culture / nature / structure

Meghan Moe Beitiks
performance

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (Moment 2) (2017)

A video following the material journey of a table through various sites from the Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience project. Audio Describer Katie Murphy creates a soundtrack based on my research and interviews with project participants. Original table designed by Jason Friedes. An extended examination of observation and connection.

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (Santa Fe) (2017)

 

A live performance, a chapter in Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience. Interviews with Santa Fe locals about the diverted and hotly contested Santa Fe River. A performance with pinion logs, tablecloths, oranges, “Masculine” wallpaper, charcoal, and water from two points along the river. Plus two volunteer fishes. Audio description by Adam Harvey. Technical support by Alberto Romero. Thanks to the Santa Fe Art Institute.  Photos by Jane Phillips.

 

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (New York 2) (2017)

A video chapter of the Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience  project, to be embedded in an interactive sketch. Updates as available. Thanks to The Wassaic Project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flicker Fusion Threshold (2016)

What is the rhythm of seeing breathing?

In order for humans to perceive singular images or bursts of light as continuous, it’s generally thought they should flicker at a rate of 50–90 Hz. Critical flicker fusion rate.[1]

Early films determined that motion appeared continuous at rates of 16 frames per second, to push beyond the distraction of the shutter of a camera. Modern frame rates for digital media are set at 24-60 frames per second. But flicker rates and frame rates are not the same—humans can detect motion at much lower frame rates, and potentially detect flickers and interruptions at rates of 500 Hz.[2]

A lot depends on the intensity of a light or image, and there has been some debate as to exactly how the eye and brain combine moments of stillness into action.

The average resting adult human breathes 12-20 times per minute. Respiratory rate. [3]

In a hospital, nurses may calculate a patient’s breathing rate while measuring their pulse, not alerting the patient to the fact that their breaths are being observed: such awareness could alter the rhythm of their breathing.[4]

The observation of breath is central to many meditation practices. Practitioners of Anapanasanti, a method within Vipassana Meditation, will spend hour-long sessions focused soley on the sensation of their breathing, working to allow other feelings and thoughts to pass. Some studies have suggested that long-term meditation increases the number of gamma neural oscillations in practitioners.[5]

These oscillations are patterns of synchronized communication between neurons in the brain. Gamma waves are detectable in extracellular electric fields between 30–90-Hz. Gamma oscillations are thought to transiently link distributed cell assemblies that are processing related information, a function that is probably important for network processes such as perception, attentional selection and memory.” Oscillations.[6]

One study has found that our neural oscillations determine our ability to perceive flashes of light.[7]

What passes in the flicker of a light?

A performance of breath with an EEG headset, and flickering images of animals and Trump supporters breathing. Performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as part of MCA Live: aper_ture: admitting the light. Thanks to Ann Meisinger. Photos by Ji Yang. Thanks to Marissa Lee Benedict, Liz Ensz and Lindsey French for an intense few years of personal and artistic growth.


[1] Davis, J. et al, “Humans Perceive flicker artifacts at 500 Hz,” Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 7861 (2015)

[2] Davis, J. et al, “Humans Perceive flicker artifacts at 500 Hz,” Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 7861 (2015)

[3] The Cleveland Clinic, http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/hic_Vital_Signs, accessed July 31st, 2016

[4] Mooney, Gail P. “Respiratory assessment,” Nursing times, August 13th, 2007, http://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/respiratory/respiratory-assessment/200191.fullarticle, accessed July 31st, 2016

[5] Lutz, A. et al, “Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude

gamma synchrony during mental practice,” PNAS _ November 16, 2004 _ vol. 101 _ no. 46 _ 16373

[6] Colgin, LL. Et al, “Frequency of gamma oscillations routes flow of information in the hippocampus.” 2009 Nov 19;462(7271):353-7.

[7] Busch et. Al, “The Phase of Ongoing EEG Oscillations predicts Visual Perception,” The Journal of Neuroscience, June 17, 2009 • 29(24):7869 –7876

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (Installation One) (2016)

As part of the Studios Midwest Residency in Galesburg, Illinois, I created Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (Installation One) at Knox College’s Gallery The Box. 

The piece featured documentation from SOP/NOR (Nebraska) on display in digital frames, as well as quotes from interviews for the piece in picture frames. The ashes of the broken/reassembled table from (Nebraska) were present, in a spilled jar, and the hardware from that table was used to secure the various cables in the installation. Various other props and artifacts from the (Nebraska) performance were also included.

