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Southern Strategies Video

Last summer I spent June and July in Georgia during which time the landmark decision was made by the supreme court in the case of Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, granting "closely held for-profit corporations to be exempt from a law its owners religiously object to if there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law's interest. The Court's majority directly struck down the contraceptive mandate, a regulation adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees, by a 5-4 vote. The ruling could have widespread impact, allowing corporations to claim religious exemptions from federal laws." (Wiki) Put simply removing women's rights to equal healthcare.
As this case unfolded I began to investigate the dilapidated bigoted history of Georgia through it's monument Stone Mountain the "Confederate Mount Rushmore". Stone Mountain was stolen first by Spanish colonialists then by George Washington who forced the Creek people off of the land and later was purchased by the Venable Brothers who leased the face of the mountain to the Daughters of the Confederacy who had a bas relief carved of three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson. Next we have the revival of the Ku Klux Klan who on November 25th, 1915, included fifteen robed and hooded "charter members", met at Stone Mountain to create a new iteration of the Klan. This meeting coincided with the release of 'Birth of a Nation' which fueled the KKK's revival. Now in the current embodiment of Stone Mountain a 'family celebration of American Southern pride' takes place year round with propagandistic music and visuals perpetuating bigoted attitudes and allegiances while simultaneously blurring the historical realities of this space with that of a Disney-like ignorance. During the filming of the this video nearly 5,000 people were present with children waving flags in hand celebrating a convoluted history of slavery, murder and hate. Why this "monument" of such horror still stands is beyond me and how the Georgia government subsidizes it is even more mind blowing. The third history that is represented in this video is shot in Riceboro, Georgia during a Geechee Gullah revival. The Gullah/Geechee people are descendents of enslaved Africans from various ethnic groups of west and central Africa. Brought to the New World and forced to work on the plantations of coastal South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. The Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters are part of probably the oldest African American surviving performance tradition in the US. "This compelling fusion of counterclockwise dancelike movement, call-and-response singing, and percussion of hand clapping and a stick beating a drumlike rhythm on a wooden floor is clearly African in its origins and most salient features. The ring shout affirms oneness with the Spirit and ancestors as well as community cohesiveness. As the tradition developed in slavery times, strong elements of Christian belief were grafted onto it. The ring shout was first described in detail during the Civil War (1861-65) by outside observers in coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. Its practice continued in those areas well into the twentieth century, even as its influence was resounding in later forms like spiritual, jubilee, and gospel music, and elements of jazz. By the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, the ring shout itself was presumed to have died out until its rediscovery in 1980 in McIntosh County."( Art Rosenbaum, University of Georgia,
04/06/2005 ) Shouting was a way of keeping the passage of messages, memories and histories from times when the voices of people enslaved where not to be heard. During our time at the revival the people of the the Geechee Gullah generously shared a history both through performance and the museum dedicated to the ancestors who had fought to preserve the heritage they bring to us today. I created a sound mix in this video of both the Geechee Gullah and some snippets of live audio from Stone Mountain to contrast and subvert the history and people's the US government gives precedence. The Geechee Gullah deserve to be funded and memorialized for their rich, positive contribution to 'American Southern Hertitage' and in the same gesture the face of Stone Mountain should be erased and the ancestors of those who lost their lives at the hands of racism and slavery should replace those confederate fools. And finally footage from the Civil War reenactment of the 'Battle of Reseca'. Due to the lack of participation in 'playing' Yankee soldiers, a fee was charged to play Confederate soldiers. The number of Yankee's was still to small to recreate a battle so a rule was made that all soldiers must 'play' a northerner aka Yankee every other year, shedding light on a very terrifying mentality.

Interview with Fink and Theel Contemporary

3-D Rendering of one of my paintings --- preparing to enter landscapes into nether beyond

2014 the{fun}of it, be care full

I've been experimenting for many year's with the merger of video and paintings. Layering the two, embedding them like long lost lovers, refracting and reflecting, though never quite to satisfaction.  Now the journey takes a new turn as a way to enter this once physical space by virtual extension of the digital self, we are after all living as schizophrenics. The next logical step is to span our multidimensional selves into an immersive experience. Taking walks through the hills and textual colors to visit on the macro and the micro. Shifting continuously our perceptual possibilities and roles physically and neurologically as we play in these meta-realms of cognition and matter.

