Dream House: Eight Years of Sound and Light

Dream House Opens for the 2005-2006 Season
Our Thirteenth Year!

La Monte Young Marian Zazeela
Sound and Light Environment
Extended Exhibition at MELA Foundation
275 Church Street, 3rd Floor
between Franklin and White Streets in Tribeca
Thursday, September 29, 2005 continuing through June 17, 2006
Open Thursdays and Saturdays from 2:00 PM to Midnight
Contribution $4.00. Information 212-925-8270
Subways: #1 trains to Franklin Street / A, E / N, R / #6 trains to Canal Street

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dream House: Seven+Eight Years of Sound and Light, a collaborative Sound and Light Environment by composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela, is presented in an extended exhibition at MELA Foundation, 275 Church Street, 3rd Floor. The environment is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 2:00 PM to Midnight. Suggested contribution is $4.00. The long-term exhibition opened in Fall 1993 and will continue for this season through June 17, 2006, reopening again in September 2007.

Young and Zazeela characterize the Sound and Light Environment as “a time installation measured by a setting of continuous frequencies in sound and light.” In the light environment Marian Zazeela presents four works, two environmental: Imagic Light and Magenta Day, Magenta Night, in installations specifically designed for the site; and two sculptural: the neon work, Dream House Variation I, and the wall sculpture, Ruine Window 1992 from her series, Still Light. In the environment Imagic Light, Zazeela projects pairs of colored lights on mobile forms to create seemingly three-dimensional colored shadows in a luminous field.
In the concurrent sound environment, La Monte Young presents The Base 9:7:4 Symmetry in Prime Time When Centered above and below The Lowest Term Primes in The Range 288 to 224 with The Addition of 279 and 261 in Which The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped above and Including 288 Consists of The Powers of 2 Multiplied by The Primes within The Ranges of 144 to 128, 72 to 64 and 36 to 32 Which Are Symmetrical to Those Primes in Lowest Terms in The Half of The Symmetric Division Mapped below and Including 224 within The Ranges 126 to 112, 63 to 56 and 31.5 to 28 with The Addition of 119, a periodic composite sound waveform environment created from sine wave components generated digitally in real time on a custom-designed Rayna interval synthesizer.
Both artists are presenting works utilizing concepts of structural symmetry. Zazeela’s mobile forms are arrayed in symmetrical patterns with lights placed in precisely symmetrical positions creating symmetrical colored shadows; the wall-mounted light sculpture and the neon are both symmetrical forms. Young’s sound environment is composed of frequencies tuned to the harmonic series between 288 and 224, utilizing numbers with factors of only 9, or those primes or octave transpositions of smaller primes that fall within this range. The interval 288/256 reduces to a 9/8 interval as does the interval 252/224. Thirty-two frequencies satisfy the above definition, of which seventeen fall within the range of the upper, and fourteen fall within the range of the lower of these two symmetrical 9/8 intervals. Young has arranged these thirty-one frequencies in a unique constellation, symmetrical above and below the thirty-second frequency, the center harmonic 254 (the prime 127 x 2).
Young has stated that: “This is my newest and most radical work; the Rayna synthesizer has made it possible to realize intervals which are derived from such high primes that, not only is it unlikely that anyone has ever worked with these intervals before, it is also highly unlikely that anyone has ever heard them or perhaps even imagined the feelings they create.”
In 1966, Young and Zazeela pioneered the concept of the continuous sound and light environment, and have since presented large-scale sound and light productions in museums and galleries worldwide for continuous periods from one week to five years, including installations in the Metropolitan Museum, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; documenta 5, Kassel; Kunstverein, Cologne. Under a long-term commission from the Dia Art Foundation (1979-85), Zazeela and Young collaborated in a six-year continuous Dream House presentation set in a six-story building on Harrison Street in New York City, featuring multiple interrelated sound and light environments, exhibitions, performances, research and listening facilities, and archives. Now in its thirteenth year, MELA Foundation’s Dream House: Seven+Eight Years of Sound and Light, is Young and Zazeela’s longest installation to date.

