Art's 1,000,052nd birthday party

The Artel celebrates global event with collective of alternative artists

Art turned 1,000,052 years old over the weekend. Don’t they grow up so fast?

The Artel, an art collective near Sydenham and Queen Streets, celebrated the landmark date this past Saturday with an impressive list of Kingston’s finest alternative audiovisual artists. The event was hosted by Tone Deaf Music.

French artist Robert Filliou first proposed a celebration in 1963, to commemorate the birth of artistic expression which, allegedly, happened when someone, somewhere “dropped a sponge in a bucket of water.”

The Artel even served cake.

The lineup included Big River Dream, audiovisual group The Decomposing Pianos, Golden Golden and solo female performer Raissa Simone.

The performances were all similar in style – mainly consisting of soundscape – but varied in tone and meaning.

Golden Golden’s intriguing video montage was a highlight. Disjointed and nonlinear, the film featured bright colours on top of a black and white background. Combining these visuals with their collaborative slides, Golden Golden provided audiences with a multimedia spectacular.

The combination of instrumental and technical music featured in the style of their most recently released album, Mirthful Mutts.

The Decomposing Pianos, a two-person group made up of Julia Krolik and Owen Fernley, charmed audiences with their colourful visual projections. The duo specializes in audiovisual presentations, with the intent to bring audience members to another place.

The music they made seemed to fit in perfectly with the reactive visuals. Their performance seemed to move as the overall sounds and projections breathed life into the room, invoking a sense of calm.

Raissa Simone, MA ’14, was the final artist in the lineup.

In an especially enigmatic performance using the power of sound, Simone was able to set an undeniably eerie and otherworldly atmosphere. The mastery of her skill was evident in the way she kept a delicate balance in all the different sounds she combined throughout her performance.

Simone, who describes her music as an “anxiety drone”, was excited to participate in this year’s festivities at The Artel.

“I had some brief difficulties at the beginning but they were worked out. It became the usual set that I do after some initial technical stuff,” Simone said.

“The show was just really fun. I got to perform a lot of noise music and soundscape that I hadn’t got to do before with this particular collective and with these particular audience members present.”

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