CalArts Plays Itself Biographies
Steve Anker (Prepare Yourself co-curator), dean of CalArts’ School of Film/Video, formerly served as director of the San Francisco Cinematheque and as artistic director of the Foundation for Art in Cinema. He holds an MFA in Filmmaking and Film History from Columbia University and served for many years as professor of film at the San Francisco Art Institute. In his capacity as director of the San Francisco Cinematheque, Anker oversaw one of the most respected showcases of experimental film and video in the world, presenting more than 75 programs per year. Anker served on the board of directors and as program director for the Boston Film & Video Foundation. He has taught film history and filmmaking at San Francisco State University, the Massachusetts College of Art and Tufts University. Exhibits and series that Anker has curated include Big As Life: An American History of 8mm Films—a 70-program film series for the Museum of Modern Art—and Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema: 1955-1993 which traveled to 10 cities throughout the U.S. Anker also guest curated a series of Bay Area avant-garde films for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of its exhibition Made in California.
His publications include catalog essays for Big As Life, Unknown Territories and American Experimental Film, as well as articles and reviews forFilm Quarterly, Cinematograph, Idiolects, the New York Times, the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor and the San Francisco Chronicle. Anker has served as a jurist for the National Endowment for the Arts Film/Video production grants and for the California Arts Council Media Arts Fellowships.
Scott Barry, Neil Doshi
Scott Barry, Neil Doshi (The Expanding Archive) Connections is the creative partnership between Scott Barry and Neil Doshi. Our partnership is a five-year, multi-phased, experimental design studio that integrates living and working, exploring new models of design practice. Each year the studio will inhabit a different location with changing geographic and material conditions, and produce work that responds to these changing contexts.
Martine Bellen (AH! opera no opera, Interactive Multi-touch Table) is the author of six collections of poetry including the Vulnerability of Order(Copper Canyon Press); Further Adventures of the Monkey God (Spuyten Duyvil); Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems (Sun & Moon Press), which won the National Poetry Award; and Places People Dare Not Enter (Potes & Poets Press). A bilingual collection of her poetry has been published in Germany by Verlag im Waldgut (translator, Hans Jürgen Balmes) and she has co-translated from Chinese into English work by the poets Ma Lan and Zhang Er. Ms. Bellen's poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Lyric Postmodernisms: an Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries (Counterpoint Press) Saints of Hysteria: a half century of collaborative poetry (Soft Skull Press), The Convergence of Birds: Writing Inspired by Joseph Cornell (DAP) and This Art (Copper Canyon Press). She has been a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Residency in Bellagio, Italy; the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship; the Fund for Poetry Award; and the American Academy of Poets Award. Bellen is a contributing editor of the literary journal Conjunctions.
Rachel M. Boyajian
Rachel M. Boyajian (Choreographer) was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance at Wichita State University. She has worked with such notable artists as Rachel Berman, Alyce Finwall, Taye Diggs, Andrew Palermo, and Shelley Senter. Boyajian began teaching dance at the age of 14 at studios in and around the Wichita area. Upon graduating college, she became a part of the Wichita State University dance faculty. Boyajian has created works for three American College Dance Festivals, the Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre, the Contemporary Music Festival, the DanceIS Festival, Diavolo Unplugged, the University of Arkansas and Wichita State University. She is currently a member of the Alithea Mime Theatre and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in choreography at California Institute of the Arts.
Sam Breen (Trailer Trash (Coffee with a Nomad)) was born in Tucson, Arizona (U.S.) and grew up in a small mountain town near Geneva, Switzerland. Early on he developed a passion for the road. By the time he reached 7th grade, he had traveled around Eastern Africa and all over Asia accompanying his mother, a documentary filmmaker for the United Nations. Breen moved to Boston in the summer of 2000 and interned at Harvard University’s graduate theater program. He performed in his first professional play at Harvard’s American Repertory Theater (alongside Mirjana Jokovic and directed by János Szász). In theater he found a universal language and a means of transcending cultural boundaries. He went on to pursue his university studies in New Jersey, Costa Rica, and Chile--earning his Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and acting in plays along the way. Upon graduation he moved back to Switzerland working as a Spanish-speaking advisor to Latin American clients at a private bank before returning the U.S. to follow his dreams of becoming a stage actor. At CalArts Breen performed on stage, and in his last year he curated an arts project of his own on campus. Profoundly affected by his mother’s forced evacuation from her home in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Breen purchased a vintage silver-bullet trailer and set out to turn it into a mobile performance/gallery space for art work that explored the relationship between home and identity. His work became The American Dream project--a nomadic motley crew of artists performing throughout Southern California in a 1951 Spartan trailer. For more information, visit www.spartanrestoration.com.
