TARAB : I'm Lost
23five019, Compact Disc
release date: June 24, 2014
$12.98, plus shipping

A schizoid-concrete opus of environmental sounds heightened, stimulated, decontextualized, and teased into a psychic puzzle of industrialized and post-industrialized detritus, I'm Lost marks another milestone in the ever impressive catalogue from Australian sound-artist Eamon Sprod, who adopts the moniker Tarab for his endeavors. The title is one that explodes with a multitude of meaning. There's the geographical frustration in losing one's way as the surrounding landmarks fail to match with whatever technology may be in use (e.g. a sextant, a compass, an iPhone, a torn map, one's poor memory of a childhood neighborhood, etc.). There's the psychological implications of being lost from the existential narratives that we have scripted for ourselves due to broken relationships, failed jobs, dead relatives, natural disasters, the hand of God, etc. In addition to these possibilities, Sprod proposes that the notion of "lost" could also be an inversion of the idea of the "found object" or the "found sound," instead becoming the "lost object" or the "lost sound." Sprod's semantic wordplay is hardly a conceptual gimmick, as he fully immerses himself in the confusional framework while maintaining a consummate technical prowess over his field recordings. The compositional approach is rhizomatic, with dead-ends, wrong turns, and reprisals of these same dead-ends and wrong turns, offering a blackhumor sneer at the stubbornness of humanity's inability to learn from our mistakes (e.g. pollution, blight, poverty, disease, etc). Within the album's harsh edits and disjointed collages, Sprod renders sound with dysphoric associations through his vacant drift, crumbled gravel, scalding plasma-tube frequencies, and putrid factory noise. I'm Lost achieves the same psychological gravity as heard in the works of Sudden Infant, P16.D4, and John Duncan with an even greater sense of dislocation from those pioneers of radical tape splicing.

Purchase by clicking on the publications link above, or here.

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Camilla Hannan / Martine Corompt / Van Sowerwine (Melbourne)
Private Language (New York)

Friday • June 13, 2014 • doors 7:30pm / performance sharp at 8pm • $15.00 / $10.00 members & underemployed
Center For New Music • 55 Taylor Street • San Francisco, California •

Camilla Hannan (sound), Martine Corompt & Van Sowerwine (image) will be presenting the multi-media project Dark Night, Bright Light. Journey into the night, where sound overtakes and images are glimpsed. Meanings are mixed and metaphors dominate. Cacophony, silence, disruption and crescendo. Camilla Hannan’s sound work sits upfront and centre, taking you to places that are simultaneously familiar and alien. In collaboration with visual artists and animators Martine Corompt and Van Sowerwine. Dark Night, Bright Light inhabits and transcends.

Converting glass, metal and water into electroacoustic sculpture, Private Language, the NYC based duo of Melissa Clarke and Nat Roe, turns the performance space itself into a resonant instrument. Further integrating room tones with radio transmissions and electronics, Private Language straddles the barriers of electroacoustic improvisation, noise, appropriation and film. Cut-up, digitally manipulated projections are improvised and tied synesthetically to sound. Kaleidoscopic geometrical solids frame encounters with culture as surreal, uncanny and sometimes alienating. Video footage is sourced from Youtube and into a software patch which employs similarity algorithms to cycle through visuals in a manner that mirrors the chance-based subject matter of flipping through a radio dial.

Camilla Hannan is an Australian sound artist who works exclusively with field recordings. She processes these recordings into abstract representations of place and experience. She investigates the construction of urban and natural environments sonically, and spatially, morphing these elements into new unsettling worlds. She has a particular interest in site-specific work outside of traditional gallery and narrative constructs. Camilla works in installation. performance, composition and radio. Hannan’s work has been represented in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A. She has performed at festivals including Activating The Medium (San Francisco), ParisSonic (France) and Liquid Architecture National festival of Sound Art (Australia). Her installation work has been featured at Instants Chavirés Paris, the Sydney Opera House, San Francisco MOMA, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the AC Institute, New York. She is a radio producer with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Van Sowerwine works across the areas of stop motion animation, interactives, sculpture and photography. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the ICA, London, at Ars Electronica, Linz, at the Seoul New Media Biennale, at the Art Gallery of NSW and as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival’s visual arts program. Her short films have screened at film festivals across the world including at Cannes and at the Sundance Film Festival.

