Theta for Pauline
Although Seth Horowitz and I did not know Pauline well, once we met her and her partner Ione, we quickly grew to greatly respect them and the depth of their work.
Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) is known for her lifetime spent as an electronic musician creating early improvisations in the 1950’s with Terry Riley, Loren Rush and then working with Ramon Sender and Morton Subotnick who found the San Francisco Tape Music Center. Later Pauline developed the Deep Listening Institute (now at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY) which is as much a philosophy as it is a creative practice. In addition to her creative vision her work creating a community of listeners was the force that has made her an icon. This group of people around the world includes not only well known composers but also students, friends, dancers and artists. It is this community of people who are now her voice that will continue her deep listening practice.
We were contacted with a the request of a composition of 85 seconds long to present to Pauline on her 85th birthday which would have been on May 30th of this year. Yet in November of 2016 we heard that the works collected would become a memorial event instead. The event has become a concert, an exhibition and a conference which will run from June 1-3rd at McGill University. In addition a website titled “Still Listening” Pauline Oliveros” has been created to present the scores, the works and the composers in the series of events. Credit for this overwhelming task goes to the organizers Eric Lewis and Ellen Waterman as well as the curators Katherine Horgan, Dancy Mason, and Landon Morrison who have not only organized and curated the event but also commissioned Director Amy Horvey to direct the concert.
Our contribution Theta for Pauline is a work that is based on the theta brain wave which appears during meditative, hypnotic or sleeping states and is one of the five brain waves produced by the brain. When looking at brain waves we are looking at the brain’s activity and seeing one of nature’s most complex patterns. Theta for Pauline is an ode to an enormously compassionate woman who touched many lives and through her meditation on sound brought us to a new understanding of it.
Audio: Theta for Pauline
Our score is a 3D printed ring based on the theta brain waves. The circle layout indicates the continuous nature of Pauline’s Deep Listening impact that has span generations and continues to grow. We mourn her death but will continue her vision.
“Still Listening: New Works in Honour of Pauline Oliveros (19322016)”
Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Also included in the Suoni Per il Popolo festival, 4871 St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec, http://suoniperilpopolo.org
Our brains are wired to detect changes of all kinds-it is essential to our very survival. They can be extreme or subtle, and sometimes barely imperceptible. At times, our senses know instantly that there is a shift; at other times we come upon it slowly, as our senses adjust. Whether clear or vague, fast or incremental, the observation that something has changed creates a place to return to for inspection. How did we get from there to here? The color, tenor, medium, and sound can be switched, requiring us to look or listen again and again for understanding.
Our contemporary culture focuses exclusively on the sharp changes, a reflection of our era of broad sweeps and blaring oppositional politics. We have witnessed a coarsening of all aspects of our culture, and perhaps this is the right time to re-focus on the nuances of both contemporary art and public discourse.
The eight artists in “Tonal Shift” represent a broad spectrum of media in today’s visual art, and create works that take shifts in tone in different directions.
China Blue – light work, Paul Corio – painting, Irina Danilova – video, Jen Hitchings – drawing, Tony Saunders – sound, video, Audrey Stone – painting, Emma Tapley – painting, Anita Thacher – video
Co-curated by Katherine Daniels and Carol Salmanson
March 31 to April 23rd, 2017
Station Independent Projects
138 Eldridge Street, Suite 2F, NYC
“Creativity of Consciousness” is a solo exhibition at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, PA is an exhibition of my recent brain based work.
March 17-April 29, 2017
China Blue’s work is inspired by how our world is built from our sensations and perceptions. Her art works enhance the audience’s perceived world through her experimentation into brain wave monitoring and bioacoustics.
“Creativity of Consciousness” is the first exhibition of the artist’s neuroscience-based art which integrates all of her works while exploring the brain, mind, and society. This is a pioneering exhibit that allows people to simultaneously explore both neuroscience concepts and human creativity.
Creativity of Consciousness pioneers new access to cognitive and emotional domains. By using novel technology to read participants’ brainwaves, China Blue’s immersive art installations explore how we can alter our external reality through our internal mental states. It features three distinct sections: two interactive art works and a series of brainwave inspired paintings.
• “Imagining Blue” is an interactive brainwave sculpture that responds to a participant’s mind by dynamically changing in light, motion and sound. With this sculpture, users are able to observe their own current brain in action. This mesmerizing art work gives the audience previously unexplored and intimate views into the workings of their own brain.