In Minimalism:Origins (Indiana University Press, 1993), Edward Strickland has written of their collaborative environments: “Intense light [is] aimed through [color] filters at quasicalligraphic aluminum shapes hung by ultrafine filaments. The effect is a unique and extraordinary transvaluation of perception: the mobiles seem to hover unanchored, while the shadows they cast in various hues attain an apparent solidity against the light-dissolved walls equal to their literally palpable but apparently disembodied sources. Like Young’s music, to which it serves as an almost uncanny complement, Zazeela’s work is predicated upon the extended duration necessary to experience the nuances which are its essence.” Their one-year sound and light environment collaboration, The Romantic Symmetry (over a 60 cycle base) in Prime Time from 112 to 144 with 119 / Time Light Symmetry (Dia Art Foundation, 22nd Street, NYC 1989), was described by Village Voice critic Kyle Gann as “some of the strangest and most forward-looking art New York has to offer.” A 1990 Donguy Gallery, Paris, Dream House environment now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) Lyon was featured in the 2004-05 Sons et LumiÔø?res at Centre Pompidou and is part of the Lyon Biennial 2005. Die Tageszeitung wrote about their 1992 DAAD Ruine der KÔø?nste, Berlin environment: “A longer stay in the Dream House is necessary to experience the full effect. The mind is calmed by the environment in a meditative way, and subtle sound and light effects that are veiled at first sight then come to the fore.” Of the current environment, Seven+Eight Years of Sound and Light, Sandy McCroskey has written in 1/1 “Zazeela’s light sculptures have invariably, teasingly refused to surrender their entire secret to photographic reproduction, so much do they depend on the retinal impact of activated photons in real time and so much do they exploit, in ways analogous to Young’s techniques, the creation of visual combination tones and an accumulation of after-images.”

Nick Stillman wrote in The Brooklyn Rail: Ôø?The Dream House can inspire sincere self-reflectionÔø?of how people physically move, of how little time there is for stillness, of how weÔø?ve become trained to seek and to reward movement and action. To embrace the Dream House is to become entranced and lost in time. And with no permanent closing date established for Young and ZazeelaÔø?s collaborative installation, this could be the dream that never ends.Ôø? (June 2003)

U.S. Troops in Iraq Held Insurgents' Wives to Get Husbands to Surrender – Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

From Times Wire Services

January 28, 2006

WASHINGTON ó U.S. forces in at least two cases have detained wives of suspected insurgents in Iraq in an attempt to pressure the men into surrendering, documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union confirm.

“This is not an acceptable tactic,” ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh said Friday.

In one instance, members of a military task force seized a mother of three young children “in order to leverage” her husband’s surrender, according to an account by a civilian Defense Intelligence Agency officer.

In the other, an e-mail exchange includes a U.S. military officer asking, “Have you tacked a note on the door and challenged him to come get his wife?”

Paul Boyce, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said: “It’s very hard, obviously, from some of these documents to determine what, if anything, actually happenedÖ.

“When you see an individual e-mail note, it’s oftentimes very confusing to figure out how that particular case fits into an overall, larger puzzle.”

In Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said that only Iraqis who pose an “imperative threat” are held in long-term U.S.-run detention facilities.

The documents are among hundreds the Pentagon has released periodically under court order to meet an ACLU request under the Freedom of Information Act.

A June 10, 2004, memo written by the DIA employee, labeled as “secret,” referred to “violations of the Geneva Convention.”

It described the actions of Task Force 6-26 and stated that on May 9, 2004, task force personnel detained the wife of “a suspected terrorist” in Tarmiya, north of Baghdad.

“The 28-year-old woman had three young children at the houseÖ. Her husband was the primary target of the raid,” the memo stated. “It was recommended Ö that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target’s surrender.”

The memo’s author said he objected but the “raid team leader detained her anyway.”

The memo said the wife was released two days later. It did not say whether her husband was eventually arrested.

