- By surabhi
This year’s PLAY selections will be featured during PULSE Miami Beach 2017, which runs from December 7 – 10, 2017. Each of the nine works selected by Wahi and Jampol relate to this year’s theme of POWER, a theme the curators chose to define in a broad sense, inviting artists to explore the multiple iterations of the word, it’s definitions, and the myriad of ways to interpret and contextualize power.
PLAY Miami Beach 2017 Selections
Delphine Fawundu, “the cleanse”
Andy Fernandez, MIRIAM
Bang Geul Han, How to Remember the Black Book in Seoul
Melvin Harper, 3017
Amy Khoshbin, Protest
Surabhi Sharaf, Intensities
Rodrigo Valenzuela, El Sisifo
Ventiko, 꿈을 깨어 (Waking Dream)
- By surabhi
I have composed a 30 min long new soundtrack for Brilliant Alarm, RAWdance‘s new commission for Transform Festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. More info below:
Transform Fest 2017 features nine prolific Bay Area dance companies and art makers responding to the question “Why Citizenship?”. These commissioned works are designed to activate an immersive installation by sculptor and architect Giacomo Castagnola.
For its own new work, RAWdance will look at the recurring history of clashes between power structures and society’s intellectuals and culture makers: from the destruction of the library of Alexandria to China’s Cultural Revolution, the Khmer Rouge to the Spanish Civil War. Critical thinking has regularly and quite often violently been considered a threat, risky to those in power or those trying to usurp it. What does it mean to be an informed citizen?
Friday 15th 2017, 8 pm
Saturday 23rd 2017, 8 pm.
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, get tickets here
- By surabhi
Surabhi will be performing a new audio visual piece for Soundwave Biennial ((7)) on Aug 27th. The performance features movement by Shinichi Iova-Koga and words by Dorothy Santos. Please see more details below.
For our very first partnership with Gray Area and utilizing their historic theater in the Mission District, musicians and visualists explore virtual and imagined architectures through sound, movement, and visual storytelling to dismantle our notions of both physical and digital space. As San Francisco is currently experiencing rapid transformations of our cityscape, artists Surabhi Saraf, Nonagon, Colin Evoy Sebestyen, and Drought Spa reinterpret how our constructs echo ourselves in our minds and our bodies – the interconnections between the communities and the spaces they inhabit, and transparent realms inbetween.
Saturday Aug 27, 2016
Gray Area Art & Technology Theater
2665 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
Soundwave ((7)) Architecture explores sonic connections to our built environment which shape our lives as humans. This season commissions 30 new performances and works from over 50 dynamic artists to examine the rapidly transforming landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area and the world-at-large while considering the physical and phenomenological aspects of constructing, designing and inhabiting our built environments through sound. Daring artists will present projects that explore spatial acoustics, biological architecture, personal and communal site histories, urban somatic/acoustic fields, psychosomatic effects from architectural designs, ambisonics, architectural drawings as musical scores, and more. These works hope to inspire audiences to to listen beyond the surface, connect with each other and find innovative ways to see, hear, and interact with the environment around us.
Soundwave is San Francisco’s acclaimed biennial of innovative sound, art and music, now in it’s 7th Season. Every two years, MEDIATE Art Group launches a citywide summer-long, multi-venue experiential event series in San Francisco. Each season investigates a new idea through sound and invites diverse multidisciplinary artists and musicians to explore the season’s theme in new and innovative directions.
- By surabhi
Surabhi has been selected to participate in the Art + Process + Ideas(A+P+I) Residency Exhibition where she will be presenting new work along with fellow residents Carrie Hott and K.r.m Mooney.
Intensities, is a single channel video installation examines stillness as a way of being with our intensities, using them as a re-potentializing force. This work is a culmination of a six month residency through the A+P+I program at the Mills College Art Museum.
In addition to the video, Surabhi will be leading a workshop on Embodying Stillness, which also serves as the rehearsal for a performance on the opening night of the exhibition.
During the workshop participants will build a series of simple movements at an extremely slow pace, informed by their observations and reflections around the Mills College campus. The results will be choreographed into the final opening night performance. Some of the ideas we will be considering include ecologies of attention, stillness and action, and the iPhone.
