The M.A.R.S. (Music & Arts ReSound) Festival Opens in Los Angeles
by Genie Davis
Running from Friday April 14th through Sunday April 23rd, M.A.R.S. (Music & Arts ReSound) Arts Week, including the M.A.R.S. Test Site Salons, takes place at Angel City Brewery and Art Share L.A.
With installations and activities curated by art critic Shana Nys Dambrot, multi-media, video, installation, performance artists and artists using new technologies are joined by live musical performances, dance, and screenings of avant-garde films. More than 35 contemporary musicians and artists are a part of the extensive and immersive experience.
Musical headliners include LA-based Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Pampelmousse, and the M.A.R.S. Collective which showcases a musical style designed especially for the festival.
At Angel City Brewery from opening night this Friday through the 23rd, highlights include a new painting and augmented reality exhibition by artist Daniel Leighton. Leighton’s work is a vivid and beautiful combination of his filmmaking, technology, and story-taking capabilities as well as presenting a fresh take on his chronic illness, Crohn’s Disease. His world is that of human emotion, and he brings his paintings to emotional and visual life through his Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) app, Daniel Leighton Art + AR. Watching the artist’s paintings come alive with film, animation, sound and interactivity through each user’s own device, Leighton creates physical and emotional responses.
Also on view throughout the exhibition is a sculptural installation by cardboard artists Dosshaus, as well as a photography installation and performance by Amy Kaps. Additionally, M.A.R.S. Electric’s opening concert includes a human-interface performance by artist Tiffany Trenda.
Dosshaus works entirely in black and white cardboard, remaking and reinventing objects and experiences into a noir world that’s a dark fairytale of exciting, spare, and delicate images. Creative collaborators and multi-disciplinary artists, Dossahus’ Zoey Taylor and David Connelly work with painting, sculpture, installation, and performance art, as well as in photography, video, and film. Kaps offers a series of original photographs in Angel City’s lounge area.
Later in the festival, beginning Wednesday April 19th and running through Saturday, April 22nd, Art Share L.A. will showcase a large, dimensional, interactive, kinetic art installation in its main first floor gallery. Works will be presented by Thomas Sturm, Samantha Calvetti, Bryan Jacobs, and Jay Mark Johnson including a large, politically potent sculpture by Johnson “Someday, All This Will Be Yurtts,” and individual AR experiences by Sturm and Calvetti.
Art Share’s two project rooms will host two performances, one from Kaps, the other a collaborative work with performance artist Victor Wilde and video artist Jesse Gilbert. This work takes place inside two site-specific installation environments. Kaps’ work involves her Striped World black and white op-art environment; screening will be a series of her original performance videos. Kaps will also enact a series of small-scale live performances, with an outdoor
performance on April 21st that begins in the lounge area at Angel City Brewery. The performance, “Unfurling,” features a slow-motion siren-song that leaves behind a rail of tape as Kaps moves from the brewery to Art Share.
She’ll also host a performance of her conceptual cover band on the 22nd, with songs about black and white stripes and the accompaniment of an accordionist and poety/drummer. Meanwhile, Wilde and Gilbert present a mixed reality environment of sculpture, collage, VR footage, live audio, and video projection. Throughout the week, Wilde will be presenting live-printing, internet streaming of fashion contact, and interactive performances. In the Art Share theater at 7 p.m. on the 22nd, Wilde will premiere his avant-garde fashion film “Miscreants,” which was produced with filmmaker and inventor Joe Rubinstein.
In the Perimeter Gallery, attendees will find a group show of wall works, and one-hour, daily rotations of six artists’ video work. Video Program Loop One, runs April 19, 21, and 22, featuring the stop motion of Jennifer Vanderpool, Second Life by Kristine Schomaker, and abstract collage by Kio Griffith. Video Program Loop Two runs April 20-22, with the experimental mockumentary by Ned & Shiva Productions, cosmic performance-based video by Pearl C. Hsiung, and Osceola Refetof’s avant-garde dream cinema. A closing party for M.A.R.S. fest will be held Sunday April 23rd at Angel City Brewery, with performances by Amy Kaps, the M.A.R.S. Super Sonic, and an interactive exhibition of Ensemble Pamplemousse’s sonic art. For tickets, visit festivalmars.com; many events are free.
Angel City Brewery is located at 215 Alameda St. in Los Angeles, Art Share is located at 801 E. 4th Place. Free parking for attendees is available across the street from Art Share.