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Camera Obscura Art Lab Culminates Residencies with Multi-Media Performance

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Lookout Staff

July 11, 2019 -- A collaborative multimedia performance featuring sculpture, movement and live music will conclude the residencies of composer Alex Wand and sculptor Dahn Gim at the Camera Obscuras Art Lab in Santa Monica this month.

Titled "Sympoiesis," the piece will be performed Sunday July 28 as part of an evening that includes an open studio and a screening of Wand's documentary "Camino de las Monarcas."

The event takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. and guests can RSVP by clicking here.

Camera Obscura multimedia

Gim, who along with Wand was the lab's artist in residence from April 24 through July 17, used the residency to archive and transform beach plastics into a series of sculptures.

The artist rode with City beach cleanup crews on their tractors to gather plastic waste “at the source” and bring it back to the studio, Cultural Affairs officials said.

The project kept the "abundant material out of the waste stream," while "highlighting both the problem of 'forever waste' and the overlooked utility of plastic as a resource," officials said.

During her residency, Gim "led a variety of craft activities utilizing recycled bottles, fabric/leather remnants and mechanisms to transform waste into usable materials."

Wand, a Grammy Award-winning musician and composer, used his residency to explore "the translation into sound of non-sound information -- of movement from ocean waves and the visual data observed from the Camera Obscura mechanism," Cultural officials said.

Both activities -- which fall under he term "sonification" -- are part of Wand's "continuing study of the range of sounds that can be drawn from the environment."

"I’m interested in exploring different ways one can perceive land," Wand said. "So often we think of land in terms of maps and political boundaries.

"Inside the obscura is a different perspective of land where one can be immersed in the surrounding streetscape and the ocean," he said.

During his residency, Wand led music-making and ear-training events open to the public.

His documentary "Camino de las Monarcas," which will be screened at 6 p.m., chronicles his 2,000-mile bicycle trip that followed migratory paths of the monarch butterfly from Los Angeles to Michoacan, Mexico.

"Sympoiesis," which culminates the evening and showcases musicians Odeya Nini, Kathryn Shuman, Luke Williams and choreographer Jay Carlon, derives its title from a term utilized by theorist Donna Haraway.

Haraway, a feminist professor specializing in the history of consciousness, coined the term to "emphasize the art of living in deeply troubled times, surviving in discomfort and coexisting with devastation," event organizers said.

"Embracing a web of relations, Sympoiesis examines how beings and objects signal to, amorphously cohere and partially assimilate each other to generate evolving systems."

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