Temporary Agency - Takes a new journey into the wild blue Yonder!

                            To new beginnings, let the energies run high, deep and forever adventurous.
                            Thanks for all the wonderful support, creativity and community friends!

---I've been neglecting my post---here are some past performances/happenings

{High5}- Pre - Bloodflames @ Bizarre w/ WildTorus
SPECTRUM (NYC) - experimental sound night organized by Pas Musique aka Robert Pepper

BloodFlames {1st show} w/ WildTorus @ JACK

BloodFlames @ Temporary Agency - Nomadic Release

 BloodFlames starting the recording processssssssssssss <3 br="">
Also we kicked off the GAPAF(Great American Performance Art Festival)with WildTorus as part of the 48hour Shaman's Lodge. Playing 7 hours on Friday and 5 hours Saturday this was a test in endurance sound making. Hopefully I'll get some video from that shortly :)

Holotropik - 'Blessed Be'

Jade and I are in the process of finishing up our first album 'Blessed Be'. It should be entering ears canals a pulse away :)  Here's an updated link to our website check it out for more info on upcoming shows and some rough demos!


Yammertime - Magic and Forces filled the Air these Last Months - Links about our collectives happenings! HowDoYouSayYamInAfrican?

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare - Pristine Gallerie - Monterrey, Mexico - Group Show


How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare

Curated by Raúl Zamudio
Monterrey, México. May 15, 2014
How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare is a group exhibition whose title cites Joseph Beuys’ watershed 1965 performance by the same name. Like Beuys’ performance in which he “explained” artworks to a dead hare in the gallery where he enacted his piece, the exhibition presents works that question the art object’s ontology and the politics of spectatorship via diverse media including photography, video, painting, sculpture, work-on-paper, installation, performance, and sound and olfactory works.

Dominika Ksel’s interactive Untitled (2012), for example, manifests in the interiority of the spectator. Similar to Lygia Clark’s Sensorial Mask (1967), which was worn over the spectator's head and blocked external perception in order to trigger self-awareness and reflection, Ksel’s piece is a kind of rave of the mind; for its optical and audio ecstasy of light and sound within the cranium proceeds from the inside to the outside rather than the other way around. Through this radical reconfiguration of art and its consumption, of object and subject, Ksel's work shares an affinity with what Antonin Artaud stated about his Theatre of Cruelty: “it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds.”

HiV @ Pioneer Works for the NY Theremin Society with LIVE SOUND!

This was really aurally wild 12 thereminists in single file in a massive reverberating hall, it truly sounded like a raging ghost orgy of the nether planes. I'll try and get some live footage up soon.

Live recording of the show thank you ClockTower Radio!

We are in the second block 14:42--about 3 minutes in :)

Angel Favorite, Charlie Hobbs & Dominika Ksel

Photo by Amanda Pohan

Invisible Landscapes - Explorations in Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness

Above: Tuning Chamber - Bio-rhythmically retune the cacophony of the city in this oscillating pod. Using Ganzfeld sensory deprivation techniques and your voice to activate the body and interact with the reverberating frequencies. The dual chambers of your bodies cavity and that of the pod elicit a range of psycho-acoustic phenomena and vibratory healings.

Lighter Side of Darkness - The laser harp is an auditory zone of empowerment and an exploratorium of the invisible. Groups and individuals can use their bodies to interfere with light beams triggering a plethora of aural delights and interactivity.

Myth of Eternal Return, Returned - Is an interactive space where our nostalgic desires to return to the mythical time are juxtaposed by our current relationship as nature's domesticator, implicating ourselves in the matrix of commerce and mythology.

Meditation of Luck - A cast of a found mummified Zambian frog that works as a sound device. The frogs create resonant harmonics that chime luck into the participants ears.

Honey Bee Mural @ Bob and Rita's (the beekeepers B&D Apiary) - Jeffersonville, NY

Salpy Semerdjian and myself were so close to finishing this mural but you can't beat mother nature and the cold sprung up quickly in the lower Catskills. The finale shall be completed this spring and if its up to Rita the center should have a flying saucer moving into the horizon ;)

HiV (pronounced High Five) @ Bizarre Bar w/ WildTorUs

Pictured above : Angel Favorite, Charlie Hobbs, Dominika Ksel, Mike Vladi Vostok
Live soundzzzz & PerFormAnce - https://vimeo.com/89618517

Sound Coffin @ SILENT BARN w/ WildTorUS & friends - $acRED__sens-o-RE@L ::: SØLid S†å†∑ În†ELL¡genç∑

Sound Coffin is an immersive sensorial transformation. Here the participant enters the light proof coffin  and begins a journey into the depths of ego and death. Low frequency droning sound waves cascade through the body propelling the self out of the physical and into the infinite space of the etheric plane, connecting you with the unseen forces of life.

