Day 2 > Shaun Irons & Lauren Petty

Why Why Always – TRT 2:53 mins

Throughout our careers, we have been striving to expand the understanding of media arts and technology, seeking a provocative synthesis of video, film, audio and sculptural objects to create multidisciplinary performances, multichannel installations, single-channel pieces, as well as interactive video scores to accompany live performance. We work intuitively, embracing a wide range of disciplines to embrace ambiguities and multiple meanings, continually searching for new and unexpected ways to connect with mystery, beauty, chaos and the process of transformation.

Our work frequently engages connections and confrontations between human beings, technology and the natural world, seeking a dialogue between the spiritual, ecological, and physical realms. We have continually embraced digital media and performance as a means to converge the miraculous and the mundane, where reality can be infused with sudden eruptions of the supernatural, suggesting alternate, mysterious possibilities. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of disciplines including avant-garde theater, dance, music, painting, animation, poetry, and cinema, we have continually embraced a cross pollination of genres, which challenge and influence each other, pushing the work into new and unforeseen directions.

Why Why Always is a multimedia, live performance that combines video, sound, sculptural objects, theatrical performance and dance. The project is a new hybrid work which re-envisions Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal 1965 film Alphaville. Godard’s film is a philosophical treatise on politics, alienation and cinema set in a future overrun by technology, where feelings (and the words that describe them) are not only against the law but considered obsolete. Using the film as a foundation and jumping off point, Why Why Always searches for the human, irrational and emotional amidst a world of mechanization, repression and control. The work also draws on the internet phenomena of ASMR videos, which reveal simple, intimate and often domestic actions, such as whispering, tapping, and towel folding, purported to simultaneously calm, stimulate and entrance viewers.

Shaun Irons and Lauren Petty are Brooklyn based multi-platform artists who make multidisciplinary performances, multimedia installations, single-channel works, documentaries and interactive video scores for live performance. Recently, they created a multidisciplinary performance called Keep Your Electric Eye On Me, which was commissioned by HERE in NYC. In addition, they recently completed Standing By: Gatz Backstage a feature-length, atmospheric documentary portrait of Elevator Repair Service’s acclaimed theatrical event Gatz, and developed a self-generating, video/sound installation called Atmospheres & Accidental Ghosts. Their new live cine-performance Why Why Always will be seen at Abrons Art Center in NYC in 2016.

Shaun and Lauren’s work has been exhibited in diverse locations in New York and internationally including BAM’s Next Wave Festival, The Brooklyn Museum, Abrons Arts Center, The Chocolate Factory, BEAT Festival, Anthology Film Archives, REDCAT, the Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, Rencontres Paris/Berlin, Tokyo Wonder Site and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana. They have received numerous awards in support of their including two NYFA Fellowships, multiple grants from the NEA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, Experimental Television Center, and the Asian Cultural Council, and residencies from MacDowell, Yaddo, Harvestworks, BAX, LMCC, and The Bogliasco Foundation. Their video design work has been seen at St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Public Theater, The Kitchen, HERE, PS 122, EMPAC, the Pompidou Center, Prototype Festival, Holland Dance Festival, the Venice Biennale, and BAM.

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