Tag Archives: owen osborn

Critter & Guitari on F.A.T. Gold Public Access at Eyebeam

Critter and Guitari at Eyebeam with Bennett Williamson

Chris Kucinski, Bennett Williamson, and Owen Osborn at Eyebeam.

As part of Eyebeam’s current exhibition, F.A.T. Gold: Five Years of Free Art & Technology curated by Lindsay Howard and on view through April 20th, Critter & Guitari was asked to host a jam session for Public Access organized by Bennett Williamson.

In true Critter & Guitari fashion, Chris Kucinski and Owen Osborn invited their friends Devin Flynn, Ross Goldstein, Raphael Griswold, and even me to collaborate and make some new sounds. (Bennett would have also jammed with us like he did at the Experimental Television Center, but he had to operate the AV equipment.) The hour-long jam incorporated the sounds of the Pocket Piano family (including the first prototype), the Kaleidoloop family, and the Bolsa Bass along with a variety of analog instruments.

Click here to see the full live-streamed video of the jam.

All in all, the jam showed the collaborative and fun nature of the instruments and the cooperative generation in which they were created.

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Physical vs. Analog: The Experimental Television Center

Experimental Television CenterAlthough I had heard about the Experimental Television Center for a couple years and seen some of the work that was created there, I really had no idea what it was, and so when I got the invitation to spend a couple days there, I jumped at the chance to see what it was really all about.

The Experimental Television Center (ETC) was founded in 1971 with the intention of supporting the creation of work using new electronic media technologies and providing space and time to artists for personal, self-directed creative investigations. Chris Kucinski (my brother) and Owen Osborn of Critter and Guitari had been in residence at ETC three times when they found out that it was closing. When given one last chance to use the tools and freedom to create, they decided to invite some close friends to share the experience with. Those friends included George Langford and Tom van Buskirk of the band Javelin, Bennett Williamson aka Bennett 4 Senate, and Owen’s brother, Ali Osborn.

ETC Entrance

Ali Osborn and the unassuming entrance to the Experimental Television Center

To my surprise, the Experimental Television Center was not a modern building in the forest of upstate New York – no, it was located in a brick building above an antique store downtown in the village of Owego, NY. It was also just one big room overlooking the Susquehanna River that happened to have image processing equipment. The equipment is a “hybrid tool set, permitting the artist to create interactive relationships between older historically important analog instruments and new digital technologies.” Chris and Owen additionally supplied a color video camera, a projector, and instruments including drums, guitars, Pocket Pianos, and Kaleidoloops.

It didn’t take long for the other guys to get settled in, setting up their drum machines, synthesizers, electronic kazoo, and Xaphoon. Bennett also brought a Title Maker and an old school drawing pad that he hooked up to the video equipment. With all the pieces in place, everyone was psyched to create.

Chris Kucinski on the image processing machines

Chris Kucinski on the image processing machines

The guys started making music and twiddling around the video equipment. There was no right or wrong way, there was no “stop” or “hold on” – it all just happened organically and without any rules. What happened happened and it was all recorded. For most of my stay there, I oversaw the visual aspect of the performance (as the self-appointed “creative director”), making sure that we were capturing optimal visuals and a sharp aesthetic however strange the outcome.

George Langford on the Pocket Piano

Geoge Langford on the Pocket Piano

Having no prior video training, the most important thing I learned is that there is a difference from “physical” vs. analog. What they had at the Experimental Television Center was a physical machine made of hundreds of patches that you physically had to plug and unplug. The equipment was created and maintained by an engineer who lives in Owego, so recreating the equipment would be possible, but very difficult to do.

My directorial debut

I designed and directed this set with Owen and Chris

All in all, my stay at the Experimental Television Center was filled with endless sonic and visual possibilities created by very intelligent and talented people.

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My week with Dearraindrop

In October 2010, my friends Joe Grillo, Laura Grant, and Owen Osborn of the artist collective Dearraindrop along with Pop Art legend, Kenny Scharf had a show at The Hole Gallery in New York City. The Hole is a new gallery in Soho run by Kathy Grayson and Meghan Coleman – gallerinas extraordinaire, who previously worked with Jeffrey Deitch at Deitch Projects – and wanted to fill the “hole” in the downtown art scene in NYC.

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the week at The Hole as they got ready for the show aptly titled, Hot Glue Hullabaloo (for the amount of hot glue used to create Cosmic Cavern by Kenny Scharf and the “junk sculptures” by Joe Grillo).

Here is my week in photos:

Joe Grillo Painting

My week starts with Joe Grillo painting.

Laura Grant and Owen Osborn

Laura Grant and Owen Osborn get ready to install the trigger synthesizers with gourd speakers and the guitars.

Tea Party LL Cool J Contest Next Door

Tea Party LL Cool J Contest Next Door

Found this note from Owen in the morning: Went to Philadelphia. Back for lunch.

Synthesizers and Gourds

When Owen returned, we installed the synthesizers and gourds.

Guitars

Then we installed the guitars.

Placement

The next day, we put everything in place for the opening.

Kenny Scharf spray-painting

Kenny Scharf spray paints.

Laura Grant

Laura Grant wearing her own hand-made dress, standing in front of her painting.

Joe Grillo in Cosmic Cavern

Joe in the Cosmic Cavern.

Owen Osborn with Kaleidoloops

Owen toting around his Kaleidoloops.

Meghan Coleman and Kathy Grayson

The Hole Gallery owners, Meghan Coleman and Kathy Grayson.

Lady Miss Kier

Lady Miss Kier plays the guitar.

Scott Brewster

Hole gallerist, Scott Brewster, wearing a Dearraindrop hoodie.

Maria Kucinski, Joe Grillo, Laura Grant at Hot Glue Hullabaloo opening

All in all, I had an amazing time working with these talented artists on an awesome and fun show.

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