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Jack Straw Productions' New Media Gallery

Jack Straw Productions' New Media Gallery was opened in 1999 to support artists working with visual and installation art, with an emphasis on sound. Gallery residencies of up to 3 months are a combination of applicants from our annual call for applicants, and exhibits by invited artists. As part of their residency, gallery artists receive up to 20 hours of studio assistance with one of our engineers.

Current/Upcoming exhibit:

Untitled - an interactive sound & light installation by Iole Alessandrini with Ed Mannery, Steve Ditore, Aimee Friberg, Pedro Alexander, Larry Rouch and Mallet Inc.

Recently extended!

EXHIBITION DATES: June 18 – October 15, 2004

Read a review of Untitled by Christopher DeLaurenti writing in The Stranger.

Iole Alessandrini

New Media Gallery special event:

"Suggested reading: Untitled"
A dance performance within and responding to Iole Alessandrini's installation Untitled

Choreographer/dancer JUERG KOCH
Thursday and Friday: Sept. 23-24 and Sept. 30-Oct. 1

6:30, 7:00, 7:30 and 8:00 PM
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Seating is limited to 10 people for each performance! Please call to sign up for a particular performance. Those without reservations will be able to watch the performance via live video projection in a separate room.

These dances are a series of site-specific performances inspired by Iole Alessandrini's installation, "Untitled" (on view at the Jack Straw New Media Gallery through October 15). This interactive exhibit uses custom built lasers and sound controlled by photoelectric cells in a specially designed room constructed within the gallery to create a multi-dimensional experience of walking through planes of light and sound waves. Using improvisational scores devised by choreographer Juerg Koch, the performers will enter into a dialog with the spatial, light, and sound aspects of the installation. Responding, exploring, and relating to the given elements, the dancers' bodies are shaped by this sensory environment as well as interpreting its possibilities and expanding its boundaries.

A collaborative effort between myself, Ed Mannery, Steve Ditore, Aimee Friberg, Pedro Alexander, Larry Rouch and Mallet Inc., this project is participatory in nature. Emerging from experiments with lasers, optics and computer technologies, Untitled examines the horizon of the luminous world, the liminal regions of sound and vibration and the experiential dimension of light – radiant yet intangible. Employing custom-built lasers, photocells (light sensitive sensors), sound, MAX/MSP and DP programming environments and a light controlled room, Untitled questions the limits of our physicalperception of reality and evokes the possibility of passing through walls via the imagination and the flight of our dreams. Five lasers in the shape of luminous planes are projected against the walls of a room. The laser planes cross the space at different angles, dividing the room left and right, up and down. The audience stimulates and affects fluctuations in the sound through their physical interaction with the lasers. With past projects I have investigated ideas concerning space and people’s perception of space. Notions of distributed body, multiple-self, transmigration of presence (to mention a few) have emerged through these investigations. Through this project, we intend to merge these ideas with a awareness of “the nature of reality in general and of consciousness in particular as a coherent whole, which is never static or complete but which is an unending process of movement and unfoldment [sic]....” as expressed by David Bohm in his writings on the Implicate Order. The project is envisioned as a laboratory and it will evolve with new layouts of sound, laser, and computer programming, including performance throughout the three month residency program.

Iole Alessandrini is a Seattle-based artist working with light and digital media. She studied art and architecture in Italy and in the United States, and it is the intersection between these two creative expressions and cultures through which her work moves. Collaborative in nature, these projects explore sensorial and cognitive parameters of perception bringing together sight, touch, hearing and meanings with new awareness of the physical world through the simulated reality of media. A selection of her work includes: Truth Is Not A Sentence inside the First Christian Church, Carmen a PNB production at Mercer Arena, Cloud Gentle and Drifting at the Bellevue Art Museum, Contour at the Capitol Hill Library; I Luoghi di Iole in Belfast, Aqua Pura Vista at the water tower in Volunteer Park; and Winter, Season Of Light in Tacoma. For a complete list of Alessandrini’s work please visit: http://www.iole.org/

Ed Mannery is an optical design consultant and mechanical engineer who specializes in large astronomical telescopes.  He is currently working on a project to build four telescopes for the University of Hawaii.  He has also collaborated on over a dozen art exhibitions involving lasers, computers and optics.

Steve Ditore Sound Design/Recording. Educated in Music, with a M.A., spec. theory/composition; currently staff engineer at Jack Straw Productions, after nine years as Senior engineer for The Live Room, a radio program of live music recorded and mixed at Jack Straw.  From 1990-1995 involved in sound art installations and improvised electronic music performances with various collaborators. Ad hoc member of SoniCabal, a local experimental electronic music composers’ collective.

Aimee Friberg is an artist working in installation, video & interactive performance. A selection of her work includes Yards of Reflection, an immersive installation utilizing 200 yards of fabric, video projection and sound that created a space for reflection of the history & ambience of the Historic Bemis Building; Stitching Piazzolla, a short film in which the protagonist, an industrial sewing needle, performs to a cyclical work of Tango Master Astor Piazzolla; and the in-progress work, Project Docile, a performance that considers the dialectic relationship between audience & performer and questions the power struggle inherent in that relationship through closed circuit camera & sensing & control system, developed & performed at the Kitchen Center for Media, NY, NY. Aimee received her B.A. at the University of Washington in Interdisciplinary Visual Art (2003) and served as a Teaching Assistant for DXARTS her last two years at the University.

Pedro Alexander is a concept engineer specializing in immersive environments and networked events.  His work has explored the collaborative construction of experience&Mac226; through creative processes as diverse as sculpture, installation, and theatre in Europe as well as in the United States.  He is best known in Seattle for his pioneering happenings&Mac226; synthesizing traditional art disciplines with digital technologies and universally
recognized psychogeographical maps. Pedro taught theatre design at Marlboro College, VT and has served as assistant to the Master Scenic here at the Seattle Opera. His projects include work with: The Untied Nations; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Seattle Art Museum; Bellevue Art Museum; Experience Music Project; Seattle International Film Festival; as well as collaborations with many internationally known artists such as: Dale Chihuly; Michael Singer; Dave Matthews; REM; Pearl Jam; and Phillip Glass.

Larry Rouch ~ In 1981, after producing large commercial and public projects for other firms for thirteen years, Larry Rouch established Larry Rouch Company in Seattle.  Since then LRCo has designed notable residences and commercial and interior projects throughout the Western United States, including the 55,000 square foot San Francisco exhibition: “Toshimitsu Imäi—Ka Cho Fu Getsu.”  Larry Rouch Company projects have been featured in many publications including: Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, ID Annual Design Review, Interiors, Ottagono (Italy) and Worldspace Design (Japan).

Mallet Inc. ~ Mallet is a building company focused upon design and construction, both of residential, and commercial projects. Projects include;  The Ace Hotel, The Baltic Room, Caffe Vita Corporate Headquarters, Viceroy, Rudy's Barbershops, Zeitgeist, Le Pichet, as well as a catalogue of private residences. Mallet takes pride in engaging in collaborative work with architects, designers, and artists. Strong professional relationships form the foundations upon which all good buildings rise.

Jack Straw Productions is a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to the creation, production, and presentation of all forms of audio art.
The Artists wish to thank the Center for Digital & Experimental Art (DXARTS) at the University of Washington and Laser Dreams and Taichi Kitamura for their support in realizing this project.

Jack Straw Productions thanks the Paul G. Allen Charitable Foundation, ArtsFund, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, the 4Culture King County Lodging Tax, the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and our individual contributors for their vital sup ort of our programs and services.
Robert Wade
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