In the other case, a U.S. lieutenant colonel e-mailed, “What are you guys doing to try to get the husband ó have you tacked a note on the door and challenged him to come get his wife?”

A later e-mail stated, “These ladies fought back extremely hard during the original detention. They have shown indications of deceipt [sic] and misinformation.”

WHEN VOLUNTEERS BECOME FORCED LABORERS.

Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty

By Will Dunham

(Reuters)

The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called “stop-loss,” but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat.

The policy applies to soldiers in units due to deploy for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Army said stop-loss is vital to maintain units that are cohesive and ready to fight. But some experts said it shows how badly the Army is stretched and could further complicate efforts to attract new recruits.

“As the war in Iraq drags on, the Army is accumulating a collection of problems that cumulatively could call into question the viability of an all-volunteer force,” said defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute think tank.

“When a service has to repeatedly resort to compelling the retention of people who want to leave, you’re edging away from the whole notion of volunteerism.”

When soldiers enlist, they sign a contract to serve for a certain number of years, and know precisely when their service obligation ends so they can return to civilian life. But stop-loss allows the Army, mindful of having fully manned units, to keep soldiers on the verge of leaving the military.

Under the policy, soldiers who normally would leave when their commitments expire must remain in the Army, starting 90 days before their unit is scheduled to depart, through the end of their deployment and up to another 90 days after returning to their home base.

With yearlong tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, some soldiers can be forced to stay in the Army an extra 18 months.

HARDSHIP FOR SOME SOLDIERS

Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman, said that “there is no plan to discontinue stop-loss.”

“We understand that this is causing hardship for some individual soldiers, and we take individual situations into consideration,” Hilferty said.

Hilferty said there are about 12,500 soldiers in the regular Army, as well as the part-time National Guard and Reserve, currently serving involuntarily under the policy, and that about 50,000 have had their service extended since the program began in 2002. An initial limited use of stop-loss was expanded in subsequent years to affect many more.

“While the policies relative to the stop-loss seem harsh, in terms of suspending scheduled separation dates (for leaving the Army), they are not absolute,” Hilferty said. “And we take individual situations into consideration for compelling and compassionate reasons.”

Hilferty noted the Army has given “exceptions” to 210 enlisted soldiers “due to personal hardship reasons” since October 2004, allowing them to leave as scheduled.

“The nation is at war and we are stop-lossing units deploying to a combat theater to ensure they mobilize, train, deploy, fight, redeploy and demobilize as a team,” he said.

A few soldiers have gone to court to challenge stop-loss.

One such case fizzled last week, when U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington dismissed a suit filed in 2004 by two Army National Guard soldiers. The suit claimed the Army fraudulently induced soldiers to enlist without specifying that their service might be involuntarily extended.

Courts also have backed the policy’s legality in Oregon and California cases.

Jules Lobel, a University of Pittsburgh law professor who represented the National Guard soldiers, said a successful challenge to stop-loss was still possible.

“I think the whole stop-loss program is a misrepresentation to people of how long they’re going to actually serve. I think it’s caused tremendous morale problems, tremendous psychological damage to people,” Lobel said.

“When you sign up for the military, you’re saying, ‘I’ll give you, say, six years and then after six years I get my life back.’ And they’re saying, ‘No, really, we can extend you indefinitely.”‘

Congressional critics have assailed stop-loss, and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry called it “a back-door draft.” The United States abolished the draft in 1973, but the all-volunteer military never before has been tested by a protracted war.

A report commissioned by the Pentagon called stop-loss a “short-term fix” enabling the Army to meet ongoing troop deployment requirements, but said such policies “risk breaking the force as recruitment and retention problems mount.” It was written by Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer.

Thompson added, “The persistent use of stop-loss underscores the fact that the war-fighting burden is being carried by a handful of soldiers while the vast majority of citizens incur no sacrifice at all.”

NEW AYLETT.


