“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
Recent findings in neuroscience challenge the prevailing notion of a centralized self persisting throughout one’s lifetime. Expanding upon Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, a seminal science fiction novel where Gethenian humanoids cycle between sexes through their lives, Phase Shift hopes to offer artists an opportunity to explore the shifting landscapes of their own identities. Much like the circu-lunar hormonal cycles in the human body, so too does our self-concept fluctuate and meander, moving in and out of moments of transformation without apotheosis.
From the enduring metaphor of the werewolf to the transformative powers of girls in shoujo anime, artists have long explored cyclicality of the subconscious self. Phase Shift provides a space for six artists, writers, and musicians to embrace the hidden or contradictory sides of themselves in order to realize previously unexplored terrains. By performing new personas or exploring methodologies outside or adjacent to their current art practice, performances offer a new lens into their interiority.
About the Curator
Pamela Liou is an artist and technologist living in Brooklyn, NY. Incorporating immersive technology, analog video circuits, and custom hardware, her work examines creative efficacy and ornamentation as tools for self-actualization and the negotiation of the self in spaces both physical and virtual. Liou was a keynote speaker at 2017’s Open Source Hardware Summit where she debuted her invention DOTI, a programmable desktop jacquard-style loom. She was a resident at Eyebeam, Museum of Arts and Design, and DBRS labs and recently performed live visuals for choreographer Jonathan Gonzalez’s piece Obeah at La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival. She currently teaches creative technology at School for Poetic Computation and Parsons School of Design. She studied at the Dramatic Writing Department and Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts.
About the Artists
Devin Curry is an interdisciplinary artist, music producer, and DJ based in Brooklyn, NY. Curry hosted his solo art exhibition of “Working Rhythms” at REVERSE gallery, New York City, in 2016; this installation consisted of an interactive music sculpture, multi-channel audio, accompanied by a series of the artist’s ink drawings and digital prints. He has also presented his work at the Museum of the Moving Image (NYC), NYC Media Lab Summit, and IAC Building (NYC) and received press from outlets such as Forbes.com, Make Magazine, Greenpointers, and Synthtopia. Under the recording alias Grand Atrium, Curry has released electronic music on labels Maison Kitsuné and Secretly Canadian and received press from Nylon and numerous music blogs. He has partnered with composer Brett Parnell to create the score for the Shaker Museum’s audio tour app, The Water & The Word. Curry received his Master’s degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and his BA in Cinematic Arts Production from the University of Southern California. He has served on the faculty of Fordham University’s Communication and Media Studies program and Queens College’s School of Art & Design, and currently works in multimedia education at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
Originally hailing from Los Angeles, Kristen Garris is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and video editor. She has created video content for companies such as Google, Vogue, Nylon Magazine, Vice Media, and Style.com that have garnered over 2,000,000+ views collectively worldwide. She also writes and directs narrative short films and edits branded commercial content. She holds a B.F.A in Film and TV Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and recently graduated from Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema with an MFA in Film Directing.
Fei Liu 刘斐 is a New York-based Chinese designer, artist, writer, and DJ exploring digital intimacy and the narrative potential of interfaces. She is an adjunct professor at Parsons MFA Design and Technology and previously a Researcher in Residence at NEW INC, and a Digital Solitude fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. She has mid-to-average combined student debt from an undergraduate as well as a master’s degree, with no health insurance, car, or house.
Katrina Reid is a performing artist based in Queens, NY. She’s had the pleasure to collaborate and perform in works by David Thomson, Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born, Jonathan Gonzalez, Third Rail Projects, and Megan Byrne. A 2016-17 Dancing While Black Fellow, her own work has been presented as part of AUNTS, the Current Sessions, Gibney Dance Double Plus series, Cocoon Theatre, Studio 26 Gallery, and BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
Hellyn Teng is a musician, wearable technologist, and a Co-Founder and Creative Director at the fashion technology design studio, Wearable Media. She is a graduate from NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), and currently a Member at NEW INC, the New Museum’s Cultural Incubator, supporting projects at the intersections of art, design, and technology. Her work explores ways we can engage with sound as an interactive media and through computational fashion technology. Her music projects are inspired by industrial soundscapes, discordant spaces, and metaphysical experiences, performed with analog and digital synthesis. The music is driven by ambient industrial sounds, layered with heavy melodic synths, and cavernous electronic drum patterns. Influenced by early 80s industrial and post punk music movements. She recently performed at the Basilica 24 Hour Drone festival under her solo project, The Less Effectives.
Madeline Wilcox was raised in flagstaff, arizona before relocating to brooklyn in 2011. she has identified as a dancer since the age of 9, and has spent her professional career consciously and subconsciously questioning her relationship to dance, to live performance, and to the assumed hierarchy of a director-performer dynamic. she is interested in living inside the role of director for the first time in an effort to expand her viewpoint, personally navigate her own uncharted performance mediums, and unpack past experiences. she is in her first year at hunter college working towards a masters in social work. she thanks the incomparable Pamela Liou for trusting her.
About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.
Sunday Service is programmed by Stephanie Acosta and Alexis Wilkinson, Knockdown Center’s Director of Exhibitions and Live Art.