Archie Carey (Luminis Sphaera) is a multi-instrumental performer/composer living in southern California, dedicated to music of all time periods and all genres. He has performed a wide variety of music in spaces including Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Alice Tully Hall, The Bowery Poetry Club, The Tank, Highways Performance Space, Pieter PASD, The Wulf, REDCAT, and various other venues. Carey has also toured China with the Manhattan Symphonie and Western Europe with the AMA Wind Ensemble. Carey has taught flute, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon and studied Shakuhachi and Japanese Traditional music, North Indian Classical music with Aashish Kahn, and Indonesian Music with Pak Djoko Walujo. His work as a composer magnifies sound, pitch, timbre, and environment to make the subtlest details a point of focus, achieved by using long durations, minimal pitch content, and contrasts between extremely high volumes and silence. He approaches music with interest in abrasive textures, hypnotic drones, alternative tunings, and a sense for physical space. Carey writes meditative music in attempt to create a communal sense of timelessness for performer and audience. Among Carey’s most influential teachers are Marc Goldberg, Julie Feves, Michael Pisaro, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, and Ulrich Krieger. Carey has a Bachelor of Music in bassoon performance from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Fine Arts in performance and composition from California Institute of the Arts.
Fiona Connor (Concrete Situations) was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1981. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts in 2004, and completed the Master of Fine Arts program at California Institute for the Arts in May 2011. Connor’s recent solo exhibitions include: Something Transparent (please go around the back) II, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland; Reading the map while driving, CalArts, Los Angeles; Something Transparent (please go around the back), Michael Lett, Auckland; and Notes on half the page, Gambia Castle, Auckland. Group projects include: On Forgery, LAXART, Los Angeles; Another Romance: The New Wight Biennial, UCLA Wight Gallery, Los Angeles; NEW010, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne; Blackwelder Show, Los Angeles; The Future is Unwritten, Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University, Wellington; F is for Fake, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Manukau City and HEADWAY: 2006 New Artist Show, ARTSPACE, Auckland.
Michael Darling (KarmetiK Machine Orchestra GanaPatiBOT v.4) is a Wisconsin-born sculptor who has been working in New York off-Broadway theatre since 1999. He has worked as the technical director for the Ontological-Hysteric Theater from 1999-2003 and been a touring technical director/production manager in the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia for Richard Foreman, the Target Margin and the Foundry Theater. Darling has also done extensive design work both in theatre and fine arts on both the east and west coasts.
Arne De Boever
Arne De Boever (SYMPOSIUM), PhD Columbia, 2009, teaches American Studies in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He also directs the School’s MA Program in Aesthetics and Politics. He has published numerous articles on literature, film, and critical theory and is editor of Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy. His book States of Exception in the Contemporary Novel will be published by Continuum.
Cameron Evans (Choreographer/Dancer) recently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from California Institute of The Arts. Born and raised in New York City. Evans started dancing at the age of 12, and attended Professional Performing High School in New York City, where he later studied dance at the Alvin Ailey School for four years. At CalArts Evans has performed in student works and five MFA Thesis Concerts, and collaborated with Colin Connor, Stephanie Nugent, and Rosanna Gamson. Evans has choreographed five works and represented CalArts at the American College Dance Festival Association’s 2009 Gala. He has also performed works by Ronald K. Brown, Christal Brown, Troy Powell, Tyrell Rolle, David Gordon, Kevin Wynn, Earl Mosley, and Barak Marshall. Evans is currently represented by of MSA Talent Agency in Los Angeles, California.
Ramak Fazel (Untitled (Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery)) Born in Iran and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Ramak Fazel's work is informed by nomadic transplantation. His projects concentrate on cultural identity and how it relates to our notion of place and origin. His photographs and installations often stage the human condition, contextualizing subjects in their natural environment. In 2008 he exhibited his 49 Capitols, an essay on his journey through 49 U.S. State Capitols, at Storefront for Art and Architecture/NYC. Emerging from a 20-year-old stamp collection and a state-to-state road trip, the project consists of a series of 49 original photographs and vintage-stamped handmade postcards. Along with photographs of the journey, the project provides a narrative of the search for the increasingly complex idea of American identity. Fazel has lectured and taught workshops at SUPSI in Switzerland, Eindhoven Academy and Domus Academy. His work has been published in numerous journals and reviews in Europe and Asia. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and an MFA degree from California Institute of the Arts earned in 2011.
Mariah Garnett (Encounters I May Or May Note Have Had With Peter Berlin) is an artist and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. Her work has shown internationally in festivals and galleries, including Human Resources, Los Angeles, Acuna Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles, Montehermoso Cultural Center, Vittoria, Spain, Rencontres Internacionales, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophia, Madrid, Gender-Bender Milan, Girl Monster, Hamburg, The Mix Festival, New York, and The Los Angeles Film Festival. Garnett holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts.
Chiara Giovando (DARK FARE trio; Prepare Yourself co-curator) is a filmmaker, video artist and musician. She received her Masters degree in Fine Art from California Institute of the Arts in Film/Video and exhibits her work both in film festivals and galleries. Recent Films includeArchaic Smile (2011), a baroque stream of consciousness inspired by the painting of Caravaggio and greek mythology and Proud Flesh (2009), a psychedelic Western shot in the Badlands of South Dakota. She is a member of the LA-based trio DARK FARE, an experimental performance group that combines interactive video with extended technique on violin, electronics and voice. She is the creator of Sound Structures, a performance series dedicated to indeterminacy and aleatoric music. Sound Structures have been held in San Francisco at The Luggage Store Gallery, Southern Exposure, The Lab, and recently in Los Angeles at Steve Turner Contemporary. Giovando has had recent exhibitions of video installations at Kristi Engel gallery, Los Angeles, Public Fiction, Los Angeles and has performed her music as a soloist and in concert in many contexts including the Whitney Museum - -NYC, Tate Modern -- London, The Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, Koko -- London, and on one of the earth’s meridians on Orkney Island, Scotland. Her music is a spontaneous fragmentation of melody and noise; she performs violin, electronics and voice. Giovando collaborates in duo with Daniel Higgs and Jenny Graf in Harrius and records have been released by Holy Mountain Records, Ecstatic Peace Records, and Ehse Records.
Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir
Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir (DARK FARE trio, Who For/What For) is an interdisciplinary performer, composer and improviser from Iceland. She received her Bachelor of Music in viola performance and composition at Iceland Academy of the Arts and graduated from the Performer/Composer and Integrated Media programs at California Institute of the Arts in 2011. Haraldsdóttir's works have been heard at UNM festival (Ung Nordisk Musik) in Oslo, Norway, and the 7th Berlin International Directors Lounge. She completed a residency at STEIM, Amsterdam in 2010 and performs with various groups and ensembles and as a soloist regularly, in both Europe and the U.S. Haraldsdóttir is a member of S.L.Á.T.U.R. (an experimental composer's collective in Reykjavík) and Audio Destructinators (experimental performers and composers in Los Angeles). She lives and works in Los Angeles and Iceland.
Los Angeles native Colin Honigman is a sound creative and music technologist. He studied classical saxophone at the University of Colorado and double majored in Music and Creative Writing. While in Colorado he realized his interest in recording and producing music on his computer. From 2008 - 2010 he wrote and performed music with the Los Angeles based quintet, Intricate Machines, mixing his hip hop influenced style of sampling, drum loops, and sound design with the band's exploratory approach to song structure and production techniques. Currently he is learning how to program and build his own musical tools in software and hardware forms, using ChucK, Processing, and Reaktor to build unique digital tools for music creation and performance, and learning to design physical interactions for controlling them.
Kerstin Larissa Hovland
Kerstin Larissa Hovland (Luminis Sphaera) is an experimental animator and interdisciplinary artist pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree at California Institute of the Arts. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and a minor in Computer Science from Iowa State University. Hovland’s work explores the experience of the urban environment in the age of ubiquitous communication and connectivity, using moving image and music responding in real-time to both performers and viewers. Her performance and installation pieces use projection, sensors and sound to create immersive experiences that examine connections between the self and the architecture of the physical, social, and technological world.
Francisco Janes (drive by) is a Portuguese media artist currently living and working in Los Angeles. He holds an undergraduate degree in Photo and Media at the Ar.Co Institute in Lisbon, and he subsequently won a Fellowship with the Experimental Intermedia Foundation of New York in 2008. In 2009, Janes was accepted at CalArts, awarded a full scholarship from the Gulbenkian Foundation, and will soon begin the third and final year of his Master of Fine Arts candidacy in the School of Film/Video. Janes’ project lives between the framework of documentary practices (within photography, film making, and field recording) and particular conceptual and minimalist lineages (within sound art, music and sculpture). His research is based on a physical and at times, spontaneous investigation into these territories. The events he has created and curated include small performances, actions and installations involving sounds and images both in public and institutional spaces. Janes has exhibited in Europe and in the U.S. His online portfolio is available at http://meta-phenomenology.tumblr.com.
Ajay Kapur (KarmetiK Machine Orchestra GanaPatiBOT v.4) is the director of Music Technology in the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts. He received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2007 from University of Victoria combining computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, music and psychology with a focus on intelligent music systems and media technology. Kapur graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University in 2002. He has studies with music technology leaders including Dr. Perry R. Cook, Dr. George Tzanetakis, and Dr. Andrew Schloss, and been mentored by robotic musical instrument sculptors Eric Singer and the world-famous Trimpin. A musician at heart, trained on drumset, tabla, sitar and other percussion instruments from around the world, Kapur strives to push the technological barrier in exploration of new sounds, rhythms and melodies.
Milen Kirov (“2”), a pianist, composer, and teacher, represents a new generation of 21st century artists. Combining his Bulgarian background, rigorous European and American education and conservatory training, and vast experience in the music worlds of two continents, Kirov is a performer, composer and educator working in a variety of musical settings and genres. Kirov attended the Plovdiv Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts where he studied piano with George Petrov, student of Olivier Messiaen, and George Kanev, graduate of the Moscow Conservatory. In 1998 Kirov continued his studies on a full scholarship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he studied with Carol Stivers, Stefan Karlsson and Virko Baley. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with Vicki Ray and David Rosenboom, and a Masters of Music in Composition from California State University, Northridge, where he studied with Dr. Liviu Marinescu. Kirov is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in the Performer-Composer Program at California Institute of the Arts. Kirov has written and performed music for numerous films, among them Human Error – a Robert M. Young film, an official selection of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival; A Cigar at the Beach – an award winning film by Triskalion Entertainment, and Racket, a film by Michael Baez. Kirov has released 2 albums on his own Ruino Vino Records label. His compositions and performances have been featured on more than 20 radio and TV stations all throughout the U.S., England, Scotland, Germany, and Bulgaria as well as on numerous recordings. Kirov currently serves as an adjunct faculty at the Conservatory of Music at Chapman University. He also teaches musicianship skills, piano, composition, and Balkan Brass jazz band at California Institute of the Arts. He continues to write and perform extensively both as a solo artist and as a leader of his 11-piece Balkan funk band Orkestar MÉZÉ.