The Box shares its space with  Johnson Wallcovering Company, which features a “Masculine Wallpaper” section. Among the log cabin and sailboat patterns was a “Pine Trail” Wallpaper of no particular visual stereotype or gendered connotation. I include this wallpaper in the installation as a way of questioning the gender assignment of this particular depiction of nature.

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience is an exploration of observation as a tool for recovery from imbalance and trauma in human and non-human processes. I interview people with personal and professional experience with processes of recovery, then draw upon those interviews to create performance scores, videos and installations.

 

 

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (Compilation: Words and Fields) (2016)

Presented at RIXC Open Fields Conference in Riga, Latvia, 2016.

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (New York) (2016)

Part of Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (sop-nor.tumblr.com/). Created at Residency 108.

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (Nebraska) (2016)

Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience is an exploration of observation as a tool for recovery from imbalance and trauma in human and non-human processes. In (Nebraska), I interview a naturalist, a political scientist, a physical trainer, a representative of the Nebraska Humane Society, a woodworker, a Hospital Chaplin, and a number of individuals and artists who are in recovery from physical or emotional trauma. The interviews create a performance score for a live performance and video, compelling a number of interactions with everyday objects, and a specially designed table by Jason Friedes. Photos by Colin Conces/Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Discourse: Projector: Plant: Filter (2015)

20151114_MoeBeitiks_JeremySublewski_017A live performance: an attempt to facilitate a conversation between a plant, projector, microphone and laptop through acts of respiration. Performed at the 2015 Performance Philosophy and Earth Matters on Stage Conferences, as well as Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery. Photos by Jeremy Sublewski.

20151114_MoeBeitiks_JeremySublewski_020

Tracks and Trails (2015)

Tracks and Trails 2015

Based on my previous work of the same name, Tracks and Trails (2015) examined the meaning and implications of travel and transportation from the lens of a specific site. I again worked with a multimedia bullhorn, this one playing clips from interviews with East Haddam residents about their relationships with trails, their favorite plants, their local routes, their relationship to the site, and other subjects. A performance directed to plants for human audience passers-by. The performance was park of the I-Park Environmental Art Biennale — an installation with landscape flags remained up before and after the performance.

 

Wave Management (2015)

I interviewed Steve Littler, Operations Manager at Biosphere 2, about the function and maintenance of the Ocean Ecosystem’s Wave Machine, and made this video. You can hear the Wave Machine screaming in the background. Thanks to Benedict and French.

Discourse: Climate: Facts: Values (2015)

I spoke with people about the weather. It’s a lot more complicated now, and with different meaning, than it used to be.

Discourse: Climate: Facts: Values from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

MacDowellWordMark

Observations on Final States in Interactions (2015)

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 3.19.17 PMI interviewed four experimental physicists from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory about their daily interactions with neutrinos, their own experiences of role and identity, and their perceptions of me as a person. The result is four different video installation “systems,” based on those interviews, the detectors, and the four possible identities of neutrinos. Grounding the work is a conversation with David Galin, an author and researcher of the concept of ‘self.’ Within “Observations of Final States in Interactions,” I explore parallels between neutrinos and human concepts of self, the performance of science and scientific research, and what it means for us all to be mutually entangled.

Neutrinos are one of most ubiquitous subatomic particles. Beaming through the empty space in atoms, they are very difficult to detect, defined primarily by the particle they happen to bump into. There are three, possible four, types of neutrinos: Muon, Electron, Tau, and the elusive Sterile, or non-interacting, neutrino.

At Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, there are four large detectors built to examine neutrino oscillations and interactions: MINOS, MINERvA, NOvA, and MicroBooNE. Each detector looks at different aspects of neutrino interactions and identities: at the heart of the research lie some of the bigger questions for the universe. Why it is made up of matter, for instance.  “Observations of Final States in Interactions” is exactly what its title suggests: a series of observations, a drawing of parallels between methods of inquiry, a look at systems of knowing and understanding. It seeks not to answer the profoundly large questions, but only to point out commonalities. Big thanks to Ross Stanton Jordan for curation, as well as Kate Zeller and Georgia Schwender for facilitation.

Detector Systems from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

Detector Systems (MINOS: Muon, MINERvA: (Tau), NOvA: Electron ) (2015) Video (8:30 mins), projectors, computer speakers, lamps, painted desks, chalk. Featuring interviews with Fermilab Physicists Bill Lee, Mateus Carneiro da silva, Sam Zeller, and Zarko Pavlovic.

MicroBooNE: (Sterile) System (2015): (Video 3:11 mins). Featuring footage of Fermilab Physicist Sam Zeller, and an interview with David Galin, author of “Self, Person and I” in Buddhism and Science: Breaking New Ground.

