Tour Program:
February 12 to March 12, 2016 at Sector 2337 (Chicago, IL)
November 3 to 5, 2017 at Locatie Z (Den Haag, NL)

Bleeding Black Noise is a revision of Steven Parrino’s statement “My relation between Rock and visual art: I will bleed for you.” Here the curator replaces Rock with Noise, and celebrates the Bleeding as a release of the Black Noise, raw energy and formless potential.

The exhibition includes Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert (Brussels, Belgium), Faith Coloccia (Seattle, US), Niels Geybels (Antwerpen, Belgium), Alessandro Keegan (New York City, US), Max Kuiper (Arnhem, Netherlands), and Michaël Sellam (Paris, France). Together their works on paper provide encounters with dust, electromagnetism, sympathetic magic, ecology, politics, and a passion for storms. Each of the artists are involved in experimental music—as active musicians or collaborators.

This exhibition is coordinated to appear near large bodies of water. In winter 2016 it premiered on the shore of the Great Lakes, in Chicago [US], during the season when the melted ice and city-street sludge mix in ecstatic swirls of primordial fluids, and when the snow causes audiovisual sensations to move to the forefront and include the perceiver within the elements themselves. In autumn 2017 it reappeared in Den Haag [NL], situated next to the North Sea in a region that is below-sea level, during the rain season, where the dark low-lying clouds echo the dark low-lying earth, and black canals snake across the city with opportunities for scrying.

— Amelia Ishmael, Curator, February 2015 to November 2017

 Chicago Events 
 February 12, 2016: 
 opening -- curator’s presentation 
 && publication release -- EN3MY, 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., third floor: 2012-2005
 (edited by Amelia Ishmael and Jason Soliday, Holon Press, 2016) 

 February 26, 2016: 
 performances -- Noise Crush + The Fortieth Day (Lisa Slodki & Isidro Reyes & Mark Solotroff) 
 && Black Poems poetry reading by Aldo Tambellini via transmission 

 March 11, 2016: 
 video screenings -- Prelude: The Breath of Charybdis (Semiconductor, Jon Cates, and Aldo Tambellini) 
 && Tempestarii (Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert, with music by Stephen O'Malley) 
 performances -- MAAR (Joseph Clayton Mills & Michael Vallera) 
 && Yannick Franck 

 Den Haag Events 
 November 3 2017: 
 black meal -- black squid-ink pasta (courtesy of Ibrahim Ineke) 

 November 4, 2017: 
 opening with curator 

 November 5, 2017: 
 video screenings -- .blacK~SSStaTic_darK~fuZZZ_dOOm~glitCH. 
 && documentation of Noise Crush + The Fortieth Day (Lisa Slodki & Isidro Reyes & Mark Solotroff)
at Bleeding Black Noise Chicago  
 &&  Black on Black, a video poem featuring the poems of Aldo Tambellini read by Neiel Israel and Askia Touré  
 performance -- Les Horribles Travailleurs (Max Kuiper) 

Thank you Ibrahim Ineke, Josje Hattink, Saskia Laurant, Jeannette Slütter, Sieko Kloosterhuis, Caroline Picard, Devin King, Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert, Faith Coloccia, Niels Geybels, Alessandro Keegan, Max Kuiper, Michaël Sellam, Jason Soliday, Joseph Kramer, Aldo Tambellini, Anna Salamone, Lisa Slodki, Mark Solotroff, Isidro Reyes, Jon Cates, Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt, Stephen O'Malley, Joseph Clayton Mills, Michael Vallera,
and Yannick Frank.

 Chicago Installation 

photos by Clare Britt

“I have brought you here that you might have the best possible view of the scene of that event I mentioned
—and to tell you the whole story with the spot just under your eye.”
—Edgar Allan Poe, “A Descent into the Maelström”

"Quartermaster, if you want to survive a deadly cyclone, continue steering your ship within the eye of the storm, just below the maneuvering semi-circle, relatively less knocked among the hundred gusts that threaten you with shipwreck."
—Michel Serres, Biogea

"Let us return to original chaos! Let us imagine the primordial din, the original vortex! Let us throw ourselves into the whirlwind which has preceded the creation of form. Let our being tremble with effort and madness in the fiery abyss! Let everything be wiped out so that, surrounded by confusion and disequilibrium, we participate fully in the general delirium, retracing our way back from cosmos to chaos, from form to swirling gyros. The disintegration of the world is creation in reverse: an apocalypse up-side down but sprung from similar impulses. Nobody desires to return to chaos without having first experienced an apocalyptic vertigo. How great my terror and my joy at the thought of being dragged into the vortex of initial chaos, that pandemonium of paradoxical symmetry — the unique geometry of chaos,
devoid of sense or form! In every whirlwind hides a potential for form, just as in chaos there is a potential cosmos.
Let me possess an infinite number of unrealized, potential forms!
Let everything vibrate in me with the universal anxiety of the beginning, just awakening from nothingness!"
—Emil Cioran, On The Heights Of Despair


February 12th, 2016, 7pm

A reading performance by the curator, from a found black book. The curator speaks into a microphone, which is connected to a video of a Black Star by Gast Bouschet & Nadine HIlbert. The video is projected into the gallery, flooding over the artworks, baptising the exhibition. Whenever words are spoken the video is given a pulse, and all goes black. Thus it starts, the exhibition is initiated with the light and sound heartbeat of the words of the text of the black book.

