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2021
Performed by three members of the Isaura String Quarte
2 hours and 35 minutes

Musicians
Betsy Rettig: Cello
Madeline Falcone: Viola
Emily Call: Violin

Performed at Royale Projects, Los Angeles, CA
July 31, 2021

On Saturday July 31st at Royale Projects as part of Gallery Weekend LA, Tonal Duet was performed by 3 members of the Isaura String Quartet. Starting at 4:30, the continuous performance was performed by two musicians at a time. The audience was welcome to come in and out of the performance.

Tonal Duet is the musically scored version of “Binary Complex” included in the current exhibition “Off the Charts”. The performance is contextualized by the exhibition “Off the Charts” at Royale Projects featuring works by Josh Callaghan, Luftwerk, Ken Lum, Kristin McIver, and David Schafer that transform the visual representation of data and analytics into contemporary artworks.

https://soundcloud.com/dse_davidschafer/tonal-duet-live
https://www.royaleprojects.com
http://isaurastringquartet.com

Tonal Duet Program

Josh Callaghan
Luftwerk
Ken Lum
Kristen McIver
David Schafer

Royale Projects
432 S. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
www.royaleprojects.com

Royale Projects is pleased to announce Off the Charts featuring works by Josh Callaghan, Luftwerk, Ken Lum, Kristin McIver, and David Schafer that transform the visual representation of data and analytics into contemporary artworks. The world in which we live in is almost entirely governed by algorithms. The volume of data being produced, gathered, analyzed, and stored has never been greater. Works included in this exhibition merge art and information making critical commentary of an increasingly networked age. 

Binary Complex is comprised of sculpture, sound, and print that structurally explore the idea of binaries using composition, color, sound, and data. The sculpture includes 2 sets of 12 bins with each color assigned a note based on the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin’s synesthetic theory of tone and color from 1909 (A-green, C-red, D-yellow, and F#-blue). Alternating the different color-note combinations from the 924 ways the two sets of bins can be arranged, Binary Complex Permutation: Alternating Score for Tonal Duet creates the digital form of the algorithmically generated sound playing throughout the space while Binary Complex Tonal Duet Score presents the musical notation that provides a score for musicians to perform using traditional instruments. 

Card image
Installation views
Photo: Rubin Diaz

102” x 102”
Printed graphic on adhesive perforated vinyl mesh
Installation view

DIS-CONTENT
Amy Barkow
Leslie Brack
David Schafer

November 14-December 18, 2020

Foyer-LA
Mandarin Plaza
970 N. Broadway St. #204

Untitled Logos No. 5: A Morphology of Exchange takes the form of an advertising façade combining a selection of thirty modified corporate logos from a variety of categories. This work explores how advertising codes are transferred to the consumer. By virtue of abstraction, these logos have been altered and simplified into modernists tropes, where the content and specific identity has been removed. This reduces them to forms of color and code, mimicking the corporate landscape we inhabit. The code is a form of socialization and generates a formal set of social relations analogous to money. The collected logo-signs represent a selection from banks, credit cards, oil and gas, fast food, fashion, media, entertainment, auto industries, and the military. The advertising images stage a realm of self-referential signs, and the individual is distinguished by their random selection of objects in the domain of consumption. 

I am interested in how all of these relations form a system in the industrial capitalist framework of the political economy, and where the individual is alienated by signs, and social relations are fetishized. As a play on the concept of center, Logos, is also a term used in Theology, Linguistics, and Philosophy to represent ways of theorizing the concepts of presence and origin. The context of Mandarin Plaza is significant for its history in Los Angeles and Chinese immigration and how it is structurally laid out as a mall with two levels and open floorplan representing a design strategy from the 1960’s. Immigration laws encouraged new residents into Chinatown and Mandarin Plaza which is the first major commercial center built in the Chinatown neighborhood and is continuing to attract new commercial growth. 

Foyer-LA is located in a former retail space at Mandarin Plaza and the effect of the perforated window graphic suggests multiple viewing situations. It prevents one from seeing into the gallery space but allows one to see out to the mall from the inside and observe pedestrians and viewers. This panopticon situation entails surveillance while being hidden from view behind the window. In addition, I am in interested in The Arcades Project of Walter Benjamin from the 1920’s, regarding the Parisian arcades, shops, street life and the flaneur, and how one could see their reflection superimposed onto the object of desire featured in the shop windows. I continue to be interested in the writings of William Burroughs on “societies of control”, The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, and more recently Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism and Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, and how they continue to speak about spectacle, consumerism, and appearances in society. With newer opportunities for surveillance from the panopticon to digital tracking and data mining, the authoritarianism of our society is invisibly woven into the new models of the social sphere. Untitled Logos No. 5: A Morphology of Exchange is a form of rebranding to question the way in which society is owned by neo-colonialist and multi-national corporations. 

