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Feb 182014


Chicago new media artists Nick Briz and Jon Satrom will be in Nashville February 28th through March 3rd for a Watkins College visiting artist series. While they’re in town, Watkins professor Morgan Higby-Flowers is curating two off-campus shows featuring the artists. And he’s looking for collaborators.

The first show is a NO MEDIA event on Friday, February 28th at 7:30 p.m. here at Theatre Intangible headquarters aka Noa Noa house. NO MEDIA is, as its website states, “an open improvisational realtime/performance media art event.” By “open,” they mean ANYONE can participate, including you. All types of expression are welcome, including music making, acting, dance, singing, visual art, poetry, storytelling, puppetry, etc.

Here’s how it works. When you arrive, you put your name in a hat. The hosts then draw three names. If your name is called, you have two minutes to prepare. Then you perform for 10 minutes with your two randomly-chosen collaborators. This is repeated until all the names are drawn. No documentation is allowed. It happens once and in realtime.

What makes this particular NO MEDIA event special is the fact that NO MEDIA co-creator Nick Briz will be performing alongside the locals. If you use Facebook, you can find out more on the Facebook event page. If you’re interested in performing, contact Morgan at mhigbyflowers@gmail.com.

The second show is glitch media show happening at the Track One warehouse during the March 1st Arts & Music @ Wedgewood/Houston. At 9 p.m. the warehouse will transform into a massive multimedia experience. The show will explore digital culture, glitch art, hacking, remix culture, and experimental new media. Morgan is seeking Nashville electronic and experimental musicians and video-makers to perform. Here’s the Facebook event page. If you’re interested in performing, contact Morgan at mhigbyflowers@gmail.com. Make sure you specify which event you’re applying for.

Incidentally, there’s another great event happening earlier that night in the same space. From 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Carl Oliver will perform a longform modular synth improv. What makes this especially cool is that he will be performing in the center of a HUGE empty warehouse. The natural reverb is going to be out of this world. I’ll write more about this closer to the date, but in the meantime, check out the Facebook event page.

The two Nick Briz / Jon Satrom events are part of RipZipRarLANd, a four-day series sponsored by Watkins College. The series also features lectures, workshops and a gallery opening. Check out the full schedule on, you guessed it, the Facebook event page.

Jon Satrom undermines interfaces, problematizes presets, and bends data. He spends his days fixing things and making things work. He spends his evenings breaking things and searching for the unique blips inherent to the systems he explores and exploits.

Nick Briz is a new-media artist, educator and organizer whose work has been shown internationally at festivals and institutions and is openly and freely available on the web.

RipZipRARLANd is a utopic local area network inspired by experimental new-media art, located in Middle Tennessee, EVERYWHERE (192.168.0.x). A time-space constructed of old new-media memories floating within–once free/open–networks and contemporary ethics of openness and sharing.

As [users/artists] we consider ourselves [creators/producers], however, in the eyes of contemporary (networked) corporations, we are the product being sold for billions of dollars. These wide-spread software-as-service models don’t trade in their technology as much as they trade in humans. SoftwARE iz Humans…

RipZipRARLANd’s piratical inhabitants employ messy and dirty experimental processes. Their digital practices have grown out of the infinite copy-ability of data and inevitable decay of digital media. They hack, reclaim, remix and share in an effort to promote and preserve a genre/medium/culture.

Come celebrate experimental new-media art, glitch art, GIF culture, piratical practices, and creative problem creating.

Friday, February 28th, 7:30 p.m., free
@ Noa Noa (house)
620 Hamilton Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203

Saturday, March 1st, 9 p.m., free
@ Track One during Arts & Music @ Wedgewood/Houston
410 Chestnut Street, Nashville, TN 37203

Jan 072014
Logo by Rachel Briggs.

Logo by Rachel Briggs.

The 2014 Circuit Benders’ Ball is now accepting submissions! We’re looking for performers, live visual accompanists, multimedia artists, workshop instructors and speakers. The entry deadline is Sunday, February 9th at 11:59 p.m. To submit, fill out this short form.

The Circuit Benders’ Ball is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, art, music and the creative spirit. The event will take place at Fort Houston in Nashville, TN on Saturday, April 12th, 2014. The Ball will feature (at least) two stages, ten or more performers, an interactive art gallery and electronic workshops. Learn more about the 2010 Circuit Bender’s Ball here and the 2012 Ball here.

The submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges, including myself, Geo Leonard, Josh Gumiela, Megan Kelly, and Stephen Zerne.

