Early this year, I received a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts from their COVID-19 Funds. This has been incredibly helpful to mitigate expenses and losses due to the pandemic. The New York Electronic Arts Festival (where Luciferins was to debut) was cancelled due to COVID. COVID has been extraordinarily difficult for everyone. It has trickled down to affect a myriad of things in life, from the loss of opportunities to show work, studio visits, teaching remotely (new technologies required), etc. I’m super thankful to receive this grant to help offset (somewhat) the losses and expenses.
Soon after that, I was elated to hear that a grant I had put in to The New York State Council on The Arts (NYSCA) through Harvestworks for the next body of work: The Masquerades of The Soft Machines was partially funded. !! This grant application was submitted before the pandemic onset. As such, with budgets in the arts dwindling, I figured funds from NYSCA were not going to be available considering the financial upheaval from the pandemic. Yet, Carol Parkinson forwarded me the email from NYSCA stating that they were going to fund half of what I had requested. (With this specific grant, one must apply through a fiscal sponsor. Harvestworks is my fiscal sponsor in this case.) This is super exciting! I have been submitting applications for The Masquerades of The Soft Machines to multiple venues and agencies seeking support. Having support from one major agency makes it much easier to secure funding from additional agencies/partners.
The Masquerades of The Soft Machines is a series of 5 interactive multi-channel fiber + electronic installations, which makes visceral the invisible algorithmic forces that are profoundly shaping society using everyday materials—fibers—along with software. In a soft, colorful, forest-like environment, viewers witness an algorithm’s bias and perpetual systems of control through the capture and transformation of personal data.
The grant from NYSCA will help to offset the cost of a studio space for 6 months, required equipment, labor, and a studio assistant. I look forward to sharing more about this body of work and it’s development in the very (very) near future. !
Luciferins Exhibition (and development)
Here is a late fall prototype of Luciferins, to give you an idea of what I am refining:
I’ve been using this time since the Harvestworks Residency to refine and to iterate Luciferins on many fronts. After much consideration with the projection mapping, I’ve changed tactics with the fibers. Instead of machine knitting the wool, manipulating the surface and felting it, I’m going to work with flat wool. I’ve gone back to an earlier prototype, as the surface texture is wonderful and more suitable for projection mapping.
I was refining my technique to create each structure with tuck stitches. This gives some dimensionality and character, versus just a tube of felt. More on that in the next post.
I had also been refining the sound manipulation, tweaking the feedback and controlling the various types of sound, multi-channel control, specific sounds for the portal opening, and sound choreographies among the multi-channels. It has certainly been keeping me busy!
I’ve been re-thinking about the interaction that I’ve programmed. It works and is reliable, yet I’ve been considering some alternate methods that will be much more precise. More to come on that front.
I’m looking forward to seeing Luciferins in it’s final fruition! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!