Sound + Consciousness

Laura Cohen, Joti Dee, and Colin Wang

For StoreFrontLab's Season 3: The Unknown, grant recipients Laura Cohen, Joti Dee, and Colin Wang have joined together to form a project series, entitled, Sound + Consciousness. Through experiences and objects, Sound + Consciousness probes the complex system of our consciousness and its relationship with sound. Immersive and interactive experiences offer small invitations for participants to explore the interplay between the two.

Sound + Consciousness launched its first iteration on March 4 with an evening of ambient music improvisations performed and broadcast live from within a human-sized chrysalis, the Soundscaped Cocoon.

Joti Dee sees the potential of 3D objects to express a point of view, viewing culture as a system of linguistic, visual, and behavioral codes that artists can use to re-imagine their shared objects and space. In the past through sculpture and now through immersive installations such as Sound + Consciousness, she seeks to carefully align concept with form.

Aver is a creative collective based in the San Francisco Bay Area producing work based on a mutual quest for personal discovery and outward connection. Participating in Sound + Consciousness are Laura Cohen and Colin Wang from Aver.

Laura Cohen incorporates chance operations into her artistic process. As a photographer, she travels internationally and domestically to capture happenstance happenings, utilizing double exposures based off happy accidents and incidental parings. Laura’s photos are taken with her mother's college camera, a Canon AE-1.

With an aim to explore the connection products form between designer and user,Colin Wang strives to eliminate the oversight of day-to-day life with an open mind and mindful living. 

Awe Lab

Jenn Doyle Crane + Amy Ress

AweLab is an installation, salon and workshop series exploring the ways in which artists, designers and other creative makers employ Awe as a tool for inspiration and generation, and as a community-centered approach to life.

Featuring artists Alice Shaw and Alison Pebworth with participation by Patricia Algara, Institute for New Feeling, Jeremiah Jenkins, Tanya Kaplow, William Faulkner, Tarin Towers, Anneli Virkhaus and StoreFrontLab grant recipient Sound + Consciousness (Joti Dee, Laura Cohen, and Colin Wang).

Alison Pebworth
Using the Wunderkammer, or Wonder Cabinet, of the Renaissance as a point of departure, Alison Pebworth presents cultural artifacts, and bits of San Francisco history and architecture, in a large-scale installation with smaller sculptures. Her work brings the same fascination once held for the mysteries of nature and science to our discards, creating a spectacle of consumption from an ever-changing city. Innards and Upwards is a project Pebworth has developed during her recent artist residency at Recology, San Francisco.

Alice Shaw
Alice Shaw is a photographer who often utilizes other art forms to realize her concepts. She exhibits internationally and is an Artadia Grant Awardee, and her work is in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Gallery 16 in San Francisco, where her work is represented, published her book People Who Look Like Me in 2006. For the Awe Lab, Shaw enshrines parts of black-and-white images with twenty-two karat gold leaf to instill a renewed reverence for nature, and contributes her clairvoyant gift to bring clarity to visitors through one on one sessions.

Amy Ress and Jenn Doyle Crane
Amy Ress and Jenn Doyle Crane met while serving on the SFAC Galleries Advisory Board in 2010. Amy leads Public Architecture's national 1+ pro bono design program and is at her best designing programs that empower and inspire creative professionals to expand their potential. She is an artist and landscape designer, and believes in the power of art and design to be a vital part of public life. Jenn is responsible for the administration of complex installations of newly commissioned public art projects for SFAC’s Public Art Program. She is a strategic thinker known for a collaborative spirit and is always striving to convene and enable a love for the arts in both private and public realms. As a team, they enjoy collaborating on public programs and exhibitions.

Patricia Algara
Patricia is a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and UC Berkeley Extension. Patricia is also co founder and principal at BASE, a multi-talented and omnicurious design firm with expertise from concept to construction. She was the faculty advisor for the 2011 ASLA Communications Honor Award and last year she was awarded the “Tending the City” – 10 woman campaign award for her educational and community building work as the co-director and founder of the Algarden Demonstration Urban Farm. Patricia is a Permaculture designer and avid beekeeper who strives to apply values that she has learned from the bees in her designs: that beauty, function, structure, and communication can intersect sweetly.

