Blast From The Past: Vision Riot

Pump Project recently set up a closed Facebook group for former tenants, aka “alumni.” It’s been fun sharing photos and memories with my old studiomates going back 10 years! David de Lara, an upstairs neighbor and fellow pre-Pump OG member (Shady Tree Studios circa 2005!), uploaded a wonderful video he put together from one of my first productions, Vision Riot. So thankful he shared this as I was too busy running around to take any event photos as it was happening. Enjoy!

Good Mourning Tis Of Thee

Two of my Rooms pieces were selected for Co-Lab Projects‘ final exhibition at DEMO Gallery, Good Mourning Tis Of Thee. So humbling to be included in a show following Claude Van Lingen’s incredible retrospective. The curators did an outstanding job on selecting and displaying the work, utilizing every facet of the historic venue. It’s truly a must-see experience.

Official Press Release

Good Mourning Tis of Thee, an expansive art installation directed and curated by the multimedia artist Alyssa Taylor Wendt and Co-Lab Projects’ Executive Director and Curator Sean Gaulager, will show work from over 65 artists and performers from Texas, New York, Detroit and Seattle. This interactive exhibition will address topical issues such as grief, loss, death, architecture and urban development. Staged in an old building shell in downtown Austin currently being used by Co-Lab Projects as their gallery space, visitors will be able to move through areas devoted to themes of mourning, darkness and transformation and occasionally interact with durational performances both during gallery hours and at designated events throughout the run of the show. The show is especially relevant as the building is slated for subsequent demolition to make room for a planned development on this site.

The concept behind this show, conceived of by Miss Wendt, looks at death as a positive agent and component of change. American culture has few rituals around death or processing death and she hopes that the artists involved will bring their own ideas, superstitions and rituals around mortality, as well as those of different cultures and belief systems. We all have the capacity to use such markers of change as vehicles for new beginnings and transformative magic. In a time when the country is grieving so many things we take for granted and grappling with an unpopular and oppressive political administration, we need to look for avenues of transformation and how we can use the alchemy of art and community for processing such grief. Referencing such exhibitions as Mike Nelson’s “A Psychic Vacuum”, produced by Creative Time in New York in 2003, the curators are using an existing building in its purgatorial state with a specifically built art environment so that the two are indistinguishable and each portion of the show is subjectively ambiguous, pushing questions about space and perception rather than providing dogmatic answers about how to look at art. Visitors to the exhibition will be guided to move freely in between the curated areas of the building in no particular order, ending with the message implied by the title, that each one of us is a source of positive change through cycles of ending and new beginnings.

Curated by Wendt and Gaulager, with a generous grant from the city of Austin and the Cultural Arts Division, they have chosen a specific group of installation artists and performers to create the immersive environment including: Jon Brumit; Chris Carlone; Gail Chovan; Maggie Douglas; Michael Anthony García; Oren Goldenberg; Joshua Goode; Brooke Gassiot; Hollis Hammonds; Ryan Hawk; Geoff Hippenstiel; Scott Hocking; Jules Buck Jones; Joseph Keckler; Jardine Libaire; Marne Lucas; Colin McIntyre; Angelbert Metoyer;  Landon O’Brien; Matt Rebholz; Cristin Richard; Benjy Russell; Seth Orion Schwaiger; Elizabeth McDonald Schwaiger; Julia Solis; Michael E. Stephen; Terri Thomas; Bruce Lee Webb; Alyssa Taylor Wendt; Steve Wiman; Matt Winters; Rachel Wolfson-Smith and many others. Their contributions are sexually, ethnically and artistically diverse and will help illustrate the diversity necessary to understand and broaden our thinking about difficult subjects such as death and change. Theses artists will work with the main space and the basement to create a large variety of installed works from video to sculpture to mobiles addressing death and grief.

The curators have dedicated a large salon style space in the main gallery called the Bardo Salon.  Comprised of 2D works by over 40 artists that illustrate death and sorrow in various presentations, they hope to create a space for contemplation and conversation. In addition to additional work from some of the aforementioned artists, contributors include: Michael Abelman; Butch Anthony; Toni Ardizzone; Shawn Camp; Livia Cocchi; Erin Cunningham; Alex Diamond; Rachelle Diaz; Dan Estabrook; Stefany Anne Golberg; Amy Guidry; Frank Haines; Katy Horan; Lindsay Hutchens; Madeline Irvine; Tlisza Jaurigue; Rebecca Marino; Robert Melton; Cynthia Mitchell; Christos Pathiakis; Lacey Richter; Beth Schindler; Lauren Silberman; Brad Walton; Jason Webb; YOUNGSONS and Marcus Zilliox.

