Milk Studios has been overtaken by multimedia art installations from almost a dozen visual artists whose works span three floors of the massive arts warehouse. We’ll take you on a brief virtual walk-through of some of our favorite pieces at the NYC launch event.
On the 2nd floor we find Shred Master Pro from LEGS in a large dimly-lit room. At first glance, it looks like a typical Rock Band-style setup: three musicians playing mock guitar, drums, and keyboard before a crowd of amused observers. But instead of musical notes, the musicians are playing media clips — each keystroke and chord triggers sound from a sampled and appropriated video clip acquired from various sources online. The videos themselves are displayed on a modular video wall and strategically assembled into a musical sculpture. Truth be told, the “songs” may not quite be music to your ears, but the overall effect is stunning.
Down the hall, we come across a room casting off an eerie glow and emitting a low, pulsating bass rumble. The first is Muti Randolph’s Deep Screen, a 3D cubic video display made with 6,144 animated light spheres. The room is packed with people looking at and taking pictures of the cascading rows of lights, watching the colors change and soaking up the ambient sounds generated in real-time according to the images’ movements and colors. The best way to experience this piece, however, is to enter inside the cube and become immersed in the beads of light.
Up on the 8th floor, a small crowd is lounging about in a cool, dark room taking in My Secret Heart from Mira Calix. A 360-degree screen displays what look like glowing wires suspended in water. Periodically, shadows of people will walk across the screen, and the wires will sizzle and snap. The room is enveloped in Calix’s gorgeously lush ambient sound — at times reminiscent of monks chanting, or soothing, hushed female vocals. This is by far one of the most subdued installations, but in a good way — it provides a welcome respite from the madness of the bustling crowds outside.