To commemorate the year that was, we invited an array of artists, writers, designers, and curators—from abstract painter Jack Whitten to Black Futures (Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham), theater director Daniel Fish to designer Na Kim—to share a list of the most noteworthy ideas, events, and objects they encountered in 2015. See the entire series 2015: The Year According to.
“2015, what a year, right? Cops, climate, drugs, Trump, refugees, terror abroad, terror at home, guns, guns, more guns,” writes artist and composer C. Spencer Yeh. “It’s hard not to wonder if this is all building towards something, or if it’s just business as usual—life as we know it (or at least read it on the screen). The phantom of the ‘other’ has been growing and growing, a device used to evoke not only fear and danger, but also security. How much longer can we comfortably put-off and pretend that it won’t be us next?”
Yeh—who performs in the Walker galleries April 28 as part of the Sound Horizons series—is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist, improviser, and composer, as well his music project Burning Star Core. Recent presentations of work include “Modern Mondays” at MoMA NYC, “The Companion” at the Liverpool Biennial, “99 Objects” at the Whitney Museum, “Great Tricks From Your Future” at D-CAF in Cairo Egypt, and many others. Yeh also collaborated with Triple Canopy for its contribution to the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He was a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room NYC, and is included in the performance program for Greater New York at MoMA/PS1. Recent recordings include Solo Voice I-X (Primary Information); Wake Up Awesome, with Okkyung Lee and Lasse Marhaug (Software Recording Company); and Long Pig by New Monuments, his trio with Ben Hall and Don Dietrich (Bocian).
Introducing his top 11 picks for 2015, he writes, “I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do what I did, and to experience what I could, and of course for the people I was with.”
Incapacitants, All Ears Festival, Oslo
Moriah Evans, Social Dance 1–8: index, ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn
I feel like any conversation around disciplines such as movement and choreography is preceded by the ol’ “I’m not an expert but…” So—I’m not an expert but, I really really enjoyed this.
The more pristine the frame, the grosser and more real the hand gets. Wouldn’t want it any other way.
Royal Trux, Berserktown II, Santa Ana
What do you expect from a long-desired reunion? Felt like a Trux show that could’ve happened back around Y2K.
High Zero 2015, Baltimore
I returned after ten years to participate again in this weekend-long improvised music festival (and social experiment/summer camp/artist intensive), and I have to say, it was even more fantastic than before.
Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival, Lausanne
ALLGOLD, MoMA PS1 Print Shop, Queens
In case you missed it, these four artists/designers/multieverythings just wrapped up a residency at PS1’s new raw space, staging an intense and voracious yearlong program with a dizzying array of fellow heads.
Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Museum, Joshua Tree
Pyramids and the Great Sphinx, Giza, Egypt
Absolutely intense and dizzying, for many reasons beyond the landscape. A complex and complicated human spectacle. Spent some time in Cairo as well, including working in 100Copies studio where Islam Chipsy and EEK recorded their latest record (check that out).
Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn
Though I am a part of this all-volunteer no-profit microcinema, this mention is also a reminder of the many other people and ideas that flow through that I am as much a spectator and supporter of. Wobbling towards the edge of a true five years of existence has been a thoroughly harrowing, difficult, and rewarding experience.
Got laid off, got hitched, took the cat up into the mountains