Martine Corompt works predominantly with moving image installation with a specific interest in researching aspects of animation such as reductive representation, caricature and the animate space. Subjects such as the representation of bodies of water and the natural and unnatural landscape have been used to probe these ideas so far. Her work has been exhibited nationally within Australia as well as America, Japan and Europe.  She is currently undertaking a PhD at VCA Melbourne University titled ‘Forced perspectives; cartoon and the cult of reduction’.

Melissa F. Clarke is an interdisciplinary artist whose work employs data and generative self-programmed compositional environments. Clarke works at the intersections of research, data, science, and art. She's interested in open source tools, online spaces, and citizen science with a background in interaction and electronic visual and audio art. Melissa recently was an artist in residence at the Simon’s Center for Art and Geometry at SUNY Stonybrook, and has performed and exhibited her multimedia work at spaces such as : Interactive Art Fair, FL (2013), Eastern Bloc, CA (2013), Reverse Art Space, NY (2012, 2013), 319 Scholes, NY (2011), Eyebeam, NY (2012), Issue Project Room, (2009) NY, Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, NY (2013), Electronic Music Foundation, (2008), and the International Biennial of Contemporary Art ULA-2010, Venezuela (2010). She is a graduate of NYU’s ITP program with a 2 year Tisch Fellowship.

Nat Roe is a sound-collagist, radio broadcaster and community organizer. His weekly radio program with leading freeform radio station WFMU is a platform for collage, remixes and sociological free-association. Nat is a co-founder of Silent Barn, a performance and cross-disciplinary co-working hub in Brooklyn. Roe has performed in spaces such as Eyebeam, NY, Roulette Intermedia, NY, The Filmmaker’s Cooperative, NY, and has been interviewed in publications such as Adhoc, Frieze Magazine, The Village Voice, The New York Times and L Magazine.

Elise Baldwin (San Francisco)
MSHR (Portland)
Seitz vs. Gendreau (Oakland / San Francisco)

presented in conjunction with the SFCinematheque's Crossroads Festival
Saturday • April 5, 2014 • 8pm • $5 members / $10 non-members • Festival Pass: $25 members / $50 non-members
Victoria Theatre • 2961 16th Street • San Francisco, California •

Apparent Motion is Crossroads’ annual celebration of projection as art and object, the cinematic exhibition apparatus exposed as a primal light and sound machine, an invention without a future, ripe for rediscovery

Seitz vs Gendreau defines a particular collaborative audiovisual experience, containing a wide-ranging array of images, instruments and sources. Phantom Needle is narrative vidéo concrète: the 2½ pillars of film, with illegal flight images and those of sealed bunkers and a live soundtrack.

Elise Baldwin is active in the San Francisco experimental music and electronic art community, focusing on solo intermedia performance and collaborative music ventures. She holds a degree in Film and Video production as well as an MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College. Elise can be found cooking up aurally hazardous byproducts in her studio or building software instruments for video manipulation. She has spent much of the past decade working as a multimedia director, recording engineer, sound designer, and digital video editor on commercial, gaming and educational projects. She has designed sound and created musical compositions for many theater and film productions, and had the good fortune to collaborate with many talented musicians, dancers, performers and theater companies in San Francisco and elsewhere. The Philosophy of Storms (2014): “The Philosophy of Storms is inspired by my fascination with early American meteorology, storm watching and our cultural evolution from a faith-based society to a scientific one. In the Victorian era, storms were often interpreted to be signs from God or indications of coming end times. With recording and communication technology, our collective perceptions of weather shifted towards scientific and predictive models. As always in my work, there is the tension between the natural world and the technological means that we use to measure and record it.” (Elise Baldwin)

MSHR is Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper. “They come from Portland, Oregon, a land of wild forests and dormant volcanoes, and consistent with the spirit of the place, they created a decidedly unusual performance. With measured, almost religious, gestures, these media priests celebrated the rites of mysterious lands using a primitive, hellish contraption. After asking us to take our shoes off, MSHR created visions and sounds through technologically up-to-date noisemakers, visions and sounds between the borders of reality, primitive magic and science fiction, opening a path for us towards the New World. All of us present found ourselves immersed in an uninterrupted flow of noise, images and action, leading us on a THREE-DIMENSIONAL ADVENTURE three-dimensional adventure and making us rediscover the roots of our consciousness. Without using drugs of any kind, they projected us into a dream of the future.” (Paola Manfrin, Vogue Italy)

