Do Trees Have Raves When Nobody’s Watching?
MNDR is Amanda Warner and Peter Wade, a duo that's in the business of conjuring plucky synth confections slathered over frolicsome, Europop beats. Their vibe is expertly engineered to strike the dance floor like a bolt of lightning and charge up the local dull-eyed youth to voltages that make them jitter and spin. Take Amanda Warner off the stage though, and it turns out she's just as adept at electrifying all kinds of alternative spaces-like, oh, say, a peaceful woodland scene.
In the name of Wanderlust, this bold and versatile artist took her signature neon-glowing energy, packed it up and shipped it out of the city to Chichester, New York. She was rolling, of course, with a whole cadre of creative types in tow. Their vision was to redefine Wanderlust on their own terms by means of a collaborative, interactive installation woven into the natural playground of a verdant forest.
In all, six pieces by five different artists were spooled, draped, buried and wired among the unsuspecting but kindly compliant trees. Guests first entered the mystical sound installation "Tubular," by MNDR's own Peter Wade. For Wanderlust, the Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and recording engineer assembled a piece designed to interact with its audience via audio feedback generated by the viewers' voices and footsteps, in the form of the amplified drip of water in the septic tubes underground beneath their feet. Ushered by the sound of the echoing water, guests moved down the path to find Rob Seward's "FLW Light Study 2," a hypnotic spectacle combining light displays and percussion sounds.
From there, participants were lured along towards Jamie Careirro's "Seedpod," in which a mythical apparatus outfitted with a panel of green arcade buttons encouraged visitors to interact with the environment. Resulting audiovisual projections asked the question: ‘When trees are hanging around in the forest and nobody is around to hear them, do they have a rave?' This confluence of organic and manmade segued into Peter Wade's "Bermdorfs," in which tangled masses of fallen branches and logs were constructed to house four speakers emitting loops of errant noise gathered in Wade's East Village recording studio. As participants traveled through the space, the sound evolved and changed by picking up the surrounding sounds made by the visitors' movements, the forest and other installations, then electronically manipulating and incorporating these into the playback.
Just another step down the path, and visitors found themselves engulfed in a colossal piece by Warner's own collective, 0th, which began as a noise rock band before sallying forth into various other media. For this Wanderlust-inspired project, they imagined a time before time in a space before space. Their video installation, "Blow Up Universe" postulates that, instead of nothingness, maybe our universe was preceded by strange and wonderful cosmic abstractions. Thus marching right through the big bang and venturing a little deeper into the woods, guests walked straight into the heart of the sun. That is, San Fransciscan musician and video artist Greg Zifcak's hotly luminous audio-visual installation, "Venetian Sun."
These pieces were stashed like pleasant surprises along a looped, snaking path, gently seducing visitors further into the Wanderlust fantasy, only to deposit them right where they began. Each in their own way, the artists played with sound, light, and sculptural objects to appropriate nature in the name of a bigger kind of experience.
Does MNDR's unique art project cum woodland adventure have you feeling the call of the wild? You can learn more about the Wanderlust movement on MINI Space, and stay tuned to find out who will be wandering off in their very own brand new MINI Countryman!
The MINI International Vol. 43
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