Nice article about the show!

Photos by Stefan Frederic Walz

Govenors Island Art Fair - Performance Lab - w/ WiLdTorUs and many more!

Things got too wild for the fair and our power was cut off by the organizers. Apparently the performance was just too much to handle. Does sound and performance have a room in the house of art? Or are they the mistreated stepchildren searching for some loving arms! Above: Geraldo, Dominika, Charlie & Angel
Photos Salpy Semerdjian


Stairway to Hedon: The Collapse of the American Empire - An Energetic Performance - Inside & Out


On September 6th, 2013 a wonderful event occured:

Inside the Hunter MFA building at 450 W 41st in midtown a concrete ouroboros lies in solitude. After the laborious sweat and pours of Elizabeth Tubergen and the many hands and hours of fellow artists and friends, a lonesome monolith begs for a festivity to occur! An orgy of hope and transformation needing the powers and energies of us all to rise up, focus and call the forces to our aid. Then upon convergence we shall smash, splatter and destroy as an offering to the new dawn. A group vision whose only opposition is the self. A gutteral exertion of lambastic actions alchemizing the repugnance and disgust into an evenings delight!

Stairway to Hedon: The Collapse of the American Empire

So here is the basics: Bring your amazing selves, your odes, wishes, warnings and debaucheries, costumes, characters, attitudes, temperaments, hearts, hammers and bags of magik. We will all get into, onto, under and over the slinking stairs. Releasing, realizing and relating to all that was, is and shall be. This is a collaboration with us all so anyone willing to shoot video, bring live sound or perform would be most excellent and necessary. I would love this to be the meeting of the magik because we are all coming from different groups, perspectives, stories and lives and to bring that energy into one space, onto one object, would truly resonate in the most ecstatic of ways!
The idea is we will gather for a few hours of wonderment and then tear the installation down re-igniting its vitality with our corporeal selves.
Travis Braxton, B.J. Dini, Angel Favorite, Sabina Ibarrola, Heather Acs, Sequinette Jaynesfield, Elizabeth Tubergen, Angela LaSalle, Margeaux Walter, WildTorus {Mike + Amy}, Marissa Bluestone, Regan Venezia, Jeff, Salpy Semerdjian, Natalie Agee, Mette Loulou, Jane Carver, Deanna Viva Garcia, Dominika Ksel, Matt & Mike, Danny if I missed you let me know so I can fix that please. :)
Thanks Everyone for your Energies & Hearts
All sounds created by the tools and booms of the fall.

Tree Analogue: Explorations in Myth-Making - El Museo del Barrio Biennal- August 1- September 1 2013

On August 10th we gathered at the 103rd St Park for a sensory exploratorium filled with story-telling delights, myth-making wonders, unraveling the relationships to our surrounding plant friends and the over-arching consciousnesses that intersect us all through space and time. Here, the histories and mysteries of now are highlighted and re-imagined in the periphery, in the space of hybridization. The tree analogue is our origin, as it lies on the borders, urbanized nature merged as one. A delicate balance of forces whispering the potential relationships of our psycho-ecologies. A chance to build our futures instead of having them dictated to us. A place of boundless possibility, growth and cooperation, catalyzed into a rhythmic rhizomatic expansion. With Pete Makela, Maxi Cohen, Lillian Gershon, Patricia Dominguez and Dominika Ksel.




A collaboration between Dominika Ksel and Patricia Dominguez

There is one specific tree that has become a hybrid during the years. It merged into the fence, creating a new morphology between urbanization and organic growth. It is radiantly impure. This tree will contain a box with an audio recording unit. The recording device will be slightly camouflaged in a box. People will be able to access this box from the periphery of the park, as it is part of the fence. The storytellers can stand beneath the tree and press record when they are ready to share personal experiences, love songs, messages to deceased loved ones, dirty jokes, local gossips, commentaries on current events, weather predictions, marriage proposals, confessions, forgiveness, offerings, wishes, desires, frustrations and new myths. The tree will be also activated as temple, healing center, materia prima for essences and inspiration for wood cuts, weaving, as cabinet of curiosity and a new celestial body.

