Our collaboration with Experimental Intermedia continues with our ninth ZOOM IN: OLAP (Online Live Art Performance) community discussion forum. For this event we have invited sound artist Perry Brandston to talk about Oda.
Date: Sunday February 13th 2022
Time: 3 pm – 5 pm New York Time (EST) (21:00 – 23:00 Central Europe)
Location: online on Zoom. Free.
Following the presentation and a Q & A, the forum will be open to anyone attending who would like to discuss any online live art performance ideas or projects as well as any technical or conceptual concerns. The discussion forum will be led by media artist and curator Katherine Liberovskaya of Experimental Intermedia and Harvestworks Director Carol Parkinson.
Oda is a set of home speakers that create an unconventional live music experience in your home. With seasonal programming from more than 20 artists per season, Oda was made with the goal of creating a sustainable economy for performing artists and musicians. Members experience original commissions, collaborations and experiments by some of the world’s most compelling creatives and storytellers. Oda performances are a one-time unique live event, accessible only through the speakers, and challenge what a performance can be. Oda was built to help rectify some of the disparities in the existing touring framework, and though it was conceived of prior to the onset of COVID-19, the company has only become more relevant given the impact of the pandemic.
Oda was founded in 2016 by Nick Dangerfield (Planeta, helped adapt the David Bowie Is mobile app experience that recreates the museum exhibit devoted to the icon) and sound artist Perry Brandston of Sound Concern, a social and sound company situated at the intersection of art, science, and party culture. Though they’ve been working on their speakers for the past four years, the core component of the company is actually the programming, and the freedom it gives artists to play something live for fans, from the comfort of their own home.
Utilizing pre-existing home recording setups, and stepping in when equipment is needed, Oda also helps empower elder musicians, who might not be drawn to learning the tech required to pull off a livestream. Oda came about when a performer had to stop touring. Nick Dangerfield, as a fan and music technologist, proposed a bunch of network connected speakers, sort of a baby monitor for a musician, to let the artist reach their audience. Nick asked Perry Brandston for help with the speaker portion of the project. The speaker was meant to present the live performance in the most palpable possible way.
Eventually Oda was born as a sort of virtual venue. Artists are booked and paid as in a reputable brick and mortar venue. Audience members have the system to listen to live performance, ambient sound from various locations, or as a conventional Bluetooth speaker. Access to the performances is by subscription.
Perry Brandston grew up in New York institutions like CBGB and Carnegie Hall. He has been making speakers for most of his life. In the 1970s Perry Brandston started 3 apprenticeships in 4 years; with a clockmaker, then with a cabinetmaker and then with one of the people who built and operated the sound system at the Fillmore East. This led to work operating a sound system in venues from small bars to art galleries to concert halls. This led to touring with artists, and occasionally to recording, even to performing on a couple of occasions. Then there was the musical theater. And sound system design and installation. Also a stint as an ‘Ambient’ DJ. Currently Perry is working with sound systems as art objects. Perry is building something right now.
About ZOOM IN: OLAP
ZOOM IN: OLAP, a collaborative initiative by Harvestworks and Experimental Intermedia, was conceived by Katherine Liberovskaya and Carol Parkinson in the winter of 2021 in response to all the proliferating on-line artistic initiatives brought on by the pandemic. Its objective continues to be to reflect on the aesthetic and technical dimensions of live streaming and to share knowledge among the participants. The meetings feature guest practitioners from different artistic fields (music, live visuals, performance, dance, theater) who speak about their approaches and experiments with online performance (sound, video, conferencing, streaming software, aesthetic and organizational approaches), followed by Q&A. The forum is also open to hearing about new ideas and projects that are in development as well as technical and/or conceptual concerns from the participants.
As the ever-increasing online live streaming events are starting to seem more and more all the same and are holding our attention less and less, we feel that it is crucial to unpack and re-think the online presentation of live online art practices and to imagine new approaches that are far better suited for the virtual performance stage that we experience on such a variety of platforms (computers, laptops, pads, phones) that have nothing to do with the in-person venues where they would usually take place.