The Collective
// Our Mission and Methods
 

About The Bears

Charged with the task of spiritually preparing the human race for the coming of the singularity, The Night Bears masquerade as a New York City based media and performance collective. The group investigates narrow sense-apertures to locate the spaces where the divide between biology and technology will eventually dissolve. The Bears tell stories with subtle light in darkness, small indications of depth in flatness, tiny sounds in silence, near-stillness in stillness. They tell timeless tales of sex and death, human-machine collaboration and conflict, and universal journeys of self-discovery and transcendence. The group’s founding members — John J.A. Jannone, Daniel Munkus, and Sophia Remolde — forge their work from the interplay of their seemingly polar and contradictory, and often extreme, physical and philosophical practices. They knit their work from Butoh, Suzuki, Zen Buddhism, martial arts, and contact improvisation; and weave in shiny threads of media, robotics, coding, music, and puppetry.

About the Coming Singularity

We work in the context of the coming Singularity. We belong to the last human generations that will live out the majority of their lives as fully biological beings. When computer intelligence overtakes human intelligence (as early as 2030 according to some scientists), the rate at which the total body of human knowledge multiplies will become literally unimaginable. The entire corpus of human thought might double in depth and complexity in moments, and then double again, and again. Within our lifetimes, our biological selves will be scanned into the machine and second, immortal phases of our lives will begin. We will live in total and inseparable collaboration with technology.

In our current pre-Singularity world, we see biology and technology, and therefore nature and technology, as distinct. This current relationship with technology-as-other is something to be cherished; and it is about to be lost. We experience mysterious feelings when interacting with technology: The pleasure of light playing on skin, the warmth of sound washing over us, the shudder and tightness in the chest we experience when communing with the machine. Technology is still a new lover – we are entranced by the mystery and otherness of it. All too soon we will be one with the machine. This is why we must collaborate with technology now, in our mutual naïveté: We touch it and it does not feel us; yet we can imagine that it feels us, and we are moved. Soon, what we touch, and the feeling we have of touching it, will also be it and us; the sense that technology is “other” will be the maya of the new age.


The Artists
// Sophie + Dan + John
 
John J.A. Jannone studies cooperation, coordination, and collaboration with a particular interest in collective art-making and live performance. He is an Associate Professor at Brooklyn College, and designed and directs the College’s M.F.A. program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA). He teaches courses in music composition, collaboration, computer programming, performance, multi-camera television production, and television aesthetics. He is an avid musician, martial artist, and athlete, and has recently taken an interest in contact improvisation. He is the recipient of numerous grants, including National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation and CreativeIT grants. John’s Website. Photo: Christiane Bourget.
Daniel Munkus is a musician and interdisciplinary artist. He splits his time between songwriting and recording, composing electronic music, and working with various collaborative ensembles. Skills acquired during his years spent investigating Wing-Chun, Tai-Chi, Zen meditation, and the visual arts at UC Berkeley are frequently used in his ongoing collaborations. His own songwriting collaborative ensemble Old Robes is releasing a new album late August 2012, and can be found here: http://oldRobes.bandCamp.com/. Examples of his sound design are currently being used in improvisational workshops and experimental theater productions, and can be found here: http://danielmunkus.bandcamp.com/. Photo: Paulo Rojas.
Sophia Remolde is a multimedia creator and performer in theatre, film, dance, puppetry, and robotics. She is trained in Suzuki, Viewpoints, and Butoh, and works as an actor, puppeteer, and fight choreographer. She is Associate Director of Puppet Junction Productions, founder of art-science collective Hybrid Kaleidoscope, is member of the performance duo Darth&Lobster, and collaborates with Silent Infinite (a photography, video, and animation collective), The South Wing (an Suzuki-based experimental theater company), and SEE (the SITI Company’s Extended Ensemble). She is collaborating with PhD students in the field of robotics and computer vision at City College, CUNY on a large-scale dance work for humans and quadrotor flying robots. Sophie’s Website. Photo: Silent Infinite.

Current Work
// Fiddle Faddle
 

Rolnick, Pollick, and The Night Bears

We hope you may attend our first concert appearance in New York City this Fall, with spectacular violinist Karen Bentley Pollick and composer and laptop virtuoso Neil Rolnick. October 5, 3pm at Spectrum, 121 Ludlow St, 2nd floor, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The Facebook page is here. The picture above is from the new video version of Neil Rolnick's violin and computer piece, Fiddle Faddle, which will receive its premiere. Early in 2014 we envisioned adding a video to his dynamic fiddle piece for violin and electronics. The video is made entirely by tracing the movements of the violin bow wrapped in EL wire. The original footage was recorded at the historic Lithuanian Radio & TV Studio in Vilnius in June. Post-production was done by John J.A. Jannone and The Night Bears in Osaka and Brooklyn – a truly transnational project. The program will also include the world premiere of Human Rights Suite for solo violin by Swedish composer Ole Saxe, Cluck Old Hen Variations by Californian David Jaffe with premiere of a new video by Fred Kolouch, and To The Skies by Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas with video by Evaldas Arlauskas. Neil will be playing O Brother!, a new laptop solo piece, and WakeUp, his signature mash-up of a couple of Everly Brothers classics from the 1950s. Please join us at Spectrum on October 5 for some new sounds and sights!

Night Bears Back to BK!