Amanda Lee (Costume Designer) Dance credits: CalArts MFA Dance Thesis: Liminal (CalArts 2011), Trisha Brown’s Set/Reset/Reset (REDCAT 2010). Theater credits: Phaedra's Love (CalArts 2011), The Pillowman (CalArts 2011), New Works Festival: Boxed (CalArts 2010), Adam and Eve (assistant CalArts 2010), Waiting for Godot (A Noise Within 2010), Oliver Twist (assistant A Noise Within 2008), She Stoops to Conquer(Occidental 2008). Film credits: A Conversation about Cheating with My Time-travel Future Self (art director 2011), What to Bring to America(assistant USC 2010), Leave it on the Floor (assistant Sheldon Larry Productions 2010), Lover (assistant 2010), You Kill Me (assistant USC 2010), Moon Lake Casino (associate producer 6 Train Films 2009).
Heather Lockie (Luminis Sphaera) is a musician and artist who experiments with meaning and non-meaning in sound, video and language. She works with elements of overlapping disciplines: music composition, viola and banjo, sonic textures, songwriting and soundtracks, painting, and writing. Lockie combines elements of these disciplines in sound installations and performances. Although she works within a compact aesthetic, every project she undertakes has the possibility of being a departure. Lockie approaches creative work intuitively. She welcomes and embraces “accidents” along the way.
Louis Lopez (Composer) is a trumpet player, performer, composer, and educator. As an instrumentalist Lopez has performed across the United States and been featured on numerous recordings. His music centers around the integration of acoustic and processed sound with the intent of creating an immersive environment. Lopez’s compositions have been performed at the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale, New Hampshire, in Ottawa, Canada and at Azusa Pacific University in California. Through his music he has collaborated with dancers, animators, and artists who inform his work and further his love of sound.
Jumana Manna (Coach) was educated at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem and The National Academy of the Arts, Oslo and has recently graduated from the Masters program in Aesthetics and Politics at CalArts. She lives and works in Los Angeles, Jerusalem and Oslo and is represented by CRG gallery in New York and Maria Veie Gallery in Oslo. Her work has been shown internationally in festivals and galleries, including Film Society lincoln center, New York; Postmasters Gallery, New York; IFA Gallery, Berlin; Barbur Gallery, Jerusalem; Al Mamal Gallery, Jerusalem; Oslo Kunstforening; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; Essl Museum, Vienna; Vox Populli, Philadelphia; Gallery D.O.R/ Brussels; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen. Her work For Those Who Love the Smell of Burning Tires, of three bent aluminum flagpoles stands as a permanent sculpture outside Kunsthall Oslo, Norway.
Lynne Marie Martens
Lynne Marie Martens (Costume Designer) CalArts: Lear/Layer, MOTH, Romeo and Juliet, Rise Now, Dawn of the Hero, What I Did For Love,Riders to the Sea, Hellzapoppin' (assistant). USC Film: You Kill Me (2010). The Actor's Gang: Romeo & Juliet: Monsters in Love, Mate. Westmont College (costume designer): Love Me Dead, As You Like It, Ecclesia. This is Lynne's first design for dance. www.lynnemariemartens.com
Monica Rodriguez Medina
Monica Rodriguez Medina (Proclamations, Forms of Protest (Bandanas)) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1980. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Through the use of a variety of media that includes video, photography, sculpture, performance and installation, her work addresses political concepts of power, resistance and democracy. Rodriguez received an MFA degree in 2001 from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, and a BFA in 2005 from the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Natalie Metzger (Luminis Sphaera) is a Los Angeles-based choreographer and filmmaker whose work has been screened/performed in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and throughout the U.S. in New York City, Atlanta, Park City, Durham, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Venice, and Valencia. Her film, For Water, was an official selection of the American Dance Festival’s International Screendance Festival, the Frameworks Dance Film Series, and the Park City Film Music Festival (where it won a medal for musical excellence). Her stage work has also been selected for the SB – ADaPT Festival, the MixMatch Dance Festival, the New Choreography Spotlight, and the Fresh Squeezed Juice Festival. Metzger’s work has been commissioned by various filmmakers including Sandra Powers of Masque Films and Dutch experimental filmmaker Natascha Riemsma.
Metzger holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance/Choreography from California Institute of the Arts. She is also a graduate of CalArts’ Center for Integrated Media. Metzger earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Emory University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude in three years, with a double major in Theater and Dance/Movement Studies and a minor in English. At Emory, Metzger received the Sudler Award in the Arts for demonstrating the “highest standard of proficiency in the performing arts,” the Pioneer Award for “breaking new ground,” and Highest Honors for her choreography thesis, Mindscape of the Pre-Dead. To learn more about Metzger's work, visit www.metzart.org.
Amanda Montei (Mzungu) is a writer and educator based in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of CalArts’ MFA Writing program, and this past summer studied at the Juniper Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She recently completed her first book, a memoir that explores the single story myth and the instability of memory and truth in familial lore. She is now working on a collection of prose poems that dialogue with cultural notions of femininity, and a series of essays that address global (mis)connections and the dynamism of forgiveness. Her creative and critical work has appeared in Ms. Magazine, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, PANK, Nanofiction and Nighttrain, among others. Montei has lived, taught, and traveled extensively throughout East Africa. For the past two summers she has worked in Kigali, Rwanda on various theatre projects in conjunction with the International Genocide Studies Center and the Rwanda/Uganda exchange program led by Erik Ehn, Head of Playwriting at Brown University. She is concerned primarily with how affect can be motivated and deployed as a means for mobilization and education. Montei frequently blogs for Ms. Magazine.
