Automata Archives 2016-17

January 23rd, 2016

Luke Martin and Aaron Bresley

An Evening of New Works for String Quartet

This program features five new works for string quartet, composed by Luke Martin and Aaron Foster Bresley. Performed by Luigi Polcari, Jonathan Tang, Yvette Holzwarth, and Joy Yi, the pieces explore the use of graphic scores, poetry, vocalization, noise, and alternate tuning systems. The first half of the concert will be a premiere of a new, long-form work by Aaron Foster Bresley. Titled “barrier – bend/erect,” the piece is based on motion void of direction and destination. The four performers are posited as a circuit of unique and precise states, and given music through which they may become music(al). Following this, the second half of the concert will feature four shorter graphic score string quartets, by Luke Martin. These pieces are from his new CD (to be released on the FWD: rcrds label in December 2015), “residues.” The works seeks to explore the uncertain relational space between subjects and everyday objects existing as residue due to their leftover or forgotten status. In this space, there can be a dissolving of that subject-object relationship, creating a sort of faded, yet vibrant mingling; a potential for new combinations, momentary sparks, and the slippage of selves.
Luke Martin is an experimental composer, musician, and poet currently living in valencia, CA. his work focuses on the concepts of liminality, neutrality, and fragility, often seeking to explore the listener/performer's limits of perception. in particular, he is interested in the role of silence both in and out of music, and how to increase the listener, composer, and performer's consideration of silence. he is currently in his last semester of the MFA music composition program at CalArts.

Aaron Foster Bresley composes, programs, and sometimes dabbles in performing. he enjoys having his birthday on an holiday weekend. he has probably not yet met you, but he hopes to. aaron always asks celebrities what flavour of jello they would be. aaron currently lives in new york city, and is the east-coast half of the experimental music label FWD: rcrds. he thinks he would probably be lime. he has never learned to do a handstand or to juggle. many of these are things that belong in bios. aaron is lucky to spend his time pursuing things that do, and most of it doing things that do not.

January 28th, 2016

Pleats of Matter: The Films of Blake Williams
3D and 2D films by Toronto Filmmaker Blake Williams

Co-Presented by Automata and Acropolis Cinema

One of North America's most exciting young filmmakers, Toronto's Blake Williams has spent the past few years experimenting with anaglyph 3D technology, emerging with a series of films that formally investigate a variety of otherwise quotidian spaces and landscapes by casually unlocking their nascent art-historical dimensions. At once playfully conceptual and viscerally charged, his films merge the aesthetics of the digital age with the tools of classic optical technologies, playing light, shadow, and other natural phenomenon off one another in hyper-sensory displays of depth and color. His two latest works, Red Capriccio (2014) and Something Horizontal (2015), represent the pinnacle this approach to date, and together have travelled to the Toronto, New York, and Oberhausen Film Festivals. Join us as we welcome Blake Williams for the first presentation of his work in Los Angeles, with a two-part program dedicated to his work in the realms of both two and three dimensional space.
Curated by Jordan Cronk

January 30th, 2016

Southland Ensemble
Music of Earle Brown: FOLIO

Earle Brown’s influence on the avant-garde community has been philosophical as well as tangible and practical. His conducting techniques and experiments with “time notation,” improvisation, and open-form compositional structure have become part of contemporary compositional usage. His work with new notations, scoring methods, and performance attitudes led to his development of graphic, improvisational, and "open-form" scores such as Folio and Four Systems.

About Southland Ensemble:

“Boundaries were blurred—not just between the pieces themselves, but also between music and theater, between audience and performer, between performance and life.”
Isaac Schankler - NewMusicBox

The Southland Ensemble, formed in 2013, is a vibrant addition to the experimental music community and has thus far committed itself to presenting a series of portrait concerts. Each concert is carefully programmed to reflect a specific creative period in a given composer's career so that the audience is offered the opportunity to delve deeper into the work. Since its formation, the ensemble has presented works by Christian Wolff, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Robert Ashley and James Tenney. The ensemble seeks to broaden its focus to include composers outside of the United States in subsequent seasons.
The Southland Ensemble consists of eight core members who possess a vast amount of experience within the experimental tradition, particularly in the interpretation of graphic notation and text scores. The collective is flexible in size and often collaborates with guests as the music requires. The Southland Ensemble seeks to collectively share their experiences through the mediums of interactive concerts, workshops and lectures.

March 5th, 2016

Karaoke Night: Puppet Optional

Automata's first ever karaoke night!
Hosted by Automata favorites Moira MacDonald and Molly Allis

March 25th-27th, 2016

Into the Rice Fields

by Yulya Dukhovny

A storytelling using drawings, paper dioramas and movable pictures on a toy theater scale, with physical theater techniques. An original play is inspired by the work of two extraordinary philosophers and "travelers in time": Lafcadio Hearn, writer(1850 - 1904) and Tōru Takemitsu, composer (1930 – 1996).