FAIN THE SORCERER
by Steve Aylett
PS Publishing UK

A Cabellian fantasy. After strangling a mime in the King’s court, Fain encounters a crazy old man who offers to grant him three wishes. What will Fain ask for?

Looping through his own past and offending kings and leaders throughout the world, Fain searches for the means to wisely direct his new powers. His quest becomes progressively more vivid as he encounters monsters, mermaids, warlocks and autarchs, gathering richer understanding with each new magic gift.

With an introduction by ALAN MOORE and cover artwork by AYLETT, Fain the Sorcerer is a dense and mischievous work of shamanic satire.

SIGNED by Aylett and Moore.
out April 2006

WAITING FOR SLY.

Sly Stone’s Surprise

Reclusive Musician May Emerge to Perform At Grammy Awards
By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2006; C01

Sly Stone, the reclusive, long-vanished funk-rock pioneer whose potent recordings in the late 1960s and early ’70s defined the era and altered the course of popular music, may be about to strut back into the public eye.

According to several friends and associates, discussions are well underway about a Sly and the Family Stone reunion performance at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.

It would be Stone’s first live performance since 1987, and his first major public appearance since Jan. 12, 1993, when Sly and the Family Stone were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It would also mark the first time since 1971 that the band has played in its original configuration. (Drummer Greg Errico quit the group that year and was soon followed by bass player Larry Graham.)

As songwriter, producer, bandleader and singer, Stone dazzled the world of pop music more than 35 years ago with a string of superlative anthems — timeless songs, including “Dance to the Music,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “Family Affair” and “Everyday People” (whose lyric “Different strokes for different folks” became a slogan for the Woodstock generation). By the early ’70s, though, he had developed an all-consuming cocaine addiction, and he soon faded from the spotlight. Speculation on the whereabouts and condition of Sly Stone has been a pop pastime for decades.

Ron Roecker, a spokesman for the Recording Academy, wouldn’t confirm that the reunion is on the Grammy-night schedule, which already includes an all-star tribute to Sly and the Family Stone. The tribute — featuring John Legend, Maroon 5, will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, among others, performing a medley of Sly classics — was announced yesterday by the academy. (All the artists appear on a Sly and the Family Stone tribute album that will be released the day before the Grammys.)

“The facts are what we put in the press release,” Roecker said. “As far as anything else, it’s all just rumor. But we do believe that he is attending the Grammy Awards.”

He added: “It seems like the right time for him. We’re thrilled that we’ll be able to do this.”

Stone’s manager, Jerry Goldstein, could not be reached for comment.

Nor could Stone himself — no surprise, given that he stopped speaking to the media in about 1987.

But sources close to the band said rehearsals are scheduled to begin next week in Santa Monica, Calif. They cautioned, however, that the reunion could implode at any point, given Stone’s long history of erratic behavior.

Still, that there’s talk at all about a Sly Stone coming-out party is a surprise.

“He’s been in seclusion for so long, he’s like J.D. Salinger,” said Greg Zola, who is producing and directing “On the Sly: In Search of the Family Stone,” a documentary about the elusive musician and his band mates. “He was so famous for a period of time, but he’s just not around anymore. A lot of people who you’d think are in the know actually think Sly Stone is dead.”

Stone’s younger sister, Vaetta, acknowledges as much on her Web site, where she’s selling T-shirts that say, simply: “Sly Lives.”

“I don’t think Sly has been hurting from his underground status — I think he likes the mystique,” said Rickey Vincent, author of “Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of the One” and host of a funk radio show in the San Francisco Bay area. “But it would be nice to see him make a triumphant return — to be treated the way Carlos Santana was at the Grammys a few years ago, and the way George Clinton was treated at the Grammys.”

Clinton thinks so, too.

A funk legend himself, Clinton was forced to rethink his approach to music after hearing Sly and the Family Stone’s landmark 1969 album, “Stand!”

