In this expanded cinema event featuring 21 artists and organized in collaboration with Microscope Gallery and taking place at the Parrish Art Museum, the New York based Optipus collective and orchestra will perform The Watery Owl of Minerva, a new live multi-projection and sound performance composed by Bradley Eros. Celebrating the natural world with a focus on water throughout history, Optipus combines original and found imagery including hand-painted slides, Super 8mm and 16mm films, overhead and liquid projections with original music and sound relating to and referencing nature.
Eros states: “It [the performance] will contrast and superimpose the urban and human environment with the oceanic, undersea universe, layering the wetlands and waterfowl in loops of liquid light and patterns of natural design. This expanded cinema’s three-part composition begins with coloration and bio-rhythms dominating the visual flow. The middle section, with bodies, animals and insects abundant, the dance of flowering plants, and the swirl of the earth’s aqua-forms amid the range of landscapes and terrains, is built layer upon layer of activity and element. The third part returns to abstraction, this time via pure light and color, swimming through a template of multiple liquid lenses, for a dynamic finale of shapes and chromatic pulses.”
As in their most recent performance, The Owl Flies at Twilight, presented in January as part of “Dreamlands: Expanded” – a series organized in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art – the work consists of three distinct movements, examining specific relationships between vision and sound, the latter divided into distinct sections featuring strings, percussion, and electronics.
The performance features 21 artists, with 13 contributing to the visual score (Lary 7, Bradley Eros, Alison Nguyen, Lily Jue Sheng, Antonia Kuo, Simon Liu, Joel Schlemowitz, Kenneth Zoran Curwood, Katherine Bauer, Rachael Guma, Genevieve H-K, Gill Arno, Tim Geraghty), and 8 to the musical (Mia Theodoratus, Laura Ortman, Zach Layton, Gabriel Guma, Richard Sylvarnes, Masami Tomihisa, Kevin Shea, Victoria Keddie), using a variety of film and other analog formats and instruments that are made or altered by the artists.
Optipus is a nomadic group of chameleon artists, cine-scientists in search of a laboratory, shape-shifting according to site-specific requirements. The group embraces the ephemeral cinema of unfixed forms and open composition. Optipus’s members emerge in myriad collaborations, producing works and events, soundtracks and invented instruments, video edits and film loops, and expanded cinema and immersive installations. Optipus has performed at Anthology Film Archives, Bobby Redd Project Space (The Church), Microscope Gallery, Millennium Film Workshop, New York University, Participant Inc., The Kitchen, among others.