Interval / Habitat: Byron Westbrook
November 19 – November 22, 2015
Byron Westbrook’s Interval/Habitat considers the filmic “cut” as an increasingly present element in our psychological lexicon and explores its potential to influence our perception and internal narratives. Using an array of 17 theatrical lighting fixtures and multi-channel sound, it presents a sequence of dynamic shifts, or “scenes” reminiscent of filmic transitions in an empty gallery space. The piece approaches light and sound as physical, structural material to facilitate a changing awareness of self, body, space, and presence of others, defining social boundaries by limiting what visitors can see or hear, and dynamically shifting their focus between navigating internal psychological space and external physical space.
Interval/Habitat approaches the space as a dramatic stage. Inviting several local guest performers and the audience to activate this stage, it plays looping sequences of light and sound to create “scenes” and filmic “cuts” to impose a time-based narrative form over all activity within the space. The piece approaches light and sound as physical, structural material to facilitate a changing awareness of self, body, space, and presence of others, defining social boundaries by limiting what visitors can see or hear, and dynamically shifting their focus between navigating internal psychological space and external physical space.
Interval/Habitat will be installed for four days at Disjecta with an accompanying series of performances, each of which offers focused examples of what may emerge from the imposition of Interval/Habitat’s dramatic structure on physical interaction, perception and communication.
Thursday, November 19, 7 – 10pm
Concrete/Concert, a night of text and movement exploring the possibility of concrete poetry beyond the page. The performers will use spoken word to shape the interstitial space of the gallery. Presented in three acts; solo performance with Stacey Tran, followed by Sidony O’Neal and Ed Sharp (aka Future Death Agency), then Ayako Kataoka Blasser with collaborator Luke Gutgsell.
Friday, November 20, 7 – 10pm
Ensembles, looks at collective acts with a large movement group led by Linda Austin, withAllie Hankins, Tracy Broyles, Emily Stone, Noelle Stiles, Tahni Holt, Nancy Ellis,Chelsea Petrakis, Danielle Ross, Lucy Yim, followed by string trio with Justin Smith, Amie Kuttruff and Patti King. Ensembles will conclude with a solo expression by poet Rob Gray as counter point.
Saturday, November 21, 7 – 10pm
Interval/Habitat continues with a moment of reflection. An open conversation with curator Chiara Giovando and artist Byron Westbrook about the project will start off the evening, followed by voice and movement with Takahiro Yamamoto, duo Lucy Yim and Allie Hankins, and a special presentation by Jesse Mejia.
Sunday, November 22, 7 – 10pm
Quiet Light, an evening of sonic explorations of the installation Interval/Habitat, including dancer and choreographer Linda Austin; Gabi Villaseñor and Michael Bunsen; improvisation quartet with Evan Spacht, David Haverkampf, Eric Gibbons & Branic Howard, on trombone, percussion, bass, and resonant metallic objects.
Byron Westbrook is a Brooklyn-based artist and composer born in 1977 in Baton Rouge Louisiana. He has a previous history as a studied guitar player, performing and touring for many years in rock bands until relocating from Austin to NYC in 2003. In 2005, he met composer/filmmaker Phill Niblock and began working as technical director for Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation, where he helped to present works of Rafael Toral, Pauline Oliveros, Stephen Vitiello, CM Von Hausswolff and many others. In 2006, after a month spent touring in Rhys Chatham’s short-lived metal band Essentialist, he emerged as a performer of immersive multi-channel/speaker electronics with video under the moniker Corridors, taking cues from compositional approaches of the aforementioned artists. He toured extensively in the US and EU for the following four years, co-billing with a veritable who’s who of experimental music (Oren Ambarchi, Eliane Radigue, Keith Whitman, Tony Conrad, Jon Mueller, Duane Pitre, Alessandro Bosetti), and released a cd on Sedimental Records in 2010.
At this time he had also been developing sound installations, working in residence at NYC’s Diapason Gallery and HotelPupik in Austria. After completing an MFA at Bard College, where he studied with Marina Rosenfeld, Marcus Schmickler, Laetitia Sonami, and David Behrman, he participated in group exhibitions at ICA London; Les Instants Chavires Gallery Space, Paris; Dependent Art Fair; Site95; Reverse; BRIC in NYC; LOOP Festival Barcelona; and RADAR Festival, Bogota. Residencies include the Civitella Ranieri Foundation; Clocktower Gallery, New York; and Wassaic. In 2013 Westbrook presented a large-scale sound and light installation at Human Resources in Los Angeles. October 2015 sees the release of Precipice LP record on Root Strata, his first release under his given name. In November 2015, courtesy of a generous award by NYSCA, he is showing Interval/Habitat at Disjecta. In late 2016 he will be in residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany.