Want to hear Solange sing a set and maybe do a performance of “Soul Cleansing” with Saint Heron — like the one they did in LA last year? Then head to the annual Day for Night festival at Houston’s historic Barbara Jordan Post Office this weekend, where you can hear a variety of bands, including Nine Inch Nails, Thom Yorke, St. Vincent, Of Montreal, Priests, and even En Vogue.
While the music always takes center stage (or stages, to be exact, since there are four of them), this year a unique lineup of events on Friday will feature “Soul Cleansing,” as well as a Summit — emceed by Hyperallergic Editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian — that will include leading figures exploring art, tech, and politics like Laurie Anderson, Lauren McCarthy, Saul Williams, Chelsea Manning, and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova.
Every year, Day For Night also invites numerous visual artists, an ongoing effort to integrate visual art into the music festival experience. The artists provide unique, interactive, site-specific light installations interspersed throughout the festival grounds. This year, visual art curator Alex Czetwertynski has chosen 19 artists and groups from all over the world. Here we highlight just six of them, giving you an idea of what kinds of projects you can expect to walk through, in, and around at the festival this weekend.
Based in New York, Sam Cannon creates surrealist GIFs that deal with images of the female body and how it’s perceived online. Cannon recently created an interactive work, “The Future of Her,” for the SoHo shoe store, Galeria Melissa. At Day for Night, she will provide a large outdoor projection, a kaleidoscopic compilation of her very timely works.
The interactive audiovisual works Mexico City-based studio Cocolab develops are so complex that they require their own, unique hardware and software designs. Cocolab has worked with a variety of collaborators, including Pedro Reyes, helping the artist create and program “Disarm” in 2012, a project that featured a music-playing orchestra of de-commissioned weapons formerly owned by drug cartels. In one of Cocolab’s most recent projects, “White Canvas,” an ocean of lights accompanies a soundtrack of crashing waves, birdcalls, and ambient music.
Conditional Studio + Process Foundation
The UCLA Arts Conditional Studio is a unique program with a special focus on the digital arts and how technology impacts politics and everyday life. The only university-based group at Day for Night is collaborating with the Processing Foundation, which promotes digital literacy in the art world and art literacy in tech. Day for Night will feature the work of UCLA digital media arts professors Chandler McWilliams, Casey Reas, and Lauren McCarthy.
Although most of the artwork at Day for Night will play on a loop throughout the festival, there are a few visual artists performing works live on stage. One of these, Ryoji Ikeda — who was an artist-in-residence at CERN a few years ago — takes the stage late Sunday afternoon, performing “supercodex [live set],” a piece he recently did at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, creating music and moving images through mixing digital static.
Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa considers his works “time-based sculptures,” melding sound and image into a single entity. For the Venice Biennale in 2011, he created “Octfalls,” a series of screens projecting close-up videos and audio of waterfalls, which encircled the viewer and alternated on and off at seemingly random intervals.
Vincent Moon + Priscilla Telmon
Artist duo Vincent Moon + Priscilla Telmon call themselves “independent filmmakers and sound-explorers,” basing many of their works on their international expeditions — like six months on horseback from Khazakstan to the Aral Sea and barefoot treks through the Himalayas. Their site-specific, improvised “live cinema” performances are a mix of field recordings, music, and film, often remixing documentation of these journeys.
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