Empty Gallery is pleased to welcome back Eli Keszler and Rashad Becker for an extended duo performance in our renovated space. Eli and Rashad initiated their musical collaboration at our invitation in 2015 and have since been progressively developing this work during extensive tours in America and Europe. Both among the most distinctive soloists in contemporary experimental music, they have managed to cultivate a striking musical vernacular in their duo performances, which take diverse influences including free jazz, psychedelic rock, electroacoustic composition, and various ethnic musics as a starting point. This shared sound world collapses binary oppositions such as natural/artificial, acoustic/electronic, and organic/synthetic into a complex and vibrant musical ecosystem which makes one imagine improvisation from an alien planet or the ritualistic music of a future society. This performance comes on the heels of a week-long recording residency in Hong Kong developing a collaborative album for the gallery’s record label, Empty Editions.
Following this performance, New York based artist, musician, and publisher James Hoff (of PAN and Primary Information) will present the Asia debut of his recently developed audio-visual performance, HOBO UFO. Taking ambient radio frequencies used for data transmission as raw acoustic materials, Hoff composes complex rhythmic soundscapes which seem to embody the inner life of communications networks. These same frequencies are simultaneously used to generate a dynamic visual component based on Google’s Street View technology, where a disembodied spectator – the “hobo ufo” – erratically wanders Google’s digital representations of public streets in an exploration of surveillance, data networks, and machine intelligence.
Eli Keszler is a New York-based artist, composer and percussionist. His compositions and visual works examine the limits of instrumentation, notation, and space in its institutional, musical and public form. Eli has released solo records on ESP-Disk and PAN and toured extensively throughout Europe and the US, performing solo and in collaboration with artists such as Tony Conrad, Oren Ambarchi, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Aki Onda, and Rashad Becker. Keszler’s sound installations, music and visual work have appeared at Lincoln Center, MIT List Center, Victoria & Albert Museum, Sculpture Center, The Kitchen, South London Gallery and Carpenter Center for The Visual Arts (Harvard), among others.
Rashad Becker is a musician and mastering engineer based in Berlin, Germany. During his long tenure at Berlin’s world renowned Dubplates and Mastering, Rashad cut and mastered many of the most influential electronic records of the 90s and 00s. Although involved with many musical projects over the years, he has only recently started releasing more of his recordings to the public, notably Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol 1. And Vol. 2 on PAN Records. His current musical practice revolves
James Hoff (b.1975) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His work encompasses painting, sound, performance, and publishing among other media. He has performed and exhibited his art work extensively throughout the United States and Europe over the last ten years. Hoff is also a co-founder of Primary Information, a non-profit arts organization devoted to publishing artists’ books and art historical documents. Recent solo museum exhibitions include the B=R=I=C=K=I=N=G at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana; and Black Box, Baco Arte Contemporanea, Bergamo Italy.