Performance preview of Jacolby Satterwhite’s En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance, 2016; photo: Beth LaBerge

Performance

Jacolby Satterwhite, En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance

Part of Jacolby Satterwhite’s En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance

During this long weekend of performance, join us as Jacolby Satterwhite premieres En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance. In this newly commissioned piece, the artist builds an immersive virtual reality dreamscape from his mother Patricia’s archive of twelve a cappella albums, originally recorded in the late 90s on consumer-grade cassette tapes. Satterwhite and his musical collaborator Nick Weiss (Teengirl Fantasy) selected from over 155 of Patricia’s tracks. The resulting visual album — set to Patricia’s original melodies and vocals and incorporating elements of electronic house, noise, and deconstructed club music — debuts in this listening party and live concert environment. Drinks available for purchase.

About Jacolby Satterwhite

Jacolby Satterwhite spent his childhood in South Carolina before relocating to New York after completing an MFA at the University of Pennsylvania. His training as a painter is evident in the detailed and expertly rendered virtual reality worlds that he creates. Blending genres — including video, performance, 3D animation, and drawing — Satterwhite explores themes of memory, desire, and personal and public mythology. In 2016, SFMOMA commissioned Satterwhite to create a new work titled En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance as a part of the inaugural season of Performance in Progress. En Plein Air continues Satterwhite’s investigation of home, family, pop culture, and queer identity and draws on his mother Patricia Satterwhite’s music recordings as a primary resource. An extension and interpretation of Satterwhite’s original practice, the artist says that his work, “[examines] memory, insider/outsider art practices, contemporary surrealist practices, queer phenomenology, and pushes the tensions created during translation and inheritance of studio practice.”

Curator's Notes

In En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance, Jacolby Satterwhite and Nick Weiss build an immersive visual album around the 155+ song archive of Patricia Satterwhite, Jacolby’s mother. Recorded in the late 90s on consumer-grade cassettes, the elder Satterwhite’s a cappella tracks draw on folk, gospel, pop, and R and B traditions. En Plein Air uses her original melodies and vocals in a reimagined soundscape incorporating elements of electronic house, noise, and deconstructed club music. The video world moves from dance floor to dreamscape to dance floor again, and this dual environment doubles itself too in the performance space and in virtual reality portals to the video’s world. Our multi-level club experience then advances through ten songs, following, perhaps, Patricia Satterwhite’s signal in her “Healing in my House,” where our greatest adventures out can still discover the way home.

— Frank Smigiel, associate curator, performance and film

Jacolby Satterwhite’s En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance was commissioned by SFMOMA as a part of Performance in Progress.

Musical Collaborator

Nick Weiss is one-half of Teengirl Fantasy, an ever-evolving electronic music duo established in 2009. An alumni of Oberlin College and Conservatory and Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Weiss and bandmate Logan Takahashi’s music as Teengirl Fantasy has been described by critics as “dream-beat,” an atmospheric yet driving sound that pulls elements from deep house to shoegaze. Weiss participated in the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo under his new solo guise Nightfeelings, and co-produced fellow RBMA alumni Lafawndah’s 2016 Tan EP on legendary UK label Warp Records. For the past two years, Weiss has collaborated with Satterwhite on En Plein Air.

Cellist

Patrick Belaga is a classically trained cellist whose work straddles the two worlds of contemporary classical music and experimental improvisational sound art. He has performed at museums, galleries, and theaters internationally, including MOCA, Los Angeles; EMPAC, New York; The Getty, Los Angeles; Migros Museum, Zurich; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; Spring Workshop, Hong Kong; and Donaufestival, Austria. In addition to his ongoing performance collaboration with artists Wu Tsang and boychild, he has also recently worked with artists Ligia Lewis, Thibault Lac, Jeremy O. Harris, and Kai Kight. Current projects include a solo record and several film scoring projects.

Lighting Designer

Future Weapons

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality equipment courtesy of Google Daydream & Obscura Digital

Performance in Progress Team

Curator

Frank Smigiel, associate curator, performance and film, SFMOMA

 

Producers

Gina Basso, programs associate, performance and film, SFMOMA

Christian Davies, programs associate, performance and film, SFMOMA

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Jeffrey Alexander, Paul Clipson, Jen Tait, and SFMOMA operations and technical crew.

Additional support from United States Artists grants.

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