Come see The Night Bears any and every Wednesday night at Dassara Ramen! Even though these little bears have been spread out across the world, with Sophia Remolde in Tokyo, John J A Jannone in Osaka, and Daniel Munkus holding down the fort in Brooklyn, we have been together in spirit and image Wednesdays on Dassara's innovative, interactive, and ingenious video environment designed by the fabulous Ralph Jacobus of RAMENWERK. We will continue to exhibit our video art at Dassara as we all crawl back to home base. If you can't make it out to Brooklyn, here is a video we created about our videos at Dassara. (How very meta of us.) Incredible music by EMILY DANGER. Yowza.

また、日本人のファンのため: (笑)

どうもありがとうございます!

Performance in Greece

After 10 days of project development in the beautiful hills of Greece as part of the Koumaria residency, The Night Bears presented their latest work-in-progress, Clytemnestra 3.0, on the stage of the spectacular Onassis Cultural Center in Athens. In Clytemnestra 3.0, a sketch towards a full-length theater work, the Bears explore the reworking of ancient texts in modern multicultural contexts; performing a Bearish Korean/Japanese/Filipino/Singularitarian reworking of Charles Mee's reworking of an ancient Greek text, in modern Greece. Improvising intimately with their technologies, they relish the nostalgia for stereotypes of ancient cultures East and West, the ever-increasing nostalgia for the recent past, and the dawn of a pathological nostalgia for the present that heralds the coming of the Technological Singularity. Sophia Remolde performs the text, drawing upon techniques derived from intensive Suzuki and Butoh practices. Her physical motion is tracked by a Kinect, and her hands become Theremin tuned in a distinctive Greek scale. The pitches and intensity of the sounds derived from her gestures also drive the laser projections that illuminate her body. Daniel Munkus conducts the ISE ensemble and provides a soundscape created from recordings taken in the Greek countryside, modern Greek factories preparing products for export, and modern Greek pronunciations of the Greek names used in the ancient text. John Jannone performs the lighting with hand-held lasers, LEDs, and electroluminescent wire, and is responsible for the code that links the Kinect, sound synthesis, and lasers. Medea Electronique's ISE Ensemble performs with the trio, building a rich underscore of drones punctuated by bursts of noise colliding with the text.

Previous Work
// Performance + Development
 

Rolnick, Pollick, and The Night Bears

We hope you may attend our first concert appearance in New York City this Fall, with spectacular violinist Karen Bentley Pollick and composer and laptop virtuoso Neil Rolnick. October 5, 3pm at Spectrum, 121 Ludlow St, 2nd floor, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The Facebook page is here. The picture above is from the new video version of Neil Rolnick's violin and computer piece, Fiddle Faddle, which will receive its premiere. Early in 2014 we envisioned adding a video to his dynamic fiddle piece for violin and electronics. The video is made entirely by tracing the movements of the violin bow wrapped in EL wire. The original footage was recorded at the historic Lithuanian Radio & TV Studio in Vilnius in June. Post-production was done by John J.A. Jannone and The Night Bears in Osaka and Brooklyn – a truly transnational project. The program will also include the world premiere of Human Rights Suite for solo violin by Swedish composer Ole Saxe, Cluck Old Hen Variations by Californian David Jaffe with premiere of a new video by Fred Kolouch, and To The Skies by Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas with video by Evaldas Arlauskas. Neil will be playing O Brother!, a new laptop solo piece, and WakeUp, his signature mash-up of a couple of Everly Brothers classics from the 1950s. Please join us at Spectrum on October 5 for some new sounds and sights!

Night Bears Back to BK!

Come see The Night Bears any and every Wednesday night at Dassara Ramen! Even though these little bears have been spread out across the world, with Sophia Remolde in Tokyo, John J A Jannone in Osaka, and Daniel Munkus holding down the fort in Brooklyn, we have been together in spirit and image Wednesdays on Dassara's innovative, interactive, and ingenious video environment designed by the fabulous Ralph Jacobus of RAMENWERK. We will continue to exhibit our video art at Dassara as we all crawl back to home base. If you can't make it out to Brooklyn, here is a video we created about our videos at Dassara. (How very meta of us.) Incredible music by EMILY DANGER. Yowza.

また、日本人のファンのため: (笑)

どうもありがとうございます!

Performance in Greece

After 10 days of project development in the beautiful hills of Greece as part of the Koumaria residency, The Night Bears presented their latest work-in-progress, Clytemnestra 3.0, on the stage of the spectacular Onassis Cultural Center in Athens. In Clytemnestra 3.0, a sketch towards a full-length theater work, the Bears explore the reworking of ancient texts in modern multicultural contexts; performing a Bearish Korean/Japanese/Filipino/Singularitarian reworking of Charles Mee's reworking of an ancient Greek text, in modern Greece. Improvising intimately with their technologies, they relish the nostalgia for stereotypes of ancient cultures East and West, the ever-increasing nostalgia for the recent past, and the dawn of a pathological nostalgia for the present that heralds the coming of the Technological Singularity. Sophia Remolde performs the text, drawing upon techniques derived from intensive Suzuki and Butoh practices. Her physical motion is tracked by a Kinect, and her hands become Theremin tuned in a distinctive Greek scale. The pitches and intensity of the sounds derived from her gestures also drive the laser projections that illuminate her body. Daniel Munkus conducts the ISE ensemble and provides a soundscape created from recordings taken in the Greek countryside, modern Greek factories preparing products for export, and modern Greek pronunciations of the Greek names used in the ancient text. John Jannone performs the lighting with hand-held lasers, LEDs, and electroluminescent wire, and is responsible for the code that links the Kinect, sound synthesis, and lasers. Medea Electronique's ISE Ensemble performs with the trio, building a rich underscore of drones punctuated by bursts of noise colliding with the text.

Blog
// bearBlog.