the co-incidence festival is a gathering of experimental composer-performers at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, MA.
this project is based on an expanded view of what constitutes art, music, and the traditional concert. following the example of the revolutionary arts community Black Mountain College, it will bring together a group of radical artists operating in the boundary-zones of their practice to take part in a festival curated as ‘social sculpture.’ reflecting the values of experimental music, co-incidence will be allowed to grow organically, strongly influenced by the artists who attend: the directors simply provide a time, space, and loose framework.
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What does it mean to be a we?
In our current capitalist system, the cracks of which are showing more and more, the pressure is to be an I. I have a job. I make art. I think. I vote. But there are others who think that the way forward involves not the singular, but the collective, or collections of people.
But how do a collection of I’s become a we? Surely not through unification (sameness). We are all different. While we might have similarities or be in agreement, there is no one unifying idea that can stand up against the strength of the cultural pressure to be I. And, once there is a we, how does it maintain it’s we-ness without compromising all its members?
How can we coalesce without unifying? Without rounding out the corners, without leaving behind certain essential parts of our beings? How can we come together as a group of flawed humans who each would like very much to ignore or leave behind said flaws? More formally, it is a question of how a heterogeneous group of multiplicities can organize as a collective subject. And, in a broad sense, it is a question of how to participate in change that would echo from the core of our very being. To identify this point of change is to locate and incorporate that which appears undecidable and indiscernible into our world. To realize the collective subject is to suggest an impossible hypothesis as true, to wager, and in wagering to radically hope, on a future and world beyond this one.
This year at co-incidence, joined by resident artist Nina Power, we will interrogate this idea of groups, of we’s. During our time together at the festival, what mirrors can we hold to ourselves that don’t just show us? What might this world beyond look like and how can we experiment toward it; how can we begin to listen to that which is radically unhearable?
Washington St. is home to 20 artists who work in a broad range of media. from sculpture to paper cutting, painting to book binding and everything in between - the collaborative houses a cornucopia of creatives from many different backgrounds. with its own photo lab, Washington St. also hosts photography members who share the darkroom and photo studio. additionally, Washington St. has served for many years as an experimental music venue, directed by composer/performers Michael Rosenstein, Jesse Collins, and Morgan Evans-Weiler.--
Non-Event is a Boston-based concert series devoted to the presentation of the finest in experimental, abstract, improvised, and new music from New England and around the world. founded in 2001, Non-Event has presented over 260 concerts in and around Boston in a wide variety of venues from coffee shops, galleries, and loft spaces to former movie palaces, university lecture halls, museums, night clubs, 19th-century ballrooms, a Victorian-era pumping station, and inside Boston's iconic City Hall. in addition to working with numerous venues and organizations over the past 15 years, Non-Event organizes a longstanding series of informal monthly coffee house concerts featuring local musicians and sound artists, held at Café Fixe in Brookline and made possible in part by the Brookline Commission for the Arts.
Nina Power is a writer and philosopher. She is the author of One-Dimensional Woman and of many articles. Her forthcoming book What Do Men Want? will be out with Penguin soon. Beyond writing and philosophy, Nina's interests include contemporary experimental music, psychoanalysis, paganism, honesty and groups.
over coffee in Maine in the Summer of 2015,
had a far too grandiose idea: "let's do our own music festival!" (un)fortunately, they don't know when to stop. and here we are, with the co-incidence festival which kicked off its first season in January 2017. we wanted to fill a perceived gap in support for experimental composer/performers in the U.S. with a music festival focused on experimental music and built as an experimental composer might build a piece.
Boston Globe || Somerville Media Center Video || The Somerville Times || WBUR
In-Depth Interviews with Jennie Gottschalk (Sound Expanse) [Aaron, Luke, Jennie, Sarah]
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c/o Susanna Bolle
16 Roberts Street
Brookline, MA 02445