Below is the schedule and more details:
WORKSHOP/REHEARSAL: Tuesday, June 21, 5:00–8:30pm
PRE-PERFORMANCE REHEARSAL: Wednesday, June 22, 4:00–6:00pm
PERFORMANCE: Wednesday, June 22, 7:00 pm
RSVP to email@example.com
The Art + Process + Ideas Exhibition opens June 22nd from 6pm – 8pm
Dates: June 22nd – August 28th, 2016
- By surabhi
The Factory of Feeling
Here, industry is intimate, sound is sinuous, the body, robotic. San Francisco based Surabhi Saraf journeys back to where she grew up, surrounded by the sights and sounds of her father’s pharmaceutical factory in Indore, re-creating the story of the medicine and the machine in the form of a series of multi channel audio-visual installations. What we experience is sound so primal that it might be mistaken for emanating from within the viewer, a dance between the maker and the thing made, simultaneously stoic and sensuous.
As a child, I wandered the factory premises, mesmerized by the machines, by the dazzling transformation of powder pressed into pills. This factory, made up of my father’s familiar face and his employees, who soon came to be adopted guardians and friends, was not the factory of filth or forbidden activity. It felt like a big house with many small rooms. Skittering between those long dimly lit corridors into the bright churning rooms, I loved bothering the workers with my childish curiosities! In 2012, while visiting our factory as a grown-up, I was amazed at how many of them still worked there, having become like an extended family, and how many machines were still in order. Their aged noise juxtaposed organically with newer more precise and quiet equipment. I wanted to capture all these elements—my memories, the machines, the men and women—and, having a history of making art with sound, that was where I began.
Though she strays from an overtly political narrative, at first drawing the eye to the aesthetics of color and sound in mechanistic processes, it is impossible not to view the work with a lens toward a post-industrial critique. In contrast to Marx or Benjamin—whose perspectives were unabashedly occidental—Saraf, distinguishes between labor and work, the one associated with banality, the other with meaning, offering a view of the factory that is not devoid of storytelling, a view of the factory not as vacant but as vibrant. It also presents the pharmacy, especially in rural India, as one that heals rather than harms. However, it is a vision that stems not from naiveté but actual embodiment: in the process of collaborating with actors, designers, cinematographers, Saraf’s artistic production came to mimic the processes of the factory itself. The theatre becomes therapeutic. It is in these collaborations with skilled and fairly paid work that she embeds her more utopian ideals.
The title of the show, Remedies, suggests a period of healing, and the necessary ritual of repetition requires for its undertaking. Repetition, as a structural device is a key to decoding Saraf’s work. The series comprises three parts: tablet, capsule and syrup- the first two are on view in this exhibition.
Each series includes a large central video projection and video box sculptures. The central video features a dozen performers in long, panoramic shots. The ambulatory pace of the camera and the light reflects the silently morphing mechanical flow of the substances depicted. The distinct processes and movements at the factory act as a score for choreographed interpretation and timing. Transformations, of solids into liquids and isolated chemicals into cohesive compounds become raw material for the sound installations and movement techniques.
In Tablet (2014), two multichannel video boxes feature a close-up of yellow pills and red pills moving as if on a conveyor belt, around the box. The circle, perfect and lit up, becomes a kind of spiritual or celestial end. The powder, first broken down, then decomposed, undergoes a variety of transformations. The medicine, once imbibed, heals the body, transforming it, much like the manner in which a character ‘dissolves’ within an actor, who is rendered transformed with each moment, each story. Much like the viewer is transformed by the art s/he intakes. The choreography follows an Aristotelian arc, with a beginning, middle and end, first crushing, grinding, then blending and recomposing the tablets. In the middle, when the powder is pressed into form, the frenetic moment of varying syncopations climax into a real transformation, before the final calm, communal activity of packaging and boxing takes place, an appropriate ‘closing’ for the piece. The sound, sourced from field recordings from the factory’s granulator, shifter, octagonal blender, mass mixer and rotary, thrums with thrilling anticipation. The perpetual repetition of action and sound collapses time: a contemporary synthesizer smooths the edges of something old, something rusty.
Capsule (2014), contains a similar videobox of a chain of red and blue capsules in white plates moving in assembly, a white gloved finger, like a stage-hand, flicking the grid now and again. The sound begins to culminate, but releases before any sort of narrative forms. Simultaneously, on a large wall projection, performers in red shirts and blue latex gloves re-enact the workings of the pressure and force with which a thing is compressed into its container. Their motions are systematic, geometrical, robotic and yet there is child-like lightness in the play of primary colors, in the moment when we realize they are in sync but not dogmatically so, each bringing character and humanity to their individual cadence.
