Presented by free103point9

Ontological Theater
St. Mark's Church
131 E. 10th St.
Manhattan, NY

Curated/Organized by: Tianna Kennedy, Danny Snelson, Caspar Stracke

Noise! 2010 is a one-day, marathon event, featuring a staggering array of artists and works including performance, sound, moving image, language, and culinary craft.

Tune in here to listen to Noise! live from Ontological Theater in Manhattan.

Tickets are cash-only at the door.
Full event = $30 (includes dinner, drinks, etc.)
Partial event = $10 - $15 sliding scale, (excludes dinner).

This year, curators Caspar Stracke, Danny Snelson, and Tianna Kennedy contribute an exciting and expansive approach to the event's theme—mapping signal innovation, distortion, and destruction from the historical avant-garde to contemporary media art practitioners.

Noise! 2010 will mark the conclusion of free103point9's organizational residence at the Ontological; join us on Saturday, June 26 to celebrate what has been an extraordinary partnership since 2006. Noise! 2010 is presented in association with the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator.

(in order of appearance)

[In the Black Box Theater]

Film/Video Works by:
Paul Sharits
Rose Lowder
Bruce McClure
Kevin Medal

Live Performances by:
Ric Royer and G. Lucas Crane
Jeremy JF Thompson and Mashinka Firunts
Bonnie Jones
Jena Osman
AMJ Crawford
Nectar Bats - Chris Balint and John Bowman
DUBKNOWDUB - STO and Eli Lehrhoff
Falopian Groove
Kamran Sadeghi
Zach Layton
David Linton
Judd Morrissey & Mark Jeffery
C. Spencer Yeh
cris cheek
Patience Dalessi
Ed Bear
Sebastián Patané Masuelli
Eddie Hopely
Gregory Laynor
Diana Hamilton
J. Gordon Faylor
Steve Zultanski

[Downstairs in the Parish Hall]

Performances by:
Ian Page with Lucy Segar and Ethan Cowan

Dinner with/by:
Andes Sprouts Society
Able Brown & Casey Farnum
Forrest Gillespie
Dylan Gauthier
Nsumi Collective
Brooklyn Grange (Ben Flanner and Rob Lateiner)

Works on Paper by:
Matt Volla

Special thanks to: Penny Duff (Event Coordinator), Ryan Marino (Projectionist), Lea Betucci (Videographer), Straight Out of the Ground Farm, Brooklyn Grange, and Lucky Dog (Vegetables), and Shannon Sindelar and Brendan Regimbal (Ontological). Noise! 2010 is made possible, in part, with public funds through the Electronic Media and Film Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Poetics of Media Communication

Sitting now at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater. The place is a mad house with set-up. Bruce McClure is here, preparing his reels for the opening projections. I set up this page and wrote this hoping I'd be able to do some live archiving and get some writing from the performers involved. This was, naturally, abandoned entirely in the non-stop frenzy of the twelve hours of activity across the marathon event.

Writing now on the follwing afternoon, I admit I have no idea where to start! Shell-shocked at the splendid barrage of performances, readings, screenings and conversations. You people are wonderful! I've never had the pleasure of experiencing the sheer density of invention and diversity of performance around a theme in this way. Having all these things related together and in play with the rest of the event was nothing short of a revelation. Perhaps I'll write more later, but just now I'll paste in my introductions and a lovely set of images very thankfully received from the tireless Galen Joseph-Hunter. Recordings will also be posted here as they become available.

Thank you again, splendid people. Yr performances were absolutely inspiring across the board; I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to experience it all.

— Danny Snelson

Why invite poets to a Noise festival? Answering this question, we’ll first dislocate the popular definition of noise as a sound-oriented performance genre. An already expansive genre encompassing everything from the Cage’s roaring silence to Branca’s guitar mutilation, today noise most often refers to any subcultural performance featuring signal processing mechanisms (pedals, boards, or software), non-standard instruments (or non-standard use of instruments), and/or arhythmic sound (or hyper-rhythmic repetition), typically played at high volumes — needless to say, noise is getting tired. And so, without forgetting this popular practice, the free103point9 Noise!2010 event reconfigures the genre in conversation with the visual and linguistic arts. If the story holds that poetry was indeed forged on those Achaean ships (Gr. naus), then the poetic activity of the twentieth century explores the noise, that fundamental sickness (L. nausea), which floats the ship of fools we call language. From hallmark avant-garde works to the linguistic experiments of the last thirty years, the tradition of innovative poetry from which these poets hail provides a robust network of sustained engagement with the core questions of all poetic activity: the constant struggle with the possibilities and failings of meaning, the signal-to-noise ratios characterizing language considered as communication media. In other words, poets probe the space Marshall McLuhan theorized oscillating between Figure and Ground, or the position Michel Serres describes between the Feast and the Telephone, or before that all that, the good old Keatsian notion of negative capability. It may not be a question of invitation, but a query into why we believe the poet ever disembarked from the house of noise in the first place?

