“The Art of Performance in Irvine: It’s Your Party”

Thursday, November 3rd at 7 PM – 9 P Experimental Media Performance Lab, UC Irvine
Curated and Directed by Ulysses Jenkins and Deborah Oliver

“It’s Your Party”
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 7:00- 9:00 pm
Experimental Media and Performance Lab (xMPL)
Contemporary Arts Center
4000 Mesa Road, Irvine, CA 92617


“Much of the world is anxious to see what directions our powerful government will take following the upcoming Presidential elections. While our country is much observed by others, what do we, as citizens, know of the consequences of our government’s actions in other places? Or their history? How often are we presented with simplified clichés? This durational performance, inspired by our ongoing “war on terror” and its consequences, is organized by Nancy Buchanan in collaboration with Stephanie Allespach, Amy Alexander, Arshia Haq and Marjan Vayghan.”

Sneak Peek at the Installation of the exhibition:

14917147_10155396710758502_6171117131903839652_o14918875_10155396711338502_8242609842999963316_o14883641_10155396711138502_8006047646429173037_o 14902839_10155396711063502_7096303540460554280_o

Nancy Buchanan received her BA and MFA from UCI. Her work encompasses a variety of media; over the years, she has received honors for her work in performance and video. Buchanan was honored to be invited by Professor Ulysses Jenkins to design work for the xMPL space. She is thrilled to return to UCI to orchestrate this event. The option of an ongoing event in which viewers may come and go as they please seems appropriate for these times. As Buchanan began research for this piece, she was struck by similarities between documents belonging to her physicist father, Louis N. Ridenour, and today’s situation. Questions of war and peace, weapons stockpiles, and generalized public fear seem unending.

Stephanie Allespach is a German-American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin. Her projects explore concepts of political engagement within the poetry of chance, a lens-based practice of documentary observation and everyday theatricality via photography, collage, drawing and video. She has shaped the overall design of the “Party” with Buchanan, and will present collaged video of artist Mira Hunter (née Burke). Hunter is a Canadian artist working in multi-media installation and performance. She is a second-generation Sufi Mevlevi (the Whirling Dervish order was established by the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi) who began her traditional training at the age of 16. She currently studies Sufism under Sherif Baba Catalkaya.

Amy Alexander is a digital media, audiovisual and performance artist who has also worked in film, video, music, tactical media and information technology. Alexander’s projects have been exhibited and performed internationally in festivals and museums as well as on the Internet, in clubs and on the street. She is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. She will perform using PIGS, her software/hardware/percussive framework that uses silent percussion to manipulate expressive video in performance.

Arshia Haq is a filmmaker, writer and DJ based in Los Angeles. She is the founder of Discostan, which presents musical narratives from North Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia. Topics include migration, nostalgia, homeland, borders, often within realms of Islamic influence, through lenses of traditional forms and kaleidoscopic reinventions of pop culture. For this “Party,” she will perform a live mix that will include her own sound art. Currently, she has been conducting independent field work in various areas of Pakistan documenting video and audio of Sufi spaces and practices, and will be releasing an album of field recordings in early 2017.

Artist, writer, and fashion designer, Marjan Vayghan is also a curator, and the founder of Building Bridges, which links US artists to artists in Tehran, Iran. Her work combines personal memory, familial intimacy and transnational political consciousness. Her grandparents’ struggle during World War II and the family’s exile from Iran have brought a spirit of hope to her work. Vayghan address the politics and processes of “misinformation,” and draws diverse communities together to consider these misidentifications collectively within various settings. She is especially concerned with representations of Middle Eastern women in relation to the Western mainstream and corporate media.

The second annual event includes two nights of live art and video featuring prominent UCI Art Department Alumni Nancy Buchanan and David Burns with Austin Young of Fallen Fruit.


http://nancybuchanan.net/recentinprogress/its-your-party/ by Curator Nancy Bucanan:
“It’s Your Party Performance
It’s Your Party was an immersive meditation about the people and places that US drones are bombing in the Middle East. I organized this as a collaboration with Arshia Haq, Stephanie Allespach, Amy Alexander, and Marjan Vayghan. Presented at UC Irvine on Nov. 3, 2016, the two-hour event surrounded the audience with sound (mixed by Arshia Haq), while they were free to wander and explore video, both projected and on monitors, consume tea and have conversations largely drawn from news about the wars. Excerpts from my year-long research of our country’s drone warfare were printed on origami papers folded into cranes or planes and given to guests, who were invited to write pre-addressed postcards to elected officials.

Drone ice sculpture

Hidden Man

Marjan Vayghan offering sweets

Arshia Haq playing music

Marjan Vayghan

performers & crew”