We are re-territorializing the park by activating the periphery with the installation, changing the park dynamics. This is an inversion of the panopticon, the non-monument, and a moment where the periphery absorbs from the center.

The formal arrangement of the installation refers to esoteric visual symbolism of the tree standing of the top of a hill; an axis mundi. A microcosmic version of monumental myths portrayed through a light hearted – Quixote style setting, pushing the imagination and the transformative and connective potential of storytelling and myths. Images of the sleeping Buddha dreaming of enlightenment, a fallen apple sparking theories of gravity or the search for the sacred Mount Analogue. Here, we put together a new cosmology. A ritual for recording the myths and stories in non-traditional ways. A new lore, removing hierarchies, where every story carries equal weight and voice. There is no authoritarian narrative in this fractitious and rhizomatic method of simultaneous (hi)story making.

The tree installation is not temporal, but permeating the environment and the community over time. Creating a life of its own through new interpretations, exchanges, transferences and becomings. The recording unit will be installed from August 1st to September 1st. An oral library will be put together to give further access to the recordings and will serve as an ongoing collection of stories for future visual investigations. There will be several events around the tree involving other artists too.

As extension of the project we will include some events that will manifest into printed imagery of the tree, healing essences from its leaves, new symbols and enactments of rituals that will include several surrounding institutions such as Mount Sinai Hospital and Casita Maria After School Program. We will invite to collaborating herbalists, artists and musicians.


Rocio Aranda-Alvarado: What is the most important thing about your process that you want people to know?

In my practice, I used naturalistic and invented operations, in the hope of forming a personal language. Historically, naturalism has been a language used to colonize and fix the identities of the territories of the new world. The colonizers named and classified the specimens that inhabited those territories, helping to construct ideas of the exotic, and the other that carry a lot of idealization and misunderstanding. I try to change the genealogies of those same territories, by using and inverting the same language that reduced them.

In 2010, I decided to learn the formal language used to represent specimens. I did a Natural Science and Botanical Illustration program at the Bronx Botanical Garden, and in 2011, I was a Visiting Artist at the Paleontology Department of the American Natural History Museum. I learned digital illustration of fossils and recreations of ancient landscapes through 3D digital software. I've never believed in Natural Science as the most acute way of acquiring knowledge about the world, as this discipline studies nature as nature. I quickly hit a wall, as I wanted to study culture as natural phenomena too, with all the anthropological, sociological, ethnological and historical concerns that that intrinsically carries. In this way, I use methods taken from the Natural Sciences such as recollection, classification, archaeological excavations, (static) explorations, archiving and organization but I permeate them with human subjectivities and social behaviors.

The reference for my invented, once-removed naturalist methods is the amateur archaeologist, ex hunter and architect Gonzalo Dominguez, my grandfather. For years, he has excavated a specific area of the Atacama Desert in Chile. He has discover mummies, new species of whales, 16 million year old sharks, indigenous devices and artifacts, old toys, colonial devices left by the Spanish, carved bones, the most southern colony of green turtles of the world, old flags, indigenous paintings on the rocks, bullets, and collect garbage coming from the other side of the ocean.

Along the years, I have seen him re-arrange his discoveries in cabinets made of fishnets discarded by the sea in a museum that combines the layered discoveries of that terrain; The Museum of the Seagulls. It is an archaeological excavation that is open to time and space. All those objects were found colliding into each other throughout and beneath the surface of the same place in the desert. Every new specimen that was found confirmed or disrupted formal ideas of that specific place, and helped putting together an alternative history of the place. The terrain acts as a possibility of both accessing history and re-arranging history at the same time.

He had invented a new genre; he has webbed and connected indigenous art, popular culture, historical events, contemporary art, and his own crafts. As Paraguayan anthropologist, writer and art curator Ticio Escobar said, "When someone modifies images and concepts of the Other, it is only when it is advantageous to their own stories. When the appropriation is made with the imagination, it produces results where new and old forms become reanimated with radiant impurity". My grandfather has invented a radiant, impure and contaminated new genre in the desert – an urgent and personal life-gesture.

