UNSEEN series | Apertures

Gray Area’s UNSEEN Series presents site-specific, collaborative performances by Bay Area artists and explores current practices in immersive media, including expanded cinema, video and sound art, experimental music and technology. The UNSEEN series is curated by Oakland artist Matt Fisher.

Tickets: $8 Presale / $13 Day of Show / $15 Door. Cash bar available to those 21 years and older.

8:00 Doors
9:00 Show

The thematic link between the artists in this iteration of UNSEEN is their heightened attentiveness to a certain kind of interwoven sonic and visual minimalism situated at the place where perception and analysis first diverge.

Maggi Payne is Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College and has been performing music, video, film and dance works internationally. Her music works are at once meticulous and visceral, and are couched in a sustained examination of pure sound and direct experience. We are delighted that Maggi Payne will be presenting two single-channel video works, Through the Looking Glass and Liquid Amber.

Then, artist and musician Marc Manning will perform a new site specific A/V work with processed guitar and video. Marc’s improvised guitar and feedback is formed, in his words, “to summon a sound energy that lives, grows, breathes, moves, and builds on itself in a way specific to the room.”

Frequent collaborators Marielle Jakobsons and Chuck Johnson incorporate pedal steel and electronics with live macro-cymatic visuals. Marielle will be performing synthesizers, violin, and voice with video created on her custom-built visual music instrument. Her "Macro-Cymatic" instrument transduces sound into light by creating fluid motion with audio vibration, captured at the super close-up photographic scale and augmented by programmed LED lights. With Marielle, Chuck will perform new work for solo ambient pedal steel and electronics.


Maggi Payne

Maggi Payne is Co-Director (since 1992) of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, Oakland, CA, where she teaches recording engineering, composition, and electronic music. She also freelances as a recording engineer and editor and a historical remastering engineer. Her electroacoustic works often include visual elements which she creates, including video, dance, transparencies, and film. She enjoys collaborating with other artists and has worked with video artist Ed Tannenbaum for over twenty years. She is also a flutist, and has written several works for flute as well as other acoustic instruments. Major works include her video/film/dance works Through the Looking Glass, Quicksilver, Liquid Amber, Cloud Fields, Effervescence, System Test (fire and ice), Apparent Horizon, Liquid Metal, Airwaves (realities), Crystal, Solar Wind, Transparencies, Allusions, and Orion, and audio works BAM, Black Ice, Beyond, STATIC, ROAR, Wet, Surface Tension, Shh, Glassy Metals, Electric Ice, Arctic Winds, fff, Santa Fe, Motor Rhythms, FIZZ, Of All, Distant Thunder, Reflections, Brass Mirrors, Fluid Dynamics, Holding Pattern, breaks/motors, Shh, White Turbulence 2000, HUM 2, Sweet Dreams, Close-ups, Raw Data, Minutia 0-13, Aeolian Confluence, Resonant Places, Desertscapes, Phase Transitions, Songs of Flight, Ahh-Ahh (ver 2.1), White Night, Subterranean Network, Ling, Scirocco, and HUM. She has had performances of her works throughout the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Australasia. She received two Composer's Grants and an Interdisciplinary Arts Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and video grants from the Western States Regional Media Arts Fellowships Program and the Mellon Foundation. She received four honorary mentions from Bourges, and one from Prix Ars Electronica, and was an Artist in Residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA.

Marc Manning

Marc Manning is an artist and musician living and working in San Francisco. His work includes painting and sound performance. He has released music under the monikers Tied to the Branches, Everything is Fine, and Heavy Lids, as well as collaborations with Dragons Eye label manager Yann Novak, Suss Müsik, Arland Nicewander and Akina Kawauchi. Since his first recording under his own name in 2004 Manning has been exploring the possibilities of the guitar and especially feedback to summon what he describes as “a synergistic living cauldron of sound.” Manning’s artistic practice is based around meditation, ritual, and the occult as it relates to the idea of summoning images and sound.

Marielle Jakobsons

Marielle V. Jakobsons is a composer and intermedia artist based in Oakland, CA. Her compositions evoke minimalism with melodic drone and enveloping polyrhythmic soundscapes of synthesizers, voice, and strings.  She builds installations and instruments which bring focus to visceral experience of sound and light, most recently with her “Macro-Cymatic” visual music instrument.   Her photographs, installations, and videos have been exhibited across the US, and she tours internationally as a solo artist and with her bands Date Palms, Myrmyr, and other collaborations.  Her records can be found on Mexican Summer, Digitalis, Students of Decay, and Important Records, among others, and her latest solo album is due out on Thrill Jockey Records August 2016. Photograph by Nicolas Zurcher, Photo Production by Tana Sprague.

Chuck Johnson

Chuck Johnson is a musician and composer who approaches his work with an ear towards finding faults and instabilities that might reveal latent beauty, with a focus on guitar, experimental electronics, and Kosmische Americana. Recordings of his work have been published by Three Lobed, Merge, Trouble in Mind, Strange Attractors Audio House, Communion, and Amish, among others. Between 2011 and 2015 Johnson released a triptych of solo acoustic guitar LP's - "A Struggle Not A Thought," "Crows in the Basilica," and "Blood Moon Boulder" that have become touchstones of the post-Takoma era. His music has been acclaimed for a compositional style rooted in both a haunting melodic sensibility and a minimalist penchant for pure sonics. In early 2017 he will release a new LP of ambient works for pedal steel guitar and electronics for VDSQ.