Like other arts and businesses subsumed by convergence or database culture, innovative and experimental poetries are increasingly dispersing across a diverse array of platforms. Invited poets work in HTML, python, javascript, circuit boards, projected texts, mixed-media publications, PDFs, theatrical production, Max/MSP, non-lexical vocables, MP3s, flash video, printing presses, and of course, language on the page and in the throat—each of which demand format-specific poetics. All poetic operators have been selected to expand these conversations in relation to tangled art, sound, and writing histories. Like the parasite, the poet explores the liminal space, the hidden cracks and obscure passages that, to paraphrase Joe Milutis, simultaneously comprise and compromise the relation of media to communication.

Well, the rats came back. They are, as the saying goes, always already there. Part of the building. Mistakes, wavy lines, confusion, obscurity are part of knowledge; noise is part of communication, part of the house. It is the house itself.

First Set:
With that, it's my great pleasure to introduce our first pack of rats, playing off the rich webs of intersection between poetry, performance, lecture and improvisation, in electronic sound and human voice, across circuits and networks on the hi-fi PA of Foreman's hallowed establishment. [Ed: the following is presented in the order planned, not the order executed, wch was Osman, Jones, Firunts/Thompson, Royer/Crane.]  

Ric Royer (the Baltimore performance artist, organizer, and writer) and G. Lucas Crane (aka nonhorse, NY-based electro-magnetic tape magician) are apt players to open this wild and wooly day, staging distortion as a theatric tactic on the thanatological spectra. They make death sexier than Robert Browning. Emerging from the grainy static of yr grandmother's television, they bring Porphyria back from the electromagnetic nether-world, drape her in a soiled lamé, and tag team her back to the grave to the canned laughter of a studio audience! They respectfully warn the audience: DONT TRY TO INTERVENE OR YOU WILL GET HURT AND/OR WET. 

Mashinka Firunts (curator and performance artist) and Jeremy Thompson (poet and printmaker), perform a similar necromancy on lost phonemes, putting all yr favorite discontinued utterances back on the airwaves. Presenting their exhaustive research into the broad realm of 'non-lexical vocables' including hits like captcha, glossolalia, and vaudeville—their "Phonon-Lexical, an operetta in human racket" scores luscious history with everyday database surrealism in an incantatory blitz of mesmeric syllables. These are the scattered tribes of nonsense, outburst, and excess, collected for your aural pleasure.

Baltimore circuit bender and textual performance artist Bonnie Jones brings us a new work titled "A Short One - Postcard From." She presents words within a sonic texture that mimes the play of transmission, repetition, and documentation that calls up the physicality of communication. She writes about the "slipperiness" of the "sliding physical spaces" on the "thresholds of meaning." In a very real system of feedback, the poetry plugs into boards while electric currents fuel the voice.

Finally, I'm extremely delighted to present poet and professor Jena Osman, who will read an investigation into a series of drones. Operating in the pristine space of the text itself, Osman surfaces the trancelike rhythms of etymology and potentiality in the network. Skating along dreamy tensions between discursive registers and disparate space-time locations, her seamless transitions find the body, every body, then let loose in a limitless web of interrelations. She fuses the wires of speech, creating a loop from the full weight of the word to the ambient embodiment of the sound.

: :

Welcome back:
All along the curatorial process for this project I've been most excited by the wild heterogeneity among the performers and between the sets we've gathered today. I am particularly eager to witness the electricity generated by the three performances to follow. Ranging from architectural database processing to stereo sound poetry to a visual poetics of live writing, there is a unique outcropping of what _____ described earlier as the _______________ or what ______ found in the ______________.

