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LOS ANGELES — Long after local businesses have closed shop for the day, things become very loud at 3709 W. Pico Blvd. It is the kind of noise that can be mistaken for a technical malfunction, like white noise amplified by a faulty monitor, but at Mata Noise, everything that is harsh, non-musical, and experimental is welcome.
The small venue and gallery is located between a Spanish-language church and Korean print shop, one of many anomalous art spaces in this sprawling city. On a recent weeknight, I attended a series of performances headlined by noise composers John Wiese and Greh Holger, who collaborate as Anti-Civilization Mask.
In conjunction with their performance was a video of a collage work in progress. Two pairs of hands tore apart pieces of found images, gluing them in overlapping patterns that defied any discernible shape or form. This was a fitting visual representation of what was occurring aurally, a chaotic collage of sounds being assembled by a pair of conductors.
Over time, the paper collage in the video began to resemble a figurative landscape, some semblance of a sunrise, but that was likely my mind and eyes attempting to make sense of disorder. The hesitation or repositioning of the hands suggested a degree of deliberation in the collage-making, just as Wiese and Holger were forming and deforming sounds on stage.
Amidst the harsh wall of noise, I recognized fragments of what I presumed to be music, a brief drum loop in one sequence or a synthesizer in another, but these samples were not sustained long enough to be considered rhythmic or melodic in any way. As with the visual collage, the senses attempted to latch onto what is familiar, but the spirit of noise performance is to disallow recognition and challenge the passive listener.
Opening performances by local artists Anthony Michael King and Constrain & Fenian generated equal doses of sound and fury, the former arranging a mishmash of vinyl records and the latter creating noise with modified percussive instruments. Before all of this could become overwhelming, the performances concluded within minutes and the noise gave way to the silence and blankness of the gallery walls.
Mata Noise defines itself as a space for “harsh noise performance and related visual arts.” Although this particular night did not host a prominent visual piece, the paper collage from Wiese and Holger’s video was displayed in an assortment of cassettes and zines produced by hand in limited runs.
The noise scene is unlikely to grow beyond small and discrete venues such as this, given its fiercely DIY ethos, but within each cassette tape and performance is something big and expansive, entire soundscapes to be entered and explored.
Anti-Civilization Mask performed at Mata Noise (3709 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles) on February 21 at 10:30 pm PST.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
In 1850, when Dr. Robert W. Gibbes commissioned J. T. Zealy to make daguerreotypes of persons held in slavery in and around Columbia, South Carolina, for Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to use in support of his theory that African people were a separate species, daguerreotypes were at the height of fashion.
Works by Rodolfo Abularach, Mario Bencomo, Denise Carvalho, Pérez Celis, Entes, and Agustín Fernandéz are on view at the NYC gallery through January 7, 2022.
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
“Ecosystem X,” an art-based reimagining of life on planet Earth, is the theme of this open call. 10 artists will win $5,000 and one student will receive $5,000 as a scholarship/stipend.
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.