Claudia Hart: Recumulations

Image: Claudia Hart, Recumulations, installation view / ©Claudia Hart ©Black & White Gallery/Project Space

Image: Claudia Hart, Recumulations, installation view / ©Claudia Hart ©Black & White Gallery/Project Space

Press Release / October 28 - November 27, 2011

CLAUDIA HART reconsiders Primary Accumulation (1972), the seminal dance film by Trisha Brown, in the context of post-analog media, using motion-captured performance by Roberto Sifuentes as raw data for the creation of a new animated choreography. Original score by Edmund Campion. 

Black & White Gallery / Project Space is proud to present the six-channel installation RECUMULATIONS by Claudia Hart with a score by Edmund Campion, and a live performance created by Roberto Sifuentes.

RECUMULATIONS re-examines possibilities first proposed by Trisha Brown in her systems style of choreography which she made for a real body recorded by video, and now contemporized as a virtual body performing within nonlinear digital spaces created by means of highly systemic “procedural” 3D animation and projected on the gallery walls.

The basis for RECUMULATIONS is the experimental digital-dance animation created by Claudia Hart during her residency at the Ellen Stone Belic Center for the Study of Women and Gender in the Media and Arts in 2010, created in collaboration with Roberto Sifuentes, a founding member of the performance group La Pocha Nostra, also Belic residents in 2009. The initial phase of the project was to re-perform and then interpret Brown’s Accumulation. The intentionally erratic and spastic, irrational and violent Sifuentes performance was recorded in the motion capture lab of Columbia College, for use as raw data for the creation of a new animated choreography. Sifuentes’ male and significantly gendered movements are being combined and recombined to form an irrational “rational” system of movement, inserted into a hybrid avatar digitally designed by Hart. The result is an animated trans-gendered, multiracial performing woman, apparently floating several inches above a wall, dancing by means of captured motion that accurately expresses gravity yet at the same time uncannily defies it.

On October 28th, during his live performance in the raw and stripped down environment of Black and White Gallery's Project Space, Roberto Sifuentes will mirror and respond to large-scale projections of his motion-captured performance, used by Hart as the basis of her animation. The display of Sifuentes' live body reveals the continuum from real to virtual, recombining movement, affect and interface at the level of performance. What results is a hy-borg, a hybrid identity that is both multi- cultural and post-human. 

Eerily reminiscent of the sci-fi/horror classic, Videodrome, but created decades later, Hart and Sifuentes do not express the same sense of fear and anxiety about media as was conveyed by the David Cronenberg 1983 film. RECUMULATIONS instead conveys a kind of grotesque beauty, reflecting the artist’s embrace of a contemporary world in which the fantastical artificiality made possible by advanced technologies has long since passed over the boundary of the real.

RAINDATE FOR PERFORMANCE: Sunday, October 30, 7-8:30 PM

Claudia Hart began as an editor at Artforum in the late eighties. In the nineties, she lived in Germany, where she had museum shows and received numerous national fellowships for her multi media works and illustrated books. For the past decade she has created 3D-animated installations, and is one of the first women to employ the processes found in shooter games and effects films, making a feminist critique of the gaming context. Hart is represented by bitforms gallery, NY where her solo show will open on October 29 and will be on view until December 3, 2011.

Roberto Sifuentes is an interdisciplinary performance artist. His work fuses charged cultural issues with a wild pop culture aesthetic, from homeland security to extreme reality television, video games and military training to fetishism and evangelism. A founding member of La Pocha Nostra, Sifuentes has collaborated and performed with Guillermo Gómez-Peña throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America. Both Hart and Sifuentes are professors at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Edmund Campion is currently Professor of Music at the University of Berkeley in California where he also serves as Co-Director at CNMAT (The Center for New Music and AudioTechnologies).

RECUMULATIONS was funded by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago,The Ellen Stone Belic Center for the Study of the Women and Gender in the Media and Art, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Additional support was provided by Black & White Project Space with public funds from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.