Multi-Media Performance: Julia Heyward

Multi-Media Performance: Julia Heyward

West Hall Auditorium


*Please join us prior to Julia Heyward's performance for the Opening Reception of Julia Reodica's bio-art exhibit in the West Hall  Gallery Room 111 from 6-7:30 PM.

Julia Heyward will be performing with elements of her large scale triptych "Nothing Random Access Memory" which includes the completed interactive version of "Miracles in Reverse" as well as work-in-progress versions of part two, "Points of View," a series of 'faux' windows (including the artist's own bedroom window, which looks out onto Cortland Alley, an often used film location featuring a continuous stream of Hollywood simulated violence) and part three "The Gabriel Frequency," featuring the Archangel Gabriel the middleman of monotheism and the source of much of the conflicting revelations that to this day is at the core of the various infidel cleansings. All parts of the triptych deal with trauma and memory -- some from a local/personal perspective others from a global/mythological perspective.

"Miracles in Reverse" was directed and designed by Heyward with music by Heyward and Greg Smith with Michael Kott, Dwight Loop and Greg Bowman; additional sound design by Don Christensen. The lingo programming is by Aishwarya Saigal.

This work was produced by generous grants from The Rockefeller Foundation's Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship , The Rockefeller Foundation's Multi Arts Production Grant,  The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, The Greenwall Foundation, The New York State Council on the Arts and The New York Foundation for the Arts. This project is sponsored through Harvestworks.

"Miracles in Reverse" is an interactive DVD-ROM an audio visual album… a hybrid of a family album and a music album. "Miracles" is structurally and conceptually  composed of loops ( music and visuals ). These designs explore the rhythms of the vicious cycles of associative and obsessive thoughts as well as other mantras. Within the programming design there is room for interpretation in the sense that the performer can literally play her 'life movies' like a musical instrument which evokes sounds and pictures. The narrative is centered around trauma and memory consistently traveling between the personal and the global with a kind of slippery Jungian spirit dipping into the collective unconscious, quantum theory, animism, neuroarcheology, and history reflexively. How we survive the memories, how we distort the memories, and how we store and access the memories gets equal time in this life's reflections.

Julia Heyward: Heyward's work centers around the orchestration of music, image, and language in the forms of multimedia, performance and new media. Heyward's "No Local Stops" won a 'BESSIE' for outstanding performance of the year for 1984 presented by DTW New York Dance and Theater Award. Heyward has written, produced and performed in all of her multimedia works notably two other large scale multimedia performances entitled respectively "Mood Music" premiered May 1988 and "Miracles in Reverse" premiering in Potsdam, Germany in 1996. Heyward has received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation's Multi-Arts and Film/Video/Multimedia Foundations,  The Greenwall Foundation, NYSCA and NYFA in support of this work. For the past six years Heyward has been totally submerged in digital and interactive technologies. The DVD-ROM version of "Miracles in Reverse" has been shown at The Daejeon Municipal Museum in Korea (curated by Lawrence Rinder), Art Interactive in Boston (curated by Kathy Brew), the Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh, and Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City as an installation. Heyward's commercial work includes directing for pop television including many music videos as well as shorts for MTV and M2.

REVIEWS of "MIRACLES in REVERSE" by Julia Heyward   

 BOSTON HERALD: Date: Friday, August 15, 2003
   Art Interactive "Engaging Characters"
   Viewer interaction brings exhibit to life
   By Joanne Silver
   …."The most compelling works are driven by a vision that
   transcends cyberspace. Julia Heyward's ``Miracles in Reverse'' is an
   ambitious challenge to classic cinematic technique. By clicking and
   dragging a mouse, the viewer can access a trio of characters and
   manipulate episodes from their lives.

       A cult leader in a black robe, a humanoid alien and a
   suburban mother become portals into the realm of private memories - some
   wholesome and some chilling. The meaning of those recollections, along
   with their sequence and musical accompaniment, will be different for
   each person who participates in the artwork. At once family album and
   surrealistic nightmare, ``Miracles in Reverse'' turns narrative order
   into stream-of-consciousness chaos."

   BOSTON GLOBE: Date: August 22, 2003
   Page: C15 Section: Artsuthor(s):  Cate McQuaid

   …" Even so, most of the works in this show succeed. The film-based pieces
   are dizzyingly provocative. Julia Heyward's "Miracles in Reverse," an
   interactive DVD-ROM, lets the viewer navigate through wildly looping and
   intersecting filmic stories. Drag and click the mouse, and you can
   change the story line, or the camera angle, or the speed at which you
   view the piece.
         Heyward calls "Miracles in Reverse" autobiographical. It begins with
   the format of the game show "To Tell the Truth," and the viewer can
   click on one of three figures: a stereotypical '50s-era mother, an alien,
   or Jesus. Each plunges the viewer into a different story line, which
   variously explores themes such as religious zealotry and child sexual
   abuse. The film works like memory, obsessively looping back to painful
   moments, fading out here and ramping up there. This must be what it's
   like inside Heyward's head. It's a dark, harrowing piece, and the
   technology works in its favor."

   Hey! You Talkin' to Me?  By LINDA YABLONSKY
   Sunday, August 17, 2003; Arts Section, Page 27

THE future of art DVD's may well belong to interactive feature films like those that the new-media artists Toni Dove and Julia Heyward are developing for DVD-ROM. DVD-ROM's have a greater capacity than CD-ROM's, though both are designed to play on a computer, while DVD's are not.

      "This is a coherent form of channel-surfing," Ms. Dove said of her
   voice-activated featurette, "Sally, or the Bubble Burst," currently
   appearing in "Engaging Characters," a group show on view through Oct. 5
   at Art Interactive in Cambridge, Mass. ("Sally" is also playing at the
   Museum of the Moving Image in Queens through August and is available on
   DVD-ROM for Mac G3 or G4 computers, from Cycling '74 in San Francisco.)
   Ms. Dove has so far created three "immersive" environments where two
   viewers can virtually step into the roles of on-screen actors and "play"
   them for an audience. "You can talk to the characters through a
   microphone," she said, comparing the experience to puppeteering â¤" except
   that her puppets are capable of talking back. "You can slip into their
   bodies." she said. "You can see through their eyes."

      What attracts her to the technology is the opportunity it creates for
   experimenting with narrative forms. A generation weaned on Nintendo,
   with a joystick in one hand and a television remote control in the
   other, will accept such challenges to traditional storytelling as second
   nature, she contends. "Ultimately," added Ms. Heyward, a composer and
   performer with a history in music video, "you're dealing with human
   consciousness and its relationship to space and time." Her
   autobiographical feature, "Miracles in Reverse" also in the Cambridge
   show  invites single players to navigate a labyrinthine, Blair-Witch
   style tale by "scratching" hot spots in the film with a mouse, much the
   way D.J.'s scratch vinyl records to alter their sound.

   Linda Yablonsky is a contributing editor to ArtNews and the author of
   "The Story of Junk," a novel.

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