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"Stephen Vitiello: In TWISTER, A Performance of Video and Live Sound"
2000-11-21 until 2000-11-30
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Washington, DC, USA

WPAC presents Stephen Vitiello in a video and live sound performance entitled TWISTER in the Grand Atrium of the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Tuesday, November 21 at 7:30 pm. Vitiello, a sound and media artist, has collaborated with noted musicians, artists and choreographers, including Scanner, Tony Oursler and Constance DeJong, Nam June Paik, Jem Cohen, Dara Birnbaum, Joan Jeanreanud, Rebecca Moore, Pauline Oliveros, Éder Santos, and Frances-Marie Uitti. He recently worked with choreographer John Jasperse for Mikhail Barysnikovs White Oak Dance Project, presented at Brooklyn Academy of Music. In the performance TWISTER, Vitiello excerpts 3 minutes of the climatic tornado scene from the blockbuster movie Twister and transforms the clip into a mesmerizing 50-minute film. By slowing the tornado frame-by-frame, he collapses notions of time and space. Vitiello simultaneously performs electronic musical compositions while the film projects. His combination of ambient music and environmental sounds produces a subtly disturbing instrumental soundtrack and overall performance.

Vitiello manipulates eclectic instruments and natural sounds scoured from field recordings and websites to create improvised experimental electronica. He mixes guitar, cello, violin, accordion, and clarinet with random noises such as mating insects, an underwater volcano, falling rocks, an earthquake, thunder, flying bats and a launching rocket. He says, The combinations of sounds are not dictated by logic, rather they are based on impression and pleasing combinations. The results may be experienced as abstract, but in my head as I created them each one had its own narrative and its own vocabulary.

Several of Vitiellos works were inspired by his collaborations with visual artists. He has composed songs for independent films, experimental video projects and art installations. Vitiello makes sound a visual experience. He says, I have looked for musical ways to parallel visual structures and effects, straight and crooked lines, ideas of narrative versus non-narrative. Vitiello uses the techniques of visual art to make sound a multi-dimensional art form.

In July 2000, Vitiello composed music for the CD-ROM Fantastic Prayers, published by the Dia Center, which is a collaborative work with artist Tony Oursler and writer Constance DeJong. Fantastic Prayers began as a performance for Dias Rooftop Urban Park Project and later evolved into a web site project entitled Tetrasomia, which may be accessed at www.diacenter.org. Vitiello directed the video Nam June Paik: SeOUL NyMAx Performance, 1997 - Dress Rehearsal and The Last Ten Minutes. As a curator, he organized the Sound Art program for the Whitney Museums exhibition The American Century: Art and Culture 1950-2000, and in 1997, Young and Restless, a video program for the Museum of Modern Art, NY. His latest CD, Scratchy Marimba was released by Sulphur UK/Sulfur USA.

Admission to the WPAC performance is $5 at the door. The presentation is part of WPACs continuing FRAMES series. For more information about this event or other WPAC events, contact the Washington Project for the ArtsCorcoran at (202) 639-1828.


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