Dry Erase System (2015): adjacent to MicroBooNE, re-imaginings of Sam-Zellers drawings, infusing descriptions of neutrino research with concepts of “self,” quotes from Galin, Fermi Physicist Bill Lee, Karen Barad.

Chalkboard System (2015): Chalkboard drawings and calculations used in neutrino research. Materials: paint, chalk.

Intra-active Hitmap (2014): Paper, 37” tall, 13.3’ long. Large-scale reimagining of an actual neutrino interaction hitmap from Fermilab. A reflection on the work of the artist and the physicists and the resulting “tracks” of that work.

PRESS:

“It doesn’t take long for visitors to also feel like they are part of the exhibit: neutrinos constantly oscillating and changing.”– Downtown Auroran

“It is easy to become overwhelmed by the layers of Beitiks’ work. However, if approached with the understanding of one or two clear elements, the depth of the exhibit surfaces. Each aspect feeds into the next and the details become clear in how they interact with one another. A significant aspect in this exhibit is the way in which interaction unfolds. It reflects both her process of exploring neutrinos, the physicists who interact with them, and Beitiks’ own interactions with the physicists in their work environment. Through the audio clips and the multiple ways in which the clips stem into other ideas (that then interact with each other) she is exploring the process of how art and science can work together and separately.” — Jorie Senese, Water Street Studios Blog

MicroBooNE System from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

GM Canola Trial Run (2014)

While I was in Western Australia in the summer (winter) of 2014, the verdict for a prominent case was announced. An organic farmer’s canola crop had been contaminated by his neighbor’s genetically modified canola. He sued this neighbor, and the court came down against him. I interviewed a canola farmer who was growing conventional and genetically modified canola side by side, and a farmer who is decidedly against genetic modification. An exploration of communication and relationships in the context of environmental management. No GM canola pollen or seed was intentionally spread in the making of this film: I run through non-GM fields. Thanks to Perdita Phillips.

((Pollen))

((Pollen)) is a project that began in response to the InConversation exhibition that was shown at Spectrum project space, Western Australia October 9 to 24 2014. A diverse group of makers and thinkers have been investigating pollen — in particular how pollen can be interpreted in different ways in different disciplines and by utilising different perspectives.

The aim of the InConversation exhibition overall was to bring together teams of three or more collaborators. Collaborators had to be from a different discipline or profession, in an attempt to work through the difficulties of transdisciplinarity.

The ((Pollen)) project began with a mail art exchange. So far the project has generated letters (c.f. “love letters” to nonhuman worlds) and other material exchanges, as well as a short video/performance about Canola in Western Australia. Most of what we created as part of the collaboration couldn’t be included in the InConversation exhibition and plans are underway to bring the works together as a whole in 2015.

The ((Pollen)) project ‘body’ consists of

Perdita Phillips contemporary artist

Astrida Neimanis writer/cultural theorist

Meghan Moe Beitiks performance artist

J. Scott MacIvor urban ecologist

Catherine Higham artist and farmer

Anna Bowen poet and writer

Melissa Charenko history of science scholar

Leonie Dunlop placename researcher and poet

Why Pollen?

Pollen has been used extensively in palaeoclimate research. Under the microscope pollen particles are beautiful, but for many people spring is a time of great discomfort. At the same time the antihistamines used to treat hayfever are a significant element of pharmaceutical pollution of waterways. As pollen desiccates it folds inwards in spectacular ways (this allows the pollen to last longer and travel further) and this process is reversed once it is rehydrated. Combining our interests in nonhuman worlds we aim to create a meta-work about pollen.

Exhibition
((pollen)) collaborative diagram
Catalogue response by ((pollen)) team

Via Perdita Phillips

A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.5 (2014)

ILab vn Version 5 of the Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness, I built a gassing station for a uranium-reducing bacteria in the SymbioticA laboratory at the University of Western Australia, and crafted a performance for it using documentation of– and soil from– a Montebello Islands nuclear test site. I interviewed scientists from LaTrobe University working with the bacteria and asked them to re-perform moments from a movie referencing cold fusion. Within the scope of the work, I seek to draw connections between history, site, emotion, popular culture, and scientific research.

lab vv

Act of Research: Lucie and Liz from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

UPDATE: one of the test tubes gassed during this performance, containing soil from Montebello Islands, has led to the study of a new bacteria at LaTrobe University. The new strain will be called “LuMoe,” for Lucie Semenec and Moe Beitiks. Research on this bacteria will likely lead to “Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.6.”