“He’s my idol; forget all that peer stuff,” Clinton said. “I heard ‘Stand!,’ and it was like: Man , forget it! That band was perfect. And Sly was like all the Beatles and all of Motown in one. He was the baddest thing around. What he don’t realize is that him making music now would still be the baddest. Just get that band back together and do whatever it is that he do.”

In its heyday, from roughly 1968 through 1971, Sly and the Family Stone created revolutionary music, an intoxicating mix of psychedelic pop, pulsating funk and social commentary. Among the first fully integrated groups on the American music scene, with blacks and whites and men and women together onstage, the seven-piece San Francisco band played the world’s biggest venues while cranking out hit after cutting-edge hit.

Stone was an innovator whose work inspired Motown to find its social conscience, helped persuade Miles Davis to go electric, and ultimately laid out a blueprint for generations of black pop stars, from Prince and Michael Jackson to OutKast, D’Angelo and Lenny Kravitz.

“There’s black music before Sly Stone, and there’s black music after Sly Stone,” said Joel Selvin, author of “Sly and the Family Stone: An Oral History” and a San Francisco Chronicle music critic for the past 30 years. “He completely changed what black music was. I mean, he changed Motown! Before Sly, the Temptations were ‘I’m Losing You.’ After Sly, they were ‘Ball of Confusion.’ It’s a black and white moment.

“The album ‘Stand!’ summed up the times, with the humanitarian sentiments, in a perfect sloganeering way. ‘Dance to the Music,’ ‘There’s a Riot Goin’ On’ — these were revolutionary documents. And Sly’s statements last. They sound as good today as they did when they were recorded. There’s really nobody like Sly Stone in the history of black music.”

Lamont Dozier, part of the Holland/Dozier/Holland hit-making machine at Motown, said in an interview that Stone “took music in a new direction, another step forward. He definitely had some potent stuff, and some new stuff, in a new voice. It was this funky, street-y, but pop R&B music. I was very much a fan.”

Said Vincent: “Sly was so far ahead of everybody else, he was flaming out when everybody was still trying to figure him out.”

Indeed, even as Stone’s star was ascending, he was deteriorating personally — skipping concerts (he missed a third of the band’s shows in 1970), blowing off record-label deadlines, acting increasingly ornery. He was abusive toward associates, band mates, friends and family members, too: Once, upon being caught with cocaine and a handgun, Stone — whose real name was Sylvester Stewart — told police that his name was Freddie Stewart. (Freddie was Sly’s little brother and the guitarist in the Family Stone.)

By 1975, the hits had dried up, and Stone’s downward spiral quickened.

“He was so creative, one of the most talented guys I’ve ever met,” said R&B great Bobby Womack. “It was inspirational being around him. He made some great music. He just wasn’t happy in his personal life. He got to the point he wouldn’t even listen to his own stuff. That’s paranoia. As the drugs set in, the warm, creative side went away. And then it got worse and worse. He was a person out of control.”

Womack added: “We used to be as tight as bark on a tree. But I haven’t heard from Sly in 15 years. At least. The last time I saw him, I was driving down Hollywood Boulevard, and he was going the opposite way. I blew the horn and said, ‘Sly!’ He looked at me and just kept going.

“But then he turned around and said, ‘Bobby, I can’t do that to you, man.’ I said: ‘What was that about?’ “

Stone, who’d once earned a reported $2 million per album, was cut loose by Epic Records in 1978. Warner Bros. offered a half-million-dollar contract, and in 1979, the label released Stone’s “Back on the Right Track.” It didn’t even crack the Top 150 — a disastrous showing for an artist who was once a fixture at the top of the charts.

Stone summarily retreated from the studio and the spotlight. His brother Freddie told Spin magazine several years later that Stone had “wanted to get away from the fast pace. He just kicked back. . . . He didn’t want to be out in front anymore. The glamour didn’t mean anything anymore. He wanted to be normal.”

