secrets of Octavia’s tragic sacrifices in sparking this new world order. The Clock explores reproductive justice, ecological order, and the moral quandaries of technological innovation amidst sisterhood’s bonds as it dances between apocalyptic and playful. It is a standalone film, but is also the basis for a dramatic TV series that was inspired by Lobsenz's experiences as a female athlete, her conversations with an abortion provider from China and feminist titans of futurist literature Octavia Butler and Ursula Le Guin. The short will tour film festivals starting in 2020 then continue screening in community-based events and through online distribution supported by MAAF.

Michael McCanne, in collaboration with Jamie WeissA Minor Figure
Completion Support, Kings County
A Minor Figure is a short film that recreates the story of a left-wing Japanese radical arrested in New Jersey in 1988 with homemade time bombs. Mixing elements of documentary and noir, the film follows the protagonist as he drifts through the United States, confronted by the complex banality of the country he is supposed to hate and the memories of a revolution that never materialized. The film tells this story through audio fragments, shots of roadside Americana, and pieces of evidence, taken from the real arrest, and examines how those who try to shape the flow of history are so often lost to its currents. MAAF funding will support the film’s sound design, 5.1 mix, and voice-over recording as well as the preparation of a cinema package for festival submissions.

Idrissou Mora-KpaiAmerica Street
Distribution Support, Tompkins County
What makes a neighborhood feel like home? And what happens to that feeling when the neighborhood is threatened by gentrification and horrific violence by outsiders? Idrissou Mora-Kpai explores these questions through a focus on the predominantly African-American neighborhood of East Side in Charleston, South Carolina. Mora-Kpai gives particular attention to the efforts of corner-store owner, Joe Watson, and his allies to maintain a strong sense of solidarity in the face of poverty, looming displacement, and resurgent racist aggression. The film includes footage shot over three months in 2015, with which Mora-Kpai not only illuminates the demanding daily work of community building but also provides an intimate perspective on two killings that brought national attention to the city at that time. Joe Watson’s store is located on America Street, an apt name for a place long shaped by developments of vital significance well beyond the immediate focus of this film. MAAF funding will support the release and distribution of the film through digital promotion and screenings throughout New York State and beyond.

Britt MoseleyBuena Vista
Completion Support, Queens County
Buena Vista is a cinematic live feed video performance shown in theatrical settings and gallery installations. Onstage, video equipment is used to study the interiors of fish tanks and buckets that house miniature dioramas created out of everyday materials such as soap, Pepto-Bismol, oils, and ketchup. The narrative of the show is the creation myth of a planet and a journey through that new place. Alongside these galactic visuals, a live electronic score is composed and performed by Sean Petell. MAAF funding will enable the completion of the Buena Vista into a full-length work that will be exhibited in full or in partial segments in both theatrical venues and art galleries.

Robert Nideffer12 Years in Azeroth
Distribution Support, Rensselaer County
12 Years in Azeroth: A Case Study is a web-based book/3D action adventure game scheduled to be released pseudonymously and episodically. It's written from the point of view of an anthropologist conducting an ethnographic analysis of the text's central character, who's spent more than a decade immersed in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and who unlike many of those around him has great difficulty drawing boundaries between his physically and computationally mediated realities. It's primarily played from the protagonist's point of view, since he's the one responsible for authoring the companion game component. The project explores such topics as community, mediation, race, class, gender, identity, relationships, work, play, life, and death, and spans several disciplinary genres including sociology, anthropology, game studies, and new media arts. The project’s first public release is planned for the Whitney Museum's Artport in late 2020/early 2021. MAAF funding will support the technical expenses related to hosting this computationally demanding web-based project running in real-time.

Stephanie RothenbergAphrodisiac in the Machine
Completion Support, Erie County
Aphrodisiac in the Machine is a multimedia installation that explores the queering and eroticization of biopolitical power in the quest to bioengineer non-human life for human survival. The project takes the form of an environmental sci-fi narrative about a futuristic aquaculture farm. Merging fact and fiction, the story centers around the bioengineering of a new species of cyborg oysters that are able to convert toxic water into an aphrodisiac fluid that is piped into municipal water sources. Playing on the libidinous myth of the oyster, a hermaphroditic organism, the project explores aphrodisia as a more sentient state of being and empowerment that moves beyond mere sexual connotations. It questions the contradictions within new technological models of bio/geo environmental engineering that can often adversely affect nonhuman life and how creating more sentient and perceptible “humans” might be another path to consider. MAAF funding will support 3D modeling/animation and special effects for videos, as well as design, fabrication, and programming assistance of installation components.

Woody SullenderFour Movements
Completion Support, Queens County
Four Movements is a music "album" authored in the video game software Unreal Engine. As the music album historically shifted from a "record" of an event to an idealized construction of an artificial space, Four Movements expands this notion into multiple explorable, listening spaces constructed in game worlds. MAAF funding will support optimizing the work as a cross-platform application, as well as audio mastering.

Jingjing Tian'Til Death Do Us Part renamed as Meatloaf
Completion Support, New York County
Set in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City, Mary Anne is a senior citizen whose husband passes away. The landlord sells the building and she has to move out. Alone and unable to cope with her husband's death and rising economic concerns, she lives in denial, believing that he's still alive until a version of her younger self helps her to face reality. MAAF funding will support the final post-production activities necessary for completion.

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