The Enemy publication archives each of the performances that occured at the Chicago underground Noise venue Enemy, from its beginning in 2005 until its ending in 2012. The sounds, community, and environment of Enemy had a significant influence on the curator's vision for this exhibition, and so this limited-edition publication, printed by Holon (a part of Green Lantern Press) was conceived as a sort of love-letter to the artists who laid the groundwork here. The list is a collaboration between the curator and Enemy's founder J. Soliday. [Aquire here.]

photo by Abbey Muzatko

photo by Caroline Picard

February 26th, 2016, 7pm

Lisa Slodki creates real-time performances and installations, often working in collaboration with the Chicago experimental audio and noise communities. Performing with The Fortieth Day under her Noise Crush moniker, Slodki generates VHS tape loops which are mixed live through a battery of VCRs to construct evolving projected superimpositions. Pulsating light of decaying VHS tape and manipulated found footage conjure familiar yet indiscernible images, and the fragility and resilience of both medium and perception.

The Fortieth Day is the duo of Isidro Reyes and Mark Solotroff, both key players in the heavy-electronics outfit BLOODYMINDED, a band known for its aggressive and confrontational live shows. Solotroff is also known as the vocalist in the doom/shoegaze band Anatomy of Habit. In The Fortieth Day, Reyes and Solotroff utilize guitar, bass, drum machine, and analog synthesizer to create epic, blackened, psychedelic-industrial drone soundscapes, likened to “sustained, withering blasts of high-pitched noise that are as distinct from one another as spotlights sweeping across the night sky; jackhammer clatter, jet-engine whines, and forlorn keyboard melodies dart in and out of those huge sounds with the grace and impunity of plovers picking a crocodile’s teeth” — Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader

Aldo Tambellini (based in Cambridge, MA) is an experimental artist working in performance, film, video, sound, painting, sculpture, and poetry. He is perhaps best known for his explorations of black, the color and surrounding concepts, and his electromedia performances. In the early 60s, he was a founding member of the counter-culture group Group Center and worked closely N.H. Pritchard, Ishmael Reed, Carla Black, and the Umbra poetry collective to create intermedia events—combining poetry, jazz, photography, choreography, and film-making. In the 60s, these events evolved into electromedia events, such as Black Zero (The Bridge, 1965; Intermedia ‘68 at Brooklyn Academy of Music; Performa 2009; Tate Modern, 2012) where he collaborated with Benn Morea, Ron Hahne, Elsa Tambellini, Bill Dixon, Alan Silva, and Calvin C. Herton, and the founding of The Black Gate Theater (1967).

photos by Bryan Wendorf

photos by Sector 2337

[Listen to live recording of The Fortieth Day set here.]

March 11th, 2016, 7pm
a 4-part closing ceremony for BLEEDING BLACK NOISE exhibition, with light and sound stimulations

video screenings
* Prelude: The Breath of Charybdis (Semiconductor, Jon Cates, and Aldo Tambellini) *
* Tempestarii (Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert, with music by Stephen O'Malley) *
sound performances
* Maar (Joseph Clayton Mills & Michael Vallera) *
* Yannick Franck *


Prelude: The Breath of Charybdis
- 20Hz (Semiconductor, 2011, 5:00)
- CLONE [excerpt] (Aldo Tambellini, 1976, 10:00)
There is a tale from Aristotle’s Meteorologica that recounts the origin of the mountains. It begins with Charybdis, the daughter of Poseidon “God of the Sea.” Charybdis lives within the ocean, where her exhalations and inhalations cause the tides to rise and fall. When she took her first gulp, the sea drew back and exposed the earth. Charybdis captures and releases: revealing and concealing perceivable worlds. This mythical figure also appears in Homer’s Odyssey, where she takes the form of a whirlpool located within the Strait of Messina and threatens to swallow Odysseus’s ship whole. Later, Edgar Allen Poe encounters a similar phenomenon off the Norwegian coast in A Descent into the Maelström: a terrific spinning funnel of smooth, shining, jet-black water that descends at a forty-five degree angle to an unperceivable depth; its edges are lined in a gleaming vaporous spray; the teeth of its tempest winds emit a shrieking roar. // Prelude: The Breath of Charybdis draws upon the accounts of these poets and philosophers to evoke a dynamic environment. It is not the embodied Charybdis that this program seeks to present, but rather a manifestation of her inspiration.

Tempestarii (Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert, with music by Stephen O'Malley 2013-C, 39:00)
Dawn spreads its luminous rays across the coast of Iceland, to reveal a sorcerer standing between wine-dark sea and mountainous black rock. He is tempestarii, a figure of medieval lore, undertaking a primitive rite manifested to conjure a storm. The tides of the deep ocean breathe heavily rising and falling across the cinema screen with amplifying power, as the weather-maker beats a mysterious sack against the monolithic cliffs with powerful repetition. // As a magical tool, this sack contains forceful winds pulled from each corner of world. As an analogy, it is aligned with the revolutionary transformations of nature by water, air, solar radiation, and geological shifts and filled with the vast potential of man’s will in alliance with Nature. As an omen, the tempestarii signals profound change on both physical and metaphysical realms. // By demonstrating contemporary art as meteorological sorcery and political activism, the duo Gast Bouschet and Nadine Hilbert raise a storm and blacken the air.

Maar is Joseph Clayton Mills and Michael Vallera, a pair of polymaths who have each had hands in some of Chicago’s most affecting experimental music. In his solo work and with the group Cleared, Vallera (who’s also a photographer) uses strong rhythmic and melodic structures to frame grainy, amorphous sounds that evoke both apprehension and nostalgia. A member of Haptic and Partial, Mills is also an author and a coproprietor of the Suppedaneum label, which pushes the boundaries of notation and interpretation; for his recent CD-R SIFR, for example, seven different composers wrote or drew scores in response to his arrhythmic, woody percussion and transient electronic tones. Maar’s own recordings are artifacts of a process in which each player adds layers to the other’s recordings, and both contribute fragmented instrumentals, abraded drones, mechanical pulsations, and flickering electronic textures.” — Bill Meyer

Yannick Franck
Yannick Frank is a Belgium-based sound artist, performer, and curator. He was formerly an Artistic Director of the art center Les Brasseurs in Liège, Belgium, and owns the record label Idiosyncratics. Additionally he is part of the industrial-noise duo Orphan Swords and founder of electroacoustic improvisation combo Y.E.R.M.O., which, among others, provided the sound for Gast Bouschet and Nadine Hilbert's exhibition in the Pavilion of Luxembourg at the Venice Biennial in 2009. // On this occasion he will present a sound performance where experimental vocal techniques, field recordings and textural researches collide into a trance-inducing journey.

photo by Jon Cates

photo by Jason Soliday

still frame by Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert

 Den Haag Installation 

photos by Josje Hattink


November 3rd, 2017, 7pm

In preparation for the reappearance of Bleeding Black Noise in NL, Ibrahim Ineke created a meal of sea monsters and squid-ink pasta for Locatie Z participates. The pots churned with long strains of boiling-black ink, echoing how the rain stirred the dark canal behind the studios. During the consumption of eyes and beaks a restless question sparked by Ahab's inquisition of the whale-sphynx: "What does it mean to eat another creature's mouth, another creature's eyes? Will we now speak and see through this other life form, or will it through us, what communication might this cohesion elicit?"

November 5th, 2017, 7pm
an activation of BLEEDING BLACK NOISE, with light and sound events

video screenings
* .blacK~SSStaTic_darK~fuZZZ_dOOm~glitCH. *
* Noise Crush + The Fortieth Day (Lisa Slodki & Isidro Reyes & Mark Solotroff) audiovisual documentation of performance at Bleeding Black Noise in Chicago *
* Black on Black, a video poem featuring Aldo Tambellini's writings read by Neiel Israel and Askia Touré *
sound performance
* Les Horribles Travailleurs (Max Kuiper) *

Black on Black
Black on Black is a short video, released in 2009, which features Aldo Tambellini’s "Black Poems" read by Neiel Israel and Askia Touré. The video features the poems’ text. “Words form spirals and a sphere that enters the consciousness like an eternal chant “Creation and Destruction. Destruction and Creation.”

.blacK~SSStaTic_darK~fuZZZ_dOOm~glitCH. is a screening program inspired by storms and digital sorcery or, more pointedly, it is an assemblage of lights and sounds to elicit a chaotic vortex of smudgy black charcoal that is streaked with freezing water, painted on celluloid, stained by sea creatures, hexed through new media, and entranced by guitar riffs. Artists included are Aldo Tambellini, Cultus Sabbati, Gast Bouschet and Nadine Hilbert, jonCates, mojo (for Aluk Todolo), Reto Mäder and Daniel Steffen (for Ural Umbo), Alexander Stewart, and Semiconductor.

Les Horribles Travailleurs
Les Horribles Travailleurs is Bleeding Black Noise exhibition artist Max Kuiper, who has been active in the field of sound since January 1982. His performances are Soundcollages, music, sound-poetry, installations (some of them interactive), exhibitions with sound and visual works combined, live performances in combination with installation (and video), collaborations, and remixes. He describes: "The performance by Les Horribles Travailleurs took place in the open air on this November evening, next to a body of water, while it was raining. These circumstances had their effect on both the performance itself as the quality of the sound and the recording of it (for instance, on some occasions, one can hear the rain and also some distortion by the wind). / Used for this situation: five cassette-tape recorders, mixer, and numerous tapes -- including sounds by Les Horribles Travailleurs as well sound artists from Psychogeographic Collaboration."

still frame by Aldo Tambellini

still frame by Lisa Slodki

photo by Josje Hattink

[Listen to live recording of Les Horribles Travailleurs set here.]