2006

The Ninth Annual Activating the Medium Festival
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, February 10 & 11
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, February 12
San Francisco Art Institute, Graduate Campus, San Francisco, February 13–27
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, February 24


23five Incorporated presented The 9th Annual Activating the Medium Festival in conjunction with The San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco Cinematheque from February 10 thru February 27 in San Francisco, and February 24 in San Luis Obispo.

The 9th installment of Activating the Medium brings together two new collaborating institutions, SFAI and San Francisco Cinematheque, to present yet another trans-disciplinary program dedicated to sound art. This year showcases international sound artists working with sound and video/film.

Friday, February 10:
San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall
Live Sound/Film Performance:
"I.C.You" by Laetitia Sonami (SF) and Sue Costabile (SF)
Screenings:
Phill Niblock (NYC): "Sur Dos (Peru)"
Xabier Erkizia (Spain) + Dimitris Kariofilis (Greece): "(un)commonsounds"
Joachim Montessuis (France): "la danse des fous"

Saturday, February 11:
San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall
Live Sound/Video Performance:
Ilios (Dimitris Kariofilis, Greece)
Screenings:
Leif Elggren (Sweden): "Celebration of a Revolution"
Michael 9 (SF): "Waiting 2006 8:0"
Gordon Monahan (Canada): "Speaker Swinging 1987"

Sunday, February 12:
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Screenings:
Visual Noises: Sound Films by Stan Brakhage
"Boulder Blues and Pearls and…"
"Fire of Waters"
"Christ Mass Sex Dance"
"Crack Glass Eulogy"
"Kindering"
"…" (Reel 5)
"Passage Through (A Ritual)"

Monday, February 13–Monday, February 27:
San Francisco Art Institute
Graduate Campus, 2565 Third 2nd Floor,
Room 1 (Bay 2)
Installation: In Coherence
For "In Coherence" CHRISTOPHER MUSGRAVE will be making is a multi-channel perceptual audio / visual (sound and light) installation. In it, periodic oscillations of raw energy drive both aural and optic elements. The environment is designed to intoxicate the visitor with hypnotic, entraining stimulus. The after effects should be as much or more interesting than the
experience itself.

Room 2 (Bay 2)
Screenings:
New video works curated by SCOTT ARFORD, featuring:
1. Brigitta Bodenauer and Miguel Carvalhais: Can I Have 2 Minutes of Your Time?
2. Fujui Wang: Elastic Impulse
3. Sue C and AGF: fortythousand3hundred20memories
4. LoVid: Breaking and Entering the Lost Timeframe
5. Joshua Azzarela: Untitled #3 (B.B.)
6. Brian O'Reilly: Octal Hatch
7. Masako Tanaka: Particles, Quad
8. Fred Szymanski: Retentions 3 and 4

Friday, February 24:
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo,
Music Lecture Hall
Screenings:
Phill Niblock, Xabier Erkizia, Dimitris Kariofilis, Joachim Montessuis, Leif Elggren, Michael 9, Gordon Monahan, Brigitta Bodenauer, Fred Szymanski, Masako Tanaka, Christopher Musgrave, Brian O'Reilly, Fujui Wang, Joshua Azzarella, LoVid,
Sue Costabile and AGF.

Friday, March 3:
San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall
Guest Lecture:
Gordon Monahan (Canada)

Curated by Randy H.Y. Yau, Scott Arford, Steve Polta, and David Prochaska.

Performances and Screenings presented at San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall:
Admission is $8 general and free for SFAI students. Lecture on March 3 is free to public.

Screening at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts:
Admission is $8 general and $5 for students, seniors and Cinematheque members.

Artist's Information:

LAETITIA SONAMI is an electronic composer, performer and sound installation artist who explores ways to translate objects and movements into sound, often incorporating one with the other. She uses interactive media to translate gesture and performance into an experimental aural narrative that explores the ever-shifting evolution of perspective. Best known for her lady's glove, an evening black lycra glove studded with a myriad of sensors, she has performed worldwide and is based in Oakland, CA. She currently teaches at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Milton Avery graduate school of the Arts at Bard College.

SUE COSTABILE works mainly in a live audio-visual context. Synthesizing images in real-time using a customized computer-based animation technique, she explores the persistence of visual memory and aural associations. Direct physical manipulation of photographs, texturized watercolors, rough-hewn papers, fabrics and re-appropriated objects leads to stories layered in light, space and time. Collaborators include AGF, Morton Subotnick, Kit Clayton, Laetitia Sonami, and Luc Ferrari. She currently teaches video-related media at the California College of Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute

PHILL NIBLOCK (born 2 October 1933, in Anderson, Indiana) is a minimalist composer, filmmaker, videographer, and director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation for avant-garde music based in New York. His music usually consists of simultaneous drones created from tape (later computer) manipulations of recorded pitches performed by instrumentalists such as Rafael Toral, David First, Lee Ranaldo, and Thurston Moore, on Guitar Too, for Four (G2,44+1x2); and Ulrich Krieger, on Touch Food. He was to curate the Experimental Intermedia Foundation's CD series, XI Records, with composers David Behrman and Lois V Vierk but wound up doing it alone.
Phill Niblock creates thick, loud, atonal drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres that generate many other overtones by pulsing against each other in the performance space. Simultaneously, he presents films/videos that look at the movement of people working, or computer-driven, black-and-white abstract images floating through time. Since the mid-1960s, he has been making music and intermedia performances that have been shown at numerous venues around the world. His musical works are notated as actual frequencies (cycles per second) and often transform slowly from consonance to dissonance or the reverse. Since 1985, he has been the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York where he has been an artist/member since 1968. He is the producer of Music and Intermedia presentations at EI since 1973 (about 1000 performances) and the curator of EI's XI Records label. Unlike Charlemagne Palestine, whose approach to works of absolute sound is similar, Niblock works with absolute pitches, while Palestine works with tonal clusters.
Phill Niblock's music is available on the XI, Moikai, Mode, and Touch labels. A DVD of films and music is available on the Extreme label, and his film The Magic Sun, an abstract, avant-garde film featuring the music of Sun Ra and members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, is available on DVD from Atavistic Records.

