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August 21, 2006

RELIQUARY OF LABOR - Parallel Media Project


A Participatory Art Experience

The New Britain Museum of American Art is pleased to announce the performance of the participatory art experience Reliquary of Labor, a multi-media collaboration between media artist Gene Gort, composer Ken Steen, and electronic cellist Jeffrey Krieger. The project, designed as what the producers’ term "parallel media" -- a single project or phenomena experienced through various distribution systems and performance venues -- takes as its inspiration the creative process as a product of labor. Using the Museum’s building expansion as their source material, they have harvested video and sounds of the museum's new construction to develop a multi-media performance for video, electronic cello, percussion ensemble and pre-recorded sound.

Reliquary of Labor explores the collaborative process among artists, observes and reveals beauty in the ordinary, and celebrates the idea of labor as integral to any art work or production; that architecture, music, writing, visual art, or any creative endeavor doesn't merely appear out of the atmosphere. The artists seek to make their collaborative process transparent for the audience and, in keeping with the idea of "parallel media", have launched the website. It contains project updates and works-in-progress for viewing and downloading, as well as podcast material. Visitors to the site are encouraged to use sound, stills, and videos from the project for their own work through the "creative commons" license and to submit processed files for reintegration into the project.

A preview of the project/experience will be held on Thursday, August 31, 2006 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. The premiere will be held on Sunday, November 26, 2006 at 2:30 p.m. in the new Chase Family Building of the New Britain Museum of American Art.


Gene Gort is a visual artist, video producer, media programmer and educator. His videotapes, installations and digital imaging projects have been presented internationally including La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain; DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; Pacific Film Archive/Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; TheVideoArtFoundation, Barcelona, Spain; Cyberarts Festival, Boston, MA; Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT; Black Maria Film and Video Festival, touring. He has received two nominations from the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Program, received two MacDowell Colony Fellowships (2006 & 2004) and received grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Pollack-Krasner Foundation. Gort holds the position of Associate Professor, Media Arts at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, a program he designed and directs.

Jeffrey Krieger, e-cellist and specialist in the performance of new music, is principal cellist of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He is among the new generation of solo recitalists who have incorporated technology - the computer and video - as well as an electronic cello built by Vermont craftsman Tucker Barrett into performance. Mr. Krieger’s many awards includes a 1993 Solo Recitalist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts which allowed extensive touring in the USA performing concerts and workshops. He has collaborated with composers such as Virgil Thompson, Ned Rorem, Kaija Saariaho, Donald Erb, and Alvin Lucier, as well as numerous emerging composers. His own interactive video improvisation, Videocello, was chosen by American Composers Forum to be included on their touring program, Sonic Circuits, resulting in a performance at the Kennedy Center.

Ken Steen's music sits squarely on the frontier between the acoustic and electronic domains of musical expression; often combining traditional orchestra, chamber ensemble or soloist with electronic instruments or processed sound and noise. He recently received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2006), a Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism (2005) and a residency at the Artist's Enclave at iPark (2004). Recent premiere performances and sound installations in such diverse locations as Xi'an, China, Fortaleza-Ceará, Brazil, Spring in Havana Festival, Havana, Cuba, Merkin Concert Hall in NYC and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, Australia, confirm that his work is fast attaining international recognition. Steen is currently Associate Professor of Composition and Theory and director of Studio D at the Hartt School, University of Hartford.

Posted by jo at August 21, 2006 02:41 PM