Gene Gort and composer|sound artist Ken Steen initiated NewMediaNewMusicNewEngland in 2009. The effort was a way to organize/curate/promote artists in the six New England states who are working in these genres and to connect them with venues, develop projects, and mostly enjoy the rich work being produced in the region. Gort and Steen have been collaborating professionally since 2006 on multi-media performance projects that have been presented internationally.
“Then, What If?” is a new iteration of “What If?”, a project that grew out of a collaborative teaching experiment we tried in 2007. Students from the “Music Technology” and “Sound/Image/Text”, classes in the Hartt School and the Hartford Art School respectively, generated a number of sixty-second works that we had students combine variously. Then they selected works and intentionally responded to them specifically, by creating either video or sound accompaniments. We noticed that the results of those randomly paired, created much more open and imaginative connections than those selected to “illustrate”, and the group embraced this strategy. “What If?” drew from this approach, curating 60 video clips and 60 sound compositions that are 60 seconds in duration each and paired them randomly using a Cageian model of indeterminacy with 3600 potential variations. The pieces were chosen from an open call from the six New England States and ranged from young producers, to seasoned professionals, to graduate, and undergraduate students."
“Then, What If?”, like “What If?”, has three iterations; a video screening event, an installation for gallery presentation and a website. For the screening event, to engage in the random activity, audience members select one number each from a video- and audio-designated list as they enter the venue. These numbers determine the evening's program of 60 works resulting in a 60-minute screening. For the gallery installation, a computer with media projection and stereo sound is loaded with all the files and the user selects random pairings or specific pairings for playback. The website, designed and programmed by Tim Lawless, similarly has a random generator scripted into the site and visitors can randomize the pairings or determine the pairings specifically as well. The project has been curated from an international call for entries and includes seasoned veterans and young producers from the US, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Israel, Sweden, South Korea, Ireland and England. "Then, What If?" premiered at Five Points Gallery, Torrington, CT, USA and expects to travel.
For information about hosting this project contact >> us[at]nmnmne[dot]org