Melodie Mousset (Activity: Who For/What For) is a French artist born in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. in 1981. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2005 at ECAL (Ecole Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne) in Switzerland and graduated from the Master of Fine Art program at California Institute of the Arts. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Paris. Mousset has been represented by the gallery Claudia Groeflin in Zurich since 2010 and by the Gallery Marion Meyer in Paris since 2008, where she has had several solo exhibitions. Her work has been largely shown in Europe (Geneva, Basel, London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Venice) and now in the United States (New York and Los Angeles). Mousset’s sculpture, video, and performances investigate the performative capacity of art-object to mediate relationships and the power among people, communities, and bodies. She creates situations and experiments that engage physical conversations between ‘an organ of a singular body’ and today’s rapidly changing ‘social organization’ and natural environment. Mousset is part of an ongoing cross-disciplinary collective comprising of Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir, Zachary Sharrin and various other intermittent members.
Silvanne Park (Costume Designer) is currently working toward her Masters in Costume Design at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. She has worked as a fashion stylist and costume designer for both film and theater. Park’s most recent dance work was created with choreographer Rachel Boyajian at CalArts in 2010.
Nick Percell (Lighting Designer) is a BFA 3 Lighting Design student in CalArts’ School of Theater. Originally from Las Vegas, he graduated from Las Vegas Academy with a specialization in lighting. Percell’s recent collaborations include work with choreographers: Samantha Giron, Christie Nelson-Sala, Cassandra Richards, Stephanie Zaletel, Kerrie Schroeder, Lauren Frias, Andrew Wojtal, Lindsey Lollie, Rainey White, Brook Burkhardt, Giovanni Allen, Katie Morales, Hilary Grumman, Zoe Nelson, and Kymmi Kellems.
Ellen Reid’s (Lonely Traveler) musical endeavors center on using artistic collaboration as a means to examine social phenomena and the development of cross-cultural understanding. Her most notable collaborations have been with the Sundance Theater Institute, The United Nations, New York University, choreographer Sheetal Gandhi, director Ruben Polendo and animator Zoe Chevat. Reid was formerly the resident music director of the Patravadi Theater, Bangkok, Thailand, and is currently a resident artist with Theater Mitu (NYC/Abu Dhabi). In the past year, she composed the score for Unfinished Business, a dance piece at Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica, CA), At Sundown, a CalArts production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Chaos, the first piece of western theater ever created in Abu Dhabi. In 2010-2011 Reid was one of two CalArts delegates to the Feldstärke Residency program in Paris, Essen, and Istanbul.
Irit Rogoff (Public) is Professor of Visual Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her teaching focuses, on the one hand, on issues of geography and globalization, and on post-colonial and post-migratory conditions and their inscription as sites of knowledge production. On the other hand, her classes also deal with transitions within the contemporary art world as the emergent entities of the audience, the curatorial, the participatory, the self-organized and the communal, have become increasingly important to contemporary arts and culture. She has been particularly interested in “the participatory turn” in contemporary art as well as in interventionist and educational practices. Her forthcoming book Looking Away – Participating Singularities, Ontological Communities (2011) builds on work she published and curated in recent years, and revolves around the question: what does it mean to take part in culture beyond the roles that culture allots us for that kind of involvement?
Princess Mecca Romero
Princess Mecca Romero (Choreographer/Dancer) began dancing with the La Roque Bey School of Dance in Harlem, New York at three years of age. She began formal ballet training at Elliot Feld's Ballet Tech, where she received rigorous training as well as top academic instruction. Romero attended Harlem School of the Arts, Complexions Summer Intensive, American Ballet Theater (Orange County), Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts and graduated from Professional Performing Arts High School. Before college, Romero trained for four years at The Alvin Ailey School and performed with Alvin Ailey's first Company in Memoria. She has also performed with Genesis Dance Company in New York. Romero recently graduated from California Institute of the Arts, where she performed in works by three faculty members as well as many student works, including MFA thesis performances. Romero plans to re-locate to Berlin, Germany in search of a dance company that will perform internationally, and hopes to eventually, to establish her own dance company
David Rosenboom (AH! opera no opera, Interactive Multi-touch Table), dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, is a composer, performer, conductor, interdisciplinary artist, author and educator. He has explored ideas in his work about the spontaneous evolution of forms, languages for improvisation, new techniques in scoring for ensembles, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art, computer music systems, interactive multi-media, compositional algorithms, and extended musical interface with the human nervous system since the 1960s. His work is widely distributed and presented around the world and he is known as a pioneer in American experimental music.
Emilie Sabath (Filmmaker) is an MFA2 in CalArts’ Film/Video and Integrated Media programs. She was a featured subject in photographer Holly Andres’s recent internationally represented, narrative portrait series, in which she portrayed her own mother interpreted mythologically. Sabath is currently in pre-production on a short Super-16mm film that uses a live score to affect on-screen performances.
