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Without You I’m Nothing

Jan 4 – May 1, 2011, 8  am–5 pm

A Four-Month Companion Series of Artist and Audience Activations

Jonathan Chen: Amplified
Jan 4–May 1

For this work, visitors may use a microphone and a small amplified speaker so that when speaking, their voice is lightly amplified.

Lou Mallozzi: Outpost
Jan 4–9:
Tue 6–8 pm
Wed–Sun 1–3 pm

A telescope is set up on the fourth-floor mezzanine with a microphone connected to loudspeakers placed ear-level at the gallery entrances below. For two hours each day, the artist looks through the telescope and focuses on audience members, describing them in as much detail as possible using the microphone. When the artist is not present the system is available to the public, with simple instructions to look through the telescope and describe what you see. In this way, the audience acts as both subject and object, observers and the observed.

Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey: The Labors
Tue–Sun, Jan 11–16: 10:30 am–12:30 pm and 2:30–4 pm

Ten invited artists perform a site-specific dance relating the course of human and celestial bodies. A computer generates notation for the dance based on a celestial map. While star data coordinates the dancers’ position in terms of footwork, visitor interviews about their own work guides their gestures, marking the passing of time through the movements inherent in human labor.

Sara Schnadt: Drafting Universes
Jan 18–23:
Tue 6–8 pm
Fri–Sun 3–5 pm

This process-based performance—a gesture of repeated creation, explosion, and removal—is an attempt to approximate the universe within a 7-foot-square grid on the floor. Referencing Carl Andre’s Zinc-Lead Plain (1969) and Dan Peterman’s Ground Cover (1995), Schnadt’s mirrored, tiled grid implies a field of measurement that when filled with “stars”—tiny metal nuts—becomes an approximation of the experience of looking at the night sky. The “stars” are created by scattering hundreds of the nuts onto the surface of the grid, which then resemble the distribution of stars within a constellation. Through this repeated gesture that is simultaneously clinical, evocative, and absurd, Schnadt considers the diligence, imagination, and hubris of the scientific process as it tries to define the unknown.

Justin Cabrillos: Following Dance
Jan 25–30:
Tue 5–7 pm
Wed–Sun 2–4 pm

Named after Vito Acconci’s Following Piece (1969), in which Acconci followed the public, Cabrillos observes gestures of the audience in the exhibition. These gestures and physical movements become source material for choreography performed on and around Vito Acconci’s ladder, Bridge Chairs for Sex and Gender (1984). This site-specific choreography follows, repeats, recombines, and amplifies the MCA visitors’ past and real-time interactions with the exhibition.

Nance Klehm: Culture of Soil
Sat, Feb 5, 3 pm

In traditional agricultural communities, the new moon marks the beginning of spring when the tree sap starts running. On Saturday, February 5, at 3 pm, Klehm hosts an outdoor fire in the MCA’s Sculpture Garden where maple syrup tea is made and shared. The work continues on a walk where Klehm tells stories about the uses of trees within the urban landscape.

Coppice (Noé Cuéllar and Joseph Kramer): Vinculum (Coincidence)
Feb 8–13:
Tue, 1–3 pm and 5–7 pm
Wed–Sun 1–3 pm

Live performances for two accordions with four speakers play back pre-recorded sounds. The gallery is filled with multiple sounds, all at a moderate volume. The score is procedural, deriving its instructions from coincidences between two accordions as they intersect with the pre-recorded material and the activity in the space.

Keith A. Buchholz, Picasso Gaglione, and Fluxus Artists: FLUXFEST
Feb 15–20:
Tue, 12:31 pm and 6:35 pm
Wed, 12:03 pm
Thu, 12:15–3:15 pm
Fri, 12:36 pm
Sat, 12:34 pm
Sun, 12:33 pm

This exploration of Fluxus activity includes contemporary re-interpretations of classic Fluxus scores and actions; new Fluxus performances by Fluxus artists; and a presentation of the Postal Art Network. Performers include the Chicago Fluxus Ensemble and invited Fluxus artists.

Luna Negra Dance Theater: interaction APPLE
Tue–Sun, Feb 22–27, noon and 4 pm

Dancers from Luna Negra perform site-specific choreography inspired by some of the works of the exhibition, including Dan Peterman’s Villa Deponie and Ground Cover.