First, I'd like to welcome the Chicagoans Judd Morrissey and Mark Jeffery. A well matched duo, Judd operates in the staging of code as literature, installation and performance. Meanwhile, Mark choreographs site specificity with an attention to time, body and memory. Together they teach at the Art Institute of Chicago, acted as members of the seminal Goat Island group, and today present a performance of their networked poem "The Precession." In a form at once mechanistic and haunting, the browser framed "Precession" invokes the rigorous detail and ritualistic processing of streaming information. 

There are few noise dens, contemporary museums, or other sonic spaces in these states that haven't had the pleasure of C. Spencer Yeh's collaborative efforts and solo explosions. Internationally known as Burning Star Core, Yeh fluidly integrates a diverse array of instruments, whether playing on violin, guitar, electronics, turntable, or, as La Barabara says, voice, the original instrument, Yeh bring a sonic intensity that never loses sight of a profound sense of play and a remarkable attention to dynamic structures. We're lucky he's recently relocated from Cincinnati to Brooklyn. Performing sound poetry on stereo mic, you can be prepared to not be prepared for what you hear.

Finally, I'm honored to introduce cris cheek, an originator of the influential practice known as 'performance writing,' visual and sound poet, artist, professor, community builder, and one of the greatest forces in improvisatory and machine interfaced poetics.  Saturated in digital light while trawling through virtual spaces for derelict phrases, deformed words, mismatched meaning, cris pushes the limits of potential reading environments. He opens our eyes to both the difficulty in deciphering the mundane and the massive capacity for interpretation.

: :

Conclusion for Now:
The final set of the day (before the exquisitely crafted and ridiculously theatric dinner) featured five young NYC poets. Rather than draw out written introductions, I felt it more appropriate to improvisationally present these writers whose work I know so intimately. Simiarly, I'll write out some brief post-event reflections (all a little hazy trying to recall thru the vodka-infused exhaustion of the hour) as I'm posting these images here.

Eddie Hopely, a collage poet and prolific publication artist, opened the set with an enthralling reading of something I really can't recall. Sorry Eddie: I was really boozed! I'm sure the rest of these entries will be similarly aphasic. The style sticks tho: tangled data streams, abrubt enjambents, theater of voices. The speed and rhythm of Eddie's reading amplifies the mystery of source, seeding the uneasy feeling that something sinister is afoot.

Co-editor of the digital journal mid) rib, aural meta-data tagger, and poet J. Gordon Faylor came next. Gordon: what did you read!? I hate to admit I was distracted at the moment, yr dreamy voice had my mind drifting. I can recall several readings I've enjoyed of Gordon's peculiar knack to read the media and interrupt its flows, drawing out the political logic from a variety of sources while dancing around any easy identification with any one position. As I type this, I feel as though I'm describing something, but I'm really not sure.

Poet and soon-to-be PhD candidate Diana Hamilton delivered a gorgeously moving meditaton on the movement of the mind in relation to the sounds of the home and the role of support in our very real virtual communities. Mixing various modes of subjectivity with the minute confusions, aural and otherwise, that constitute the noise of living, Diana highlights all our quotidian dilemmas with an immediacy and a sincerity that has the capacity to shake up any audience.

AMJ Crawford plays techno-visionary and poetic rock star with a commitment to craft, commerce, copmuting, and popular culture. Burying his face in a laptop like a blind ostrich reading the sands of digital time, his voice seemed to boom from the iconic Mickey Mouse emblem of his signature hat. This phenomena was later described as a care bear-style projection of intense love-force. His embrace of pop iconography and everyday speech fuses with a sustained engagement with the detritus of poetic history. Imagine Mickey reading Pound's notes to Eliot, mashed together in a whirling database of daily insanity.

Wrapping up the night on a tremendously poignant note, we had the great fortune to re-learn our body's capacities as charted in a new poem by lifestyle accountant Steve Zultanski, author of Pad and "Homoem." With heart-wrenching precision and an obsessive rhythmic patterning, Steve walked the audience through the manifold calculations of anxiety, desire, and sorrow. In the poem, everything is counted and everything counts. Nothing is arbitrary: even the most unseemly numbers act prosodically. It is an applied 'pataphysics for the human condition, specific to 'Zultanski' the subject (who functions as a stand-in for the test subject) while radiating out to questions of class politics, consumer culture, and human love.


Thank you once more. Recordings and Video will be added as they become available.