Saturday, December 2nd, Byron Westbrook premieres Interval/Forum, his third and final piece as a 2017 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence. The work completes a series of conceptual environments that collaborate with audience perception and participation, making use of the theatrical setting of Irondale Arts Center to focus and expand the perception of audience presence as a dynamic performance element.
The piece experiments with an audience situated in a large stage setting that contains sound design and periodic lighting changes. The installation-as-performance environment incorporates the filmic cut and fade techniques of coordinated light and sound framing gestures used in Interval/Habitat (at ISSUE’s 22 Boerum Theater in April, 2017), while utilizing the color washes and audience illumination explored in Threshold Variations (at Abrons Art Center in September, 2017). The cohesion between these techniques aims to shift the social orientation of space dynamically between levels of “incidental” and “focused.” Sound is approached as architectural, using found sound, sound effects, white noise and contemporary music to create illusory audio design in the space, functioning in conjunction with technical lighting.
The piece places an emphasis on both visual and social “afterimages” where there is a cognitive and collective response to abrupt scene changes, allowing room for emergent audience response to the unpredictability of the environment.
The performance-as-installation runs from 8 to 10pm. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at any time during the duration of the piece, as well as move throughout the space, enter, and exit freely.
Byron Westbrook is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been performing and showing experimental sound work internationally since 2008. His work focuses on dynamics of perception using sound, lighting and video to interact with architecture and landscape, often pursuing routes that involve social engagement. He holds an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, where he studied with Marina Rosenfeld, Marcus Schmickler and David Behrman. His work has been presented at Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), ICA London, Cafe OTO (London), MoMA PS1, Fridman Gallery, Abrons Arts Center, Pioneer Works, Experimental Intermedia Foundation (NY), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Disjecta (Portland, OR), Instants Chavires Art Space (Paris), Fylkingen (Stockholm), the LAB (San Francisco), among many others. He has recorded releases with Hands in the Dark, Root Strata, Los Discos Enfantasmes and Sedimental Records. He has previously been in residence at Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Clocktower Gallery, Diapason Gallery, and EMS Stockholm.