Moses Sumney

Due to popular demand, technoechophenomena is extended through October 3. Reservations will sell out, book yours now!

“We’ve learned to speak, dance, and feel from the depositories of our screens. From social media self-documentation to advertising’s algorithmic automation, in the midst of the echo, what do we teach our technology, and what does it teach us?” — Moses Sumney

Presented by Pioneer Works at Red Hook Labs, technoechophenomena is an experiential, audiovisual installation by Moses Sumney that offers an extension of his artistic and musical oeuvre, exploring isolation and our emotional relationship with technology. Echophenomena is the unintentional imitation of actions. This includes the repetition of words and sounds, body movements, or thoughts picked up from external stimuli. The artist adds the prefix “techno-” to the psychological term, evoking the relationship between human behavior and modern technology.

Visitors enter a custom-built cubic room, and learn a series of technology-inspired gestures choreographed by the artist. Sumney’s song “Me in 20 Years” pumps through the room as the lights come up. Powered by Microsoft’s Azure Kinect body-tracking technology, the participant can manipulate the room in various ways. Different motions provoke responsive modalities of light and shadow, and alter the music’s elements as they shift Sumney’s voice through octaves, reverberations, and space. The artist worked with technologists to train the Azure Kinect DK so that each guest has an out-of-body experience totally unique to them—essentially allowing attendees to “play” the room.

technoechophenomena oscillates between polarities of feeling deprived from human connection by physical and emotional isolation, and finds ecstatic joy and exhilaration in the comforts that can only emerge from being alone.

Please note that each individual experience has a duration of approximately five minutes.

About the Artist

Born in California and raised between Ghana and Southern California, Moses Sumney is a singer, writer, and multidisciplinary storyteller. Since emerging in 2014 with a self-released cassette EP, he has ridden waves of word-of-mouth praise, arresting visuals, and dynamic live performances alongside forebears like Sufjan Stevens, James Blake, and Solange. The artist’s 2017 debut album Aromanticism topped the end-of-year lists of tastemaker hubs like Bandcamp, the New York Times, NPR, and Pitchfork. It explored themes of solitude and lovelessness. In 2019, Sumney received a SXSW award for his music video work and was awarded a Macdowell Fellowship. In 2020, his first published essay, “Stateside Statelessness,” appeared in Fight of the Century (Simon & Schuster), an immigration-centric anthology edited by Ayelet Waldman and Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael Chabon. Sumney’s 2020 sophomore double album græ has received top marks from Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, and The Guardian, to name a few. Described as a “conceptual patchwork about greyness,” it’s his first work to be released since he relocated to North Carolina from Los Angeles.

Moses Sumney: technoechophenomena is powered by Microsoft. Learn more about Moses and Microsoft.

This exhibition is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the New York State Legislature.