Satellite Dishes, Moveable Walls and a Snowscape (Part 1)

Satellite Dishes, Moveable Walls and a Snowscape (Part 1)

A performance featuring live music by Divided Like a Saint’s, experimental dance, Wiimote technology and colorful costumes.

Friday, November 14, 2008 & Saturday, November 15, 2008 8:00pm

ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, Inc.
160 Tracy Street, Unit 4
Athens, GA 30601 USA

Dancers: Allison Barfield, Jayma Lallathin, Margeaux Maerz, Meghan Thurman, Lydia Clark and Jennifer Morlock and choreographer Maryn Vance.

Musicians: Toby Broadie, Rob Peterson, Jonathan Vance and Tim Vance.

$6.00-$9.00 suggested donation, but no one turned away for lack of funds.

ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art is delighted to be hosting Satellite Dishes, Moveable Walls, and a Snowscape (Part 1), an original performance event created by the husband and wife team of Maryn & Jonathan Vance, the artistic duo behind Divided Like a Saint’s. The live event will take place at ATHICA on November 14 and 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm and will feature original music, experimental dance, colorful costumes and Wiimote technology. The event, which will run approximately an hour, is supported in part by an ICE Project Grant. ICE (Ideas for Creative Exploration) is an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts based at the University of Georgia.)

Satellite Dishes, Moveable Walls, and a Snowscape, Divided Like a Saint’s latest creation, features a ten-foot diameter satellite dish which the Vance duo recovered from a friend’s backyard. At one point the performers will take the satellite dish apart into sections and use the pieces as costumes, commenting on the obsolescence and rapid evolution of technologies, as well as wryly proposing the possible artistic reuse of the outdated technologies that litter our landscapes. Other delightful costume elements are hundreds of multi-colored braids they have fashioned which complement their colorful custom costumes. And while the elaborate musical score consists of ten new compositions written by Jonathan Vance, his brother Tim Vance (Oh No They Didn’t), and drummer Toby Broadie (Rat Babies), additional sounds will be produced by the dancers. For instance, in one section they move around wearing brightly painted ski-like 2×4′s strapped to their feet. “Musically we are experimenting with telepathy, dream-like scales, and meandering chord progressions that do not necessarily repeat,” states Jonathan.

The performance will utilize Wiimote technology–the same technology that drives the popular home video interactive game–allowing Jonathan to manipulate text and images projected on the gallery walls using a handmade infrared lightpen. (And for the technogeeks out there, a bluetooth protocol is being used to allow the wiimote to talk to the computer.)

Local dancers, Allison Barfield, Jayma Lallathin, Margeaux Maerz, Meghan Thurman, Lydia Clark and Jennifer Morlock will perform alongside choreographer Maryn Vance.

The Vances are known for combining experimental dance, live music and elaborate production elements. They formed Divided Like a Saint’s (myspace.com/dividedlikeasaints) in 2004 and have toured the United States extensively since, with the group involving a rotating array of other artists for each of their projects. After relocating from Atlanta to Athens in spring of 2007, the group teamed up with local upstart label/music collective Party Party Partners.

Maryn is a choreographer who received her BS in dance from UGA in 2001. She has performed locally at Floorspace, as well as at many national venues. Choreographically, she draws from traditional dance, raw, pedestrian movement, and improvisation. Maryn originally thought of the concept for the show in May 2007 and the Vances will develop the project and present an even more elaborate outdoor version in April 2009. (These performances will serve as part of Jonathan’s senior thesis for an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science with an emphasis on Live Art Production.) Divided Like A Saint’s musicians are known for their intriguing mix of analog electronic devices, electronically modified vocals, and unusual uses of percussion instruments. For samples please see: www.myspace.com/dividedlikeasaints.

The Vance’s have performed twice before at ATHICA. Both were such fascinating events that ATHICA Direcctor Lizzie Z. Saltz was thrilled when the Vance’s approached her with the idea of presenting this ICE supported project at the space. The first time that Saltz witnessed Divided Like a Saint’s unique combination of dance, theatrics and experimental music was in spring of 2008 as part of performance night organized by the Elephant Six collective’s own John Fernandes, which was affiliated with the Adventures in Mysticism exhibit and included trenchant and timely middle-eastern and feminist tropes. The second was Prisma Peek-A-Boo in summer 2008, a custom performance piece that animated UGA MFA candidate Kim Deakin’s wearable sculpture, which was performed as the closing event of the ATHICA Emerges II exhibit. As Zucker Saltz puts it “Divided Like a Saint’s work consistently pushes the experimental envelope, but does so in such a way that the audiences are continually engaged with the fascinating interplay of movement, sound and costume, as well as content that is always vivid, but difficult to characterize.”