March 26th, 27th, 2016

Pinhole Camera Workshop

with Robin Miller and Alexis Macnab

The magic of pinhole photography transforms a paint can (or any other light-safe container) into a camera. The device is easy to make and the images you capture are very special frozen-in-time moments.This two-part workshop will take you step-by-step through the process of pinhole photography including capturing images on photopaper, developing your photographs, and creating your own pinhole camera. Saturday 11am-2 pm and Sunday 2-5pm

April 9-10th, 2016


An evening length choreographic work by

Fatal is an evening-length work sourcing movement and text from the 1987 film Fatal Attraction to trace an arc from desire to aggression through the bodies of six diversely trained performers.

Performances by Anton Lieberman, Daeun Jung, Devika Wickremesinghe, Donel Williams, Erin Schneider, and Jason Black
Sculptures by Jared Dyer
Live score composed and performed by Gabriel Slavitt

April 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2016

3 Evenings of New Work

Automata presents three evenings of new work by Ulrich Krieger, including several world premieres. Krieger is an internationally recognized saxophone player and composer. He is known for his original, innovative contemporary composed and free improvised music. His recent focus lies in the experimental fields and fringes of contemporary Pop culture: somewhere in the limbo between Noise and Heavy Metal, Ambient and Silence.

Each Evening is a unique show

April 22: Universe Series 1&2 Record release concert

April 23: Universe Series 3&4 Premiere!

April 22: Blood Oath Official Premiere of Krieger's new experimental noise metal band: Ulrich Krieger, Max Kutner, Linda Lockwood, Ness Morris, and Josh Carro

Ulrich Krieger is a composer, performer, improviser and experimental rock musician. His main instruments are saxophones, clarinets, didjeridu and electronics. He calls his style of playing ‘acoustic electronics,’ using sounds, that appear to be electronic, but are produced on acoustic instruments and then sometimes electronically treated, blurring the borders between the fields. Krieger transcribed Lou Reed's (in)famous Metal Machine Music for chamber ensemble and works with groups like Text of Light (with Lee Ranaldo) and zerfall–gebiete (with Thomas Koner). Born 1962, in Freiburg, Germany, he lived in Berlin from 1983-2007 with longer residencies in the USA and Italy from 1991-97. In September 2007 he moved to California, where he is professor for composition and experimental sound practice at California Institute of the Arts. Krieger has worked with Lou Reed, Lee Ranaldo, Phill Niblock, David First, Thomas Köner, Alan Licht, Michiko Hirayama, Witold Szalonek, Mario Bertoncini, Miriam Marbe, Seth Josel, Zbigniew Karkowski, Merzbow, zeitkratzer and many others performing in Europe, North-America, Asia and Australia. His works are being performed by the California EAR Unit, zeitkratzer, KontraTrio, Soldier String Quartet, Wandelweiser Ensemble, and many others. He has released over 50 CDs of his original compositions, improvisations, with his groups and as a collaborator with many musicians.

April 29th and 30th, 2016

Singing Resistance

Creating 17 albums over the past 11 years, Emily Lacy shares the release of her first set of her recordings ever printed on vinyl. Concentrating on the art of vocal music, and influenced by folk and punk traditions from around the world, her new collection of songs, “Your Weatherbeaten Soul” is a meditation on some of the darker origins of the American political system. It also investigates the folklore surrounding that system, as well as patterns of family, loss, violence, and oppression in many forms.

Lacy will also lead and share a selection of material meant for communal singing from her spring recording project “5 Songs for Bernie Sanders”, which concerns notions of freedom and justice in the now.

June 5th, 2016

performing Tom Johnson's NINE BELLS

Tom Johnson’s seminal piece for solo performer lasts, in the words of the composer, “about three miles”. Split into nine movements, the performer walks nine different shapes using the nine bells as coordinates, striking the bells along with the footpath to create a sonic doubling. Johnson then alters the patterns through delay/canon to create two simultaneous shapes. It is not a multimedia piece so much as a geometrical abstraction which takes place in sound and space. John Eagle’s new setting of the piece utilizes a set of justly-tuned bells to make this simultaneity even more specific, placing the shapes on a plane of harmonic space. The spatial relationships of musical pitches reinforce and are reinforced by the shapes of Johnson’s piece.

John Eagle is a composer, performer, and sound designer. His recent work prescribes harmonic environments (often paired with other systems) in which players move independently, taking a cue from harmonic modeling techniques developed by composers Tom Johnson, James Tenney, and others. He has contributed music for songwriters Michael Douglas, Jon Borcherding, and Tavo Carbone. In interdisciplinary work, his music and sound design has been heard in collaborations with artists Janie Geiser, Cassia Streb, Randolyn Zinn, Allen McCullough, and Dina Janis.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Two Overlapping Works
Luke Martin and Andrew Young

Two overlapping works. Part one is an experiment in relationships, memory, representation and continuity. A small ensemble of performers will begin playing one piece, then two at once, and finally one piece again.

