Machine Project in Residence at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

Above video: Summer Jubilee Preview – Meet the Earbees [or] Games for Ears from Machine Project on Vimeo.

The LA-based artist collective Machine Project, founded by CalArts’ alumnus Mark Allen (Art MFA 99), has taken the show on the road—literally—with a two-week artist residency at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Summer Jubilee Field Days, which concludes on Friday, features a series of curated happenings throughout the Center and in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for  kids, adults and even one or two for their four-legged companions.

The cultural activities and works developed by Machine Project artists, including a number of CalArts alumni, span the categories of art, technology, natural history, science, music and literature, with some pieces proving more difficult to classify than others.

Last week, there was a screening of Tragedy on the Sea Nymph, a filmed 10-minute operetta that stars an all-dog cast accompanied by live human singers and the Cedar String Quartet. Written by Elizabeth Cline with music by Lewis Pesacov, the three-act piece “explores the remarkable connections between the affectations of operas and the lives of dogs.” Another project by car historian and inventor Jason Torchinsky, taught kids how to break into and out of cars while demystifying the physics and mechanics of the automobile.

If you’re in the Minneapolis area, there’s still time to catch Machine Project at the Walker. Among this week’s highlights:

  • CalArts alumna Emily Lacy (Film/Video MFA 06) performs Cowboys and Angels at 2 pm each day of the residency at a different location on the Walker campus. She’s creating improvised music—mostly wistful country songs and vocal electronica—in reaction to each space.
  • Another CalArts alumnus, musician Chris Kallmyer (Music MFA 09), has a more esoteric project this week: Chris may or may not play trumpet at some time and some place possibly. . . Throughout the Building: July 21st – July 29th, sometime between 11 am-5 pm, maybe. It’s a site specific (or is that unspecific?) piece where the trumpet and space are optional.
  • Sara Roberts, a faculty member of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, also presents Meet the Earbees [or] Games for Ears Open Field at various times on Thursday (July 28). Her project is a sound-based group activity, in which participants are given transistor radio-like Earbees, which can record and play back looped recordings. Roberts created the Earbees to be “placed somewhere particular, hidden, stacked, gambled with, buried, and thrown…”

Machine Project’s grand finale event, the american lawn, and ways to cut it, will also be held on Thursday from 6-8 pm. The three-part exploration of the American lawn will be cut via goats, choreographed gasoline-powered ride-on-mowers with mounted oscillators tuned to the drone of their engines, and push mowers.” Choreographed by Kallmyer, the project examines the sonic nature of the Walker’s field, while probably also giving the lawn the most interesting of cuts.

Machine Project’s Summer Jubilee Field Days
at the Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

> Later this week on 24700, we’ll feature some of the CalArtian-designed posters created for Machine Project’s residency at the Walker.

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