AN ALL-STYLE DANCE COMPETITION; A CREATIVE GROWTH FASHION SHOW; CONCERTS BY EXPERIMENTAL-MUSIC STALWARTS JOAN LA BARBARA AND ALVIN CURRAN; AND BAM/PFA'S ANNUAL DJ/FILM EXTRAVAGANZA CINE/SPIN HIGHLIGHT AN ADVENTUROUS NEW SCHEDULE
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Berkeley, CA, February 25, 2014 - The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive's (BAM/PFA) new L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA season features an exciting and eclectic mix of music, dance, film, fashion, and more. The schedule includes a special series devoted to BAM/PFA's new experimental exhibition The Possible. With contributions from over one hundred artists, this project has transformed the BAM/PFA galleries into a vital site of artistic creation and collaboration. David Wilson, guest curator of The Possible, programs a series of L@TE events that channel the participatory spirit of the exhibition. Wilson's series is bookended by The Possible Opening Ceremony on February 28 and a Closing Ceremony on May 23. Other performances include an all-style dance tournament on March 7, hosted by Johnny5 of the Oakland-based dance crew TurF FeinZ with the local hip-hop production team The Mekanix; a fashion runway event on April 4 showcasing designs by resident artists of the Creative Growth Art Center that celebrates that institution's fortieth anniversary; a participatory concert by The Something, a collective of musicians and artists involved in The Possible (April 25); and a concert on May 9 featuring performances by Daniela Gesundheit and Karamo Susso that is inspired by the planet's largest mammals.
Guest programmer Sarah Cahill continues her ongoing series of popular L@TE concerts showcasing some of the most adventurous performers of experimental and new classical music from both near and far. Experimental singer Joan La Barbara, who performed at BAM/PFA in 1976, returns nearly forty years later to re-create her “Circular Song” and to present several of her other adventurous and sublime vocal compositions on March 14. Rome-based electronic music composer Alvin Curran, founding member of the pioneering electronic group Musica Elettronica Viva, travels to Berkeley on April 11 to perform a new solo piece that draws on over fifty years of composing. On May 2 versatile all-star ensemble Magik*Magik Orchestra joins contemporary music luminaries the Friction Quartet under the direction of conductor Dustin Soiseth to perform a chamber opera based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh.
BAM/PFA's annual student DJ extravaganza Cine/Spin comes to L@TE on April 18. Programmed by BAM/PFA Video Curator Steve Seid with members of the BAM/PFA Student Committee, this always highly anticipated event lets student DJs show off by providing the sonic accompaniment to the Czech cult classic Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1969). This surreal fable about a young girl's sexual awakening will be preceded by a surrealist–themed fashion show.
L@TE: The Possible Opening Ceremony
February 28, 7:30 p.m. (Doors and preparations 5 p.m.)
As both a culmination of the first wave of The Possible actions and a moment to draw together the potential for what's to come, the artists of The Possible orchestrate a ceremony that incorporates studio production, sound, and movement. Make beeswax candles and masks, accompanied by a live soundtrack of work songs. Then join us as we head off on a Night Parade. Programmed by David Wilson.
L@TE: TURF Inc. Presents Turf Dance Battle, featuring Mekanix
Friday, March 7, 5 p.m.
Join an all-style dance tournament featuring the best of Bay Area turf dancing, hosted by Johnny5 of Oakland-based dance crew TurF FeinZ and founder of Turf Inc., which focuses on building community through dance battles as an act of unity. After a weeklong residency in The Possible recording studio, Oakland godfathers of hip-hop production The Mekanix, known for their work with E40, J Stalin, and Mac Dre, share the resulting sounds. The night ends with an all-out open-circle dance-off, so get ready to get wild. Programmed by David Wilson.
L@TE: Joan La Barbara
Friday, March 14, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
In 1976, the celebrated experimental singer, composer, and sound artist Joan La Barbara presented her “Circular Song” at BAM/PFA (then called the University Art Museum). She describes it as a rigorous process piece that explores the "circular singing" technique as well as split-tone multiphonics. Now, thirty-eight years later, La Barbara recreates “Circular Song” for this special L@TE event, as part of a rare program of her innovative and beautiful vocal compositions. She also sings her recent work "Solitary Journeys of the Mind" (2011), a real-time exploration of the art of composition, weaving her own personal sonic world, and "Windows" (2013), which layers her signature vocal techniques with natural and electronic sounds, creating otherworldly dreamscapes inspired by the dreams and visions of Joseph Cornell. Programmed by Sarah Cahill.