Jordan Saenz (Choreographer) hails from Denver, Colorado where she attended and graduated from the Denver School of the Arts, as well as Artistic Fusion Dance Academy. Eventually, her love for artmaking led her to The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts where she continues to learn and create. Saenz has worked with artists such as Colin Connor, Stephanie Nugent, Christie Nelson-Sala, and Barak Marshall. She has also recently interned with BODYTRAFFIC and Nugent Dance.
Maureen Selwood (Mapping Voices curator) is a visual artist who works with hand-drawn animation for film, installation and performance. She recently developed the digital animated projections for Sardono Dance Theater and Jennifer Tipton: Rain Coloring Forest (REDCAT, 2010). Selwood collaborated with the composer, David Rosenboom creating a film for performance for How Much Better if Plymouth Rock Had Landed on the Pilgrims, (Section VII, Impression), presented at the Indonesian Arts Festival, Jakarta (2009), and As You Desire Me, a multi-media installation piece was made with an Individual Artist Fellowship from C.O.L.A. (Los Angeles, 2009). Her work was included in Quaderns Animats at Arteko Gallery in Spain, an exhibition of the intimate diaries and films of eight international artists working in animation (2009).Ombre dal Lupercale, Tevereterno (Rome, 2006), She Wolves, River to River Festival (New York, 2008), As the Veil Lifts (Frac Picardie, France, 2008), Resistance (American Academy in Rome, 2003), This Is My House and All the Places I Have Ever Lived (MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, 2001) are works utilizing animation in site-specific installations. Selwood’s award-winning animated short films, I Started Early, Drawing Lessons, Mistaken Identity, Hail Mary, Flying Circus: An Imagined Memoir, This Is Just to Say, The Rug, and Odalisquehave been screened at worldwide festivals including, Venice Biennale, Kunstfilm Biennale (Germany), New York Film Festival, Ottawa, Annecy, Pompidou, MOMA, Film Forum (New York), and REDCAT (Los Angeles) among others. She has been a recipient of grants from the John Solomon Guggenheim Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, The American Film Institute, and the MacDowell Colony. Selwood was awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in 2003. She graduated from Tisch School of the Arts (NYU) and is currently on the faculty of the Experimental Animation Program in the School of Film/Video at CalArts.
Zachary Sharrin (Who For/What For) is a California artist based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He studied Art History and Painting at the University of California at Berkeley, and contemporary dance at the (Oberlin Dance Collective) ODC School for Dance. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in performance from CalArts. Sharrin’s work addresses the human body as material, as an active and receptive expression of an experience or identity. Working with dancers and musicians, his installations use existing social and plastic conditions altered to express or perform something beyond to their intended purpose. His themes have included performance, communication, sexuality, art history, and the natural world.
Stephanie Cheng Smith
Stephanie Cheng Smith (DARK FARE trio) is a multiple-media artist, experimental composer, and violinist who enjoys creating environments that move and influence the mind and body. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago (AB 2007) and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Experimental Sound Practices and Integrated Media from the California Institute of the Arts in May 2011. Cheng Smith studied composition with Mark Trayle, Sara Roberts, Ulrich Krieger, Kotoka Suzuki and Howard Sandroff. She works with a variety of mediums—acoustic instruments, synthesis, found sounds, field recordings, video projections, choreography and interactive objects—to create art ranging from musical pieces and dance performances to interactive installations.
Though varied and discrete, all of her recent work has been informed by observations and interpretations of the flow and transformation of energy. Cheng Smith’s creative interests focus on creating art that motivates others to explore the unknown, that brings others together in interactive experiences, and that explores human response to the familiar and unfamiliar. Working with sound in the field and exploring unfamiliar environments in which she can freshly observe the natural transformation of energy has had the greatest impact on her creative processes.
Jalal Toufic (Don’t Go to Hell for the Sake of Finishing Watching the Film) was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. He is the author of Distracted (1991; 2nd ed., 2003), (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (1993; 2nd ed., 2003), Over-Sensitivity (1996; 2nd ed., 2009), Forthcoming (2000), Undying Love, or Love Dies (2002), Two or Three Things I’m Dying to Tell You (2005), ‘Âshûrâ’: This Blood Spilled in My Veins (2005), Undeserving Lebanon (2007), The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster (2009), Graziella: The Corrected Edition (2009), What Is the Sum of Recurrently? (2010), and The Portrait of the Pubescent Girl: A Rite of Non-Passage (2011). Many of these books are available for download at his website: http://www.jalaltoufic.com. In 2011, he is a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD.
Kalean Ung (Luminis Sphaera) is an interdisiplinary artist currently residing in Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting at CalArts. Ung has also attended American Conservatory Theatre’s Summer Training Congress. She made her Los Angeles acting debut at The Boston Court Performing Arts Center as Esmeralda in Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real, directed by Jessica Kubzansky. Ung recently performed in the operaThe Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth, composed by Veronika Krausas, directed by Yuval Sharon. At CalArts, she performed in the world premiere of Moth composed by Ellen Reid as well as in the world premiere of John King’s chance operations opera, Dice Thrown. Ung played Electra in Libation Bearers at Stanford Summer Theatre’s Electra Festival in 2009 and she premiered the role of Sara in La Llorona by Hector Armienta at The Western Stage in 2008. At UCSC she played the Foreign Woman in Menotti’s The Consul, Papagena in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Grace in Philip Kan Gotanda’s Manzanar.
