PRESENTING PARTNER: Pasadena Arts Council

BASINSKI ISSUE PROJECT ROOM 2Join us for a special performance by acclaimed composer William Basinski and artist James Elaine. Basinski will performing Cascade, a new tape composition accompanied by a video work by Elaine.

Since 1978, James Elaine and William Basinski have worked together closely, creating some of the most visually poetic and aurally arresting installation and theatrical experiences. Using original compositions, found sound, tape loops, and delay devices, Basinski’s experimental music compositions provide a brilliant accompaniment to Elaine’s fragmented and painterly moving images recorded using super-8 video. By using obsolete technology and analogue tape loops, Basinki and Elaine explore the temporal nature of life, the reverberations of memory, and the mystery of time. The result of their collaboration provides a melancholic meditation on the passing of time and the decay that remains in its wake.

William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has worked with experimental media for over 30 years. His discography includes Shortwave Music (1983); Watermusic (2001); Variations: A Movement in Chrome Primitive (2004); and the acclaimed The Disintegration Loops (2002-03), a four-volume album that was rereleased as a 9xLP box set in 2012 to commemorate its 10th anniversary. His most recent recording, Nocturnes, is his first solo recording in four years andis comprised of two extended ethereal soundscapes. The title track was written during his post-grad studies period in San Francisco (1979-80), while the second track was recorded 20 years later for the Robert Wilson opera The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival July 2011 and toured Europe in 2012. Basinski was born in Houston, and studied jazz, saxophone, and composition at North Texas State University. He now lives and works in Los Angeles.

Visit William Basinski’s website:

4-james-elaineJames Elaine formally trained as a painter and later began experimenting with video. While he has worked as an artist for more than three decades, he is equally celebrated as a visionary curator who has discovered and championed many of the greatest artists of our times when they were just emerging. He worked as a curator at the Drawing Center in New York and later at the Hammer Museum at the University of Los Angeles before relocating to China. Most recently, Elaine curated the exhibition Unfinished Country: New Video from China at the CAMH (2012). He now lives and works in Beijing, China.


EVELINA DOMNITCH AND DMITRY GELFAND _ 10,000 PEACOCK FEATHERS 1In 10,000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid, Domnitch and Gelfand use laser light to scan the surfaces of nucleating and dissipating soap bubble clusters. Unlike ordinary light, the laser’s focused beam is capable of crawling through the micro and nano structures within a bubble’s skin. When aimed at specific angles, this penetrating light generates a large-scale projection of molecular interactions as well as mind-boggling phenomena of non-linear optics. Bubble behaviors viewed in such proximity evoke the dynamics of living cells (the lipid membranes of which are direct chemical descendants of soap film).

Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and computer science with uncanny philosophical practices. Current findings, particularly in the domain of mesoscopics, are employed by the artists to investigate questions of perception and perpetuity. Having dismissed the use of recording media, their works exist as ever-transforming phenomena offered for observation. In order to engage such ephemeral processes, the duo has collaborated with numerous scientific research facilities, including the Drittes Physikalisches Institut (Goettingen University, Germany), the Institute of Advanced Sciences and Technologies (Japan), and the European Space Research and Technology Centre (The Netherlands). They are recipients of the Japan Media Arts Excellence Prize (2007), and four Ars Electronica Honorary Mentions (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013).

Visit Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand’s website:


GutFeeling02 Eric Parren is an interdisciplinary artist operating out of Los Angeles. His work lives at the intersection of art, science, and technology and investigates transdisciplinary topics such as augmented reality, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence while being strongly rooted in the histories of experimental film, composition, and live performance. The works are often deeply sensory experiences dealing with modes of perception, synesthesia, and the physics of light and sound. Eric is a member of the art collective Macular and the founder and co-host of La Force Sauvage Radio. Eric studied at the Interfaculty ArtScience of the Royal Academy of Art and Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he received his BFA in 2009. He went on to study at the the Design Media Arts department of the University of California Los Angeles, where he was awarded his MFA in 2012. He has been exhibiting internationally since 2008.

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Microcinematography, the synthesis of microscopy and moving image, is a combination of two sensory expansion tools and allows for the exploration of different scales of both size and time. Gut Feeling investigates the boundaries of current microcinematography by using an advanced optical microscope and by employing building blocks of the promising field of synthetic biology as the content of an audiovisual experience.

GutFeeling13Genetic engineering is rapidly becoming the world’s most important engineering tool, and the use of E. coli bacteria was instrumental to the development of this discipline.For this project, E. coli bacteria were genetically modified with bio-bricks to express three different kinds of fluorescent proteins; red, green, and cyan. The bacteria were captured trough time-lapse laser-scanning confocal microscopy while undergoing growth and movement experiments. The resulting image sequences form the basis for the visual component of Gut Feeling. The microscopically enlarged images are further magnified by being projected in monumental dimensions. Processes that normally occur on the scale of 500 nanometers are suddenly visible a hundred thousand times their original size.

The visuals are accompanied by a real-time algorithmically composed composition based on the biosynthesis pathways described in the E. coli genome. The DNA structures for the creation of amino-acids and the resulting chemical reactions are transcoded into micro-sound elements which are clustered and spatialized on a multi-channel surround sound setup. The combined audiovisuals provide a complex multi-sensory journey into the life of the humble organisms with whom we share a symbiotic relationship, the E. coli bacteria.

This project was realized at the NanoPico Characterization Lab of the California NanoSystems Institute with the support from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts and the Mondriaan Fund.