Institute for New Feeling
The Institute for New Feeling is a research clinic committed to the development of new ways of feeling, and ways of feeling new. The Institute is the inventor of its own authority, borrowing from the language of corporate branding and new age healing, as well as that of mainstream medicine, therapy, health and beauty. The Institute's work takes the form of treatments, therapies, retreats and wellness products that acknowledge the contemporary digital age’s modes of production, consumption, distribution of goods and services.
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Jeremiah Jenkins
Jeremiah Jenkins was born in the mountains. As a child he would walk with deer and talk to horses. His practice is about listening and responding. Using tarot cards, spirit guides, and shamanic methods he will receive visitors and assist with their issues. Each person will be allowed one question and will receive a consultation session and a ritual to take home.

Tanya Kaplow
Tanya Kaplow, MA, MFTI, is a school based therapist and lifelong academic. She holds psychology degrees from University of California, Davis and Santa Clara University. Her graduate degree in Counseling Psychology emphasized health and positive psychology. While at Santa Clara University, Tanya studied under Dr. Shauna Shapiro and Dr. Dave Feldman, among many others, immersing herself in contemporary research regarding mindfulness, hope, post traumatic growth, awe, self-compassion, gratitude and other positive psychological science. Tanya is currently finishing her first paper for publication with co-author Dr. Dave Feldman, looking at the link between awe and post traumatic growth. (more info)

William Faulkner
William Faulkner has played harp since 1979. Director of the Mariachi Mixtlán from 1980 through 1998, and solo harpist since 1983, William and his harp have traveled throughout California and the Southwestern United States as well as various parts of Mexico. He studied with Arturo Mendoza, former harpist with the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and has given workshops at festivals in Mexico City, Guadalajara, California, Arizona and New Mexico. William and his harp have traveled as far as Scotland to the Edinburgh Festival (with Mariachi International América from Tucson Arizona), to Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.

Tarin Towers
Tarin Towers is a writer living in San Francisco. She's been out of a permanent place since May. Housesitting and REALLY cheap housing leads appreciated: Email displacementblues at gmail.

Jessica Ress
Jessica Ress is a holistic wellness advocate, skincare formulator, crystal and plant intuitive, author, and eco-warrior. Jessica’s interest in transformational energetic healing spans many art forms. She has studied with an array of Shamanic Master Teachers in Aromatherapy, Crystal Healing, Sound Healing, and Reiki. She holds certifications in Aromatherapy, Reiki Levels I & II, Reiki Crystal Healing, and Primus Activation Healing Technique. Jessica's education is founded in fine art, with a BFA from San Francisco Art institute.

In addition to the exhibition, Awe Lab hosts Consultations for Internal/External Inquiry, a series of weekend workshops: one-on-one and group sessions explore both traditional and contemporary techniques used to unearth and explain the unknown and invisible patterns of human existence: 

Saturday, February 13, 1–3 pm
Session 1 / Opening the Unknown
Three artists guide individual sessions of discovery. Alice Shaw facilitates fundamental techniques in clairvoyance for developing personal clarity and healing. Jeremiah Jenkins offers one-on-one guru sessions culling elements from tarot, spirit guides, and shamanism to assist individuals, one question at a time. Jessica Ress improvises sound healing with crystal and Tibetan singing bowls. 

Saturday, February 27, 1–3 pm
Session 2 / It Takes 3 to Make a Collection: An Exploration in Internal Inquiry with Jalisco Harp Performance
Artists Alison Pebworth and Alice Shaw invite you to come ruminate on collections of three. Guests are invited to drop by with three items of something they collect, or simply join in the experience. William Faulkner, a Jalisco Harpist, will play the connective, harmonic, and transcending strings. 

Saturday, March 5, 1-3 pm
Session 3 / Awe Lab / Soundscaped Cocoon
Converging with Awe Lab, we present a program by StoreFrontLab grantees Sound + Consciousness (Laura Cohen, Joti Dee, and Colin Wang): Broadcast from the Soundscaped Cocoon, an ambient sound performed from within a human-sized chrysalis. Stimulate your senses with a hazy, consciousness expanding, psychedelic brunch.  The afternoon's program will also feature video treatments by the Institute for New Feeling and iPhone Tarot by Tarin Towers.