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Embracing the Void (2014)

small embracingI hug the void within Double Negative (Michael Heizer 1969-70). Photo by Lindsey French.

Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.4 (2014)

LFAF WorkshopI conducted a workshop version of Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness, culminating in a live performance, with the parishioners and community of the All Saints Episcopalian Church in Saugatuck, Michigan. The workshop was two weeks, and explored the grounds of the church retreat house as a site for Apologies and Forgiveness. Marissa Lee Benedict, Dulcee Bohem and Sarah Knutdson were also kind enough to come out and engage in discussion salons of their work as pertains to the environment.

Here’s a radio interview I gave with Father Cory Stoppel on Holland, Michigan’s “Talk of the Town” about the process.

Thanks to Cheryl, Kathy, Rocky, Persis and Caitlin. Video footage by Lucia Earle.

A Lab For Apologies and Forgiveness v. 4: All Saints’ Episcopal Church from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

Trailer: (2013)

I asked staff and fellows at Ox-Bow during the summer of 2013 to describe to me their favorite scenes in movies. Then I used those descriptions to prompt performances with the landscape, and spliced those moments into their own trailer. The expanded short film has been in exhibition at Womanmade Gallery in Chicago.

Trailer: in process from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

oxbow logo

Frozen In>Tensities (2013)

frozenintesnitiesclass

Frozen In>Tensities was a workshop with performance artists Vladkta Horvat, Joseph Ravens, and Kira O’Reilly, an exploration of performance methodologies. The participants in the workshop creates pieces in response to site, props and the Performance Department archives. The resultingexhibition at the Sullivan Galleries displayed artifacts and documentation of our work. Our public performances were programmed as part of the In>Time Performance Festival. 

Tracks and Trails (2013)

TracksnTrails

I created a piece called “Tracks & Trails” for the Out of Site Festival in Chicago. It’s a public address to volunteer/weed plants, interwoven with historic speeches and the ambient sounds of the overhead train. I used photographs from the Chicago History Museum and descriptions of Illinois weeds as performance prompts. Final performance was October 4th, 2013, 5-7pm, under the Damen Blue Line “L” tracks. 

Trans-Plantable Living Room (2013)

This September I was  in the UK working on The Trans-Plantable Living Room with Tanja Beer, Rosie Leach, Lisa Woynarski and Bronwyn Preece.

Rosie interviewed gardeners in Cardiff, Tanja designed a grown living space, and Lisa, Bronwyn and I developed a performance in response to both. It premiered in Cardiff at the World Stage Design Conference followed by an adaptation at the Central School for Speech and Drama’s Collisions Conference. We explored what it means to garden in a global and local sense.

The project evolved over a series of months, with Bronwyn, Lisa and I first creating a video in response to Rosie’s interviews. The gardeners interviewed were deeply involved in the build and implementation of the piece in Cardiff.

UPDATE: This work was featured in an exhibition on UK Design for Performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum, with a lens on the work of Tanja Beer. Lisa Woynarski and Bronwyn Preece have also written about the work for Contemporary Theatre Review.

trans-planted tea sets from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.

image credits: Gisela Beer, Nigel Pugh

 

Needle (2013)

needle screenshotI was lucky enough to have been approached by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh to act in her short film Needle. The film maps a moment in time with a girl whose family is going through a divorce. The simple act of piercing her ears takes on greater meaning. I play the mother. The film recently won the Cannes Film Festival Cinefoundation Prize, the highest award for a student filmmaker, and has screened in many other film festivals.

Moe Beitiks makes the mother quite human even if she is all germophobia and egotism”– Jay’s Movie Blog

Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.3 (2013)

 

Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness v.3 from Meghan Moe Beitiks on Vimeo.


“A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness” is an ongoing work in which I perform within a multimedia workspace, creating dialogues between uranium-reducing bacteria, accidents within the Manhattan Project, public apologies, the idea of safe distance, the words of a microbiologist, materials and cultural memes in an attempt to create a trans-human act.

In version 3, collaborator Sarah Knudtson and I ask members of an audience to stand in space according to a diagram of a Manhattan Project nuclear accident. While a clip depicting the accident from the film “Fat Man and Little Boy” plays, these participants are thrown spinach-seed infused seed bombs while Knudtson tapes out blast patterns on the floor. As Knudston sketches images pulled from Manhattan-Project research, I unpack site-specific ideas of safe distance, remediation and recovery. The audience is asked to read along with an interview of a scientist researching uranium-reducing bacteria and to breathe along to a clip of John Cusack. The performance is a half-hour long non-linear journey through the modern meanings of nuclear toxicity, error, our expanded implication and potential collective recovery.