Owen Vallis (AH! opera no opera, Interactive Multi-touch Table), artist and co-founder of FlipMu, works at the intersection of sound and technology. Vallis explores a diverse range of projects including producing other musicians, composing his own music, building various analog and digital audio processors, and designing new hardware interfaces for musical expression and interaction. Moving from Toronto, Canada to San Francisco, to Nashville, to Los Angeles and now to Wellington, New Zealand, Vallis has developed a broad cross section of musical ideologies and aesthetics. This diverse background helps him create contexts within which new works can be created and explored.
Andrew Wojtal (Chorographer/Dancer) is a native of Gorham, Maine and a recent graduate of California Institute of the Arts. At CalArts he worked with Rosanna Gamson, Colin Connor, and Stephanie Nugent. In the past, Wojtal has worked commercially, appearing as a dancer on NBC’s Parenthood last spring, and also in the concert dance environment. During the summer of 2010 Wojtal held a contract with Island Moving Company, a contemporary ballet company under the artistic direction of Miki Ohlsen in Newport, RI. In his time with Island Moving Company, he performed works by Scott Putman, Colin Connor, and Ohlsen. Most recently Wojtal performed an excerpt from Israeli choreographer Barak Marshall’s work Rooster with the Los Angeles-based contemporary company BodyTraffic, helping the group receive the $10,000 prize at REDCAT A.W.A.R.D.S. Show in January 2011. Wojtal was a 2010 recipient of the Princess Grace Award for dance performance.
Biographies from Mapping Voices:
Danielle Ash (Animation, Pickles for Nickels) received her BFA degree in animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA degree in Experimental Animation at CalArts. Before moving to Los Angeles Ash worked in New York City as a sound designer at Animation Collective while continuing to make short animations. While at CalArts she collaborated on many projects in animation, theater, puppetry and music. Pickles for Nickels uses a variety of techniques involving stop-motion animation, cardboard sets and puppets combined with elements of computer animation.
Nelson Boles (Animation, Little Boat) attended New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) and was living there when Hurricane Katrina hit the city. Boles has always enjoyed working with pencil and paper, creating characters and new worlds. He taught himself Flash and other programs, which he uses to make short narratives. Boles is currently a BFA student in the CalArts’ Character Animation Program.
Jason Carpenter’s (Animation, The Renter) prior training as a painter brings an expressive, organic quality to his film The Renter. He recently received his MFA degree from CalArts in Experimental Animation. While there, he further developed this story, which was inspired by events from his childhood.
Nicole Emmons (Animation, The Wing Eater) received her BA degree in film and animation art from Columbia College, Chicago, and an MFA from CalArts’ as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Experimental Animation Program. Her quirky and sometimes dark stop-motion films combine elements of folklore, myth, and the fairytale structure with pop culture and surrealist fantasy/kitsch. In addition to making animated films, Emmons works as a freelance animator, creates animation-related installations, puppeteers, and teaches stop-motion animation.
Moises Jimenez (Animation, The Kool-Aid Wino) Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Jimenez developed his artistic voice by drawing from life experience and through exposure to the ever-present racial tensions of the city. As a child living through the "white flight" of the 80's he witnessed the social unrest that accompanied the Civil Rights and immigrant labor movements.
Zesung Jason Kang
Zesung Jason Kang (Animation, Dad?) was born in Bremen, Germany and has had an interest in the arts and film, in particular, began at a young age. He has moved between the USA, Germany and Korea extensively and visited many different parts of the world. This exposure to different cultures inspires Kang’s work.
Kang Min Kim
Kang Min Kim (Animation, 38 – 39°) Born and raised in Incheon, Korea, Kim graduated from SADI’s (Samsung Art and Design Institute) department of Communication Design in Seoul. He then began concentrating on creative visualization using handcrafted media with designed backgrounds. Kim’s major field of study is stop-motion because he prefers the hands-on reconstructing process that leads him to new areas.
Jasmin Lai (Animation, BRAVE) from the San Francisco Bay Area of California creates films that revolve around themes of family, youth, and innocence. Her Taiwanese-American background inspires her to make stories that explore her cultural roots, and also raise questions about the meaning of "home."
Eusong Lee (Animation, SHAPE)’s work began during his high school years with painting lessons with an animator in Toronto. His interest has continued and lead him to CalArts. After completion of his first film, Plug, he produced SHAPE. Lee is currently a student in CalArts’ School of Film/Video’s Character Animation Program.
Janelle Miau (Animation, SPECTACLE! ARTIFICE! JIGGLING!) is inspired by the meeting grounds between the very rich and the quite poor; physical comedy, and small but enduring tragedies. She uses animation techniques to depict the inner worlds of places she has lived: New York, Los Angeles, Walla Walla, Borneo, and Paris. Miau earned an MFA degree in Experimental Animation from CalArts and a BA in Comparative Literature from Cornell University.
Mina Park (Animation, The Gossip Collector) is a South Korea-born experimental filmmaker who studied visual communication design at Kookmin University. She came to CalArts first to study film and video for her undergraduate degree, and thereafter began her MFA studies in the Experimental Animation Program. Park creates films about solitude and the hidden sorrows of women, combining film and animation techniques to illustrate surrealistic human psychologies. The Collector is her third film expressing themes of suicide and women.
