Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Haptic + Lisa Slodki at MCA - Recap

It was a pleasure for me to attend the MCA event last night. The artists' talk - which seemed to pretty much have a capacity crowd - was definitely insightful - and a bit humorous, and it was nice to see so many friends in attendance. Because I am still on a slight high from the weekend in Boston, I will risk sounding like I have a big ego by saying that my favorite quote from the discussion was when the guys from Haptic were describing their process for selecting and working with their collaborators, and they illustrated the diverse musicians, artists, and styles that they have worked with by saying, "What's the opposite of a violin? Mark Solotroff?" The performance in the gallery was excellent... very "surveillance state," in a way. Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" came to mind. Maybe an aspect of Julia Scher's work, come to life, but without the slick kitsch factor. I overheard someone mention "The Ipcress File." The conceptual limitations that the trio put on themselves really worked to their advantage, and it was quite interesting to see/hear the results of this type of collaboration. Utilizing Lisa's equipment as a sound source tightened the whole thing up, making it a very different sort of process, compared to when Lisa collaborates with The Fortieth Day -- as we are primarily trying to strike a certain mood and find an aesthetic balance. In any case, I would recommend that people see the installation and try to attend the upcoming Tuesday night performances. Stuff like this gives me hope for the MCA, after years of predictably tedious programming with shows like Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, Karen Kilimnik, Takashi Murakami, Wolfgang Tillmans, etc.