Deep Listening Happens at The Control Voltage Faire, Participant, Sharenyc

Rose Kallal, 16mm projections; image courtesy of Participant, Inc.

A lot has happened since we weighed in with the ‘Synth Geek’ just a couple weeks ago. Tons of geeks converged on The Control Voltage Faire at the South Street Seaport (as we promised) and we were among the converted. Upshot: this is an amazing subculture, in which everyone listens deeply, attentively, and (seemingly) without harsh judgement. People will stand around and be ready to take in whatever you throw down.

Loud Objects at work; image courtesy of Andrew Reitsman

Loud Objects consisted of a trio who, with solders and exposed wires in hand, created unfiltered sound that had lots of people in the room either fitting earplugs or hunched over in contorted shapes — in a good way. This was noise generated on-site in real time, namely, by hooking microchips up into circuits that increased in complexity as the performance went on. An old-school overhead projector allowed you to see the shadows cast by the basic elements themselves, and (if you could still concentrate amidst the Absolute Din) the abstract shapes that resulted were pretty compelling.

Mark Verbos’ instrumentation at Control Voltage Faire; image courtesy of S. Schmerler

Apologies are in order, in that we didn’t catch every single act; that said, without question, our favorite artist was Mark Verbos, who, among other things, is an afficionado and repairer of the Buchla electronic music box — a role he understatedly describes as a ‘very specific obsession.’

Obsession = Good in this genre, and Verbos’ choices of (sorry, nomenclature-lack alert) what needed to happen where and for how long were spot on.

At the end of the eve, Xeno and Oaklander rocked.

Earlier in the week, we caught Robert A. A. (Lichens) Lowe (whom we also featured in the synth article) at Participant, Inc — a venue most people associate with visual art. The walls were blank; the room dark; and Lowe set to work collaborating with an artist named Rose Kallal live while her 4-channel video played on 16mm projectors. It was a much more ‘harmonic’ affair than the previous entries here — though the visuals read as somewhat static in the midst of all the amazing looping sound.

One added venue we ought to mention isn’t so much a venue as an opportunity to participate — it’s open to any artists working with sound, and (in the right context) visuals.
It’s called ‘Share’ and you can find it online at or on Facebook at sharenyc. Right now, the weekly meetups are located in Gowanus.

Artist-Graphic Designer Paulius Nosokas featured in animated projects at ‘Sharenyc’; image courtesy of S. Schmerler

When we say ‘open’ we mean it: we participated, no prob. Pictured above are visuals that this reporter threw up on the wall and ceiling — even though she only just arrived with a laptop and an idea. ‘Share’ (read: Keiko Uenishi and Geoff Matters, the event’s organizers) are most accomodating. No one judges harshly at ‘Share’; everyone listens respectfully — no matter how bold or how subtle your efforts.

It’s like Utopia — only louder.

Participant, Inc’s show, “Start Begin Feel Again” by Rose Kallal, remains open until July 22.

“Loud Objects” is actually a collaboration between Kunal Gupta, Tristan Perich, and Katie Shima, and you can see what’s on their sonic horizon at

Sarah Schmerler’s wall projections at ‘share’ combine two videos by Berlin-based artist Paulius Nosokas: one is called “Cardboard Frame”; the other is looping footage from the artist’s series of animated geometries called “Random:Motion.”