Currently Barcelona based, Greek artist ILIOS has been developing a unique code of expression in the field of experimental sound media. He proposes an extraordinary sound palette that changes in every project in order to protect an anti-career through a sound spectrum that starts from orthodox silence and ends to catholic noise.
Since 1992, ILIOS has appeared in major festivals and has performed more than 80 shows in Europe and Japan. ILIOS has more than 30 audio and visual works published in different formats, including 11 solo audio works. Has numerous studio and live collaborations with artists from Europe, Japan and the U.S.A ILIOS has produced, directed and staged 7 proper multimedia shows and has been awarded the Melina Merkouri prize for the Arts in 1997. Also he has written music for contemporary dance companies, theatre, films. He has also worked in the field of communication audiovisual projects for TV and cinema at "Fabrica", the laboratory for communication of Benneton. Since 1997 he runs Antifrost, a publishing platform/label for sound media with more than 30 works published till date by 45 renowned artists from all over the globe. He organises the annual Electrograph – Athens Sound Media festival and co-directs the Uncommonsounds project.
Info: www.siteilios.gr

JOACHIM MONTESSUIS : Vit et travaille principalement entre Cologne, Paris et Strasbourg. Joachim Montessuis développe depuis une dizaine d'années une pratique transversale autour de la voix, du son et de l'image électronique fixés et/ou traités en temps réel. Ses install/actions-concerts sont pensés et contextualisés comme des espaces poétiques de perturbation et de brouillage sensoriels, véritables expériences immersives entre cinéma élargi et vidéo expérimentale, crescendos extrêmes de transes hypnotiques cherchant les limites de la perception et de la tolérance paradoxale. Son utilisation des technologies interactives de captation intègre parfois des expérimentations en réseau (streaming, feedback et/ou téléprésence). Il a travaillé dans différents milieux et festivals (Québec, Berlin, Beyrouth, Bruxelles, Afrique du nord et centrale, Sónar, etc...), dans divers centres et avec d'autres artistes : arts éléctroniques (CICV, Fresnoy, V2_Lab Rotterdam, KHM-Cologne, Eléonore Hellio, David Larcher, Franck Ancel...), poésie sonore (Serge Pey, Henri Chopin, Michel Giroud, Joël Hubaut, Jörg Piringer...), danse contemporaine (Faustin Linyekula, Valentine Verhaeghe). Fondateur en 1994 de l'association Erratum Musical à Besançon (concerts-performances, poésie sonore, expositions), il continue d'organiser épisodiquement des évènements poétiques expérimentaux et des expositions.
www.eternalnetwork.org/jm

LEIF ELGGREN works in several media and techniques. Have made exhibitions and presentations of his work in different contexts. Have since a long time back ongoing collaborations with collegues like CM von Hausswolff, Kent Tankred and Thomas Liljenberg. October-November 2000 he presented his retrospective exhibition "Flown Over By An Old King" at Färgfabriken, Stockholm. 2001 and 2003 he took part (together with von Hausswolff) in the Venice Biennale. Recently he released his new book Genealogy on Firework Edition.
Further information about Elggren's work can be found below:
The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland
The Sons of God
Firework Edition
Firework Edition Records
Bananafish interview
Dusted Magazine interview
Perfect Sound interview

Starting to write at age 13, Michael Contreras aka MICHAEL 9 realized that this alone was not enough of a creative expression to fill his needs, so in his early 20's he began experimenting with sound to alleviate extreme negative emotional states. This progressed into incorporating various elements as part of his performances: handouts, visuals, sound and confrontation. The majority of his work deals with the individuals struggle with social identity and its various restrictions, especially in regards to politics, religion and psychology. Since 1995 Contreras has performed globally almost 200 shows under various names: Trucido , Death Squad and MK9 (current project). He has produced more than 40 audio, video, and film releases that have been distributed internationally.

GORDON MONAHAN's works for piano, loudspeakers, video, kinetic sculpture, and computer-controlled sound environments span various genres from avant-garde concert music to multi-media installation and sound art. As a composer and sound artist, he juxtaposes the quantitative and qualitative aspects of natural acoustical phenomena with elements of media technology, environment, architecture, popular culture, and live performance. Monahan began performing in public as a member of various rock bands in Ottawa, Canada (1968-73). Since 1978, he has performed and exhibited at numerous performance spaces, galleries, and festivals. Early in his career, he specialized as a pianist, performing John Cage's Etudes Australes, premiering pieces by James Tenney and Udo Kasemets, and composing extended works for acoustic piano (Piano Mechanics, 1981) and amplified prepared piano (This Piano Thing, 1989). The renowned composer John Cage once said, "At the piano, Gordon Monahan produces sounds we haven't heard before."

In his development of myriad radical cinematic languages over his long filmmaking career, STAN BRAKHAGE frequently promoted a profound aesthetics which frequently positioned intense silences as ground for his complex and subtle visual compositions. In his interest in non-verbal expression, he was greatly inspired by music and his rare forays into sound filmmaking stand as some of the most unique sound/image statements in the history of cinema. Activating the Medium's program presents a survey of this work, including Boulder Blues and Pearls and…, Fire of Waters, Christ Mass Sex Dance, Crack Glass Eulogy, Kindering, "…" (Reel 5), and Passage Through (A Ritual).