Activating The Medium XV : Chapter Three   
Friday, April 27, 2012
Relay for Death (North Carolina)
Danishta Rivero (San Francisco)
Jen Boyd (Vallejo, California)
Performances begin at 8pm
$10 - $15 sliding scale

Homemade treats by Delicatrocities, a nomadic offering of deliciously edible atrocities!

Activating The Medium XV : Chapter Four
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Maile Colbert (Portugal)
Marielle V. Jakobsons (Oakland)
Holly Herndon (San Francisco)
Lecture: Andrea Polli (Albuquerque)
Lecture at 7:30, performances start at 8 pm
$10 - $15 sliding scale


23five Incorporated presents the fifteenth annual Activating The Medium festival
in collaboration with Art Practical, The Lab, and the San Francisco Art Institute

Since 1998, 23five Incorporated has produced the annual Activating The Medium festival -- an internationally recognized showcase for the most innovative and visionary practitioners of sound art. Now entering its fifteenth season, Activating The Medium addresses the theme of a 'dark ecology' -- a term which comes from the philosopher Timothy Morton, who argues that the idea of nature and the attitudes surrounding those ideas are the stumbling blocks to environmental thinking. A glance through the lens of dark ecology refuses to idealize nature as a Romanticized other; furthermore, it eschews the notion that mankind has disturbed and transgressed nature through our engineering and manipulation. A dark ecology frames reality that anything has the potential to disrupt everything, with global catastrophes inevitably occurring through such relationships. As such, Morton beseeches an aesthetic that does not forget the murk, the grime, and the filth that are the symptoms, causes, and glue of what might have once been described as 'nature.' It is from this vantage point that 23five is curating the 2012 Activating The Medium festival, seeking works that engage the specter of noise pollution, the melancholy of eco-acoustic blight, the horror of technological chimeras, and / or the altered states that may emerge from such meditations through sound-based composition and performance.

Relay for Death
Relay For Death is a project comprised of twin sisters from the American South. Due to close proximity since inception the two have been fated to act as physical witness-one for the other - of certain pre-birth awarenesses. Embodied psychic imprints not allowing for the comfort of forgetting. Where the sense is retained, always looming, though not fully realized in the nervous half -known swarm that seems to surround them and their sound. Making references to numerous styles but conforming fully to none, the underlying coherence of this post-industrial project rests on a metaphysical vision rather than a stylistic approach. Upon hearing the often bleak and unsympathetic, sometimes frenzied arch of their recordings and live sets which are here and there interspersed with stabs of unrelenting beauty one can easily depict this duo as an atrophied hand that resignedly pushes the sinking trash sound boundary or matter-of-factly points at our existence as a terrible dream toward and everlasting reality. Their LP Birth of an Older Much More Ugly Christ (2010) on Hanson records is highly acclaimed in the genre; and They Are Heating Up The Ovens Get the Fuck Out Now (2011) released by No Rent Records is a disquieting and considered elaboration on their work.


Danishta Rivero
Danishta Rivero is a musician and sound artist who resides in San Francisco. She performs solo improvisations on the Hydrophonium, a water-based electro-acoustic percussion instrument. Danishta also does vocals and digital processing in Blood Wedding, a just intonation noise duo with Chuck Johnson on steel guitar and modular synth. Through the years, she has been involved in various music projects. Most notably, she was lead vocalist of progressive metal band Aghora (1997-2006), and she co-founded Optiphonal Wonder Machine, a multimedia collaboration with Jennifer Rannells.


Jen Boyd
Jen Boyd is a sound artist living in Vallejo, California. She spends time recording sounds in her environment and then arranges them into layered soundscapes. In these pieces, some sounds unfold naturally while others are processed. Jen uses contact microphones to explore the textures and timbres in trees and other found objects. Many of her soundscapes seek to give depth to these delicate sounds. Although her work mostly relies on 'natural' sounds she uses a wide variety of sound sources to paint sonic pictures for the listener. Jen holds a BFA in composition and music technology from CalArts and a MFA in electronic music and recording media from Mills College.


Maile Colbert
Maile Colbert is an Intermedia and Interdisciplinary artist with a concentration on sound and video, relocated from Los Angeles and living and working between New York and Lisbon, Portugal. She spent the last three years collaborating with the art organization Binaural, and is currently director of Cross the Pond, an organization based on arts and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Portugal, and is a professor at Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto. She has had multiple screenings, exhibits, and shows, including The New York Film Festival, The Ear to Earth Festival for Electronic Music Foundation, LACE Gallery in Los Angeles, MOMA New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, The Portland International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, the Future Places Festival in Oporto, HOERENSEHEN 2.0 in Berlin, the Störung Festival in Barcelona, the Teatra Municipal in Guarda, the Observitori Festival in Valencia, the 2012 European Capital of Culture, and has performed and screened widely in Japan, Europe, Mexico, and the United States.


Marielle V. Jakobsons
Sound artist and violinist Marielle V. Jakobsons creates electro-acoustic compositions of evocative, pulsing drones. Based in Oakland, California she received her MFA in Electronic Music from MIlls College. Prior to Mills, Marielle studied at Centre Creation Musical Iannis Xenakis in Paris. She has published recordings on Digitalis, Mexican Summer, Root Strata, Students of Decay, and Important Records, among others; and has toured across the Americas & Europe. A classically-trained musician and a sound designer by trade, she collaborates extensively in the experimental arts. Together with Gregg Kowalsky, she formed the band Date Palms and with Agnes Szelag the project Myrmyr. From 2007-2011, she performed under the moniker darwinsbitch and released her first solo album Ore on Digitalis. Among other distinctions she has received the Elizabeth Mills Crawford Award in Composition, NEXMAPs Sounding Out California Composers Award, and the American Composers Forum Subito Grant.


Holly Herndon
Holly Herndon is an artist currently based in San Francisco. Her musical work explores embodied experience in electronic media through experiments with electronically processed voice, extended vocal techniques vocal processing in Max/MSP, and FM synthesis. She received her MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College and won the Elizabeth Mills Crothers award for Best Composer in 2010 for her vocal generated piece 195. Notable collaborations include projects Hieroglyphic Being, Rene Hell and the Chicago footwork producer Jlin, as well as performances with the streaming new media group and absurdist acid project Total Accomplishment. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Holly was one half of the critically acclaimed electronic duo Electrocute, touring the world from a base in Berlin, Germany. She also started the miserablist noise project Ankoko No Oto with Emma Albury of Leopard Leg, releasing a self titled EP on Turgid Animal in 2007. When not producing music Holly curates exhibits and residencies at The Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco and teaches music technology at the University of the Pacific. She co-founded the +dialog speaker series at Gray Area Foundation of the Arts in San Francisco.


Andrea Polli
Andrea Polli is an artist working at the intersection of art, science and technology whose practice includes media installation, public interventions, curating and directing art and community projects and writing. She currently is an Associate Professor in Art and Ecology with a joint appointment in Fine Arts and Engineering, the Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media, and the Director of the Social Media Workgroup at the Center for Advanced Research Computing at The University of New Mexico. She has been creating media and technology artworks related to environmental science issues since 1999, when she first began collaborating with atmospheric scientists on sound and data sonification projects. Among other organizations, she has worked with the NASA/Goddard Institute Climate Research Group in New York City, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and AirNow. She holds a doctorate in practice-led research from the University of Plymouth in the UK. She published Far Field: Digital Culture, Climate Change and the Poles on Intellect Press in 2011.


Activating The Medium XV was curated by Andrea Williams and Jim Haynes. 

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