Part two is an improv with noise group sinecure (Andrew Young, Luke Martin, Ben Levinson), exploring sound through no-input feedback, turntables, and laptop performance. .

Andrew Young is a composer, improviser, performer, coffee drinker, and open-source enthusiast. He is the founder of the Rise Above Trio, a co-founder of Yawn Tapes, and a co-director of the Wulf. His work with sound ranges in style from sparse, reduced, structured music to searing, improvised, harsh noise. His compositions often utilize algorithmic procedures, indirect notation, imitative polyphony, field recordings, instrumental noise and some notion of choice.

Luke Martin is an experimental composer, musician, and poet, living in Valencia, CA. He received his M.F.A. in Music Composition, studying with Michael Pisaro, from California Institute of the Arts in 2016 and his B.A. in Music and English from Colby College in 2014. His artistic practice is centered on an exploration of silence, neutrality, and blandness in music, and is influenced by composers/thinkers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Alvin Lucier, Samuel Beckett, Gertrude Stein, and the Wandelweiser Group. He is currently engaged in an exploration of both the possibilities of notating/performing silence and of the social potential within silence.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Tim Eriksen
with special guest Susan Brearey

The Magic Lantern: Songs, Stories and Projections From an Imaginary New England Village

Tim Eriksen, multi-instrumentalist, “one of the best singers in music” (T-Bone Burnett) and three time GRAMMY nominee presents a solo performance of original music, traditional Americana and music from his world travels, joined by painter/projectionist Susan Brearey in selections from their multimedia collaboration.

The Magic Lantern: A mysterious trunk found in a Yankee attic, full of leatherbound tunebooks, letters, musical instruments, 8 track tapes, a handwritten sheaf of ballads, a machete and even an old “magic lantern:” an ancient projector, with a box of painted glass slides. Tim Eriksen and painter Susan Brearey take you to Pumpkintown, revealing the mysteries of the trunk and the curious multicultural history of the village itself, through songs, stories and magic lantern projections.

Tim Eriksen is "widely regarded as the best ballad singer of his generation" (BBC Radio). He combines hair-raising vocals with savvy arrangements for fiddle, banjo, guitar and bajo sexto, transforming American tradition with a "northern roots" sound that embraces old New England murder ballads, “shape-note” gospel and haunted originals alongside Southern Appalachian and Irish songs. Tim's latest solo album "Northern Roots Live in Namest" (Indies Scope 2009) celebrates the power of this music in concert.

Considered "among the world's finest folk practitioners" (Toronto Star) for his expertise in traditional song, Tim is also known for his own compositions - “strange and original works” (NetRhythmsUK) with a “rare sense of purpose” (Q Magazine) that have been included in films like the Billy Bob Thornton vehicle Chrystal and the upcoming feature documentary Behold the Earth. Eriksen's other notable work has included extensive contributions to Anthony Minghella’s 2004 Oscar-winning film Cold Mountain as well as collaborations ranging from hardcore punk and Bosnian pop to symphony orchestra and the 2009 Grammy-nominated album Across the Divide with Afro-Cuban world-jazz phenomenon Omar Sosa.

The erstwhile frontman of the prophetic groups Cordelia's Dad ("folk-noise"), Northampton Harmony (shape-note quartet) and Zabe i Babe (Bosnian folk and pop), Tim Eriksen is the only musician to have shared the stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson (not to mention Jack White and Ralph Stanley), and his media appearances have ranged from Prairie Home Companion to the Academy Awards. Having graduated from early shows at punk mecca CBGB, Tim’s more recent performances have included his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Evan Chambers' symphonic work "The Old Burying Ground" and two week-long stints at the Blue Note Jazz Club with Omar Sosa. In the studio, he has worked with producers including Joe Boyd, T-Bone Burnett and Steve Albini.

Susan Brearey is a painter known for her unique, iconic depiction of animals. In Brearey’s works, totemic images take the place of the photorealistic visual details found in some other works of wildlife art. Animals become rudimentary and almost featureless, set against abstract surfaces. Brearey’s evocative approach was inspired in large part by the cave paintings at Lascaux, France. Brearey first saw the paintings in the mid-1980s as a college student, an experience that turned her into a serious painter.

Brearey’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo exhibits in Seattle, Washington; West Bretton, England, Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Martha’s Vineyard; Orlando, Florida; and Providence, Rhode Island, among other places. Her works have also been numerous group exhibits, including Post-Pastoral: New Images of the New England Landscape at Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art and the Clarke Galleries’ IV Centuries of Birds in Painting, Sculpture, and Fine Prints. Her works are in the collections of Nashville, Tennessee’s Cheekwood Museum of Art; the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont; the Putney School, Putney, Vermont; the Bank of Boston, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Meditech Corporation, Westwood, Massachusetts. In 1993, Brearey won the Cheekwood National Contemporary Painting Competition.

Ongoing at Automata


Opening Reception: June 17, 7PM to 10 PM

Inconsolable Objects, Susan Simpson (2016)
Ghost Algebra (Peephole Edition), Janie Geiser (2016/2009)

Peephole Cinema LA is part of a “miniature cinema" project created by Brooklyn-based artist Laurie O’Brien, with satellite projects in three cities: San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Peephole Cinema at Automata was developed in collaboration with LA-based filmmaker and scholar Allison de Fren, and opened in 2014. It is located in the alley behind Automata, to the left of our back door, between North Hill Street and Chung King Road.

September 22 - October 2, 2016

Automata joins Bootleg Theater, Union Station, Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, The Springs and other locations in hosting a two-week celebration of new, experimental and experiential live arts.


Brian Getnick / Moonchops

Evoking a moonlit forest, MOONCHOPS draws its performative and visual materials from Brian Getnick’s body of writing about a rural town and its inhabitants, living and dead. In this concrete fantasy for the theater, Getnick inhabits a succession of characters who lead viewers deeper and deeper into the winter woods, toward the heart of his story.

PERFORMANCES: 9/22, 9/23, 9/24

WHYTEBERG / as occurred, as recalled

Choreographers Gracie Whyte and Laura Berg generate a new work for the LAX Festival. AS OCCURRED, AS RECALLED explores visceral memories and personal reflections of perception. Audiences move through a series of solos and duets, revealing how repeatedly revisited memories can become obscured from reality—and memory can prove malleable.

PERFORMANCES: 9/25, 9/26

John Eagle, Janie Geiser, Cassia Streb / Sound House

SOUND HOUSE is a performance/installation centered on a series of tasks that shape the sound in the room, enacted by a group of eight artist/performers who manipulate objects, controllers, microphones, speakers, walls and wooden puppets. Specific and interdependent, their actions emerge from a variety of sources—including the history of the Minuteman Missile project, bricklaying, time and its measurement, and more.

PERFORMANCES: 10/1, 10/2

Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 8 PM



Dada Divas is a music-theatre work that unearths and re-imagines the lives, creative works and ideas of important female artists and performers who were among the originators of Dada: Emmy Hennings, Mina Loy, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Hannah Höch, and others.

Modular, non-linear, and site-adaptive, Dada Divas illuminates historical and artistic contributions by these women who have been overshadowed by their male counterparts, while commenting on such larger issues as the status of women, émigrée life, war, consumerism, and other concerns that are as relevant today as they were when Dada erupted a century ago.

Dada Divas is joined by renowned Dutch vocalist, composer, and poet, Jaap Blonk, in a celebration of Dada's centenary. Vignettes excerpted from Dada Divas' staged performances will be intermingled with Blonk's performance of Dada sound poetry.

Composed by Jacqueline Bobak
Performed by Jacqueline Bobak, Carmina Escobar, Jaap Blonk, Meltem Ege
Staging by Cordelia Istel
Sound design by Mark Bobak

Friday, January 13th, 2017 at 8 PM

Amy Golden and Luke Martin

Amy and Luke will present two new works for ensemble(s), interspersed together, followed by a duo improvisation.

Luke Martin: 'other-texts (2 / WRMTH-SCRM)'

Amy Golden: 'new work'

Amy & Luke: improvisation

Performing: Iris Sidikman (vc), Patrick Behnke (vla), Jonathan Tang (vln), Rachel Iba (vln), Amy Golden (voice), Kathryn Shuman (voice), Argenta Walther (voice), and Luke Martin (reader, electronics).

Luke is on tour in Boston, NYC, and LA. This concert kicks off a long stint in LA (till the 21st). See other concerts here:

Amy Golden is a composer, sound artist, vocalist, and occasional sculptor based in Los Angeles. She creates works for acoustic instruments, voice, fixed media, and non-instruments, as well as sound and sculptural installations and performance art with a special focus on the relationship between sound and object, definitions of texture, and the female experience.

Luke Martin is an experimental composer, performer, and poet, living in Boston, MA. His artistic practice is centered on an exploration of silence, blandness, and community in music, and is influenced by composers/thinkers such as John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Samuel Beckett, and the Wandelweiser Group. He is currently engaged in an exploration of both the possibilities of notating/performing silence and of the social potential within silence.

Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at 8 PM


Southland Ensemble presents the chance poetry of Jackson Mac Low. Mac Low’s dedication to systems of composition - which included chance, indeterminacy, and simultaneous performance - allowed him to create works of extreme openness. His poems represent a moment in poetry where truths of authorship were called into question and the very boundaries of music and poetry were pulled taut.

54th Light Poem: For Ian Tyson
5 Biblical Poems
Is That Wool Hat My Hat
Young Turtle Asymmetries
Tree Movie
Numbered Asymmetries

“I myself think that if it is a connection and it does something, it’s some kind of cause but it’s different from the time-linear cause going from past to future. It’s across any present, between any two things coexisting. ... And I think that one thing that systematic chance does allow... is for something to happen on that synchronous plane.” - Jackson Mac Low


Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 at 8 PM


An evening of experimental music, avant-garde cabaret and performance art

Imagined Elasticitiesis an evening of experimental music, avant-garde cabaret and performance art, curated by artist and writer Sara Debevec.

The concert and performance showcase celebrates original music and performance by artists from LA to New York. Experience the sounds of cello, violin, guitar and drums in three separate acts which will be intertwined with performance art and spoken word.

Imagined Elasticities brings together Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests, Copán and Rachel Mason for one night only at Automata's Chinatown space. The evening challenges the boundaries of performance art and music creating an immersive space of collateral reflection.

Sunday, February 5th 2017 at 8 PM

Ritual for Three

Los Angeles based flutist Christine Tavolacci presents an evening of new and recent works that explore a vast array of rich and beautiful sonic environments for flute, alto flute and bass flute.

Ritual for Three - Laura Steeberge
Journey to Expanse - Odeya Nini
invasive species / a - Kurt Isaacson
breathe out clouds - Carolyn Chen

with special guests Andrew Munsey, percussion & Jonathan Stehney, bassoon Christine Tavolacci is a Los Angeles based flutist, composer and educator specializing in contemporary and experimental music. She is active as a soloist, improviser, curator and chamber musician, and is co-founder and co-director of Southland Ensemble, as well as a member of the Dog Star Orchestra, Gurrisonic, and the Vinny Golia Large Ensemble. Her playing has been released on Orenda Records, Slub Music(Japan) and Tzadik.

Odeya Nini
A Solo Voice

Evolving over the last six years, A Solo Voice by Odeya Nini is an investigation of extended vocal techniques, resonance and pure expression, exploring the relationship between mind and body and the various landscapes it can yield. The work is a series of malleable compositions and improvisations that include field recordings and theatrical elements, aiming to dissociate the voice from its traditional attributes and create a new logic of song that is not only heard but seen through movement.

Odeya Nini is a Los Angeles based experimental vocalist and contemporary composer. At the locus of her interests are textural harmony, gesture, tonal animation, and the illumination of minute sounds, in works spanning chamber music to vocal pieces and collages of musique concrète. Her solo vocal work extends the dimension and expression of the voice and body, creating a sonic and physical panorama of silence to noise and tenderness to grandeur.
Odeya has collaborated extensively with dancers, visual artist, filmmakers and theater directors as both a composer and soloist and has worked with artists such as Lucy & Jorge Orta, Meredith Monk, Butch Morris, and LA’s contemporary orchestra – Wild Up.
Odeya’s work has been presented at venues and festivals across the US and internationally, such as The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Joyce Soho, Art Basel Miami and the Banff Centre, from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, Canada, Mongolia and Vietnam. Odeya has lectured as a guest artist on contemporary vocal techniques and composition and leads workshops on voice and movement.

MARCH 5–11, 2017

D+R Residency #1

Jay Carlon and Lindsey Lollie

Jay Carlon + Lindsey Lollie: Directors
Samantha Mohr: Dancer
Young Tseng Wong: Corporeal Mime Artist
Jimmy Cabrera: Psychiatric Professional & Advisor

Saturday, March 11 at 6p and 8p
Join us for one of two in-progress showings, and become a part of Carlon + Lollie’s process of developing this new work of immersive dance theater. Open Studio allows artists to test ideas, and audiences an opportunity gain insight into, and inform, artistic process. Open Studio events are free (or contribute in support of the program).

The collaborative team of Jay Carlon and Lindsey Lollie will be in residence developing a new work of dance theater that seeks to push physical and emotional boundaries by integrating elements of exhaustion, violence, and memory. The duo began working together in 2015, after having individually experienced about 3 years of creative hiatus due to experiences with loss and depression. For this new project, they examine how physical narrative can drive an immersive experience that examines the disorienting characteristics of PTSD, sleep paralysis, auditory hallucinations, dementia, and panic attacks. Their process will include professional psychiatric Jimmy Cabrera to advise on current mental health research.

Carlon + Lollie is a collaborative duo formed by movement artists Jay Carlon and Lindsey Lollie. They employ their identities as multicultural millennials to deepen their connection to heritage and ancestry—Lollie is half African-American and first-generation Mexican-American; Jay Carlon is first-generation Filipino-American and child of an agricultural migrant family. Through immersive, transformative and extremely physical dance theatre, they strive to incite thoughtful provocation of socio-political issues surrounding identity, race, gender, mental health and sexuality. Based in Los Angeles, the met as colleagues at the Renaissance Arts Academy, where they currently teach contemporary dance, and have joined their shared interests in exploring their collective and individual identities. Individually, they have presented work at LA Dance Festival, HomeLA, Works in the Works (Bay Area, CA), and Electric Lodge. Collectively, Carlon + Lollie have performed at Lincoln Center, REDCAT, 92nd Y and The CURRENT SESSIONS.

Saturday March 18, 2017 at 8 PM


New Video Works by Poor Dog Group

The "frenetic and provacative" (---LA Times) LA performance collective screens a series of new video shorts.

Sunday March 19, 2017 at 8PM


New Music from Old Music

Composer Neil Rolnick will perform an evening of compositions for solo laptop computer. The concert will include Rolnick’s pieces from the early days of sampling technology, in the late 1980s, when he first explored what are now called “mashups” of existing music to create new works. It will also include some of his most recent works, which reconsider this approach to composing in the light of 30 years of technological development and the revolution in thinking about sampling.

Friday March 24 and Saturday March 25th, 2017 at 8PM

Josiane Keller

ホテル Hotel - Surrogates
the slide-show

ホテル-Hotel (reads: “hotel – hotel”): an ongoing long-term project started in Jan 2016, using lens-based images (currently over 1000+) of hand-made, small-scale puppets. The underlying narrative is of a fictive long-term residency hotel and its tenants, depicted in casual intimate snap-shots;

The project is inspired by Nan Goldin’s “Ballad of Sexual Dependency”, Larry Clark’s “Tulsa”, Peter Hujar, the HOTEL CHELSEA and others, investigating the human sense of seeing and visual memory, the use of photographs as well as puppets as surrogates, the effect of “evidence” a camera adds to an image, and fetishism around images depicting the intimate life of marginalized people.

The project has been so far shown in exhibitions in Tokyo and Budapest as photo-installation of small scale prints, this time at Automata it will be shown for the first time as live slide show.

Josiane Keller is an Austrian-German visual artist currently dividing her time between LA and Japan, working with lens-based images of hand-made small-scale puppets. After studying ceramics, painting and dance and working as a puppeteer, ceramicist, painter and stage photographer she developed this particular style of work that combines all her interests and is underlying investigations of the human sense of seeing, visual memory, visual communication, materialism, loss and group behavior as well as specifically traditional and contemporary construction and purpose of puppets.

Keller started working in this technique since a 2012 long-distance collaboration with a group of street youth from Portland, OR, in which the participants gave anonymous interviews inclusive written descriptions of themselves which were turned into small sale-scale figurines and then photographed (“Each reflection of myself echoes a different emotion at me”); after this project she kept working in this style and developed the originally all-clay figures eventually into more expressionistic puppets with simple joints, costumes and hair.

She has created various long term projects of series of still as well as moving images and collaborated with singers, musicians, film makers, puppeteers and writers; her work has been exhibited and won awards in the US and internationally.

Friday May 5th, 2017 at 8PM and 10PM

Songs of Hildegard von Bingen


Sarah Beaty
Lauren Davis
Hilary Fraser-Thomson
Karina Kallas
Katina Mitchell
Lindsay Patterson Abdou
Niccolo Seligmann
Argenta Walther

Hildegard of Bingen, AKA Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine was a 12th Century German Benedictine abbess, composer, writer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.

Vocatrix was formed by musical medievalists in 2015 to perform Hildegard von Bingen's musical morality play Ordo Virtutum. This unique group of virtuosos strives to interpret historical culture and find resonance in the new world, priding itself on friendship and teamwork while pursuing themes of inspiration and sisterhood. VOCATRIX has shared Hildegard's immersive music with curious audiences who are familiar with her work, as well as those who are new to it.

From the press:
“set the wayback machine for the twelfth century” — Los Angeles Times

“beautiful to hear, piercing the spacious heights of the building... graceful, haunting. . .unforgettable---Lauri's List

“solid dramatic effect...singing was strong”” — American Recorder Society

Saturday May 6th, 2017 at 8PM

Album Release Show

Join us at Automata to celebrate Los Angeles composer DANIEL CORRAL's new album REFRACTIONS, which is being released by Populist Records!

Refractions will be performed in it’s entirety, and there will be a short opening duo set by vocalist/violinist Rahman Baranghoori and violinist Timothy Maloof.

Refractions is a 44 minute electro-acoustic chamber piece that expands on Corral's 10 years of exploring the sonic and sculptural possibilities of music boxes. Composed for string quartet, electric guitar, and electronically processed music box, Refractions combines ethereal ambient electronics with contemplative acoustic timbres. Corral will be joined by guitarist Jeremy Kerner and the Koan Quartet.

Rahman Baranghoori (vocals and violin) and Timothy Maloof (violin) have been friends and colleagues since 2004, performing in many ensembles and bands together. They will be performing improvisations and songs based on Persian Mugam and Arabic Maqamat (modes).

Daniel Corral is a composer and multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Eagle River, Alaska. Currently living in Los Angeles, his unique voice finds outlet in accordion orchestras, puppet operas, handmade music boxes, microtonal electronics, site-specific installations, chamber music, post-punk opera, and inter-disciplinary collaborations. Corral’s music has been commissioned and presented by venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Joe’s Pub NYC, REDCAT, Reykjavik Harpa Concert Hall, HERE Arts Center, Miami Light Project, Operadagen Rotterdam, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, The Hammer Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, USC’s Thornton School of Music, and others. Corral is composer and keyboardist for Timur and The Dime Museum and director of experimental accordion orchestra Free Reed Conspiracy. Corral also collaborated with numerous visual and performing artists including Anne LeBaron, Vicki Ray, Charles Gaines, Stephen Prina, Wild Up, The Industry, California EAR Unit. Corral is currently composition faculty at Calarts. His first solo album, Diamond Pulses, was released on Orenda Records 2015.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 8 PM (doors at 7:30)

A Cross-Section of Experimental Improvisation in SoCal

A night of sonic hallucinations/alternative realities. Vienna-based La Musa (Bernadette Zeilinger and Diego Mune) crosses the Atlantic for a US cross-country performance as a trio with San-Diego based cellist T.J. Borden that will bring them to Automata and mythic Southern California.

Aiding them in their performance at Automata will be a variety of treasures:

Burnt Dot, a duo featuring Sarah Belle Reid (trumpet/electronics) and Ryan Gaston (modular synth)

Matt Barbier, LA trombone/euphonium player

Casey Anderson and San Diego-based Steven Flato performing a duo piece, foreshadowing a future release on Erstwhile Records.

Saturday and Sunday, October 21st and 22nd, 2017 at 8 PM

Diphylleia Grayi

Diphylleia Grayi (Skeleton Key) is a fantastical, semi-autobiographical exploration of a creative person’s struggle with identity, depression and and the awakening of feminine power where healing and transformation are fueled by the secret medicine of fairy tales. The work is an immersive stage performance weaving together live music and song, visceral solo dance and storytelling ritual.

Degenerate Art Ensemble’s work has always offered an invitation to the audience to commit to stepping more deeply into life. Skeleton Flower is an immersive experience, providing an exhilarating rehearsal for the living of a full and creative life, by giving the audience opportunities to share their voice, take part in ritual, be an active part of the performance, see things from new perspectives, and take risks.

Unlike the large scale performances the ensemble has undertaken in the past few years at venues such as the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, the Baryshnikov Center in New York and REDCAT, on this tour the duo will be performing the live music, dance and song elements in rare, raw and intimate performance settings.
Degenerate Art Ensemble has shown their work throughout the US and Europe known for their large scale dance and theater projects, concerts, site-transforming spectacles and ongoing public experimentation. Recent highlights of the group's work include a major exhibition at the Frye Art Museum in 2011, was commissioned by director Robert Wilson to interpret his work Einstein on the Beach in 2012 and collaborated with the Kronos Quartet in 2013. Also in 2012 Degenerate Art Ensemble was commissioned by the city of Seattle to create a massive site specific work Underbelly with Olson Kundig Architects to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair. The group’s most recent work Predator Songstress premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco in 2015 followed by Seattle and will show in New York in November of 2017. In December of 2016 DAE teamed up with Czech rock legends Uz Jsme Doma for an epic orchestral work inspired by the music of Uz Jsme Doma and the music of Degenerate Art Ensemble for a concert at the Archa Theatre in Prague followed by a performances on the US West Coast in 2018. The group is currently in the early stages of the creation of their first Virtual Reality film.

Sunday October 29, 2017 at 8 PM


Southland Ensemble begins its fifth season with a program of music by Swiss Wandelweiser composers Manfred Werder and Jürg Frey. The program includes a selection from Werder’s stück 1998, a 4000 page score in which each page may only be performed once, and Frey’s delicately focused String Quartet No.3.

String Quartet No. 3 – Jürg Frey
stück 1998 – Manfred Werder
60 Pieces of Sound – Jürg Frey.

für sich, klar und sachlick. einfach. / to itself, clear and objective. simple.
- Manfred Werder, stück 1998

The music is silent, but not absent. It is not speechless, and it also does not move with virtuosity bordering on silence. The music gets its vitality and its radiance, not from gesture and figuration, but in quiet presence – everything is there: colours, sensations, shadows, durations.
- Jürg Frey


Southland Ensemble and Automata are delighted to partner for Southland Ensemble's 2017/18 Season, with a season of 5 programs at Automata through early June 2018. For more info: Southland Ensemble website

Southland Ensemble 2017-2018 Season Passes are now available for a 20% discount off of regular ticket prices.

Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 8 PM

Unnatural Selection
Contemporary Independent Animation from around the World

Curated by Alan Jennings

UNNATURAL SELECTION is a look at contemporary independent animation from around the world. These films unveil unique nebulas of strange laws and internal logic - Recent work in 2D animation, cut outs, and puppet animation from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Russia, Finland and more. A brand new digital transfer of Amy Lockhart's 16mm film Walk for Walk will be a highlight. Also included are films by: Rafael Sommerhalder, Julian Gallese, Anna Budanova, Elli Vuorinen, Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter.
Automata and Track 16 Gallery present:


A Performance-Installation

An uncanny tableaux vivant exploring domestic themes, cave painting, sharing of narratives and attempts at communicating through art. It’s an installation of trapped fairy tale creatures, a lost family, and recordings of chaos and history.

Automata and Track 16 are excited to present the celebrated Argentine art collective Mondongo. Just coming off considerable exposure during the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA-LA series, Mondongo is back in Los Angeles this winter with a performance/installation at Automata in Chinatown on January 20th and 21st, followed by an exhibition of a new series of plasticine works opening at Track 16 on February 10th. On January 22, Mondongo will present an artist talk at CalArts, as a presentation of the CalArts Center for New Performance.

At Automata, the artists will present a site-specific installation and performance that can be viewed through the storefront windows, with additional installation elements inside Automata’s gallery space. The performance and installation are looped through out the evening, so audiences can view it at any time.

Performance schedule at Automata

Saturday, January 20, 2018 7-10 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2018 6-8 PM

Note: The installation-performance can be viewed through Automata's Chung King Court windows and by entering the gallery. Viewers can enter and exit at any time during the evening stated hours.

This event is free; no reservations necessary.

Additional Residency Events

Artist Talk at CalArts,
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia CA 91355
The CalArts Center for New Performance will present an Artist Talk with Mondongo at Noon on January 22, 2018 in the Mod Lobby, at the CalArts campus in Valencia. This event is free and open to the public.

Exhibition at Track 16 Gallery, 1206 Maple Ave, #1005
Reception on Saturday, February 10th from 7-10 pm
February 10th to March 31st, 2018

For information about Mondongo's residency events, contact

About Mondongo

Juliana Laffitte and Manuel Mendanha are the duo that make up Mondongo, which blends ephemeral performances with intricate, sculptural paintings. The Buenos-Aires-based collective formed in 1999 and continues to explode with punk creativity.

Mondongo’s work translates the dark side of fairy tales and the subconscious, whether through a chilling Pinocchio mask made of geometrically shaped mirrors, or work featuring Little Red Riding Hood with lurking Big Bad Wolf close behind. Writer, artist, and early documenter of Mondongo’s work, Cecilia Pavón wrote a statement for “What are we gonna say after HELLO?” In it she relates, “one way of the other, every piece created by Mondongo is about mourning, an inexhaustible feeling anchored in childhood and playing.” This play is executed with technical virtuosity, frequently using a variety of unusual materials, such as thread, toast, meat, or nails. One favorite material for the collective is plasticine. When the pieces are viewed at a distance, the images are rendered exquisitely, yet on closer examination the illusion breaks up into thousands of built out plasticine bits, layered, artists’ hands visible.

Lafitte’s parents were evangelists and “during her childhood, she had witnessed several exorcisms and seen many unbelievable things that she could never forget. Early life experience seems to inform the dark spectacle that permeates the mood of the work. The performance pieces bleed into the public space, luring the passerby to witness a display of the unconscious, drawing on surrealism and ritual. Mondongo’s performances are reminiscent of a masque, the European courtly entertainment of the 16th century, which includes mute performers in carefully constructed, architecturally ornate spaces. Figures inhabit spaces manipulated by light and sound. In one performance, many undulating arms and hands thrust into the cramped space, making silent demands of the masked performer—begging for a piece of cake or shredding the gossamer dress with scissors. The performance evokes a frequent theme in the work of the collective: desire and consumption.

There is redemption in this process. Pavón describes the exchange between viewer and work as healing and shamanistic. She explains that the art is “understood as a ceremony, where information is transformed into an unknown energy capable of making people connect with their pain, even if they don’t realize it.”

Friday, January 26, 2018

Southland Ensemble: 2017-2018 Season Program 3