L@TE: Creative Growth Beyond Trend Runway Event
Friday, April 4, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
As part of their fortieth anniversary weekend extravaganza, Creative Growth Art Center collaborates with The Possible to present the Beyond Trend Runway Event, featuring one-of-a-kind textile designs from the Creative Growth studio and The Possible dye lab. Models include Creative Growth artists and friends-styled by Karen Anderson, Liz Baca, Rachel Cubra, and Anne Hartford. Come celebrate this inspiring institution-and don't forget to bring your fashion A-game. Programmed by David Wilson.
L@TE: Alvin Curran
Friday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
The irreverent composer and performer Alvin Curran visits from his home base in Rome to play from The Alvin Curran Fakebook, a recent solo piece drawing on over fifty years of composing “in real and unreal time, for piano, voice, electronics, and the music found in all things.” As a founder of the groundbreaking group Musica Elettronica Viva in 1966, he was at the forefront of the fusion of improvisation with electronic music. At this L@TE appearance, Curran will pare his performance down to the most intimate scale. Programmed by Sarah Cahill.
Friday, April 18, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
Check this out. No: Czech this out. We lift the (iron) curtain on Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jires, 1969), a cult classic that actually deserves its rep. This surreal cinema fable is half erotic tabloid, half gothic daydream, and all guilty pleasure. Valerie is a chaste thirteen-year-old whose awakening desire transforms her quaint village into an imp-infested realm of repressed sexuality. Everyone has their way and so too will our DJs who'll strip Valerie's wonders of sonority and add their own promiscuous scores. The evening begins with a surrealist fashion show. Programmed by Steve Seid and the BAM/PFA Student Committee.
L@TE: The Something
Friday, April 25, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
The Something is a conglomeration of possibilities for exploration and observation. Participants might begin by tentatively plunking a string, picking up a fabric or holding a video camera. Eventually, the sounds gather, the visuals evolve, and the dynamics of our actions coalesce into moments of ordered harmony, dissolve back into chaos, and then re-emerge ordered once again. The spectator simultaneously becomes actor and observer. The project seeks to stimulate intersubjective creative production and emancipated collaboration. Programmed by David Wilson.
L@TE: Friction Quartet and Magik*Magik Orchestra perform Michael Gordon's Van Gogh
Friday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
Opera in Gallery B! Versatile all-star ensemble Magik*Magik Orchestra joins contemporary music luminaries the Friction Quartet under the direction of conductor Dustin Soiseth to perform a chamber opera based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. Composer Michael Gordon's score for Van Gogh, written in 1991, addresses the pain and paranoia of the artist, with text drawn from his letters, to create a compelling narrative set to brilliant, colorful music. Programmed by Sarah Cahill.
L@TE: Returning Current with Daniela Gesundheit and Katy Payne
Friday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
In preparing the musicians for this performance, Payne will teach the principles, structures, and techniques of humpback whale song though several group sound experiments, including, but not limited to, deep listening exercises with audio recordings (garnered from her groundbreaking collection of field recordings with ex-husband Roger Payne, Songs of the Humpback Whale) and analyzing spectrograms of whalesong through a musical, rather than research-oriented, lens. Along with these musical building blocks, she will also expand on the various functions that whale song serves in whale culture. Gesundheit will aid in translating Payne's concepts and instructions into performance strategies.
The kora is the central instrument in the Griot tradition of using song to transmit news and stories, and to mark ceremonial occasions. Programmed by David Wilson.
L@TE: The Possible Closing Ceremony
Friday, May 23, 7:30 p.m. (Doors 5 p.m.)
Join us as The Possible draws together all of its participants for one final celebration. Artists will converge on BAM/PFA from points all around the Bay Area, including a group of students carrying in the harvest from the Edible Schoolyard. There will be songs, there will be dancing, there will be the orchestrated production of The Possible artist book, and there will be the presentation of honor-objects to those who made The Possible actual. Programmed by David Wilson.
Admission to L@TE is $7; free for BAM/PFA members and Cal students, faculty, and staff. Please note that there is limited seating at L@TE events. For updates and advance tickets, visit bampfa.berkeley.edu/late.
L@TE is made possible by the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.
L@TE: The Possible Opening Ceremony is sponsored by Pyramid Breweries.
Founded in 1963, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is UC Berkeley's primary visual arts venue and among the largest university art museums in terms of size and audience in the United States. Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, BAM/PFA is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national and global discourse on art and ideas. BAM/PFA's mission is “to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.”
BAM/PFA presents approximately fifteen art exhibitions and 380 film programs each year. The museum's collection of over 19,000 works of art includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and video art. Its film archive of over 16,000 films and videos includes the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, Hollywood classics, and silent film, as well hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film, many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.
Berkeley Art Museum Information
Location: 2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue across from the UC Berkeley campus.
Gallery and Museum Store Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Open L@TE Fridays until 9 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Information: 24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; fax (510) 642-4889; TDD (510) 642-8734.