Artistic Director of Dithyrambalina
Co-founder of New Orleans Airlift
Delaney Martin has shown large-scale installations internationally for over a decade. Her work frequently engages with the historical and cultural specificity of a site to create spectacular, immersive environments. Her work is also marked by frequent collaborations with fellow artists as well as musicians and performers.
Delaney has lived, studied and worked in New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and London over the past decade. In 2008 she founded the arts organization New Orleans Airlift with Jay Pennington out of a desire to give back and go back to New Orleans post-Katrina. She has since been honing the meaning of her art practice in relation to Airlift’s increasingly ambitious projects. This rewarding experience has led to an even deeper commitment to the power of collaboration.
Delaney conceived and led The Music Box experience. She continues to oversee the creative development of Dithyrambalina.
Lead Visual Artist
Swoon is a Brooklyn-based street artist who creates life-sized portraits of people she meets, using woodcut block prints and paper cutouts. Swoon’s galleries are city walls, often in the environments that inspired the prints. With influences ranging from German Expressionist wood block prints to Indonesian shadow puppets, Swoon is a master of using cut paper to play with positive and negative space in a conceptually driven exploration of street environments.
For the past three years, she has also designed, built, and organized fleets of rafts including those of the Miss Rockaway Armada and the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, a large-scale installation at Deitch Projects in New York City. Her most recent boat project traversed the Adriatic Sea and the canals of Venice, Italy during the 2009 Biennale. Swoon’s boats are inspired by dense urban cityscapes and thickly intertwined mangrove swamps from her Florida youth.
She is an international artist with major pieces in the Museum of Modern Art, PS1’s groundbreaking exhibition GREATER NEW YORK, and Brooklyn Museum of Art. Swoon has been traveling for the past several years creating exhibitions and workshops in the United States and Europe.
Taylor Lee Shepherd
Lead Sound Artist
Taylor is a local artist and builder of mechanical wonders who has contributed to the shape of the Dithyrambalina from it’s inception. He joined Swoon and New Orleans Airlift’s very early collaborative meetings around building a musical house and has advised and influenced the process and the realization of the project. Taylor was Civil Engineer of The Music Box village, responsible for all of our electrical lines, general sound design and for making sure everything worked throughout the run of the installation. Taylor also built the very popular Music Box instrument called Vox Murum. He will continue to be our lead sound artist for Dithyrambalina.
Taylor likes to make things move in old fashioned ways. He often uses rotating cams, an 11th century invention, but he is also really fond of tape recorders. He has been known to make drawing machines, electronic doorknockers, dancing light machines and other irreverent moving objects. He has shown at numerous New Orleans galleries including Barristers, XO Gallery, The Candle Factory, and L’art Noir. He has also shown at Gallery T (Denver) and Bereznitzky Gallery (Berlin). His work was included in the wildly popular Sequence of Waves show organized by the Rabid Hands Collective at St. Cecilia’s Church in Brooklyn and The Museum of Curioisty in London with Black Rat Press. Taylor was also recently included in the Technological Terrarium exhibition at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and The Music Box Outpost at Art Arsenale, Kiev, Ukraine.
Jay Pennington (DJ Rusty Lazer)
Director of External Affairs
Co-founder of New Orleans Airlift
Jay is co-founder of New Orleans Airlift. However he is much more well known as his alter ego, DJ Rusty Lazer and for his work with the New Orleans sissy bounce community of rappers and performers. As associate curator for The Music Box Jay brought legendary Cash Money Records producer Mannie Fresh, bounce star Nicky Da B and local rappers NOLA FAM into our shantytown orchestra. Jay also generously let The Music Box live in his yard for an entire year!
Community Development and Consulting Architect
Michael Glenboski is an architect.designer.maker born and raised in Bellevue Nebraska. His education took him from the Great Plains to New York where he studied architecture and film at the Pratt Institute. Working somewhere between art and design while with the MoMA, PS1, Cook+Fox, and Jeff Koons he has had his hands in buildings, constructions, and shows around the world. On his way to New Orleans he stopped in Auburn Alabama for a year of rest, and to bike to places like Loachapoka.
Michael has worked on and off in New Orleans for five years. He continues to work somewhere between art and design focused less in an office and more on collaborating with his neighborhood and community. Mostly he just wants to find his drum kit that would not fit in the van when he decided to move to New York and for his dog Milan to bring the ball back.