Colosseum, 2020

Hoosac Institute: Journal No. 6
Curated by Jenny Perlin

An-My Lê 
Bibi Calderaro
Cristóbal Lehyt
David Schafer 
Frank Carlberg
Heide Fasnacht
Instagramacus
Jennifer Reeves
Jon Davies
Juliet Koss
Mai-Lin Cheng
Mary Lum
Paul Mcdevitt and Luke Dowd
Rachel Urkowitz 
Regine Basha 
Sara Vanderbeek 
T. Kim-Trang Tran 
Tony Bluestone

The Hoosac Institute is a curated online platform for text and image focusing on pieces that don’t fit conventional disciplinary narratives.

https://hoosacinstitute.com/journal-6

Art Center College of Design
Faculty Dining Room – Hillside Campus
Pasadena, CA

Jan 15 – May 15
2020

Laura Cooper
Joshua Holzmann
Mitchell Kane
Tom Knechtel
Olga Koumoundouros
Allison Miller
Ryan Perez
Jean Rasenberger
Jessica Rath
David Schafer
Tony Zepeda

Binary Complex-Permutation: BL/YL/GN/RD Alternating Score for Tonal Duet
2020
36” x 42”
Epson print on Epson paper

The audio composition and visual animation was generated from a permutation based on two sets of 12 units that are composed equally of two colors. Each of the four colors are assigned a note based on Alexander Scriabin’s ‘color music’ from 1909. The permutation of possible arrangements is 924 for each set. The musical score represents the layering of the two visual sets, one set starting at the beginning, and the other starting at the end. The total length is 3 hours and 5 minutes.

Untitled Logos No. 4, 2020
Epson print on Epson paper, mounted.
34 x 84 inches

Untitled Soundtrack, 2020
Day One: Corporate jingles, instructional, self-help, spoken word, sound effects, production music
Day Two: Miles Davis, Angela Davis, Malcom X
PA speaker, turntable, records, amp, misc. hardware

This work is compiled from corporate trademarks and logos representing fast food, automobiles, gas co., banks, media, and credit cards. The texts and specific identifying content has been removed from each one to leave the abstract form and colors of the logo itself. The word Logos is not only plural for more than one logo, but is also a term used in Theology, Linguistics, and Philosophy to represent different ways of theorizing the concepts of center, presence, ground, or origin. In addition, there was a selection of audio comprised of corporate jingles, spoken word, instructional, self-help, on day one, and Miles Davis records on day two that will be emitted from an outdoor PA speaker. 

https://www.drive-by-art.org/david-schafer/
https://www.drive-by-art.org
DRIVE-BY-ART (Public Art in This Moment of Social Distancing) Los Angeles

Organized by Warren Neidich, Renee Petropoulos, Michael Slenske and Anuradha Vikram.
Two locations will be divided East and West of Western Avenue over two weekends.

Art Center College of Design
Spotlight Gallery

Fine Art Department
870 S. Raymond Ave. 
Pasadena, CA

Jan 15 – May 15
2019

Laura Cooper
Joshua Holzmann
Mitchell Kane
Tom Knechtel
Olga Koumoundouros
Allison Miller
Ryan Perez
Jean Rasenberger
Jessica Rath
David Schafer
Tony Zepeda

Red Skelton: Vertical Glitch #1, 2018 
photocopy, collage, Liquitex on Bristol 
12” x 9”
Joseph McCarthy: Vertical Glitch #1, 2018 
photocopy, collage, Liquitex on Bristol 
12” x 9”

Siren
January 22 – March 18, 2016

5 Car Garage
Santa Monica, CA
info@emmagrayhq.com

“Two One of a Kind” is based on a cassette tape recording of the author Umberto Eco lecturing at Stanford University in 1987 on “Fakes and Originals”. For this project the cassette tape was digitized and is emitted in full length as an mp3. On side A of the tape recording, a sample of ‘garage-rock’ drumming was added and looped for the duration; on side B a ‘garage-rock’ guitar sample was added and looped. As an mp3, the recording is heard continuously as there are no sides. The shift from drums to guitar signify the change in sides of the cassette, but the lecture continues uninterrupted, creating the idea of music or a song. The accompanying poster is inspired by an ad for Jim Beam bourbon from the mid 1970’s featuring the actor Sean Connery endorsing the product and reads, “You can’t improve on the original”.

 

DSE performed a live webcast on May 6, 2015 for Ear Meal, which presents live, weekly performances by experimental musicians on LA Artstream, a live streaming and archived webcast platform from the Los Angeles art scene.

DSE_earmeal_head DSE_earmeal_table DSE_earmeal2 DSE_earmeal3 DSE_earmeal4 Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 2.06.03 PM copy

The Schoenberg Soundways
March 2-7, 2015
USC Campus
Los Angeles, CA

“The Schoenberg Soundways” was a dissemination of Arnold Schoenberg’s work presented through multiple formats and venues seventeen years after the Schoenberg Archives were moved from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, to Vienna, Austria.

“The Schoenberg Soundways” embodied intermittent audio emissions of five compositions that played as the mobile exhibition. Each composition were ‘performed’ by five USC Hospitality Vehicles, as they deliver services and goods throughout the USC campus. A bronze plaque, containing a quote from Schoenberg represents a commemorative gesture that was installed on the grounds of the Thornton Music School. The project included an evening of presentations and concerts at the Ramo Recital Hall including a lecture by Paul Chaikin, followed by Aron Kallay performing Schoenberg’s Drei Klavierstucke, Opus 11. Karen Dreyfus led the Thornton School of Music Ensemble for the performance of “Verklarte Nacht.”

A Visions and Voices Arts and Humanities Initiative project.

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Truck 4 Truck2 Truck5 Trucks1and2  plaque