Ismael Sanz Pena
Ismael Sanz Pena (Animation, Pummel Nankeen) utilizes the language of drawing and music to make films. They become his means of observation of others and their surroundings. As an attempt at capturing universal patterns of behavior in human interactions, Pena’s work addresses the normal, the routine, the environment, communication and other aspects of human relationships.
Dillion Rickman (Animation, Interdimensional Headphase) creates works that explore transmutation, texture and transience. He is currently studying experimental animation at CalArts under the mentorship of Michael Scroggins.
Olivia Taussig (Animation, Weather Report) earned her BFA degree in 2008 in Cultural Anthropology and Media from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently working toward her MFA degree in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts.
Jin A Yoon
Jin A Yoon (Animation, One Sided Love) was born in South Korea in 1989. She is currently the youngest BFA student in the Experimental Animation Program in CalArts’ School of Film/Video.
Blake Young (Animation, Our Lady Divine) combines live action, found footage, and stop-frame animation. His process-based work investigates the dialogue between digital and analog technology, looking for surprises and the chance to be spontaneous. Inspired by directors such as Antonioni and Pasolini, Young wonders: how best to combine whimsy and irony? Prior to his enrollment at CalArts, he graduated from Bard College with a BA in French Language and Literature. Young lives and works in Los Angeles.
Biographies from Prepare Yourself
Jahcobie Larry Cosom
Jahcobie Larry Cosom (Film, Hymn To The Sun) is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and a 2008 graduate of Boston Arts Academy, the first public arts high school where he studied Theatre and was the founding student of the Video and Media program there. Cosom is currently a BFA 4 Film/Video major with a minor in Humanities at California Institute of the Arts. In his early years Jahcobie began his relationship with the arts performing and writing original and innovative spoken word poetry, as he tried to make sense of the deterioration of his community, family and his own journey with identity- regularly performing for numerous open mics, and a regular at Critical Breakdown and R.A.W. Entertainment.
Kelman Duran (Film, They Even Import Coffins) was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City. He studied sociology as an undergraduate, and currently studies in the school of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts.
Mariah Garnett (Film, Garbage, The City And Death) is an artist and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. Her work has shown internationally in festivals and galleries, including Human Resources, Los Angeles, Acuna Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles, Montehermoso Cultural Center, Vittoria, Spain, Rencontres Internacionales, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophia, Madrid, Gender-Bender Milan, Girl Monster, Hamburg, The Mix Festival, New York, and The Los Angeles Film Festival. Garnett holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts.
Chiara Giovando (Film, Archaic Smile) is a filmmaker, video artist and musician. She received her Masters degree in Fine Art from California Institute of the Arts in Film/Video and exhibits her work both in film festivals and galleries. Recent Films include Archaic Smile (2011), a baroque stream of consciousness inspired by the painting of Caravaggio and greek mythology and Proud Flesh (2009), a psychedelic Western shot in the Badlands of South Dakota. She is a member of the LA-based trio DARK FARE, an experimental performance group that combines interactive video with extended technique on violin, electronics and voice. She is the creator of Sound Structures, a performance series dedicated to indeterminacy and aleatoric music. Sound Structures have been held in San Francisco at The Luggage Store Gallery, Southern Exposure, The Lab, and recently in Los Angeles at Steve Turner Contemporary. Giovando has had recent exhibitions of video installations at Kristi Engel gallery, Los Angeles, Public Fiction, Los Angeles and has performed her music as a soloist and in concert in many contexts including the Whitney Museum - -NYC, Tate Modern -- London, The Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, Koko -- London, and on one of the earth’s meridians on Orkney Island, Scotland. Her music is a spontaneous fragmentation of melody and noise; she performs violin, electronics and voice. Giovando collaborates in duo with Daniel Higgs and Jenny Graf in Harrius and records have been released by Holy Mountain Records, Ecstatic Peace Records, and Ehse Records.
Spencer Holden (Film, The Gods Are Watching) is a BFA 3 student in the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts. His work recently screened at REDCAT in Los Angeles and at the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival in San Bernardino, CA. Holden works both on film and in digital formats.
Laura Kraning’s (Film, Vineland) experimental documentaries are portraits of secret worlds hidden beneath the surface of everyday life. They traverse the borders between the objective and subjective; the real and imaginary. Her early work as an abstract painter informs her filmmaking process in which she makes visible the textural and symbolic layers inherent in landscapes filmed over time. Her work has screened widely at international festivals and venues including the New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Visions du Réel, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Rencontres Internationales, and the National Gallery of Art. Her film Vineland was awarded the City is Cinema Jury Award at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival and she is a recipient of a 2010 Princess Grace Foundation John H. Johnson Film Award for her most recent film, Devil’s Gate. Laura currently resides in Los Angeles.
Hyesung Moon (Film, They Even Import Coffins) was born in South Korea and raised in New York City. She studied Asian American Studies at Binghamton University and is now an MFA candidate in the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts.
Naoko Tasaka (Film, Light Escapes) was born and raised in Japan where she studied architecture and web programming. Tasaka began her work in experimental filmmaking at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 2006 and graduated with an MFA degree in Film/Video in 2011. Tasaka’s primary focus is experimental film and video installation.