In March of 1995, artist, poet and musician Bryan Lewis Saunders started a project to paint or draw a new self portrait every day for the rest of his life. In 2000 he was living in an 11 story apartment building where he planned to film a documentary about its well known population of creeps and loonies. One day a paraplegic was showing him a huge encyclopedia of pills and he said that you could find each of these pills somewhere in the building. This inspired him to do a series where he would try a different drug every day and then draw a self portrait under the influence.
It’s interesting to observe not only the differences in drawing styles, but also to have something tangible and external that represents the changes that occur with slight adjustments to one’s brain chemistry.
Too often, discussions about chemicals are oversimplified if you simply categorize them by what’s legal and what’s not. It’s important to be aware that any chemical you put in your body is going to affect you whether it’s thc, caffeine, msg, ritalin, or heroin. I admire Bryan for the experimental and possibly hazardous research he is sharing with the world.
There’s a great interview with Bryan on dinosaurcity where he talks more about the drug project. I also recommend exploring his website where you can see more of the self portrait series and also check out his discography of experimental music and spoken word albums which deal with the same topics. One of his latest LPs “Near Death Experience” was ranked #2 on a Wire Magazine best of list for 2010. Less than 20 vinyl copies left, available directly from Bryan’s website.
free103point9 radio presents Tony Martin’s new site-specific installation “Light Pendulum” with live music by Michelle Nagai as part of their radio festival 2009, which features “radio installation, performance, theater, walks, and a transmitter building workshop, with live video web streams:”
Tony Martin is a founder of art works using light, and has created seminal new media works since the 1960’s. Light Pendulum is a new work that is controlled by site-specific environmental conditions including light, sound, and motion. Light Pendulum functions both as a stand-alone kinetic sculpture as well as a temporal instrument used in a performance-based setting. Light Pendulum is comprised of a six-inch diameter glass pendulum suspended with nylon line from the installation space ceiling. An LED pin-light is installed at the top of the line. The pendulum’s motion is caused by the earth’s rotation and conditions of air movement. A large parabolic mirrored dish is installed directly underneath the pendulum. Receptors and sensors are positioned at the center of the dish. These receptors function as photocells, photovoltaic cells, and other signal and current producing and regulating components.
Michelle Nagai utilizes sound, physicality and concept to create site-specific performances, installations, radio broadcasts, dances, walks and other interactions that address the human state in relationship to its setting. These works and activities explore the exchange of perception between performer and audience/viewer. Nagai recognizes transmission, reception and “limbo” as continuously shifting, highly interactive states of being. She engages these states in her working process in order to open up the field of perception and action beyond that which she is herself capable of comprehending, making or doing.
Soundscape by Michelle Nagai w/ Projections by Ursula Scherrer:
Saturday, October 24th – Wine & cheese at 8pm, performance beginning at 9pm Ontological-Hysteric Theaterat St. Mark’s Church
131 E. 10th St. / New York, NY 10013 Free admission!