Tori Bush is an arts administrator, writer, maker and explorer. Tori has an M.A. in Arts Administration and was previously the Programs Director for the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. A contributing writer for Pelican Bomb, Daily Serving, Artvoices and editor for Catalogue, Tori was a finalist in the Creative Capital/Arts Writer’s grant this year. She believes New Orleans may be the last habitable city in the U.S.
Lead Builder and Art Engineer
Christian Repaal (b. 1971 in LaPlata, Maryland), an art fabricator, bass player, building contractor, and some times art teacher, has lived in New Orleans since 1994. In his many years here Christian has forged deep ties into the local communities of visual artists, musicians, tradespeople, and educators.
Both a mason and a carpenter he has been in the trades for nearly 25 years. In the last ten years, since attending UNO for history and fine art (1999- 2003), Christian has built quite a reputation as an art fabricator. Christopher Saucedo, Jennifer Odem, Stephen Collier, and dozens of other New Orleans artists have utilized and appreciated his ability to communicate their visions through his handiwork. Most recently he has worked closely with celebrated artist Swoon to help her realize some of her more complex three dimensional pieces. Christian has, in his time, trained many young carpenters, masons, and would be sculptors in the proper and safe use of tools, building techniques, and use of materials; both on the job and in the classroom. For the past six summers he has taught at Lusher Charter Schoolʼs Summer Arts Intensive Program, helping young artists gain new skills.
Kurston Melton (Not Pictured)
Kurston Melton is a marketing professional with an interest in art, design, and traveling. Kurston has a B.A. in Public Relations and an M.A. in Marketing. She moved to New Orleans in August 2011 and has quickly immersed herself in all the beauty, art, music and culture of the City. Currently, she works as an afterschool enrichment instructor and marketing and communications associate for a local non-profit while taking classes in digital design at Tulane. She is excited about joining forces with Dithyrambalina to continue enriching NOLA with art, music, innovation and love. She is continuously making new friends, while bringing new and old friends together harmoniously to share in their similarities and differences. She believes her family’s history in New Orleans is the reason she was drawn to the City.
Musician, co-creator of Scary Toesies puppet shows (the greatest show on Earth), and mechanical genius.
” QUINTRON is a very eccentric concert and nightclub organist from New Orleans, Louisiana. He plays music on a custom made Hammond / Rhodes combo synthesizer / organ (which he’s got all built up to look like a car with real working headlights) backed by raw simple drum machine beats….and his own patented invention THE DRUM BUDDY – a rotating, light-activated analog synthesizer which is played much in the same way that a DJ spins and scratches records. Of course lets not forget about MISS PUSSYCAT who plays maracas and sings backup as well as entertaining all age groups with her highly amusing technicolor puppet shows. The Quintron / Miss Pussycat experience is one of barely controlled electronic chaos, “Swamp-Tech” beats, small explosions, incredible clothes, and entertaining puppet stories. You can see them perform regularly at the Spellcaster Lodge in New Orleans, Louisiana or on one of their many tours around the world. This act somehow has equal relevance in sleazy nightclubs, pizza restaurants, and university lecture halls.” (text from the www.skingraftrecords.com)
Taylor Kuffner/ Zemi17
Zemi17 (or the human known as Aaron “Taylor” Kuffner), is a composer, musician, and media artist. In the 1990′s, Zemi17 brought his studies in new physics, technology, mixed media installation and experimental performance into the underground art scenes of New Orleans and San Francisco. In 1997, he moved to New York and formed the experimental multi-media performance group Ransom Corp. This group hosted events and performed in warehouses, on boats, subways and streets throughout New York and Europe.
From 2004 through 2006, he lived and worked in Indonesia with the support of scholarships and grants from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry. He collected extensive field recordings of nature and researched classic gamelan music, performing with professional groups in Yogyakarta and Bali. His study focused on two archaic forms of gamelan: Sekatan from the courts of Central Java and Selonding from the Bali Highlands.
For the last three years Kuffner has concentrated on synthesizing his knowledge and experience with new compositional and technological forms. He is the co-creator, composer and creative director of the Gamelatron.
He has received grants and sponsorship from The Experimental Television Center, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Berlin Arts Council, Kulture Im Spannwerk, ID-Media, Schloss Brollin, The European Union Arts Council, James F. Robison Foundation, The Soros Foundation and Swiss Air.
Ross is a musician, builder, and traditional luthier (maker of string instruments). He built his own house and he is a new father!
Benjamin Mortimer is a photographer & builder living in Brooklyn:
link He started off building the stupidest bikes in the world for Black Label Bicycle Club in an obvious attempt to hurt his friends: link This drew the interest of Madagascar Institute where he helped work on projects guided by their mantra “Fear is never Boring”: link A time living on the West
Coast led to several stints working at Burning Man: link
This in turn led to the amazing ‘living art’ experiments of the Swimming Cities raft project: link which
will bring Ben to India this fall to travel the Ganges on 5 handmade stainless-steel motorcycle-driven paddle-wheel boats. In the meantime he will continue running around with the Rabid Hands Collective, the Fur Coat Boat Club, and maniacally building his ‘mad scientist’ laboratory: link
Simon Berz is the initiator of the artist platform BADABUM. The drummer and sound explorer plays in various groups and has toured throughout Europe, the US, Canada and Japan. Simon Berz develops his own instruments, with which he searches for new ways of producing sound. Based on his own biography and his „objets trouvés“, he has created an autobiophonic sound lab. He is also running his own drum school, the Schlag.Zeug.Atelier, in Zug, Switzerland. Badabum is a platform for the integration of different art forms, created by drummer, improviser and sound researcher Simon Berz. Based on improvised music, bridges are built to fine arts, performance, dance, film, composition and research. A special consideration is being placed on the social context where the artistic experiments take place, as well as the location itself. Badabum is equally at home in off spaces as it is in public spaces, clubs, galleries or concert halls. Since its formation in 2001, Badabum has been a platform for more than 100 musicians, artists and dancers. www.simonberz.ch
Lindsay Karty began building sound devices from discarded electronics for her music project VIKI (now Viktoria) because she couldn’t afford a synth. Waves and jams helped shape her ways — she’s toured and/or collaborated with Mammal, Max Cloud, Extreme Animals, Adult., Magas, Wolf Eyes, Occasional Detroit, Panicsville, Magic is Kuntmaster, UVU, Bad Party, and Faruq Z Bey. She loves sound and electricity, manipulating both into new forms. She has created a variety of sound installations for organizations such as MOCAD, Birdtown Garden, and Wound Fashion.
Brooklyn-based artist Nick Yulman works with sound in a variety of contexts including interactive mechanical music installations, oral histories, field recordings and experimental pop songs. He has shown and performed his work at venues throughout New York and beyond including the Museum of the Moving Image, the ISE Cultural foundation, Smack Mellon, Flux Factory, AS 220 and the Coney Island Museum.
In spring of 2010, Yulman was artist in residence at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowsky Castle in Warsaw, Poland through Art in General’s Residency Exchange Program. Warsaw Machines & Songs, a record documenting the work he created there, is forthcoming.
In 2011 Yulman worked with the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition to create No Bills, a public sound installation, located in construction fences throughout North Brooklyn, presenting oral history interviews
recorded with longtime residents of the neighborhood.
Yulman spent five years working with the national oral history project StoryCorps and is currently studying at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.
More info at http://www.nysoundworks.org
Angeliska Polacheck and Colin McIntyre
Angeliska Polacheck and Colin McIntyre are two artists from Texas who live in a shady ramshackle labyrinth on the outskirts of Austin. Colin is a sculptor working in forged metal, and Angel makes spectacles. Together, they make silver + copper art jewelry and all kinds of magic. They have planted a miniature orchard, and are waiting for the peaches to get ripe.
Ranjit Bhatnagar is fascinated with noises. He makes sound installations, music machines, and devices that do strange things with the human voice. Each year he spends the month of February making a new handmade musical instrument each day. He lives in Brooklyn with one dog.
Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels
Serra is an installation artist and maker of homes based in Brooklyn, and a core member of the collective Rabid Hands. Ideally she would like to be a surgeon and a master gardener and run a revolutionary educational system, while also researching something completely obscure in a country most forgot existed and voraciously collecting dying artisan techniques while constructing an idealized ruinous city out of old rusty things and lace. Given that no one will let her close to them with a scalpel and she makes plants die, thus far she has been sticking to making things. Born in the valley of the Appalachians in Tennessee, SVBF studied social psychology at Stanford University, learned metalsmithing and traditional blacksmithing at the Appalachian Center for Craft, and studied sculpture at Columbia University. Working with decaying, abandoned, history-imbued materials, she makes awkwardly shaped houses in surprising locations. This body of work comes from her investigation of the intersecting social psychology and environmental design, the tension between the psychological construction of home and the corrosion of permanent human structures, and her own internal struggle as an incessant traveler who needs permanence and home.
