No Fun 2009: Infinite Sound and Image
May 16 2009
In 2009, the New Museum presented a screening of selected moving image performances from the No Fun Festival, which had emerged as one of the most unique and vital festivals for experimental music worldwide. It contained works from one night of the festival, then in its sixth year, which ran for a full three nights elsewhere. The screening was organized by Rhizome as part of the New Silent series, and was curated by No Fun organizer Carlos Giffoni in collaboration with Lauren Cornell.
The lineup included Jim O'Rourke and filmmaker Makino Takashi, who collaborated on The Seasons, a dense abstract film that fluctuates in tandem with O'Rourke’s dramatic and resonant score. Robert Beatty (of Hair Police and Three Legged Race) provided a live soundtrack to artist Takeshi Murata’s hypnotic videos and animations. Experimental filmmaker and sound artist Sarah Lipstate (of Noveller) presented Interior Variations, a collage of 16 mm hand-painted film, black-and-white super 8mm, and found footage, accompanied by a new Noveller composition titled Telecine. Dominick Fernow/Prurient screened spins the worlds wheel again, a short film inspired by his 180-page hardcover book of collages, Rose Pillar published by Heartworm Press - which dealt directly with mortality within the family structure. Sound artist/composer C. Spencer Yeh (of Burning Star Core), known for his arrangements that draw on both aural and physical experience, premiered a new work using voice as its central component. Megan Ellis and Carlos Giffoni also showcased a new piece, created specifically for this show, which paired minimalist visuals with an evolving electronic sound score.
The New Silent was a series of programs, presented by the New Museum and organized by its affiliate organization Rhizome, that explored contemporary art engaged with emerging technology and examined the ways digital technologies alter our lives and experiences of urban spaces. The series comprised screenings and performances, as well as a critical conversational strand, which brought together leading scholars, artists, critics, and public figures to illuminate the complex interactions between technology, culture, and creative practice. Named for the generational theories of Neil Howe and William Strauss, the New Silent presented artists working at the furthest reaches of technological experimentation as well as those responding to the broader aesthetic and political implications of new tools and media.