Ace Hotel Brooklyn and Pioneer Works join in creative arms to foster artistic communities.
Crit Night is a seasonal series, where Pioneer Works artists-in-residence share works in progress during an intimate evening focused around experimentation and discourse.
Cayo Santiago (2023)
Erin Johnson will give a sneak peek of her recently completed short film Cayo Santiago (2023) set on an islet off the coast of Puerto Rico that houses the longest-running primate research center in the world. Narration by one of the center's staff members explores themes of opacity, fantasy, labor, and surveillance. As the camera observes 2,000 rhesus macaques freely roaming a landscape hard-hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017, connections between extraction, interspecies relationships, and the U.S. military surface.
Members of Irreversible Entanglements will improvise a set of music contextualized by this passage written by Julius Lester:
“Culture in a revolutionary context must be an instrument of communication, which serves to raise political awareness and consciousness, as well as serving to further intensify the commitment of the people to revolution. Culture can also be an instrument which serves as a rock in a weary land and a shelter in a time of storm. Culture is the principal mass means by which attitudes and ideology are shaped in any society. Therefore, in a revolutionary context, the responsibilities of the cultural worker are overwhelming. These responsibilities have different demands at different stages of the revolution, and it is part of the cultural worker's responsibility to be so attuned to the needs of the revolution that [they] will not be articulating one thing when another is needed.” -Julius Lester, Revolutionary Notes (1969)
Music Resident Alum Matt Evans will DJ in the Lobby Bar following the program.
About the Artists
Erin Johnson (b. 1985, US) is a visual artist and filmmaker based in New York. Her immersive installations and short films explore notions of collectivity, dissent, and queer identity. In her shape-shifting videos, constellations of artists, biologists, and film extras address the imbrication of science and nationalism. Johnson received an MFA and Certificate in New Media from UC Berkeley in 2013, attended Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2019, and recently completed residencies at Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, NY), Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht, NL), Lower Manhattan Community Council (LMCC), Hidrante (San Juan, PR), and Lighthouse Works (Fishers Island, NY). Her work has been exhibited or screened at BIENALSUR 2023 (Buenos Aires), MOCA Toronto (Toronto), Munchmuseet (Oslo), Sanatorium (Istanbul), Times Square Arts (New York), deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Boston), Billytown (The Hague), and REDCAT (LA).
Irreversible Entanglements are a liberation-oriented free jazz collective formed in early 2015 by saxophonist Keir Neuringer, poet Camae Ayewa (a.k.a. Moor Mother), and bassist Luke Stewart, who came together to perform at a Musicians Against Police Brutality event organized after the slaying of Akai Gurley by the NYPD. Months later the group added trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and drummer Tcheser Holmes (a duo who also performed at the MAPB event) for a single day of recording at Seizure’s Palace in Brooklyn. Though free jazz with voice is an uncommon approach in the modern day landscape of the genre, the spirit and subject the band channels and explores represent a return to a central tenet of the sound as it was founded—to be a vehicle for Black liberation. As the collective continues to tour Europe, the UK, and North America, the group seeks to collect these experiences to share more deeply with our local communities.
Erin and Johnson and Irreversible Entanglements are inaugural Working Artist Fellows. The Working Artist Fellowship is part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s The Artist Impact Initiative.
Matt Evans is a Brooklyn based drummer and producer creating electro-acoustic music that considers the interconnectedness of landscapes, both real and imagined. His compositions draw inspiration from millennial esoterica, natural phenomena, and science fiction, resulting in hypnotic soundscapes and surreal sonic worlds. Combining a meticulous drum-driven approach with imaginatively processed keyboards and samples, Matt crafts a rhythmic, post-ambient music that’s been described as "hyperreal and phantasmal" (Wire Magazine), and "a form of chill complexity" (New York Times). Matt has presented solo projects at the Guggenheim, The Kitchen, Roulette, and 2220 Art+Archives and has released records with Moon Glyph, Whatever’s Clever, Dinzu Artefacts, NNA Tapes, Deathbomb Arc, New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe, Perfect Wave, and Thrill Jockey.
Crit Night is co-presented with Ace Hotel Brooklyn.
This program is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts.