NON-EVENT at DISSOLVE
W97 at MIT
Friday, February 21, 2020

Non-Event & Dissolve@MIT present multichannel performances by

VICTORIA SHEN
MARK CETILIA
GHOST GRASS
ASHA TAMIRISA

Featuring the “d&b Soundscape,” cutting-edge 16.1 audio surround tech by d&b audio.

MIT Theater Arts W97
345 Vassar St., Cambridge
7pm | FREE, all ages

Dissolve Music @ MIT will be a three-day conference and sound festival, February 19-21, 2020, to bring together musicians, sound creators, and scholars of music and sound studies to discuss the diversity of music and experimental sound. Combining art and scholarship in a spirit of dialogue and controversy, the conference aims to dissolve boundaries between different arenas of sonic engagement to identify paths towards alternative, more inclusive futures.

About the artists:

VICTORIA SHEN is a noise musician, visual artist, and instrument-maker native to San Francisco but working out of New England.

Shen’s sound practice is concerned with the spatiality/physicality of sound and its relationship to the human body. Shen’s music floods its location acting as a form of sculpture. Her music features analog modular synthesizers (Flower Electronics), contact microphones, and other self-built electronics. These instruments are designed to electronically reproduce chaotic systems, systems which are highly sensitive to small changes in their initial parameters. The resulting music eschews conventions in harmony and rhythm in favor of the extreme textures and gestural tones.

Shen’s live video performances produces visual palimpsests and digital residues. Shen achieves this by using software she has authored in order to generate visuals combining real-time video with found footage thematically linked by sexuality, violence, and art history through a process of exaggeration/effacement.

Shen has performed solo across North America, Japan, Mexico, and Europe as Victoria Shen and Evicshen and as half of the duo TRIM in North America and the UK. Some notable venues in which she has performed include Boston City Hall, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, ISSUE Project Room NY, DOMMUNE Tokyo, and Petreon Sculpture Park Cyprus. Shen has also been an artist in residence at Elektronmusikstudion EMS Stockholm SE, WORM Rotterdam NL, Kurimanzutto New York US, and the Sound Laboratory of The Royal Danish Academy Copenhagen DK.

MARK CETILIA is a sound / media artist working at the nexus of analog and digital technologies. Exploring the possibilities of generative systems in art, design, and sound practice, Cetilia’s work is an exercise in carefully controlled chaos. He is a member of the media art group Redux, recipients of a Creative Capital grant in Emerging Fields, and the electroacoustic ensemble Mem1, described by The Grove Dictionary of American Music as “a complex cybernetic entity” whose “evolving, custom-built systems are as important an aspect of the duo’s achievements as their ever-innovative sound.” His work has been screened / installed at the ICA (London), Oboro (Montréal), and O’ (Milan); he has performed widely at venues including Café OTO (London), STEIM (Amsterdam), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and Roulette (NYC). His sound works have been published by Interval, Radical Matters, Dragon’s Eye, and Estuary Ltd., which he runs with his partner Laura.

GHOST GRASS is the solo project of Max Lord, a Boston-based improvisor who has worked in a variety of rock, noise, electronic and improv settings. Though originally identifying as a percussionist, since 2000 he has performed with Buchla electronic instruments. His recorded work as Ghost Grass recalls mid-century electronic experimentation as often as more modern improvised approaches. As a collaborator and organizer, he is closely associated with the experimental movement community and has performed with Sara June (as Lord and June) since 2006.

From 1995-1997, Max played drums in avant rock ensemble Bitchhiker, with guitarists Peter Beck and Scott West. From 1998-2000, he collaborated with the well known Boston noise musician Karlheinz as Lord & Karlheinz, terrorizing audiences across the city but leaving few recorded documents. After splitting with Karlheinz he made many powerbook-oriented experiments, working with early versions of Reaktor, max-msp and similar computer music tools. From 2001-2005 he worked out of Wire Sounds, a studio that he built in South Boston and populated with analog synthesizers and antiquated recording equipment. At Wire Sounds he built a large modular synthesizer system, created many tape-based pieces, and recorded various bits and pieces of the Boston rock underground. Some of his work from this time is documented on the CD Electronic Music 2000-2005.

After 2006, Max refocused much of his work into contexts not exclusively musical, and began a long, fruitful collaboration with movement artist Sara June. As Lord and June, they work as an improvisational group, on large-scale conceptual projects, and in collaboration with many other members of the experimental movement community. In 2009, he became a member of the Mobius Artists Group, a 37-year old artists’ collaborative supporting experimental work in all time-based media. Through Mobius, he has supported performance-based artwork and begun working more with installation-based sound works.

He continues to record and perform as Ghost Grass, in which his primary instrument is the Buchla Electric Music Box. In the past few years he has self-released 6 limited-edition tapes Ghost Grass 001-006.

ASHA TAMIRISA works with sound, video, film, and computational media, and researches media histories. Asha has performed at venues such as the ICA Boston, Bitforms Gallery (NYC), has given talks at the University of Michigan, Mount Holyoke College, Oberlin College, and Wheaton College, and held residencies at The Media Archeology Lab (Boulder, CO), Perte de Signal (Montreal, CA) and I-Park Foundation (East Haddam, CT). Asha’s work has been mentioned in the Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics and the 5th Edition of Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music, and Culture (Routledge). Along with many colleagues, Asha co-founded OPENSIGNAL, a collective of artists concerned with the state of gender and race in electronic music and art practice. Asha has taught courses at Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Girls Rock! Rhode Island, and Street Level Youth Media in Chicago. Asha recently received a PhD from Brown University in Computer Music and Multimedia and an M.A. in Modern Culture and Media, and is currently an Assistant Professor at Bates College.