Single Wing Turquoise Bird Liquid Light Show Installation Opens in Oregon

Opening today (Feb. 8) through April 28, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Ore., presents, Invisible Writing, a 47-minute installation drawn from improvised live visual performances by the pioneering multimedia ensemble, Single Wing Turquoise Bird (SWTB). In the 1960s, the group’s improvisatory liquid light shows were an integral part of concerts by Velvet Underground, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and Janis Joplin.

Invisible Writing features a score by guitarist and Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts faculty Miroslav Tadic as well as a montage of film, slide and liquid projections created by founding SWTB members: Michael Scroggins, director of computer labs at School of Film/Video, Larry Janss (Film/Video 73), former School of Film/Video faculty David Lebrun, Peter Mays, Jeff Perkins and newer SWTB members Amy Halpern, Mike Pfau and Shayne Hood (Film/Video BFA 91, MFA 97).

The installation is part of the exhibition, West of Center: Art and the Countercultural Experience in America, 1965-1977, which originated at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in 2011 and more recently featured at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

More about the group from the exhibition press release:

Single Wing Turquoise Bird ensemble members…continue the work of what is widely considered to be the most significant light show in Los Angeles from 1967 to 1975, a “collective improvisation performance group” to marry the artistic possibilities of music, painting and moving images.

In addition to the installation, the exhibition includes a 15-foot tall geodesic dome and video environment presenting the hand-built architecture of Drop City commune in Colorado, video and photographic documentation of dances by Halprin, performances by The Cockettes and The Angels of Light, an inflatable installation designed by the collective Ant Farm, and ephemera from the Black Panthers and Lesbian Feminist Communes in Southern Oregon.

Watch a 2011 interview with Scroggins about the exhibition and a 2010 SWTB panel discussion at USC.

The two videos above are excerpts from Invisible Writing.

Invisible Writing
West of Center: Art and the Countercultural Experience in America, 1965-1977
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Univeristy of Oregon
1430 Johnson Lane, Eugene, OR
Feb. 8-April 28

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)


Be the first to comment!