• MindDraw is a real-time, interactive work that enables participants to create beautiful brain based images. By accessing their mental states of relaxation, meditation, focus or simple thought, participants drive the shape and speed of the projected imagery.
• “Memory Network” is a series of paintings that reflect how we may connect and hold on to our life experiences. Our recollections occur in fragments that arrive as flashes detached from time. Because memory is transient, these paintings propose a network as a method to connect and save our experiences. Based on the voids created by Alzheimer’s, the artist fills the empty spaces with aluminum-based paint, designing shiny globules and connects them to make stunning examples of one way to hold onto our thoughts and experiences.
Curated by Marnie Benney, Gallery Curator
About Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is central Pennsylvania’s only non-profit professional art college offering BFA degrees, certificates, credentials, and curricula that enable students of all ages to pursue art as their life’s work. The College’s educational philosophy of “Communication as Currency” develops artists able to create influence through the powerful combination of thinking, making, and communicating.China Blue’s work is featured in exhibition “EmBodied” with an interview by SciArt Magazine and a mention in Interalia magazine.
A review of China Blue’s paintings called “Memory Networks” is featured in Memory Networks, an article published in Interalia co-edited with Julia Buntaine, Director of the SciArt Center of New York and Editor-in-Chief of SciArt Magazine. The aim of this issue is to feature the work of artists and scientists that explore the brain, the nature of memory and networks.
SciArt Magazine interviews China Blue on her work featured In SciArt’s “EmBodied” exhibit. Interview.
China Blue’s “MindDraw” in EmBodied, an exhibition curated by Marnie Benney.
As humans we have an instinctual desire to expand understanding of our existence. While this desire extends outwards into the natural world and its phenomena, it also focuses inwards, towards the landscapes and mysteries of the body. We conceptualize, pontificate, and dream about what our physical form means.
Wittgenstein said, “The human body is the best picture of the soul.” As artists reimagine the meaning, possibility, aesthetic, purpose, and role of the body, the visual expression of this ‘soul’ or ‘inner self’ continues to be expressed in novel ways. This discussion becomes especially complex as the biological sciences reveal the seemingly inextricable link between the body and the inner self through neuroscience, microbiology, and genomics. Increasingly, the inner self is embedded in our layered physical forms.
By exploring everything from our bones, gross anatomy, physiology, microbiology, neurobiology, evolution, genomes, and more, how do we begin to understand ourselves in new ways? What do our bodies tell us about who we are?
– Marnie Benney, SciArt Curator
August 11, 2016
China Blue presents her interactive brain based work at NY Laser, a series of lectures and presentations on art and science projects, in support of Leonardo/ISAST’s LEAF initiative (Leonardo Education and Art Forum) an MIT affiliate.
Former LEAF Chairs Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk co-organize these presentations on behalf of the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts and Washington University in St. Louis, respectively.Memory Networks by China Blue
March 4-Jule 25, 2016
Albert Medical School, Providence, RI
Memory Networks are paintings that explore how we connect and hold on to our life experiences. Our recollections occur in fragments that arrive as flashes detached from time. These paintings are based on the voids in the brain created by Alzheimer’s. The artist fills the empty spaces with aluminum based paint designing shiny globules and connects them to make stunning examples of one way to hold onto our thoughts and experiences. The works are modeled after neural nets by linking them and preserving them in beautiful figurative abstract images and propose a way to safe guarding our recollections.
Her interactive work MindDraw is a work that enables people to see their brains in action will be presented opening night. People are invited to come with their brains and try this exciting work.
The Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute is dedicated to advancing the neurosciences and reducing human suffering from disorders of the nervous system through world-class research, outstanding clinical care and advanced education.
This exhibition is held in collaboration with Brain Week RI produced by Cure Alliance for Mental Illness, and sponsored by the Brown Institute for Brain Sciences and the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute. Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.
This painting is from a body of work that explores how we connect and hold on to our life experiences.
Memory is transient. Our recollections occur in fragments that arrive as flashes detached from time. “Memory Networks” is a project that investigates linking and preserving them in a beautiful abstract figurative web-like forms to hold them together. Made with aluminum based paint the shinny globules and lines make for stunning examples of how we can hold on to our thoughts and experiences.