We want the Ball to be a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and we’re working on drafting a strong anti-harassment policy (and subsequent staff training) to ensure that all performers and attendees feel safe and comfortable. We’re also doing everything we can to make sure the call goes out to a wider audience than just our social networks. Our previous CBBs were over-representative in straight white cisgender male performers, and we intend to work harder this year at recruiting more women, people of color, people with disabilities and people who are gay, bisexual, asexual, intersex or transgender. This doesn’t mean we’re discriminating against straight white dudes or selecting performers based on any of these characteristics. Rather, we’re attempting to confront implicit biases in ourselves and in the selection process that could discriminate against people with these or other characteristics.

Here are some guidelines on what we are looking for.

Music/Multimedia Performers

We’ll have at least two stages for quick turnover and short sets to make room for many artists. Sets should be approximately 15 minutes. (Longer for headliners.)

Performances should somehow involve circuit bending, instrument design or creative coding. You need not have built the machines yourself. Although experimental / non-rhythmic is our main focus, we’re also open to other genres. We’re also open to multimedia performances, dance, theatre, projection mapping and whatever you can dream up!

Live Visual Accompanists

One of the most talked-about aspects of the previous CBBs was the pairing of performers with visual artists. If you’re a filmmaker, lighting designer, or artist of any stripe, you can collaborate with a performer to mastermind a beautiful audio/visual synthesis.

Visual Artists

We’re looking for art to display in the CBB gallery. Art can be 2D, 3D, sculpture, interactive, film/video or installations. In keeping with the theme, the art should have an electronic or mechanical element. We love interactive devices that make light and/or sound! You can also show off some of your circuit-bent gear!

Workshop Instructors

For this year’s ball, we’re looking for simple, inexpensive workshops. For that reason, all workshops will cost $15 and last 1 hour and 15 minutes. Workshop teachers get $12.75 per student. Fort Houston gets the remainder. All materials and teacher fees must come out of the $12.75 per student. The challenge for the teachers is to pick a topic that doesn’t use expensive materials and doesn’t take longer than an hour and 15 minutes from start to finish. Examples of low cost workshops include paper circuits, paper automata and introductory courses to programs like PureData and Supercollider.

Keeping the class time short means we can program more workshops. Keeping the costs low means we can attract more students.

Workshop teachers must source all materials, except for materials provided by Fort Houston and the students.


We would love to add panel and presentations to this year’s event! Lead a discussion or join someone else’s.

Here’s an example of a panel topic a local bender submitted:

Towards a Circuit Bending Standardization: This panel explores developing a technical standard for circuit bending interface and controller design. Such a standard could benefit designers who aim to sell their innovative devices while making it easier for artists to assemble a fully interconnectable arsenal of circuit bent instruments without any electronics expertise.


The Circuit Benders’ Ball is a non-profit event created to educate, inspire, and connect. Soon, we’ll launch a Kickstarter campaign to help finance the event. All Kickstarter donations and ticket sales (after expenses) go to the artists, on a sliding scale, based on distance from Nashville. The farther you have to travel, the bigger piece of the pie you get. We may agree to a set guarantee for featured artist, to be decided. The more we make, the more the artists make. Not a dime goes to me or anyone on the organizing staff. More details coming soon.


Apply to the Ball with this short form. The entry deadline is Sunday, February 9th at 11:59 p.m. In fairness to everyone, we won’t start assembling a lineup until the deadline has passed. Once we’ve assembled a lineup (approximately February 15th), we’ll seek confirmation with the artists we’ve picked. When everyone is confirmed, we’ll notify the artists who were not selected and then announce the lineup publicly. See you in April!

Nov 032013


I was out of town yesterday and wasn’t able to catch Arts & Music @ Wedgewood/Houston, but from all reports, the event was a huge success!

Here are some videos from the event. I will update as more videos come down the pipeline.

“light adapted” @ Track One


Bill Vincent’s projection-mapped Nashville Skyline @ Fort Houston

Nov 012013
Shelby Shadwell "Auniversal Picture 7" @ threesquared

Shelby Shadwell “Auniversal Picture 7” @ threesquared

My neighborhood will be bustling Saturday, November 2nd for the fourth Arts & Music @ Wedgewood/Houston. Participating galleries include Infinity Cat Records, Zeitgeist, Cleft Studios, Fort Houston, Ground Floor Gallery, threesquared and an after party at Track One. Look for a map at any participating gallery for the full list.

The crawl is from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Track One will stay open until 11:00 p.m.