Louisiana and specifically NOLA is home. I live in the Bywater neighborhood. I love working in 3 dimension – hands on embracing the materials – with a variety of materials – found-objects and architectural salvage seem to be my favorites as I cherish each object that I have selected and it’s history becomes my own. My inspirations are often close to home – but rivers and their cultures are exciting to me in philosophical and metaphorical ways as related to human nature. I laso love creating in the kitchen.
Elizabeth Shannon has been a central character in the New Orleans art scene since the 1970′s. She and her friends once took over an amusement park. They also used to drive their trucks out into the middle of nowhere and make one night art installations for fun. Today Elizabeth is represented by Heriard-Cimenio Gallery in New Orleans. She continues to be a pivotal character in the New Orleans avant-garde, moving seamlessly from museum and gallery shows to renegade art happenings with a younger generation who count her amongst their dear friends.
Ratty Scurvics (b. 1974) is an artist in several disciplines. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus on film making and large format figure drawing. As a painter he has exhibited in solo and group shows in New Orleans, Chicago, Austin and Dallas. As a writer he has published works of short fiction and poetry as well as three produced musicals. In the area of theater he has enjoyed an award winning career as a composer and musical director. In the field of music he’s produced forty-two solo records including the scores for eight plays and five musicals; toured America extensively with a few stints in Europe and performed as a featured New Orleans Airlift artist in Berlin in 2009. He resides in New Orleans.
RAINGER PINNEY & JONAH EMERSON-BELL
Rainger Pinney and Jonah Emerson-Bell have been working on projects together on and off over the last ten years. Rainger is an artist, builder, fabricator, framer, problem solver, working in Brooklyn, NY. Born in Connecticut, he studied at Bard college and finished his BFA at Elam school of fine art in New Zealand.
Jonah Emerson-Bell is a sculptor who uses a variety of materials including found objects, bronze and neon. Recently he was part of the Shadow Shop exhibition at the SFMOMA. His work was featured on the cover of the summer 2010 issue of Bookforum. He studied at Bard College and finished his BFA at CCA in Oakland Ca. He now lives and works in Brooklyn NY.
Micah Learned was raised on the prairie lands of northern Acadiana in Opelousas, Louisiana. He is an installation artist, writer and construction worker based in New Orleans. This past spring as part of his piece “I Will Erase This Car,” children in Jackson, Mississippi painted his once cherry red sports car in slate-black chalkboard paint as part of the participatory arts festival, FIGMENT Jackson. His writing has appeared in various underrated, atrocious and currently defunct publications. Still, he is writing a screenplay and awaiting the launch of his bi-annual magazine ”Momma Tried” in early 2012.
The many branches of Science (i.e. Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.) represent a highly refined form of communication and a detailed web of common knowledge. Using this language to examine ourselves and our environment reveals complex layers of information, seamlessly connected systems and repeating patterns at many scales. My current body of work is both a reflection of these unique systems and an exploration of the connections between space and form.
Andrew Schrock lives atop an elevator shaft in the heart of downtown New Orleans above “Parse Gallery”; a space he co-created as the non-squeaky third wheel of the Parse Tricycle. Maker, adventurer, soundanator and experiaentializing artist… who’s endeavors include chopping apart freight trains, tug boats, hacking fire hydrants, exploding sculpture, decon-reconstruction, trips into the metaphysical, and breathing all for the sake of experimental thinking and understanding of the Multiverse.
Myrtle Von Damitz III
Myrtle von Damitz lll is a painter and a curator who has lived in New Orleans for the last 13 years. She’s shown her work and curated shows at Barrister’s Gallery, throughout the city (including most recently, A Technological Terrarium at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art), and with the New Orleans Airlift. She is the founder and directer of Automata New Orleans, an annual exhibition of mechanical sculpture and experiments in science and art. For The Music Box Myrtle enlarged one of her paintings to create a billboard for our sound village. However The Music Box is also largely inspired by Myrtle whose cultivation and encouragement of mechanical arts through her Automata shows has had huge influence on the project.