the co-incidence festival is a gathering of experimental composer-performers hosted by Non-Event 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. there will be encouraged but not required peer-to-peer meetings between artists in lieu of official lessons, the people attending will not be labeled as student or faculty.
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the third season of the co-incidence festival will take place from January 11—20, 2019, at Washington Street Art Center in Somerville, MA. as with the past two years, the overarching goal of the festival is to bring together experimental composers/performers/artists to focus on collaboration, critical discussion, workshopping, and performance. in 2019, this will last 8 full days (not including arrival and departure days). the festival is directed by experimental composer/performers aaron foster breilyn and luke martin.
though there are conceptual areas of exploration that are common between iterations of the festival, the attending artists (both guest and resident) are encouraged to influence and even drastically alter the direction and activities of the festival. this year topics of focus will include conversation as artistic labor, mapping as praxis, nomadic movement, and complicity as a mode of critical exchange between others.
the festival is structured such that we invite one resident artist each year and choose a small number of guest artists via international application. co-directors aaron and luke participate as well, as guest artists, throughout the week. the festival is also entirely open to the local community to participate; in other words, any member of the community (far or near) may join the invited artists and participate to any degree they would like: from joining each day to only attending concerts. we will reach out to people via email, social media (FB, tumblr), posters, word of mouth, etc.
we are extremely pleased to announce that Sarah Ayotomiwa Pitan will be our Resident Artist for 2019. this position was held by Joachim Eckl in 2018 and Michael Pisaro in 2017, and we expect Sarah to contribute to another important perspective and artistic focus to the festival. this time around, we will work to achieve a structure that is articulate enough to guarantee integrity in the quality of the festival’s events but is highly sensitive to the group, in order to promote spontaneity. our project is the task of collectively developing and maintaining a work ethic that is durable, but malleable, for further use.
co-incidence will occur at Washington Street Art Center (WSAC) in Somerville, MA. the space will serve as a meeting place for discussion, workshop, performance, and a hot pot of coffee. activities may take place at WSAC (which also serves as an experimental music venue in Boston), though they are not limited to that space. in fact, we encourage activities that may occur anywhere in the city / Somerville / greater Boston area, be entirely based on the potential of their occurrence, and/or may not even be perceptible.
this year, the festival will follow a set of maps that score the flow of concepts and events, by way of nomadic movement through the structure of the residency. only certain major meeting points (arrival, departure, a couple pre-scheduled concerts) will be predetermined. the structure of the festival will be centered on daily conversations led by Sarah, and other impromptu events as they are determined collectively, by the group. last year, such impromptu events or activities included Ryoko making lunch for/with us at luke’s apartment, having Joachim lead us on a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, and so on.
these are open and everyday situations; practices of being together. in preparation for our daily conversations, Sarah will present a toolbox of (~3) readings that highlight certain concepts important to the festival. free PDF’s of these readings, which will likely include essays by Deleuze & Guattari, Negarestani, and Brassier, will be available on our website after the artists are selected. while we will not be presenting on these readings or concepts, we will be moving the concepts, communally learning about and through them to build other possible structures/concepts/tactics.
as of right now (August), all guest artists will be provided a $500 stipend to attend. pending funding decisions in the fall, we are hoping to increase this stipend, though this is far from certain. we will also aim to provide a free homestay to each artist who needs one. certain meals will be provided by the festival (all others are the responsibility of the artist) and free coffee will be in constant supply at WSAC.
we are creating this festival as a conscious instance of composition as social practice. we hope that this act and ethos becomes even further developed during the course of our work together. ultimately, we hope that this can become a truly special week of collaboration, discussion, performance, and composition; one in which we can form lasting and caring relationships, establish practical tactics with which we can hone our daily practices and challenge structures of capital, and investigate radically alternative modes of being, thinking, and relating.
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.
Sarah Pitan is a young American artist. she is a first-generation Nigerian-American who was born in raised in Boston. she has backgrounds in sports, dance, and visual arts, all of which indirectly inform her current artistic work. her education in piano performance and music composition at the Rivers School Conservatory and the Boston Conservatory directly inform her work. however, her current practice involves an intensive conceptual abstraction from the aforementioned disciplines, which are under attack. she refers to her work as manipulative, improvisational, accelerative, or abductive writing. in this way, Pitan experiments with concepts originating in post-Kantian ontology. along with this, concepts developed in formal logic, set theory, and minimalism influence her work. the bulk of Pitan’s work exists in writing : notes, transcriptions, and scores. her work attempts to deterritorialize the stage and reappropriate a critical method of performance. she currently resides in Brooklyn.
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.
you can check out our article in the Boston Globe here .
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