There’s a Big Box Outside of Usdan

photo 19-11-59

“Pinhole photography, just on a much larger scale.”

In case you’re wondering what in the world ended up in front of Usdan this morning, it’s a camera obscura — that is, a darkened chamber in which the outside world around it is projected upside-down once the light from the surroundings passes through a little peephole in one of its walls, in the same way that an old camera works. It was made by two Middletown artists, Joe McCarthy and Peter Albano (who have engaged in other neat artistic projects, such as mapping the underground Hog River found beneath Hartford, CT) for the MiddletownRemix Festival, happening this Saturday, May 11th from 2 to 5 p.m. (more info on that after the jump). As Aletta Brady ’15 elucidates in an interview she conducted with the artists:

They described their project for the MiddletownRemix festival as “pinhole photography, just on a much larger scale — a pinhole camera that you can walk inside of. The sound element going on will [make it] a full sensory experience inside the camera”.

As mentioned above, this is no normal camera obscura: in addition to the visual aspect of it, it also includes recordings of sounds from Middletown that were collected as part of the MiddletownRemix Project. In essence, those who walked in are experience both the soundscapes of Middletown along with a representation of their surroundings.

Aletta’s full interview with the artists can be found here, and more information about the MiddletownRemix Festival can be found after the jump. Students are welcome to walk into the camera obscura and experience the sounds and visuals Monday through Wednesday until 6 p.m.

MiddletownRemix: Hear More, See More – A Festival of Art and Sound to celebrate the city’s acoustic identity, and feature four world premieres of works commissioned for the festival, three live DJ sets, two art/sound installations, a laptop orchestra, a flash mob dance, food trucks, graffiti art, improv sketches, and a gallery walk.

  • When: Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 2pm to 5pm (see below for a schedule of festival events)
  • Where: Festival Information Center will be located in front of It’s Only Natural Market at 575 Main Street in Middletown, Connecticut.
  • Admission cost: FREE!

After a year of exploring, sharing, and remixing the sounds of Middletown on the MiddletownRemix website, this festival will include this following highlights:

  • live sets by DJ Arun Ranganathan and Wesleyan student DJs Coral Foxworth ’15 and William Brewster Lee ’13
  • the world premiere of the sound installation “Lighthouse, beside the point” by Wesleyan University Professor of Music Ronald Kuivila
  • the world premiere of “MTRX” (2012) by Jason Freeman of UrbanRemix performed by Wesleyan’s Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble, directed by Assistant Professor of Music Paula Matthusen
  • a recreation of David Tudor’s “Rainforest IV” (1973)
  • a commissioned flash mob dance, choreographed by Wesleyan student Kelsey Siegel ’13 to a hip-hop soundtrack created by DJ Arun Ranganathan, incorporating sounds from MiddletownRemix. This flash mob dance is open to all levels of dancers. Learn the dance on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/wescfa and then perform it as part of the flash mob on May 11 (you should plan to arrive at 575 Main Street at 2pm, and then perform the dance at 2:30pm.)
  • a North End Gallery Walk including exhibitions at Green Street Arts Center, MAC 650 Gallery, Middletown Framing, The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center, and Ursel’s Web
  • “Camera Obscura,” a temporary 16′ X 8′ “camera,” by photographer and filmmaker Joe McCarthy and woodcut artist, bookbinder, papermaker, and muralist Peter Albano
  • “Projected World Experience,” a temporary, site-specific installation with multiple projectors, mirrors and speakers, by Marc Pettersen in collaboration with animation artist Cheryl Elliott and DJ and video artist Matt Weston
  • The Great Make Believe Society improvising sketches and scenes using sounds collected from MiddletownRemix
  • Connecticut graffiti artist Ryan Christenson of RC Murals creating and demonstrating graffiti artwork
  • food trucks featuring cupcakes from NoRA’s Cupcake Company, grilled cheese from The Whey Station, tacos from Lucky Taco, and seafood from High Tide Gourmet

And the official festival schedule is as follows:

  • 2:00pm – Remix by DJ Arun Ranganathan at Remix Sound Stage, 575 Main Street
  • 2:00pm – Performance of Jason Freeman’s “MTRX” by Wesleyan’s Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble at Green Street Arts Center, 51 Green Street
  • 2:30pm – Flash mob dance choreographed by Wesleyan’s Kelsey Siegel ’13 on Main Street between Liberty and Ferry Streets
  • 2:45pm – Remix by DJ William Brewster Lee ’13 at Remix Sound Stage, 575 Main Street
  • 3:00pm – Performance of Jason Freeman’s “MTRX” by Wesleyan’s Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble at Green Street Arts Center, 51 Green Street
  • 3:10pm – Remix by DJ Coral Foxworth ’15 at Remix Sound Stage, 575 Main Street
  • 3:15pm – Performance by The Great Make Believe Society at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center, 605 Main Street
  • 3:35pm – Remix by DJ William Brewster Lee ’13 at Remix Sound Stage, 575 Main Street
  • 4:00pm – Performance of Jason Freeman’s “MTRX” by Wesleyan’s Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble at Green Street Arts Center, 51 Green Street
  • 4:00pm – Performance by The Great Make Believe Society at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center, 605 Main Street
  • 4:10pm – Remix by DJ Arun Ranganathan at Remix Sound Stage, 575 Main Street
  • 4:35pm – Remix by DJ Coral Foxworth ’15 at Remix Sound Stage, 575 Main Street

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