Saturday, March 5, 5:45-9 pm
Sound Therapy with Anneli Virkhaus
In partnership with board certified music therapist (MT-BC), sound healer, and energy worker Anneli Virkhaus, StoreFrontLab grant recipients Sound + Consciousness (Laura Cohen, Joti Dee, and Colin Wang) will host an immersive soundscape exploring the complex reactions of our conscious states to a sound-based experience. Within a large ambient cocoon, groups will explore their own qualitative transformations. There will also be video treatments by the Institute for New Feeling and iPhone Tarot by Tarin Towers. Registration recommended.

Wednesday, March 9, 6:30–8:30 pm
Session 4 / Panel Discussion / Biophilia, Clairvoyance, and Wunder
What do artists and designers do differently in order to keep awe an integral part of practice,life, and community? At the close of Awe Lab, join us for an engaging dialogue centered around awe experiences and outcomes with resident artists Alice Shaw and Alison Pebworth; co-founder of BASE Landscape Architecture Patricia Algara; and therapist and awe researcher Tanya Kaplow.

We live on a hunk of rock and metal that circles a humdrum star that is one of 400 billion other stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy, which is one of billions of other galaxies which make up a universe which may be one of a very large number, perhaps an infinite number, of other universes. That is a perspective on human life and our culture that is well worth pondering.
— Carl Sagan

I/O / Intuitive Object

StoreFrontLab transforms into I/O Intuitive/Object, a project by artists Michael Mersereau and Yoann Resmond (MMYR). The space is occupied by an electronic swarm of light and sound made from current and recycled technologies. Visitors initiate a unique sensorial experience of cryptic and haunting transmissions while information feedback grows organically throughout its three week duration. Carrying out chain reactions of information and physical responses, I/O is beauty and fear mirrored back in physical form. 

Opening Reception
Friday, January 8, 6-8:30pm

Panel Discussion
Tuesday, January 12, 6-8pm
The Uncanny Valley
MMYR + SFL Curator Jacob Palmer
A discussion with panelists Michael Mersereau, Yoann Resmond and Jacob Palmer exploring the fuzzy distinction between the inanimate object and the biological, responsive being.

Film Screening: Fem-Bot-Film-Bot Thursday, January 21, 6–8pm
StoreFrontLab curator Jacob Palmer presents an evening of short films that explore both the seduction and fear of artificial intelligence, robotics and their position within the human psyche. Plus the 2012 cult hit mockumentary, Computer Chess.

Closing Reception + Performance
Friday, January 29, 6-10pm
Bio Digital Interface number 10
Bio Digital Interface number 10 is a live interactive programmed performance between one machine and two people. With an opening sound piece by Michael Gendreau.

Search back into your own vision—think back to the mind that thinks. Who is it?
— Wumen Huikai


What is life?

Science cannot tell us. Since the time of Aristotle, philosophers and scientists have struggled and failed to produce a precise, universally accepted definition of life. Modern textbooks have identified characteristics that supposedly distinguish the living from the inanimate -- self-organization, growth, reproduction and evolution. There are numerous exceptions, however, of both living things that lack some of the ostensibly distinctive features of life and inanimate things that have properties of the living.

Crystals, for example, are highly organized; they grow; and they faithfully replicate their structures, but we do not think of them as alive. Similarly, certain computer programs known as “digital organisms” can swarm, reproduce, mate and evolve, but ushering such software through the gates of the kingdom of life makes many people uncomfortable.

Can we intuit the capacity for a certain consciousness -- a privilege reserved for humans -- to an expanding body of electronics? At what point does a copy machine or a smartphone cross the hallowed threshold into the world of a perceptive, living being? If a machine "watches", is it truly "seeing"? Are we revealing more about ourselves than we realize?

Join us for a discussion with the artists Michael Mersereau and Yoann Resmond and panelists Andrew Warner(Technical Production & Public Communication Lead at The Long Now Foundation) and Jacob Palmer(StoreFrontLab Curator) as we explore the fuzzy distinction between the inanimate object and the biological, responsive being.

*The Uncanny Valley describes the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bears a near-identical resemblance to a human being, and thus arousing a sense of unease or revulsion in the person viewing it.


SOUNDINGS: An Experiment In Ecological Creativity
A project by The New Eye
May 2–11, 2016

Bay Area-based artist collaborative, The New Eye, relocates music to mediate between the human and the non­human, between nature and culture. In 2014, The New Eye sent the band Halcyonaire to Anza Borrego Desert State Park in Southern California to create a series of field recordings for their song “Star Eyes.” The journey became the inaugural SOUNDINGS session, challenging the band to compose music from the inspiring geography, sonically mapping location through field recordings and documentary film.

Presented in StoreFrontLab’s street-level glass facade, a curated wall of video footage will be on view 24 hours a day, converging on Friday May 6 with an exclusive screening and discussion.

While SOUNDINGS is based on the intangible link between sound and place, it is also motivated by the uncertain and volatile condition of independent music, with particular attention to the displacement of musicians from urban centers, from which they have historically practiced their craft. The New Eye works to conduct experiments in ecological creativity, giving creators the opportunity to mediate cultural artifacts that raise awareness of human-sustaining natural systems.

Water Machines // A Discussion on Water, Infrastructure and Territory

Water Machines // A Discussion on Water, Infrastructure and Territory

Will the rains come? StoreFrontLab is pleased to partner with CCA Architecture and Urban Works Agency to present a timely discussion illuminating the relationship between water, infrastructure, and territory—and why addressing long-term water demands will take more than simply more rain. 

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Indigo Mind // Celebrating the Work of Oliver Sacks

Indigo Mind // Celebrating the Work of Oliver Sacks

Indigo Mind is an ambitious group exhibition celebrating the work of neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks. Opening September 26 at StoreFrontLab, the project features artists who explore a range of brain and body phenomena examined in Sacks’ research. These works present the influence Sacks has had on our understanding of the human condition in its limitless variation and form.

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Chrome Cavern and the Expanded Consciousness Reading Room

Opening Wednesday, September 2, 2015 StoreFrontLab kicks off its third season of programs with an illuminating collaboration between DBA Lab and StoreFrontLab curator Jacob Palmer entitled Chrome Cavern and The Expanded Consciousness Reading Room. In conjunction with September’s Architecture and the City Festival, StoreFrontLab will become a conduit for self reflection and exploration, sending participants on a journey of internal voyeurism and insight via a journey through the Chrome Cavern. The space will provide a visually and intellectually transformative laboratory where visitors dive headlong into deep internal self reflection, only to return to a world where all the imaginary differences between themselves and others have dissolved. Concurrently, The Expanded Consciousness Reading Room will present a series of classic and contemporary philosophical texts and discussions on topics ranging from mortality to transhumanism, artificial intelligence to consciousness and dark matter to the infinite, facilitating experiences that parallel these ideas with the hope that participants will discover new connections and real world applications.

Chrome Cavern and the Expanded Consciousness Reading Room
September 2nd - 18, 2015

Wednesday, September 2
Opening Reception
Featuring the cosmic stylings of DJ Spaziale

Tuesday, September 8
Expanded Consciousness Reading Room
StoreFrontLab Curator Jacob Palmer introduces the thinking behind Season 3: The Unknown, The Unknowable, The Future. Join us as we conduct a live podcast event discussing the ideas of Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Sun Ra, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ram Das, among many others.

Listen to the podcast!

Thursday, September 10
Zen and Artificial Intelligence, Nicole S. Anderson
Science fiction author, computer programmer, and transhumanist researcher Nicole Sallak Anderson presents a talk on Zen and the Art of Artificial Intelligence. Followed by a signing of her new book EHuman Dawn.

Tuesday, September 15
Rapid Prototyping the Unknowable Now
Curator Jacob Palmer and artist Donta Santistevan lead an evening of formulating, sketching, and prototyping ideas surrounding The Unknown.