Poncili Creación & Laser Days, Nu Jazz, Evicshen, Ex Wiish, and MC Alex Tatarsky

Quantum Piñata: A Deranged Talent Show of Doom

Join us in the PW Main Hall this July 15 for Quantum Piñata: A Deranged Talent Show of Doom, a performance and musical event featuring experimental puppetry troupe Poncili Creación and worldbuilding studio Laser Days. Nu Jazz, Evicshen, and Ex Wiish will be presenting live performances, and the program will be emceed by Alex Tatarsky.

Quantum Piñata: A Deranged Talent Show of Doom is a multimedia variety show featuring underground music, audio-visual performances, puppetry, free jazz, and performance art. A circus of styles unified through shared DIY origins, Quantum Piñata is organized by artists who’ve played on bills together for years in New York. Not limited by a single style, sound, or aesthetic, the artists performing share a raw punk energy, traversing between sound art, improvisational performance, and noise by way of cross-genre manipulation.

About the Organizer

29 Speedway is an NYC-based record label and performance series featuring forward-thinking improvisational music and live multimedia. Founded in 2020 by Ex Wiish and Kowloon Baby, 29 Speedway serves as a platform for artists exploring the fringes of interdisciplinary art, crossing through both physical and digital realms via sonic performance. They’ve featured improvisational electronic artists and multimedia sound installations by the likes of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, James Hoff, Poncili Creación, Photay & Carlos Niño, Acemo, Color Plus, Bergsonist, Hisham Bharoocha, Kamran Sadeghi, Debit, Pent, James K, and various other experimental musicians.

About the Artists

Poncili Creación creates multisensory interactions with colorful puppets, some as big as a car and others as small as a penny. Using dance, music and raw creativity, they seek to interact with audiences, events and architecture in general. With no end goal in sight, they scour the world aimlessly making unauthorized Ted Talks championing change and creativity in the form of decentralized puppet shows.

Founded by twin brothers Pablo and Efrain Del Hierro, Puerto Rican experimental puppetry troupe Poncili Creación generates performatic and audiovisual experiences that sprout from their interactive sculptures which they call objects. Since 2012, they have worked with large-scale objects, installations and video, although they are most known for their performances that involve live music, dance and experimental storytelling. Roughly carved objects made of polyurethane foam and materials scavenged from the trash complement crafted mechanisms and shocking colors, providing catchy imagery. Their artistic process is an exploration of how they can alter life, others, and reality through objects and movement. For this reason, they have never limited themselves to specific locations or scenes, and have presented their work in puppetry festivals, galleries, museums, schools, bars, art fairs, music festivals, and bathrooms.

Nu Jazz synthesizes a decade plus of six unique, yet naturally interconnected musical journeys. Some members have spent years in New York City’s experimental electronic scene, while others have dedicated the bulk of their musical lives pursuing what we call “Jazz”. Despite disparate influences, all are bound by a profound appreciation for musical frontiers that have yet to be explored, creating that which defies the limitations of genre. The artists constituting the collective “Nu Jazz” have performed all over New York City, the United States and the world with their respective groups such as Deli Girls, Murderpact, CGI Jesus, Beshken, WRENS, the Trap Music Orchestra, and The Beak Trio; sharing the stage with luminaries like Jaimie Branch, Jason Lindner, Tomoki Sanders, Leya, Poncili Creacíon, and many more. Vast electronic soundscapes, extraterrestrial vocal textures and open improvisation submerged in raw punk swagger sets Nu Jazz apart from the rest.

Evicshen is the nom de guerre of sound artist, experimental music performer, and inventor Victoria Shen (she/her). Based in San Francisco, Shen's sound practice is concerned with the materiality/physicality of sound and its relationship to the human body. Her music features analog modular synthesizers, vinyl/resin records, and self-built electronics. Shen's music eschews conventions in harmony and rhythm in favor of extreme textures and gestural tones.

Shen is notably the inventor of Needle Nails, acrylic nails with embedded turntable needles allowing her to play up to 5 grooves of a record at once. Shen's DIY approach extends beyond just instruments but also music releases. Her debut LP, Hair Birth, features copper album art that transforms the cover into a loudspeaker through which the record can be played. Recently, Shen has started releasing hand-made resin records embedded with found materials, each piece functions not only as playable music media but as unique art objects.

Ex Wiish is a fleeting dream and the project of Ben Shirken, a sound artist and composer based in New York City. Their debut record “Shards of Axel'' [Incienso, 2023] is its own progress trap. Disoriented within a collective virtual consciousness, it continually respawns into a harrowing, metallic landscape, a reflection of our connected yet alienated world. Shirken’s practice is often collage based, involving work with Max MSP, modular synths, and chamber instruments to compose generatively-based yet composed soundscapes. They are the founder of record label & performance series 29 Speedway, featuring improvisational electronic artists and multimedia sound installations. Shirken also produces for and plays modular synths in free jazz supergroup ‘Nu Jazz’ with Dan Orlowski of electronic hardcore staple Deli Girls and four other respected players in the NYC scene. In the midst of a burgeoning metropolis, we force ourselves into moments of respite, space to breathe; a voluntary peace as we find ourselves together again. “Shards of Axel” reflects this back to us.

Laser Days is a real-time rendering, worldbuilding studio co-founded by Jack Wedge and Will Freudenheim. They build worlds, stories, and characters using game engines and animation. They also design real-time animated live performances and are currently collaborating with Superplastic to build a real-time rendering, motion capture animation pipeline. They have worked with Perfume Genius, A. G. Cook, Coi Leray, James Blake, John Glacier, Issam Harris, King Gizzard, Arthur, Kodak Black, Beshken, Adult Swim Smalls, Off The Air, MTV, Sprite, & YZY Gap.

Alex Tatarsky (MC)

Called “a hilarious, finely tuned absurdist” (Theatre Jones) and “an East Village relic” (Vogue), Alex Tatarsky experienced fleeting fame as Andy Kaufman’s daughter and often performs as a mound of dirt. Their performances reside in the unfortunate in-between zone of dance-theater, comedy, performance art and deluded rant--sometimes with songs. Venues include theaters (La MaMa, The Kitchen, PSNY, Abrons Arts Center, Gibney), galleries (Maccarone, Metro Pictures, Bronx Art Space), museums (New Museum, MoMA PS1, City Reliquary), comedy clubs (Gotham, The Improv), bars (KGB, Zinc, C'mon Everybody) and brave people’s living rooms. Writing on such topics as spambot poetics and mime politics appear in New Inquiry, Vulture, Garlands, Hypocrite Reader, and ArtReview Asia. Tatarsky is grateful to have been a Movement Research artist-in-residence, an Independence Fellow, and a Pew Fellow. They teach on masks, holy fools, and rot at School of Making and Thinking. Research interests include bootlegs and compost.

Co-presented by Poncili Creación & 29 Speedway.