G*PARK : Sub
23five018, Double Compact Disc
release date: September 24, 2013
$15.98, plus shipping

The most enigmatic of the Schimpfluch-Gruppe, Marc Zeier in the man behind G*Park; and here, he presents his first major album since the acclaimed 2008 album of cryptic electro-acoustics entitled Reuters. Many years in the making, Sub is a sprawling masterpiece of modern day musique concrete, reflecting the early pioneers' use of razor cut tape with a grandiose revelation of an existential horror. Zeier describes this album as the manifestation of amorphous conditions that lead to (or interfere with) representational forms or states of being. His examples of the shifting patterns from clouds of blackbirds or the clinging masses from algae blooms are rudimentary entry points for his rhizomatic, chimerical work.

For every malignant drone and turgid thrumming, Zeier will puncture his fluttering, frozen methane surfaces with jagged incisions, pneumatic hammerings, and decompressed gasps. This fragmented punctuation is a signature to the G*Park aesthetic, used highly effectively in mapping his clinical situations turned septic. The titles to the tracks on Sub address the physical attributes of the source material that went into each track, with some decidedly specific ("Swine", "Wasp", "Stone") and others nebulously abstract ("Purge", "Glow", "Pulse"). For Zeier, the exact nature of the sound object is informed more by a shadowy deconstruction than by a direct representation, thrust into an absurd existence as an abomination, a violation, a monster.

Sub locates itself near the psychological minefields of Luc Ferrari, Steven Stapleton's prediliction for windows, and the cruel x-ray visions from fellow Swiss aktionists Sudden Infant & Dave Phillips.

disc one
1. White
2. Stone
3. Ice
4. Swine
5. Wasp
6. Stack

disc two
2. Purge
3. Stridor
4. Breath
5. Pulse

Purchase through by clicking on the publications link above, or here.

Bonnie Jones & Andrea Neumann (Baltimore / Berlin)
Danishta Rivero (San Francisco)

presented in conjunction with the sfSoundSalonSeries
Tuesday • February 11, 2014 •7:49pm • $15.00 / $10.00 members & underemployed
Center For New Music • 55 Taylor Street • San Francisco, California •

Bonnie Jones is a Korean-American writer, improvising musician, and performer working primarily with electronic music and text. Born in 1977 in South Korea she was raised by dairy farmers in New Jersey, and currently resides in Baltimore, MD. Bonnie creates improvised and composed text-sound performances that explore the fluidity and function of electronic noise (field recordings, circuit bending) and text (poetry, found, spoken, visual). She is interested in how people perceive, "read" and interact with these sounds and texts given our current technological moment. Bonnie has received commissions from the London ICA and has presented her work in the US, Europe, and Asia and collaborates frequently with writers and musicians including Ric Royer, Carla Harryman, Andy Hayleck, Joe Foster, Andrea Neumann, Liz Tonne, and Chris Cogburn. She received her MFA at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.

Born 1968 in Freiburg, Andrea Neumann studied classical piano at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin and has been active primarily as musician and composer in the fields of new music and experimental music since 1994. She has been significantly involved in the formation and development of the "echtzeitmusik" scene in Berlin, which borders on fields as varied as noise, electronica, contemporary composed music, performance, and sound art. She has co-organized “Labor Sonor,” a series for experimental music, film and performance in Berlin since 2000. Her exploration of the piano for new sound possibilities has led her to reduce the instrument to its strings, its resonance board and the cast-iron frame. Playing this unmounted 'leftover' of a piano, with the help of electronics to amplify and manipulate the sound, she has developed several of her own playing techniques, sounds, and ways for preparing the instrument. She has engaged in intensive cooperations in the mixed border areas between composition and improvisation, between electronic and hand-made music, between instrumental and performative music with ensembles like "Les Femmes Savantes", "Phosphor" and with musicians like Sophie Agnel, Burkhard Beins, Sabine Ercklentz, Bonnie Jones, Annette Krebs, and Hanna Hartman. Concert and festival performances in Europa, USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Australia and Japan In 2008 she was a fellow at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles. In 2008, she received an honorary mention by Prix Ars Electronica for her piece Videobrücke Berlin-Stockholm, a collaboration with Sabine Ercklentz.

Danishta Rivero is a musician and sound artist who resides in San Francisco. She performs solo improvisations on the Hydrophonium, a water-based electro-acoustic percussion instrument. Danishta also does vocals and digital processing in Blood Wedding, a just intonation noise duo with Chuck Johnson on steel guitar and modular synth. Through the years, she has been involved in various music projects. Most notably, she was lead vocalist of progressive metal band Aghora (1997-2006), and she co-founded Optiphonal Wonder Machine, a multimedia collaboration with Jennifer Rannells.

R.I.P. Zbigniew Karkowski // 1958-2013

23five co-presents : Tension at Battery Townsley
as part of the Soundwave (5) Biennial

Battery Townsley at Fort Cronkhite
Golden Gate National Park
August 5, 2012

Eli Keszler (New York)
Ben Bracken and Ashley Bellouin (Oakland)
Tom Duff (San Francisco)

Soundwave Humanities takes you into the wilderness for a sonic event like no other. Up in the hills of the Marin Headlands, amongst the gorgeous ocean and parklands, lies a structure steeped with history, Battery Townsley at Fort Cronkhite. Built in 1940 during WWII, this strongest and most secretive harbor fortification was a marvel in technology outfitted with battleship guns to defend the western shores against the Japanese navy. After the war, the outpost was a military testing site but by the 1980s, it was largely abandoned. National Park Service took authority and historians, contractors and Volunteers in Parks helped restore a historic site.

Sound artists will use the Battery to explore notions of Tension (war and peace, and love and desire) in this former war installation with special performance installations using the extreme resonant spaces with the tensions of strings and stringed instrumentation to give voice to the Battery of what once was and what will become. New York artist Keszler creates a large scale mechanical string installation in the Battery gunwell formerly outfitted with battleship guns. Sonic duo Bracken and Bellouin use hand-made instruments that utilize strings, aluminum, wood, and microtonal tuning systems in the battery tunnel. Sound artist Duff creates Wire Machine, inspired seminal composition/installation Music on a Long Thin Wire, inside the battery rooms and hallways.

Tarab : Japan Tour, June 2012

+quiet : Ochiai Soup, Toyko
June 10, 2012
Tarab & Hiroki Sasajima
Chihei Hatakeyama
DJ Reizen

Test Tone 82: Moving Derivatives of Stasis : Super-Deluxe, Tokyo
June 12, 2012

Tim Olive + Madoka Kouno + Cal Lyall
Black Zenith

23five Incorporated presents the fifteenth annual Activating The Medium festival
in collaboration with Art Practical, The Lab, and the San Francisco Art Institute

Since 1998, 23five Incorporated has produced the annual Activating The Medium festival -- an internationally recognized showcase for the most innovative and visionary practitioners of sound art. Now entering its fifteenth season, Activating The Medium addresses the theme of a 'dark ecology' -- a term which comes from the philosopher Timothy Morton, who argues that the idea of nature and the attitudes surrounding those ideas are the stumbling blocks to environmental thinking. A glance through the lens of dark ecology refuses to idealize nature as a Romanticized other; furthermore, it eschews the notion that mankind has disturbed and transgressed nature through our engineering and manipulation. A dark ecology frames reality that anything has the potential to disrupt everything, with global catastrophes inevitably occurring through such relationships. As such, Morton beseeches an aesthetic that does not forget the murk, the grime, and the filth that are the symptoms, causes, and glue of what might have once been described as 'nature.' It is from this vantage point that 23five is curating the 2012 Activating The Medium festival, seeking works that engage the specter of noise pollution, the melancholy of eco-acoustic blight, the horror of technological chimeras, and / or the altered states that may emerge from such meditations through sound-based composition and performance.

