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Collaborative Art And Fruit Flies Come Together At The Edison Tonight


Live Drosophila (fruit flies), Raspberry Pi, surface transducers, plexiglass, headphone amplifier, web camera, cables. These are the elements that will make up “Small Small Things,” an event hosted by Misbits that seeks to combine elements of music and nature. 
Misbists was founded in Oxford with the hope of bringing technology and collaboration into the art community. Since it’s inception, the company has quickly attracted both a national and international audience. 
“I came up with Misbits as a venue to promote art created through the use of technology and collaboration.  It currently serves as a gallery space, my studio space, and as a space that offers workshops to the community.  When it is serving as a gallery space, I have invited artists from Mississippi, NYC, Hawaii, and most recently from Japan.  I am still working on the schedule for next year, but so far it includes a Brooklyn-based artist and a Puerto Rican artist.” Founder, Valerie Polgar said. 
At tonight’s event, composer and sound artist Reiko Yamada will perform alongside the elements previously mentioned to create an experience that is truly unique and engaging. 

Fruit Fly

“In a small chamber (20cm x20cm) divided into four sections, four different types of music, in different frequencies, are presented to Drosophila. As animals enter one of four the areas, the music starts playing to them through surface transducers (speakers conveying sound through the floor), while humans can simultaneously hear the same music through loudspeakers or headphones in the exhibition area. The work is halfway between a sound installation and an auditory experiment for Drosophila, and visitors are invited to draw their own conclusions about what they witness. 
At Misbits, this piece will be presented as a live performance/discussion followed by Small Small Slides at the opening performance. This work is a collaboration between Yamada and Professor Robert Huber (Drosophila behavior specialist, Bowling Green State University), with support from the Drosophila lab of Professor Gregg Roman (University of Mississippi).”
After the “Small Small Things” display, two more events will follow to help the audience better understand the connection between the music and nature. 
Small Small Slides (2017)
Elements: Digital slides/video, two channel audio (mixed down from 24 channels), approximately 30’ total play time
“Small Small Slides” is a performative video work consisting of digital slides and acousmatic compositions. Originally created for the 24-channel ambisonics environment at IEM (Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz), the work can be adjusted to 2-24 channel audio. The audience will experience a combination of visually presented scientific facts about Drosophila and Yamada’s imaginative interpretation in electronic music compositions in a 30-minute performance presentation (May 23rd only) or as a video piece (exhibition space no.1).
The Wings that Bind (2017) 
Elements: Drosophila wings, microscope, vinyl lettering, text, petri dish, table chair
“The Wings that Bind” raises the question of free will and freedom in all creatures, taking the sound production mechanism of Drosophila (fruit fly) as its focus point. Male Drosophila are genetically programmed to produce sounds with their wings, a behavior that plays a key part in the reproductive cycle. In this work, the classic association of wings with freedom is subverted and complicated by presenting these limbs as frustrating body parts for a strong-willed male fruit fly, providing mobility, itself a form of freedom, but also acting as an instrument of genetic predetermination. With a strong commitment to free will, what could a male fruit fly possibly do to break away from genetic determination? One possible answer, an extreme one to be sure, is the one presented here, leaving this sound piece without sound.
Tonight’s event begins at 5:15 at the Edison. The Edison is located next to the Powerhouse on University Avenue. 


Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com
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