Here are a few highlights:

Infinity Cat Records
467 Humphreys St., Nashville, TN 37203

This Saturday night at the Infinity Cat Visitors Center there will be a show of photographic prints by Julia Bee. Fans of JEFF the Brotherhood, Apache Relay, Mumford and Sons, The Vaccines, and Old Crow Medicine Show will be able to view (and purchase) photos from last Saturday’s epic night of rock. Julia Bee is a local photographer who’s been shooting Nashville’s dirtiest, grittiest, gnarliest shows for years. At age seventeen she began shooting for Nashville’s Dead and continued to expand reach into the photographic community. Shooting only traditional 35mm film, she develops and prints all of her work in her own darkroom, and will be opening Nashville’s first community-based darkroom in the coming months at Fort Houston (with the help of friend and fellow photographer Bekah Cope). This weekend, armed only with a camera and ten rolls of film, she followed supergroup Salvador Dali Parton through their entire three day craze of writing, rehearsing, and performing. Salvador Dali Parton is Jake Orrall, Mike Harris, Winston Marshall, Justin Hayward-Young, and Gill Landry. — Infinity Cat Press Release

Track One
8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
1209 4th Ave S, Nashville, Tn 37203

Light Adapted – Projection Art by Black and Jones (Kell Black and Barry Jones), Jonathan Rattner, Kelli Hix, Morgan Higby-Flowers, Michael Hampton, Mika Agari, Zack Rafuls and Josh Gumiela. — Press release from Track One.

If you liked our Bring Your Own Beamer show at Track One a few months ago or our ON/OFF electronic art show at S.N.A.P. Center for the first Wedgewood/Houston art crawl, you’ll love this showcase of projection art. Curators Josh Gumiela and Morgan Higby-Flowers participated in those previous shows, and they have some amazing things cooked up for Saturday night. Trust me. Don’t miss this.

Ground Floor Gallery
Chestnut Square Building

Conditionally Human — A juried exhibition featuring Richard BrouilletChris BurksAletha CarrJulie CowanLiz HellerKelly HiderRyan HoevenaarLaney HumphreyNathan MadridElysia MannMiriam Norris OmuraMary RobinsonLiz Clayton ScofieldBridgit StofferDenise TarantinoRoss TurnerJake WeigelCathleen Windham and Fotios Zemenides.

This exhibition juried by University of Texas at San Antonio professor Libby Rowe is sure to be one of the highlights of the crawl. Bring Your Own Beamer and ON/OFF participant Liz Clayton Scofield will unveil a new work.

Chestnut Square Building

Auniversal Picture  – new large-scale drawings by Shelby Shadwell, Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Wyoming. Shadwell actively exhibits across the nation and was recently featured in the International Drawing Annual 5 and 6 publications through the Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he had a solo exhibition in February 2013. — threesquared press release.

Zeitgeist Gallery
516 Hagan Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Shade Models by Patrick DeGuira is made up of paintings, collage and sculpture and investigates the concepts of memory, time and language. It deals with the creation of impermanence in one’s historical makeup.

Reckonings by Gieves Anderson is a series of images made by photographing wet paint. The photograph freezes the fleeting moment when the paint is at the height of it’s vitality and allows the artist to share an intimate, ephemeral moment in the life of a painting causing one to  think about paint as something other than an end product. — Zeitgeist press release.

Fort Houston
500 Houston Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Fort Houston is pleased to present Unit 2 (part 2): From the High Chair to the Electric Chair, an exhibition of a model society designed by David Duncan, Ron Cauthern, and other prisoners on Tennessee’s death row.

Constructed from materials permitted by prison authorities, including painted cardboard, plastic, and pasted paper, the miniature city offers a view of the society from the standpoint of individuals it has condemned to death. In a series of episodic vignettes, it traces a dispiriting, but familiar path from the housing projects through the playgrounds and schools and ultimately to the prisons and execution chambers. In this piece, the artists describe a social landscape where a persistent lack of opportunity becomes an engine of criminality and incarceration, where the downtrodden are continuously subjected to surveillance and control, and where social and political failures destroy lives. Overall, the ensemble suggests that our courtrooms, prisons, and execution chambers will never be empty until our institutions take responsibility for society’s most vulnerable citizens. It argues that social and political failures inaugurate a cycle of poverty and incarceration that frequently repeats itself from one generation to the next.

The diorama advances this critique while aspiring to introduce its audience to some of the dismal realities of contemporary poverty and imprisonment. As David Duncan had remarked, “I don’t want children today to learn about this cycle after they’re in prison.” — Fort Houston press release.

Fort Houston will also feature multimedia artist Bill Vincent‘s amazing projection-mapped Nashville skyline.

Cleft Studios
444 Humphreys St, Nashville, TN 37203

New Work by Rbt. Sps. and Christine Rogers

This is shaping up to be one of the best art crawls of the year! Here’s an area map to help you plan your route: