For his first project as 2017 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow, DeForrest Brown Jr. organizes the US premiere of Quantum Natives’ expansive sonic universe. In their debut performance of Grace Nexus, the collective forms a new episode in the rhizomatic Quantum Natives universe, extending their online surface to a live setting. The artists will unite to use video game engine technology, paired with software-based sound design, to sculpt birds-eye and panoramic experiences of merging fictional landscapes, physical, and online spaces, which in turn will be projected in ISSUE’s theater and online.
Grace Nexus takes place as a discrete portal to the Quantum Natives world with the audience positioned as explorers of the “post-scarcity” condition of limitless online content and the idea of grace, the loving gift of divine favor, as a prescriptive measure for reorienting in our increasingly enmeshed online/offline experience. Grace Nexus emerges as a seance or incubator for the Quantum Natives community and an act of tourism into their world.
In addition, ISSUE and the Integrated Digital Media Department at NYU Tandon School of Engineering host a seminar for NYU students with Quantum Natives on Friday, April 14th, at 1pm at MAGNET's Lecture Hall (NYU Media and Games Network 2 MetroTech Center 8th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201). Titled "What is in a grace nexus..?," the seminar places the performance in a discursive setting, detailing the conception of the project as well as a demonstration of its many moving parts. During the seminar Quantum Natives will discuss the virtual space within which the performance operates, the 3D printed objects involved in the physical location of ISSUE's 22 Boerum theater and the sound design developed along with emergent narrative of the "Grace Nexus."
Conceived by artists/musicians James B Stringer (Brood Ma, Werkflow) and Awe IX (Ornine, Yearning Kru), later integrating Rachael Melanson’s (Rosen) pOrtals’ project and DeForrest Brown Jr’s “Context Collapse,” Quantum Natives is an ongoing expression of online personas and a coherent cartographic experience that suggests an organically growing document as narrative. Established in 2013 as an online world-building platform, the collective focuses on digital music and visual art, all of which takes place in a collaborative, ever changing artwork represented as an online map.
Brood Ma is the musical alias of artist James B Stringer, co-founder of Quantum Natives, and Werkflow, a games engine focused, digital arts studio. Brood Ma is a fractured, cybergothic nexus of tropes from weird literature, dystopian rave and high technology, presented in longform performances and recordings that resemble crisis scenarios as much as electronic mixes. The music tends to be oppressively psychedelic, evoking fourth-world entropy, embattled tax-havens, and the aesthetics of simulated combat. As well as a number of digital musical and visual releases on Quantum Natives, Brood Ma has released on labels such as Tri Angle records, Hemlock and Mantile records.
Croydon's Yearning Kru uses digital technology and specifically sampling to make a unique lo-fi psychedelic environment. There is a large visual element with all his artwork self-made and live performances accompanied by his own distinctive visual montages. His work is inspired by the world-building aspect of various literary fantasy environments, especially Gormenghast and Dune, and the music is a psychedelic representation of landscapes rather than narratives of characters (as more song-based music might represent). The music functions as viewpoints into a world for a brief period of time, and the world represented is one of small workshops toiling and churning in the shadow of great hives of technology -- similarly explored on the recent ”Planet Mu release "Copper Vale.”
Rachael Melanson is an transmedia artist from the UK who plays with the fissure between author/reader and online/offline environments, she explores the fluidity of this space, acting as a connective tissue that binds and blurs the divides between. She also performs under the alias, Rosen, and has produced event based works that have been presented at the likes of New Forms Festival (Canada), TARP Audio Visual Poetry Festival (Lithuania), The Audio Foundation and The Physics Room (New Zealand), VOIDOID Archive and the ICA (UK).
P0rtals is an ongoing collaborative world building and storytelling exercise, by Rachael/Rosen, part of which has manifested as a hypertext narrative with accompanying music, and visual work created by Werkflow, on the Quantum Natives site.
Context Collapse is an ongoing project with writer DeForrest Brown Jr., hosted on the site as an essay focusing on accelerationist themes, an exhibition of digital illustrations from various net artists, and an accompanying reading and mix.