2012 Sponsored Projects

Commissioned Works/Special Projects is our program offering financial and administrative assistance to individual artists. We act as a fiscal agent for those artists applying for grants from federal and state programs and private foundations. Through this program we help develop collaborative projects between artists and assist with the presentation of their work. In 2012, we have sponsored the following projects:

Kathy Brew and Roberto Guerra

A prison is the last place one would think to find a beauty pageant. But, in Peru sentences can be significantly reduced by prisoners’ participation in a beauty pageant for the title of Miss Primavera. Beauty Behind Bars is a documentary that explores the story of women imprisoned in Lima, Peru for trying to smuggle cocaine through the airport to other countries. Through the film we learn the destinies of these women, bound together by their prison sentence and participation in the beauty contest. This is a story of individual survival and transformation amidst the backdrop of the international war on drugs, addressing themes of addiction and survival, as well as larger issues connected to human rights. Beauty Behind Bars is an engaging film about women enduring in their journey through the consequences of life-changing choices.

Kathy Brew is a culturally active director who has produced for PBS, worked in numerous organizations and has previously worked on social issue films, including Regret to Inform, which won best documentary at Sundance in 1998.

Roberto Guerra is an international documentary film director, producer and cinematographer. Born in Lima, Peru, he studied electro-mechanical engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, Lima. He subsequently turned his attention to film, both producing and directing in Peru before working in Paris, London, and New York.

Funding provided by New York State Council On the Arts (NYSCA)

Marie Sester

Little Box is an interactive artwork using sensors, robotics, light and sound within a simply designed box, to express   peace and harmony. Once open, Little Box continuously detects presence. When the surrounding is agitated (for example, a person moves quickly, or several people are moving around), then Little Box pulses faster and faster, the color of the light gradually becoming red, and the sound coming faster and in louder bursts. When the surroundings calm down, Little Box resumes emitting a peaceful atmosphere.

Culturally, as our emotional states are used in an exchange with currency (through manipulative advertising, media, entertainment) it is possible to fall further away from recognizing what we are really feeling as a human. Little Box is part of a new series titled Emotions, which aims to express basic human emotions through light and sound using everyday objects.

Marie Sester is a French-American artist working primarily with digital technologies to create works in a variety of media and formats, most often presenting responsive media. Born in France, Marie Sester began her career as an architect after earning a Master’s Degree from the Ecole d’Architecture in Strasbourg, France. Her interests soon shifted from designing physical structures to the study of ideological ones, and of how culture, politics and technology affect our spatial awareness, our emotions and behavior. After traveling extensively she moved to the U.S. in 2000. Marie Sester received a Creative Capital Grant in 2002. Her installations and websites earned an Honorary Mention in Interactive Art from Ars Electronica (2003), a Webby Award for Net Art (2004) and a spot on the “50 Coolest Websites” list on Time Magazine Online (2004).

Funding provided by New York State Council On the Arts (NYSCA)

Eunjung Hwang: Request Narrative

“Three Thousand Revisits” is a series of character-based animations featuring more than a 3,000 hand-drawn figures derived from dreams and subconscious imagery. The project will explore the architectural complexity of cryptic images in the world of dreams and the subconscious in an extensive scale. The main aspect of the project is to produce a variety of characters and visionary narratives inspired by the illusion of fragmented realities and compiles them into a usable pictorial catalogue. The resulting project will be a kaleidoscopic “puzzle” or “thought picture” that derives its own symbolism. The movie will be based on on-going pencil drawing series of the artist.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Eunjung Hwang received her MFA in Computer Arts at the School of Visual Arts, New York and her BFA in Painting at Ewha Women’s University, Korea. Her animations and new media works have been featured in exhibitions and festivals on an international level.

Funding provided by New York State Council On the Arts (NYSCA)

Mari Kimura: One

Mari has been commissioned by Harvestworks with funds from New Music USA to create a new 40 minute audio-visual, multi-lingual opera called ONE with the theme of “love, humanity, faith and global solidarity”. Violinist/composer Mari Kimura will team up with Tomoyuki Kato, an award-Japanese movie director to create the large-scale composition for an ensemble and herself on stage. Kimura will use a state-of-the-art motion sensor technology called “Augmented Violin” developed at IRCAM in Paris. Mr. Kato will create the large-scale computer-based interactive video program. Mr. Kato is a leading visual artist in new media based in Tokyo. They collaborated together for the first time creating a project entitled “Eigenspace”, commissioned by Harvestworks in 2011.

“One” was commissioned through New Music USA’s Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as well as endowment support from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust”.

Hans Tammen: Apheresis

Apheresis is a large multi-movement piece for 15 performers with custom designed electronic instruments. The piece is inspired by Earle Brown’s Available Forms, uses a score that is rearranged every time it is performed, and fuses various contemporary electronic music styles and techniques.

The piece will combine contemporary electronic music practice such as circuit bending, no-input mixers, laptops, turntablism, analogue circuitry, network sniffers, live coding and soldering to produce sounds electronically. While these instruments have become a normal way of expression for the artistic community, larger ensembles are seldom built entirely from electronic musicians. The piece is written with specific performers in mind, and—given the immense variety of electronic sound production—any work for such an ensemble has to take into consideration the performer’s unique instrument.

Funding provided by The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Hans Tammen: Unyazi Festival

The Endangered Guitar will be featured on concerts, lectures and workshops as part of South Africa’s 2012 Unyazi Festival, plus various cities before and after the festival. NewMusicSA, the South African Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music, will present the latest edition of the international Unyazi Electronic Music Festival between 12 – 15th September 2012.

This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (http://www.midatlanticarts.org) through USArtists International in partnership with the National Foundation for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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