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE): The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies
Sat, Feb 26: 9:30 pm
Tickets $10, with White Silence ticket $5

This special late-night concert in the gallery explores the acoustic properties of percussion instruments. Performed by master percussionist Steve Schick, this 65-minute piece is divided into seven movements, each of which is performed in a different area of the gallery.

Kirsten Leenaars: On Our Way to Tomorrow
Mar 1–6: Tue noon–7 pm; Wed–Sun noon–4:30 pm
Mar 8–13: Tue noon–7 pm; Wed–Sun noon–4:30 pm

This performance is a soap opera based on real-life drama, to be filmed on location at the MCA, using MCA staff and visitors as the core actors and extras. The plotlines and characters in the soap opera unfold as determined by input from the visitors, since each day a new episode is filmed and a scenario for the next episode is developed.

On Our Way to Tomorrow – episode 5 from Kirsten Leenaars on Vimeo.

On Our Way to Tomorrow
Watch every episode at http://vimeo.com/user5754735.

Dexter Bullard: The Dialogues
Mar 15–20: Tue 7–8 pm; Thu–Sat 3–4 pm

These performances involve pairs of well known Chicago-rooted performers who have a conversation over the phone, not knowing who they are talking to. The audience listens in on the conversation while a guest sound artist mixes a hypnotic, sonic sound, adding an additional dimension to the changing tone of the conversations.

Adelheid Mers: Talking about Creativity
Mar 22–27:
Tue, 10 am–noon (open seminar), 12:15–12:45 pm (lecture), 1:30–3:30 pm (conversation)
Wed–Sun, 12:15–12:45 pm (lecture), 1:30–3:30 pm (conversation)

Mers presents a series of lectures each day of the week on the theme of creativity. The lectures are a response to current thinking about the role of creativity in contemporary society which postulates that artists may be the key to jump-starting a new global economy. Diagrams illustrate the lectures and visitors are invited to modify them during conversations.

Jonathan Chen: 19 situations for six improvisers: a system for hearing
Mar 29–Apr 2: Tue 7–8 pm; Thu and Sat, 2–3 pm

In this improvisational work each musician is provided with a pair of headphones to listen to another performer. The musicians improvise in response to the other musicians they hear, although this changes throughout the performance. Audience members are able to use the headphones to hear exactly the same sound as the musician they are near. The audience can experience the multiple perspectives central to the work by moving between the spaces occupied by each musician and listening to what the musicians are hearing through the headphones.

Jan Tichy
Apr 5–10: during museum hours

Using video projection as a time-based source of light, Tichy creates physical and psychic spaces. Exploring themes of exposure, concealment, and the seen and unseen, Tichy creates an architectural projection of light on Vito Acconci’s ladder Bridge Chairs for Sex and Gender, with which the audience can interact.

Amber Ginsburg and Lia Rousset: Viewing Soundscapes: Tapping the Audience
Apr 12–17: during museum hours

Tapping the Audience invites the audience to slip on a pair of tap shoes, amplifying the gallery experience and creating an audible acknowledgment of our physical patterns of viewing.

Trisha Brown: Early Works
Sat, Apr 16, 3–4 pm
Free with museum admission or performance ticket

In a rare event, dancers from the Trisha Brown Dance Company perform signature works from the company’s 40-year history, including Accumulation (1971) set to the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band”, Sticks (1973), and Spanish Dance (1973) set to Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Mornin’ Rain” performed by Bob Dylan.

Sara Black: Object Recovery
Apr 19–24: Tue–Wed, Fri–Sun, noon–5 pm

For this performance-based project addressing notions of loss, repair, concession, and renewal, Black repairs a broken object, which she fixes in collaboration with the audience member who brought in the object.

Katrina Chamberlin: Mnemonic
Apr 26–May 1: Tue, 11 am–2 pm and 3–8 pm; Wed–Sun, 11 am–1 pm and 2–5 pm

Chamberlin invites the public to participate in her work by receiving an actual tattoo of a small black dot. Responding to the ephemeral nature of performance, the ‘mnemonic’ as tattoo is a constant reminder of the original performance. This event, in turn, creates a permanent mark on the city, documenting the movement of the visitors to the museum, as well as creating permanent proof of something larger than themselves.

Interactions is curated by Tricia Van Eck, Associate Curator