Project: DENCITY "Serving New York‚s Gritty Backstage"

Dates :
This manifestation of Dencity ended 12/16.

Times :
To keep abreast of future e-Xplo events click here.

Location: Tour started and ended @ Parker‚s Box
(Between Bedford and Driggs),
Willimasburg/Brooklyn (L train Bedford Avenue)

A special thanks to Earwax Records, Parker's Box, and to a host of others including our friends, people we met working on collecting the sounds, developing the route, and the local businesses that helped support the project.





What is the DENCITY bus tour?

DENCITY is a live performance of electro-acoustic music on a nightly bus tour through New York's hidden landscapes. It is the contemporary urban equivalent of an explorer's notebook- a kind of Huck Finn on land. The producers of the DENCITY project are interested in exploring the relations between our point of departure, Williamsburg and some of the surrounding neighborhoods that have remained on the periphery of most experiences of NYC.

Rather than guide you through these spaces as a standard tour would, your "tour guides" will navigate you through these spaces with sound that is generated on the bus and sounds that have been collected "on site". Your audio "tour guides" will be Heimo Lattner and Erin McGonigle. Two artists who have significant experience performing in a variety of contexts/spaces. They, along with Rene Gabri, have also composed s route that they hope will stimulate new or interesting questions about these peripheral spaces.

DENCITY can be seen as a point of entry into these spaces. The artists involved create a "public" project and a "social" space that provokes the "tourist" or traveler to ask questions about the significance, history, and relationship of these spaces to the spaces they/we normally occupy and navigate through in the City. They also create a context in which the very act of "touring" is both an answer and a question. Sound, architecture, landscape and this tour bus are the forms that will open up these lanes of exploration.

Dencity is presented by: e-Xplo

Who is e-Xplo?
alterrain eXplo.rations Ų a joint project conceived by the sound and visual artists Heimo Lattner, Erin McGonigle and Rene Gabri. This trio has produced compelling work to a wide audience, with their stylistically provocative presentations and innovative responses to contemporary social conditions. e-Xplo is vitally interested in presenting works of art that capture the spirit of adventure implicit in exploration. e-Xplo is created as a platform to produce and present innovative works which respond to contemporary social conditions.

Heimo Lattner, Visual and sound artist. A notorious protagonist of minimal electronic music. His installations and performances have been presented at: ICA, London; PS1, New York; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Lyon; The New York Kunsthalle, (selection) Radioworks for: WFMU, WKCR, Kunstradio/Vienna, Radio Orange/Vienna, Radio Tilos Budapest, Radio Nova, Paris.

Erin McGonigle, Environmental and sound artist, Uses the process of receiving the urban environment as an extension of social production, formally known as Alien Action. Her solo and collaborative works have been presentedat: Abandoned industrial spaces, NY; Kunstraum Goethestrasse, Austria; Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna; Lugar Commun, Portugual; Tanz Fabric, Germany

Rene Gabri, Visual artist. Whitney Independent Study Program Alum and on of the initiators of 16 Beaver. His work has been screened, exhibited, and „taken placeš in a variety of spaces and locations both in the US and abroad.

Who can we contact if we have further questions about the project?

We encourage those interested in the finding out more information about the project to contact us by:

phone: 718.218.6425

Some points of entry into the DENCITY bus tour?

Recently, cultural critic/historian Steven Morton conducted a series of interviews with the participants of the e-Xplo project, the contents of which should be posted on the web the week after the first bus tour. For the sake of brevity and clarity, we have decided to highlight some of the themes of the discussion and in turn some of the ground covered on the tour itself.

A: The spatial history of the neighborhood. How the architectural and visual surfaces of the blocks and streets encode a cultural memory of labour and productivity. And how a re-visitation of these urban sites might enable a better understanding of the shifting dynamics of gentrification in the present. Both Williamsburg and Blissville retain visible architectural signs of labour and industrial productivity. If the spaces and buildings of Blissville or Lost City lie derelict or contain materials that are potentially hazardous to the public, the industrial lofts and warehouses of Williamsburg have been recently transformed into desirable real estate for artists and increasingly, young professionals who cannot afford to live in Manhattan. By starting and finishing the tour in Williamsburg, we want to explore how some of the spaces the „touristsš will encounter can inform some of the social and economic concerns which have been forgotten in the gentrified spaces of Williamsburg.

B: The formal questions, site, context, movement, public, art, sound. The context of the tour calls into question not only the „sitesš that the tour covers, but also the sites of art production as well as the site of electronic sound/music performance. How does one use public space in new ways for the production of artwork that opens new paths for engaging with contemporary social conditions? How does one shift the context of music or sound work away from the club or bar context? What happens, when the social contexts for sharing/experiencing art or music are placed in another context (a context that is both fixed, namely inside a bus & perpetually re-orienting, namely by navigating through the industrial periphery of New York City). The DENCITY bus tour is a live performance similar to one at a concert hall or an art opening. What is unique here is that this performance is taken out of the fixed boundaries/borders of the interior of a building/hall, and taken outside. The artists use „public spaceš as the ground to engage with landscape and architecture by physically traversing through it.

C: The tour as a vehicle for conceptual, site-oriented art. The őtour‚ as a form has been developed in time-based, conceptual art to explore different aspects of urban space. In the early 90s, for example, the UK-based group, Locus + organized a series of events called Hidden Cities, where various artists used open-top tour buses and audio elements to re-map forgotten parts of cities around Britain. This project develops and departs from such conceptual concerns by transforming the relationship between the acoustic and the visual in response to the contemporary sites of waste that permeate our lived environment.







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