Date: 28 April – 7 May 2016
Location: New York, NY
Creative Tech Week (CTW) was a city-wide event that took place in New York City from April 28-May 7 2016. It was spearheaded by Isabel Draves and Dawn Barber. Hyphen Hub was one of the integral partners that helped initiate and develop the overall festival and its content, focusing specifically on producing and organizing the Arts Hub of the festival. CTW was divided into four hubs — Expo, Industry, Arts, and Community — with ancillary activities presented by related organizations throughout the five boroughs.
The Arts Hub hosted a week-long series of events, including 30 art and technology installations, and organized more than 90 panel discussions and individual artist talks.
In addition, the Arts Hub hosted the opening and closing night events for CTW. Hyphen Hub produced two events: Repurposed Technology: A Night of Invented Instruments and Hybrid Performance and The Future Body: Fusing Technology with the Body to Create New Forms of Performance. The standing-room-only crowds included a diverse audience of art experts, musicians, theater producers, artists, museum curators, and tech industry executives.
The Expo section of CTW was a weekend event at Brooklyn’s Industry City. It featured booths where artists, makers, product entrepreneurs, developers, and company representatives presented their newest products to the public. It was attended by angel investors looking for opportunities as well as artists and the general public.
Hyphen Hub showcased some of our artists who were developing new products that have commercial potential or intellectual property content.
The Future Body
Using Technology with the Body to Create New Forms of Performance
Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) is a composer, renowned multimedia artist and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. Miller traveled around India before this show where he found inspiration for this featured project, “The Heart of a River” which also showcased the new XTH Sense, a unique biocreative instrument. With the collaboration of Heidi Boisvert and Marco Donnarumma, co-founders at XTH, Miller explored ideas about art and data and bring those ideas to different logical extremes. Miller was joined by choreographer Jody Sperling, whose body gestured generated electronic tones and visuals based on muscle sounds and motion data captured by the XTH Sense.
Marco Donnarumma is a Berlin based Italian writer and artist who creates performances, concerts and installations using and abusing human bodies, sound, infrasound, light, algorithms, body sensors and loudspeakers. His works rely on the material force of sound to produce intensely intimate encounters of bodies and machines. Donnarumma showcased “Corpus Nil”, a work that hybrids the languages of sound art, dance and body art into a tense choreographic interchange between a human performer and an autonomous machine. The human performer and the machine form a novel kind of body, unknown and partial, disturbing and graceful.
Tiffany Trenda is a new media performance artist based out of New York & Los Angeles. For this Hyphen Hub night, Trenda performed “Body Code”, a unique performance in which the artist encourages viewers to scan her body with their smart phone. This scan from the printed QR codes found on the artist’s latex suit then takes them to a certain page found on the Body Code website. Depending on where the viewer scans, they will read searches consisting of two key words: man-made chemicals and the corresponding part of the body: eye, muscle, throat, etc.
Alon Ilsar is an Australian drummer, composer, sound designer, and instrument designer who has created a new interface for electronic percussionists called the AirSticks. Ilsar performed “AirStorm’”, a semi-improvised short 15min piece for the AirSticks and physical model visualization (created by Andrew Bluff). The work made up of a drum synth, drum samples, other selected samples and room feedback triggered and manipulated by Ilsar on his newly built instrument.
A Night of Invented Instruments and Hybrid Performance
Hyphen Hub directed the Arts Hub for Creative Tech Week and over two nights showcased some of the most innovative and interesting performers currently working in art and technology. For this first special night we featured four artists who reimagined musical instruments through the use of analogue and digital technology, creating wondrous new audio-visual performances in the process.
Merche Blasco is an interdisciplinary artist and composer who builds new instruments for electronic music performance. For Hyphen Hub, she showcased “Lobatus” an electroacoustic improvisation made with home-made gestural controllers, using repurposed technologies including wooden bowls, water, textured acrylic discs, blinking lights, and a blender!
Nadav Assor is an artist who creates videos, installations, performances, and objects via lo-fi, appropriated military-industrial technologies. Assor performed “Tunneling”, a site-specific event during which he attempted to gain access to the inner layers buried in the walls of the performance space The tunnel was constructed in real-time, layer by exposed layer, using a green-screen set, power tools, microphones, and surgery-like safety gear. Assor utilized techniques derived from the breadth of the military-industrial-
Terry Dame is a creative technologist, multi-instrumentalist, instrument inventor, and educator. Dame performed a live set on her interactive sensor-based sound controllers the Horn of Plenty, the CoinBox, and Parisian Hammer Keys. Through interaction with light, motion, proximity and force sensors embedded into her sculptural object instruments, she triggered carefully crafted 13 samples, synthesized sounds, and funky grooves in unusual ways with unexpected results. Dame is also the curator and host of the monthly series “Weird Wednesdays” at Barbes featuring instrument inventors, players of objects, and other musical oddities.
Ben Neill is a composer, performer and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument, who is widely recognized as a musical innovator through his recordings, performances and installations. He performed “Horizonal”, his most recent solo project for the mutantrumpet. Using the unique palette of sounds generated by his instrument, Neill incorporated elements of future garage and deep house while keeping an ambient, reflective vibe with jazzy overtones. The performance included live interactive video generated from paintings by Los Angeles based artist Andy Moses that Neill then shifted using his mutantrumpet as a controller.
Video Artist Erin Greenwall also created live visuals during the night and the event which was rounded out with a guest DJ.