In Syrup (2014), the actors move as if in a room of wax, more fluidly but still in rigid motion. They move directionally, just as the sound too seems to transfer from one medium to another, from one time period to another, at first elemental, then electronic. The tension between rhythm and melody, between the harsh steely sounds and the softer aqueous ones mimics the tension between the repetitive nature of labor and the repetitive nature of breathing. She blurs the seemingly life-taking with the life-giving, likening the monotonous to meditation.
Saraf worked extensively with her family for research and source materials, then with an entire production crew—from choreography to camera to lights, costumes, actors, editors and sound designers—in order to construct this theatre of complexity, multiplicity. Her ambition can be charted in her influences: Pina Bausch, Bill Viola, Chris Cunningham and Pamela Z, yet she voyages a step further. In returning to her childhood, in returning to India and ‘home’, she employs the past. In employing post-modern dance techniques, video and electronic sound, she catapults into the future. Remedies, in dissolving linear time, dissipates the hierarchies of those ‘born privileged’ and those who ‘have no future’. Time itself is transformed, becoming a capsule. It remedies.
— Himali Singh Soin
(For REMEDIES exhibition @ Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai)
- By surabhi
- By surabhi
SPACE @ The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
PLUS ONE , Sept 25th- Nov 22nd 2015
featuring Shilpa Gupta, Sumakshi Singh, Surabhi Saraf, and Avinash Veeraraghavan
While using contemporary technology and methods of art production in large scale video installations, sound works, prints and installations, the artists in “Plus One” also embrace aspects of traditional Indian visual culture: repetition and pattern making.
Home Sweet Home (video)
Avinash Veeraraghavan works as an artist and designer. He has also done stages at Studio Sowden and Studio Fronzoni in Milan, Italy. Avinash Veeraraghavan’s work reflects his interest in popular culture and in exploring a mix of visual media. His art is becoming increasingly well-known and has been shown at major exhibitions worldwide. He trained under and went on to collaborate with the Italian designer Andrea Anastasio.
FOLD, 2010 & Tablets, 2014 (Video Installation)
Surabhi is a new media artist, composer and a performer who uses her background in experimental sound and Indian classical music to create audio and video works. She is particularly interested in creating multi-channel surround sound experiences in her performances and has created multiple 5.1 surround compositions for her videos and installations. With a diverse array of techniques such as repetition, fragmentation, and multiplication, Surabhi designs sequences of rhythmic movements, creating multi-layered structures of evolving patterns that slow down our perception of time.
I Keep Falling At You (multi-channel audio piece)
Shilpa Gupta lives and works in Mumbai, India where she studied sculpture at the Sir J. J. School of Fine Arts from 1992 to 1997. She has had solo shows at Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Museum voor Moderne Kunst in Arnhem, Arnolfini in Bristol, Castle Blandy in France, OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz amongst other institutions. She has had gallery solos with Gallerie Yvon Lambert in Paris, Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai, Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, at the public gallery, Lalit Kala Akademie hosted Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi, and much more.
Waiting On This
Sumakshi Singh’s work constantly traverses the lines between metaphor, reality and illusion and ranges from plays on space-time theories to cultural, historic and physical critiques of place, done in paintings, interactive installations, sculpture, video and performance.
812 Liberty Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA | Directions
Wednesday, Thursday: 11am-6pm
Friday, Saturday: 11am-8pm
- By surabhi
Surabhi Saraf with Ian Smith-Heisters will perform “Grains” at the Peirce Studio at 10pm, on 9/25, admission is FREE.
GRAINS is an original audio-visual performance deals with expanding the sonic energy that resides in a single grain of sound. The performance explores the visual and sonic amplification of domestic food grains and their transformation into a collection of solid grains that flow like liquid as they multiply. Layering her vocals on top of the flowing grains, Surabhi Saraf weaves a rich tapestry of sounds, multiplied and fragmented, creating dynamic textures and immersive architectural soundscapes. It was first performed at the Asian Art Museum in May, 2013. In this collaboration with Ian Smith-Heisters, the visual space is transformed by projections that pulsate alongside the sound, magnifying the performance’s granular energy.
Credits for Grains:
Vocals + electronics: Surabhi Saraf
Visuals + custom software: Ian Smith-Heisters
Trust Arts Education Center
805-807 Liberty Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA | 15222 |
September 25th, 2015
- By surabhi
The 16th Annual
San Francisco Electronic Music Festival
Friday, September 11th 8pm
BRAVA THEATER CENTER
Lawrence English and John Chantler
Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street (at York)
San Francisco, CA
Full Line Up