In 1981, Stone — who’d been raised in a strict Pentecostal household and grew up singing gospel songs with his siblings — reemerged to work with Clinton on a Funkadelic album, a summit that resulted in both artists getting arrested for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

As Stone’s career faltered, his legal problems mounted. In 1983, he was charged in Illinois with possessing a sawed-off shotgun; was found barely conscious in a Fort Myers, Fla., hotel room, apparently a result of a cocaine overdose; and was then arrested during the middle of a show in Fort Lauderdale on charges that he’d stolen a ring from a hotel owner. (During one court hearing that year, bailiffs had to shake Stone awake.)

In November 1987, on the eve of a two-night comeback engagement at a small club in Hollywood, Stone told a Los Angeles Times reporter that he was clean, saying: “I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. I’m straight, I’m clean. What else can I say?” The night after the first show — which was declared a disaster by a Times critic — Stone was arrested outside the club for having failed to pay $2,856 in child support. He was also charged with cocaine possession.

“It’s amazing he’s still here,” Errico said in an interview last fall. “But he is. I always say that a cat has nine lives, and Sly has nine cats. He’s a character in every respect.”

In 1989, after failing to show up for a court date in Los Angeles, Stone was declared a fugitive. The FBI arrested him in Connecticut and extradited him to Los Angeles, where, in a two-week span at the end of the year, Stone pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of cocaine and then guilty again to two counts of cocaine possession.

Since then, the world has heard very little from — or about — Sly Stone. Just a single song recorded with Earth, Wind & Fire, a national advertising campaign for Toyota that used “Everyday People,” and the 1993 appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, where the six original members of Family Stone (drummer Errico, bassist Graham, saxophonist Jerry Martini, trumpet player Cynthia Robinson and the siblings Freddie and Rose Stone) walked onto the stage, sang a bit of “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” said their thanks . . . and then waited for Sly to surface.

“As usual, it’s just us,” Rose said, looking at her watch.

Sly finally materialized, in an electric-blue leather jumpsuit, and gave a brief speech, which concluded: “See you soon.”

Bucking Hall of Fame tradition, he didn’t stop afterward to pose for pictures with his band mates, instead disappearing into the night — and into the ether, for 13 years of radio silence.

There are rumors, of course: He’s broke! He’s dead! He’s homeless! Insane!

Stone, who is 61 or 62, or maybe 64 (“I’ve lied about my age so much, I’m not quite sure how old I am,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1987), is either living: In a mansion in Beverly Hills; in a dingy apartment in the San Fernando Valley; on the streets of Hollywood; in a nice place in Pacific Palisades; or elsewhere in Southern California.

“He’s in Malibu,” said Clinton. But Clinton isn’t completely sure, since he couldn’t get Stone on the phone — even after Stone left a message for his friend to call.

In 1986, Stone was living in an apartment in Toluca Lake, Calif., when his landlord filed a lawsuit, alleging that Stone and a roommate were making excessive noise — and that they’d refused to leave the apartment after being served an eviction notice.

His health is also unclear. Stone’s manager, Goldstein, recently told an associate that Sly is “frail.” When Stone surfaced at his father’s funeral in 2002, he was reportedly in bad shape.

“Sly went down the aisle of his brother’s church with his mother on his arm, and nobody recognized him, because he has a hunchback,” Selvin said. “He deprived his body of too much nutrition over the years.”

There are reports — unconfirmed, as with much in the murky, mysterious world of Sly Stone — that he’s done recording sessions and then gone in and erased all the tapes.

“He’s got hundreds of songs that he’s sleeping on,” Errico said. “He’s been writing the whole time. Where are all those songs? But I haven’t heard one in 20 years. He’s written and destroyed who knows how many great songs over the years with all the insanity he’s been through.”

But Stone is said to have been recording recently with his sister Vaetta, who performs in a Family Stone tribute band. Last year he even surfaced at one of her shows, in Los Angeles.

Zola, who’s making the documentary on Sly and the Family Stone, was at the club that night and saw Sly Stone with his very own eyes.

“This adventure to find Sly, it can feel hopeless,” he said. “There was a period of time where I really wondered where he was. But he was there! It was remarkable.”