His amateur methods of accessing a terrain have highly influenced my practice. Our research method does not end with a thesis or hypothesis. It is more of an inductive, artistic, open-ended method than a scientific and deductive one, so it properly suits the broader questions we pursue. I make an analogy of his processes by using the virtual terrain as my own piece of desert. The physical terrain where he establishes his inquiry is fixed to some square kilometers. Mine is flexible and abstract. My fossils and indigenous artifacts are found in the flatness of the excess of information that is pervasively accumulating in an archive constructed through diverse sources of information. Most of the time this information is subjective and informal, as it is found in the web: individual stories, cultural practices or random occurrences. Neither my grandfather nor I, make distinctions or judgments about the sources accepted as valid. Every active component found during our field studies could be included, it being from the future or the past, fiction or fact, replica or original, flat or three-dimensional. They all form part of the data set from which we gather information.

Rocio Aranda-Alvarado: In my opinion, there is no such thing as Latino Art, there are Latino artists who make art. But this remains a term that we have to deal with constantly. How can we reframe this idea (or boundary?) in an interesting or useful way?

I don´t make "Latinamerican Art". My work is not what is expected from a "Latino artist". My work doesn´t relate specifically to Chile either; but it is highly influenced by what I experienced while living there. Growing up in a place like Chile, gave me a specific context to relate to the world. The cultural, ethnical, environmental and political situation which I grew up allows me to see the NY context with a distance; with a distance from someone from a third world country. With a strange freedom that people from Sud and Central America have in relationship to the world. I guess you can say that from anyone coming from another country, but Sud-American and Central American artists share, in the core, a similar history of colonization and domination, a special relationship to nature, and a specific relationship to time, space and culture where everything is an hybrid; where everything is impure in its origins.

Raul Zamudio: Are there other things that inform your work besides art, and I mean this more so formally. Stated differently: if your medium of choice is painting, sculpture, photography, or performance, for example, is your work mostly informed by other painters, sculptors, photographers, and performance artists, or figuratively and respectively speaking outdoor billboards, trash heaps, mugshots, and Karaoke?

My work is about decolonizing the genealogy of proximities and contacts between the living in the 21st Century. By the living I mean a planetary whole that includes all living actors: humans, plants, animals, bacteria, rocks, minerals, as well as phenomena such as pathogens, natural disasters, weather, erosion and virtual viruses. By inspiration come from disciplines such as Anthropology, Ethnology, Ethnobotany, Natural Sciences, Visual Culture, Geology, the Internet, Biology, Art Theory, Philosophy, Fiction, Indigenous and Ancient Cultures, and of course, Visual Art.

As the entanglements between human and other living beings are so complex, I utilize various formal languages and processes – including video, installation, scientific drawing, 3D models, coding and site-interventions – depending on the specific relationships that are being investigated. I have used various materials such as weed tinctures, rocks and bricks, digital applications, found images, and interviews. My strategy is to invert the language of natural science by disrupting its original colonizing use to fix identities and definitions of living beings, and by working with alternative methods not contained by the hegemonic knowledge. Through those alternative methods, I find inspiration in any visual representation of living beings, whether it is made by a computer or painted by hand 300 years ago. Everything is valid and useful for me; fact or fiction, old or new, etc.

Raul Zamudio: Do you think the title of this edition of La Bienal, which is Here Is Where We Jump, has resonance with any part of your work and if so how?

The project Dominika and I are going to do at the 103 St Community Park intends to create a new myth in the neighborhood. A myth around its plants and their possibility of healing the people that circulates around it and of putting together the informal history of the neighborhood. This project hopefully will develop into a new local tradition and will get transformed and expanded as years go by.

Raul Zamudio: What kind of advice you would give artists that are starting out?

I still consider myself as an artist that is starting out. The best advice I heard when I was going through a difficult moment with my work was from a Korean Artist a few years ago. He told me to have the calm to stay in my studio and work, work, work for two years without showing anything. To take the time to experiment and make so many works so I can fill the Guggenheim two times. Then, after two years, invite somebody to my studio. If he or she cries with my work, I will be ready. If they don´t, I should keep working for two more years and stack my house and my studio with more work. He told me that art is like cooking rice, when it is almost ready, it starts smelling and people know that it is getting ready. But, if you open it before time, it will be hard and flavorless. I guess a good advice is to have patience and keep working, reading, researching and playing.