Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 7th: ARTLab & Animated Films

December7th Events:  ARTLab: Time for Music, and Animated Films by Ladislaw Starewicz with Original Live Music Performed by Little Bang Theory

Besides helping us keep track of when we need to wake up, to go to work, what day of the week to take out the trash and recycling (I ALWAYS forget the recycling), and when dinner is, have you ever stopped to think what this arbitrary thing called time is? Why is it important? How is it related to art, especially music? Can we stop time and turn music into a still, visual image? Join us on Saturday, December 7th, from 1-4pm as we experiment with making visual art and music while contemplating time, as inspired by the work of Detroit artist Frank Pahl in the Mattress Factory’s current show, Detroit: Artists in Residence.

Frank Pahl, musician and visual artist, created an installation for the Mattress Factory that blends both music, time, and visual representation--a work that he hopes allows viewers to meditate on different aspects of time. 1913 Revisited in Three Parts refers to three events in history that Pahl interprets as significant changes in the way humans measure and perceive time:  the invention of Henry Ford’s Assembly Line--which hugely impacted industry and the economy; the global synchronization of time--an event that happened via telegraph from the Eiffel Tower and brought the whole world to follow one standard measurement of time; and the premiere of Stravinsky’s composition and ballet, Rite of Spring--about a pagan ritual of a young girl dancing herself to death to ensure the coming of spring, an extremely controversial piece of music in it’s time for it’s dissonant notes. For Pahl, these three events illustrate the relationship between Chronos and Kairos, words referring to ancient greek concepts of time. Chronos refers to chronological and measured time, while Kairos refers to a significant present moment, or a more organic concept of time. The invention of the assembly line and the global synchronization of time embody Chronos, and Kairos is embodied by Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Using hanging wheels, lighting, automated musical instruments, and time itself, his work contemplates the consequences of perceiving and operating in the world through the quality of Chronos versus the quality of Kairos.

One could see the concepts of Chronos and Kairos as different conceptual tools we use to make sense of the stories of our lives and history of the world. Chronos may be used to order events and understand cause and effect, while the awareness of the present moment, and the significance of any action in the present moment, could be the faculty of Kairos. We can also use these concepts in creation of art. In fact, we have no choice--the process of making art takes time, as with anything else! In this ARTLab, visitors will make their own musical instruments from found objects and contemplate their personal relationship to music, art, and time. The creation and use of these musical instruments could also include storytelling, performance, history, or a contemplation of creating art itself. As always, ARTLab is FREE with museum admission and all are welcome to participate!

Since you’ll be thinking very deeply about time during the ARTLab, you’ll also want to note that at 7pm the Mattress Factory will host a special event that happens to be very pleasantly related to the ARTLab concepts of art, music and time:  An Evening of Animated Films & Live Music. With stop-motion animated films by Ladislaw Starewicz and original live music performed entirely on children's instruments by Little Bang Theory (featuring Frank Pahl) this event promises to be a very dynamic and entertaining experience for all ages. Tickets are $15, $10 for museum members. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Ladislaw Starewicz, The Cameraman's Revenge, 1912

Little Bang Theory at Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, 2012

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