Activating The Medium XV : Chapter One 
Friday, April 20, 2012 : San Francisco Art Institute
Bevin Kelley / Blevin Blectum (Providence)
8pm : free lecture

Activating The Medium XV : Chapter Two
Saturday, April 21, 2012 : San Francisco Art Institute
Bevin Kelley / Blevin Blectum (Providence)
Pod Blotz (Oakland)
Andrea Williams (Oakland)
8pm : performances : $10 - $15 sliding scale : free to current SFAI students and staff

Activating The Medium XV : Chapter Three
Friday, April 27, 2012 : The Lab
Relay for Death (North Carolina)
Danishta Rivero (San Francisco)
Jen Boyd (Vallejo, California)
8pm : performances : $10 - $15 sliding scale

Activating The Medium XV : Chapter Four
Saturday, April 28, 2012 : The Lab
Maile Colbert (Portugal)
Marielle V. Jakobsons (Oakland)
Holly Herndon (San Francisco)
Andrea Polli (Albuquerque) : lecture
7:30 : lecture : 8pm : performances : $10 - $15 sliding scale

Activating The Medium XV : Chapter Five
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Andrea Polli (Albuquerque)
Andrea Williams (Oakland)
3pm : soundwalks : Oakland : $10

The Lab
2948 16th Street : San Francisco

San Francisco Art Institute : Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street : San Francisco

Activating The Medium XV was curated by Andrea Williams and Jim Haynes.

Runar Magnusson (Denmark / Iceland)
Jim Haynes (San Francisco)
Brown Un (San Francisco)

Saturday • November 26, 2011 • 9:00pm • $8.00 donations
Five Points Art House • 72 Tehama Street • San Francisco, California •

Runar Magnusson is an Icelandic composer, working in Copenhagen, Denmark. Inspired by the sounds of nature, horror movies, noise, and meditation, Magnusson specializes in atmospheric disturbances through minimalist compositions. While an oppressive hue is often cast upon Magnusson's work, it is nevertheless always drafted with a sly trace of humor. Over the past 10 years, Magnusson has travelled the globe presenting his work at various festivals and in various guises, including in the ensembles Vindva Mei and SameSameButDifferent. Recently, he has been focusing on surround sound, playing multi channel concerts at various locations, in churches, galleries, clubs and theaters located throughout the world including China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Mexico, and the USA. Runar is the cofounder of Hljódaklettar, a boutique record label he founded with Sabrina Joy Winogrond for the purposes of releasing rare, limited, and collectible music and organizing events of art and music.

Describing his work through the pithy phrase, "I rust things," Jim Haynes is an artist who has developed a vocabulary of decay that he has applied to photography, sculpture, installation, and sound. Haynes' sound work draws from shortwave radio static, electric field disturbances, controlled feedback manipulation, and numerous textural scrapings, manifesting broken minimalism of magnetic drones and volatile tactility. This engineering of disparate materials and media seeks to evince the unpredictability of decay, to manifest its potential for a rough hewn beauty, and to bare witness to its inevitability. He has exhibited internationally at Electric Works (San Francisco), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art , the Bekerley Art Museum, The Exploratorium (San Francisco), WestSpace (Melbourne, Australia), Jack Straw Productions (Seattle), Eyedrum (Atlanta), Diapason (New York), and The Lab (San Francisco). Haynes has published his work through the Helen Scarsdale Agency, 23five Incorporated, Intransitive, Observatoire, and Elevator Bath. He has collaborated with Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), M.S. Waldron (irr. app. (ext.)), Keith Evans, Allison Holt, and Loren Chasse. He is also a contributing writer for The Wire. Haynes is one of the Directors for 23five and is the lone occupant at the Helen Scarsdale Agency.

23five Incorporated, swissnex San Francisco, & The Lab present

Infrasound (Oakland)
Jason Kahn (Switzerland)
Francisco Meirino (Switzerland)

Tuesday • September 27, 2011 • 8:00pm • $12.00
The Lab • 2948 16th Street • San Francisco, California •

On September 27, 23five celebrates 10 years of Infrasound, the acclaimed collaborative project between Scott Arford and Randy Yau. These two sound artists engage the architecture of a particular performance space in manipulating the resonant frequencies of that space through finely tuned broadcast of specific frequencies at extreme volumes. The low frequencies literally rattle the walls and manifest standing waves through the space. As such, Infrasound performances are experienced only in a live context; and they have never played the same space twice. Infrasound will also be joined by the pioneering electro-acoustic minimalist Jason Kahn and the noise tactician of failed electronics Francisco Meirino. Preceding Infrasound, Kahn and Meirino will be presenting two solo sets and a collaborative set.

With the support from the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia.