Alexis Gideon – Video Musics III: Floating Oceans

The Santa Fe Art Institute, The Santa Fe After Hours Hours Alliance, and Lucky Bean Cafe present:

Animator, composer, musician, & modern traveling bard
Alexis Gideon’s
Video Musics III: Floating Oceans
Video Opera w/ Live Performance

View the trailer here.

Saturday, November 17
6pm @ Lucky Bean Cafe
$10 general admission (to pay the artists)

Opening Puppet Show by Flying Wall Studios

The Santa Fe Art Institute will host a one night only live performance of Alexis Gideon’s Video Musics III: Floating Oceans on November 17, 2012 at the Lucky Bean Cafe. This is one stop on a large scale US and EU tour, including a month-and-a-half long exhibit of Gideon’s entire Video Musics series at the The University of Colorado’s Emmanuel Gallery; Manhattan’s New Museum will host Gideon on November 2, 2012. By the end of 2012, Gideon’s Video Musics pieces will have been performed over 350 times in ten countries at venues including the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Santa Fe Art Institute, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, The Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH), The St. Louis Film Festival, Centre d’Art Bastille (Grenoble), HBC Gallery (Berlin), Galerie D21 (Leipzig), Fleche D’Or (Paris).

“Beautiful and Strange” The New York Post

As an animator, video artist, composer and performer, Gideon creates richly textured video operas that give audiences something they have never experienced before. Vibrant animated stories unfold on a large screen as the artist performs his masterfully constructed musical compositions alongside them, with all the lyrics matching the puppet characters’ singing and movement. While the art form itself is innovative, it is Gideon’s unique trans-stylistic visual and sonic language that is most remarkable; the work is at once supremely grounded and utterly magical.

 “Freaky fun whose takeaway is surprisingly deep.” Venus Magazine

Born and raised in New York City, Gideon was consumed by an intensive study of jazz at La Guardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts (the “Fame” high school). Gideon further developed his craft under the mentorship of legendary musical visionary Anthony Braxton at Wesleyan University. Gideon is noted equally for his diversity of influences and the crystal-clear vision that fuses disparate elements into something fresh, smart and transcendent.

“First class” Wired

Gideon’s work is equally engaged in “low art” and “high art,” pop culture and the canonized. “I am primarily interested in commonalities in the human experience and human expression. Since so much of art and culture has become fragmented and compartmentalized, breaking down barriers of style and medium has become paramount to my work.” Gideon has said.

“Gideon’s boundless imagination is only surpassed by his ambition
to meld music, story and animation into one alternate universe that
anyone can connect with” Flagpole

In 2008, Gideon debuted Video Musics I, the multimedia piece that would serve as the first installment of his breakthrough series, Video Musics. The three Video Musics pieces explore traditional folklore through modern multimedia techniques, rich musical compositions and the story structure of an epic ballad. Visually, the work evokes the Brothers Quay, Yuri Norstein and William Kentridge. Where other animation artists use soundtrack as an enhancement, in Gideon’s dense, hypnotic universe, the musical score is composed by the artist himself and serves as the backbone of the work. The score is composed first and used as a blueprint for making the video.

“Plus poétique que toute les films de Michel Gondry réunie”
“More poetic than all the films of Michel Gondry combined”
Clark Magazine (France)

Video Musics II: Sun Wu-Kong was produced in 2010. In 2011, the Confucius Institute recognized Gideon for his exceptional integration of ancient Chinese literature with hyper-modern expressive elements.

The latest Video Musics installment, Video Musics III: Floating Oceans, was made in collaboration with Cynthia Star (ParaNorman, Coraline) and Jacob Rubin (Best New American Voices), among others. Filmed in the south of France, New York City and Portland, OR, the 39-minute long piece uses stop-motion and line drawing animation, and incorporates Super8 film with digital HD technology. It was funded by Gideon’s second consecutive award from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

Video Musics III: Floating Oceans is based on the works of the early 20th century Irish writer Lord Dunsany, and inspired by the time and dream experiments of the Irish physicist John William Dunne. The piece is dedicated to Flann O’Brien. Video Musics III: Floating Oceans contrasts the vivid dreams of its poet-protagonist with the foreboding routine of pedestrian life. All dialogue and narration are expressed through lyrics and music performed live in front of the projected video. The piece explores non-linear and traditional linear narrative, and uses the musical meters of modern classical, hip-hop, ambient, and psychedelia.

“A singular visionary creating multimedia opuses that have no peer.”
The Portland Mercury

Gideon has lectured at New School for Arts and Academics (Phoenix, AZ), SUNY (Stoneybrook), Kawenga Digital Arts and Culture Center (Montpellier, France), Washington State University, and The Portland Art Museum, among others.

For more info about Video Musics III:Floatomg Oceans or Alexis and his other projects, please visit his website.

Flying Wall Studios
Damon and Sabrina Griffith are Flying Wall Studios, makers of puppets and sometimes other hand-crafted toys and games. Their puppets are anywhere from 4 to 18 inches tall, rod-style with sculpted heads and hands on cloth-and-wire bodies. They have displayed and sold their work at High Mayhem, El Museo De Cultural, Tesuque Flea Market and various art markets hither and thither. They have also done workshops at Warehouse 21, National Dance Institute of New Mexico and The DeYoung Museum in San Fransisco.
Damon and Sabrina have a tiny pop-up theater which they use to give short puppet shows–intricate, irreverent, and hilarious. They also offer people the opportunity to take a puppet home through their Adopt-a-Puppet program for a nominal processing fee ranging from $20 to $1000.
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