Performances and events will take place both on designated evenings, listed in our public programs below, as well as durationally during gallery hours. Performers include: Chris Carlone; Marnie Castor; Michael Anthony García; Ryan Hawk; Joseph Keckler; Travis Kent; Jardine Libaire; Marne Lucas; and Sandy Smiles (Frank Haines).

Alyssa Taylor Wendt has a long history with both visual art and performance. A unique project for Austin, this exhibition explores both issues of urban redevelopment and those surrounding death and grieving. Our fear of death and the lack of concern for history and preservation in an age of rapid development and gentrification will be addressed through photography, video, sculpture, sound, painting, installation, drawing and performance.

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

 

Summer 2017 Mix

Just a quick mix I put together over the weekend. Unfortunately I lost all the music downloaded since 2014 when I transferred to a new laptop earlier this month. Didn’t realize it till after I’d already wiped the old one. Argh!!

[DOWNLOAD]

  1. Soul Sauce – Cal Tjader [1964]
  2. Ur Life One Night – Unknown Mortal Orchestra [2015]
  3. Friend Zone – Thundercat [2017]
  4. Feelin Love (Psychemagik Remix) – Paula Cole [2010]
  5. Summerdays – Weekend [1982]
  6. Goodnight Jack – Saint Etienne [1998]
  7. Riddles of the Spinx – Vinyl Williams [2016]
  8. Turn Me On – Dinner [2016]
  9. Malibu Fun – Midnight Magic [2016]
  10. Feel Up (Extended Version) – Grace Jones [1981]
  11. Love Island – Fatboy Slim [1998]
  12. Carmine – Fit Siegel [2015]

 

West Austin Studio Tour

The 2017 West Austin Studio Tour (aka WEST) is May 13-14 and 20-21. After volunteering with Big Medium and enjoying outings as a tourgoer for a number of years, I’m excited to participate as an artist this time around. I’m located at #307, the southernmost point on the tour. Hopefully that means a lot of visitors will start at the furthest location and work their way north! I’ll be set up in my garage studio showing work from my latest series, From These Parts. I’ll also be firing up the ol’ scanner to revive my 2010 portrait series, Thru A Scanner, offering to take guests’ live scanner portraits for free/donation.

My history in participating as an artist with the East Austin Studio Tour (aka EAST) goes back to 2006, when my studio at Pump Project was still Shady Tree Studios. Having seen EAST grow and evolve over the last decade, as well as being involved on both tours in various capacities, I have to say I find WEST to be less frantically paced than EAST. Although it covers a larger territory, as a tourgoer I’ve been able to cover Austin from top to bottom in one day including planned and unplanned stops. While most people are familiar with East Austin as the main creative hub, WEST is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to (re)discover the central parts of the city with hidden art gems tucked away in mid-century tract neighborhoods and industrial business parks.

And don’t forget to support Due West, an evening of art and entertainment celebrating the official kickoff of WEST at the Dougherty Arts Center on Thursday, May 11th. Pick up a beautiful printed catalog (still the best way to plan your tour) and enjoy delicious food and beverages from some of Austin’s finest establishments.

2016 Mix

2016

2016 can best be summed up in the words of a gay Black man.

I’ve debated on whether or not to publish a favorite song list for the year. In regards to elections here and all over the world, I knew that keeping the status quo in power meant keeping things easy/hidden for another 20 years (which I was willing to play along with), but it at least would’ve bought us some time. Instead, the difficult realities I’ve foreseen intuitively for years will have to be faced much sooner than we’re prepared to deal with them. It feels like America is a runaway train about to fall off a cliff and we are powerless to stop it.

So let’s get on with it… [DOWNLOAD]

  1. My Love Is – Little Wille John [1961]
    Via Left of the Dial on KUTX.
  2. Sally Free and Easy – Marianne Faithfull [1966]
    Trees and Pentangle (two of my fave English folk bands) have done covers of this song, I’m including this one because it’s the best thing I’ve found to fill a musical gap for me. I spent a ton of time this summer researching a soundtrack to go with my Redneck Goth project because my visual art concepts are heavily musically influenced. I have a soundtrack in my head whenever I’m producing something, and I looked all over for good music to connect with my project – what I feel are the roots of country and goth – and that’s folk music. Depressing stories dealing with love and loss. The two diverged somewhere along the way about 40 years ago, and the artists that combined both either took themselves too seriously or were too campy. You either sound like a bad country radio hit or lame/gritty background music from a premium TV drama. The aesthetic of my zine just doesn’t exist and yet I can hear it in my head – take pop country songs and reinterpret them as shoegaze, and vice versa, or something like Air’s City Reading. This is about the closest I can get for now.
  3. Choke, Thirst, Die – Coven [1969]
    This one goes out to the GOP.
  4. Fire and Rain – The Isley Brothers [1971]
    I’ve always had an appreciation for James Taylor’s songwriting, but not much so for his vocals and production. The Isley Brothers put forth a different effect on their covers of white songwriters on their album Givin’ It Back. I feel like I finally “get” this song for the first time in my life.
  5. Sortilegio – Silvano D’Auria [1974]
    My love affair with library and soundtrack music continues. No particular reason for choosing this one except to mention that I found it on Instagram via @twoheadeddogmusic. @texasvinyl is another one of my favorite feeds.
  6. 6.4 = Make Out – Gary Wilson [1977]
    I forget how I found Gary Wilson’s music, but the first things that came to mind were: 1) Is he still alive? and 2) He should come to Austin! #2 has happened already – Wilson played SXSW in 2011.
  7. If We Took the Time – Ted Coleman Band [1980]
    I didn’t get a ton of new music this year from sources other than my usual radio shows, programs, and podcasts – when I wasn’t listening to house music at the gym, which comprised the vast majority of my music consumption. Simon Harrison of Basic Soul provided several jams as usual, including this one. I’m making this one my motto for 2017.
  8. (Just) Tell Me Pretty Lies – Lee Ritenour [1981]
    More Basic Soul goodness.
  9. (We don’t need this) Fascist Groove Thang – Heaven 17 [1981]
    Graphic design guru Michael Bierut tweeted this song earlier this week. Couldn’t be more appropriate.
  10. Paris – Taxi-Girl [1984]
    French post-punk.
  11. Faces – Clio [1985]
    “Faces” and its B-side “Feel the Fear” have become some of my favorite Italo tracks ever.
  12. Nexus On the Beach – Roberto Musci & Giovanni Venosta [1987]
    In case you didn’t know it, all the cool kidz have been listening to vintage New Age music for the last couple of years. I first got into this genre last year and recently came back for more. Prediction: more shamanistic vibes to come in 2017, for we’re really going to have to center ourselves to deal with what’s coming.
  13. Ahead the Ship Sleeps – FaltyDL [2014]
    Via Groove Salad.
  14. Sea Bering – Bill Converse [2016]
    I had a chance to catch a couple of Bill Converse sets around town this year and it was a lot of fun.
  15. Cerulean – Chambray [2016]
    I discovered Jimmy Edgar and the ULTRAMAJIC label a couple of years ago on Instagram and have been a big fan of the label’s reinterpretation of 90s electro/rave/house music.

Finally, lest we forget, 2016 was the year that also gave us S I M P S O N W A V E.

East Austin Studio Tour

I have work available at a couple of spaces during the 2016 East Austin Studio Tour. Stoked to have my Hippy Fit and Redneck Goth zines available at ATM Gallery; I’ve been a big fan of their exhibitions for a long time and I bought so much stuff at their shop last year.

atmpopupshop

I’ll also be showing new work the second weekend of EAST at Handsome as part of a group show curated by Gerardo Arellano. Honored to be featured with lots of old friends and other Austin art stars I’ve admired for years. Don’t miss this one! Flyer design: me x Handsome.

10east-email

Women in Psych Mix

WomenPsych

Female singers, songwriters and instrumentalists from the late 60s and early 70s.

[DOWNLOAD]

  1. World of Dreams – The Cake
  2. Sally Go Round The Roses – Grace Markay
  3. Hide & Seek – Feminine Complex
  4. What A Way To Die – Pleasure Seekers
  5. Twilight Dreamer – Earth & Fire
  6. Little Sadie – Trees
  7. Beauty – Mad Curry
  8. Tuesday – Birtha
  9. Hard Chargin’ Woman – Zephyr
  10. Lottery – Rochelle Rosenthal and the Kickball Queen
  11. No Warmth In My Life – Room
  12. People on the Highway – The Pentangle
  13. Number 33 – Jan & Lorraine
  14. God Bless The Chile – Fifty Foot Hose
  15. Evening’s Child – Savage Rose
  16. Port and Lemon Lady – Goliath
  17. Hazy Paradise – Earth & Fire
  18. I Am And So Are You – Affinity
  19. Eli’s Coming – Affinity

Re-linked Wydeflowers Mix

wyldeflowers

A vernal, verdant psych mix for spring.

[DOWNLOAD]

  1. Kites Are Fun – The Free Design
  2. Tomorrow – Strawberry Alarm Clock
  3. Oh, What A Lovely Day – Steff Sulke
  4. Last Night The Flowers Bloomed – Dave Travis Extreme
  5. In A Garden – Young Californians
  6. Love Story – Jethro Tull
  7. Easy Street – Eddie Howell
  8. The Ark – Chad & Jeremy
  9. Nature Boy – Gandalf
  10. We Gathered In Spring – Midlake
  11. Leaf And Stream – Wishbone Ash
  12. Bluebell Dance – Forest
  13. That’s The Way – Led Zeppelin

Texas wildflowers in the graphic: bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, dandelions, Indian firewheels, evening primrose, winecups.