Saturday March 12, 8pm
Avalanche: Carlos Casas, Phill Niblock and Robert Poss
Live video and sound performance
curated by Paolo Mele


Still from “Avalanche” (Carlos Casas, 2009-present) – image courtesy of the artist

Microscope is very pleased to present a video screening and live sound performance of the ongoing project Avalanche by filmmaker Carlos Casas with composers/musicians Phill Niblock and Robert Poss.

The work centers around Casas’ nearly decade long filmic exploration of Hichigh, one of the world’s most densely populated villages located in one of the most unexplored regions of the planet, Tajikstan in the Pamir mountain range. Phill Niblock’s 2007 drone composi­tion “Stosspeng” was the sonic starting point for Avalanche and accompanied the filmmaker on his first filming trip to Hichigh.

Avalanche is an audiovisual meditation about a village and its traditions on its journey to oblivion. Avalanche is also about the archaic, the enduring spiritual relation between landscape and man, and the overlaying of traditions and rituals within the periphery of our modern world.” – CC

The work will presented this time in two parts. The first will consist of a live video mix by Casas of his film Avalanche with reappropriated field recordings and a live performance by guitarist Robert Poss. Poss’ performance will transition into the second part:  Niblock’s live manipulation of “Stosspeng”, composed of recorded samples of electric guitars and basses performed by Poss and Susan Stenger.

$8 general admission
$6 students with ID


Part 1
Carlos Casas live mix + Robert Poss guitar improvisation
approx. 35 minutes

Part 2
Phill Niblock diffusion of “Stosspeng” with live performance by Robert Poss
approx. 60 minutes


Still from “Avalanche” (Carlos Casas, 2009-present) – image courtesy of the artist

Carlos Casas is a Spanish director and filmmaker. His work is a crossover between the documentary movie, cinema and visual and sound arts. His latest three movies has been awarded at prestigious international festivals, such as Torino, Madrid, Buenos Aires and Mexico City. His videos have been presented in several group shows. After his experience at Fabrica, in 2011 he started a movie trilogy dedicated to the most extreme conditions on the planet, with a special focus on Patagonia, Aral Sea and Siberia. Currently, Casas has been working on a documentary movie about an elephant cemetery, which is located in Sri Lanka.

Phill Niblock is an intermedia artist using music, film, photography, video and computers. He makes thick, loud drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres which generate many other tones in the performance space. Simultaneously, he presents films or videos which look at the movement of people working, slides, or computer driven black and white abstract images floating through time. He was born in Indiana in 1933. Since the mid-60′s he has been making music and intermedia performances which have been shown at numerous venues around the world. Since 1985, he has been the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York where he has been an artist/member since 1968. He is the producer of Music and Intermedia presentations at EI since 1973 (about 1000 performances) and the curator of EI’s XI Records label. Niblock has no formal musical training. His minimalistic drone approach to composition and music was inspired by the musical and artistic activities of New York in the 1960s, from the art of Mark Rothko, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Robert Morris to the music of John Cage and Morton Feldman’s Durations pieces. Over the years he has thus worked with a large number of the most diverse players including: Susan Stenger, Robert Poss, Jim O’Rourke, Ulrich Krieger, Seth Josel, Tom Buckner, and many others. He is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage award. His music is available on the XI, Moikai, Mode Records, and Touch labels. A double-DVD of films and music, lasting nearly four hours, is available on the Extreme label.

Robert Poss has performed and recorded with Rhys Chatham, Nicolas Collins, Ben Neill, Phill Niblock, Susan Stenger, and Bruce Gilbert. In 1986, he formed the wall-of-guitars group “Band Of Susans”, which Rolling Stone Magazine described as “adamantly arty, brainy, visceral and bracing.” BOS released two EPs and five full-length CDs (all produced by Poss) before disbanding in 1995. In 2002 Poss released two companion solo CDs, “Distortion Is Truth” and “Crossing Casco Ba”y, on Trace Elements Records. Since his 2002 releases, Poss has worked with Susan Stenger on a 96-day musical installation for the Musée d’art Contemporain in Lyon, France, performed at the premiere of composer Phill Niblock’s piece “Stosspeng” in Krems, Austria, and contributed music to an Albert Maysles/Kristen Nutile documentary “Sally Gross: The Pleasure Of Stillness.” In March 2012 Poss performed music by John Cage, Yoshi Wada and Phill Niblock along with Stenger at the AV Festival in Newcastle, UK. Reviewing his 2010 solo release “Settings: Music For Dance, Film, Fashion and Industry”, The Wire wrote that Poss’ “abiding love for electric guitar is no casual dalliance or detached Platonic infatuation; it’s an erotic commitment, an obsessive plunge into the instrument’s metallic churn and enveloping drone.”

Paolo Mele (1981), PhD in Communication & New Technologies at IULM University in Milan with a project research on “Arts and New Media”. He is the founder and director of Ramdom, an art organization based in the heel of Italy. Mele has organized 3 editions of “Default”, an international masterclass on “Arts, cities and regeneration”, and has recently launched the site-specific project “Investigation on the extreme land”. He has collaborated with several international organizations such as the New Art Exchange (Nottingham, UK), Fondazione Veronesi (Italy), Fondazione Chivasso (Italy), World Bank (Washington, USA), among others. Mele was Visiting Researcher at the New School for Public Engagement in New York City from November 2013 to October 2015. From 2008 to 2012 he worked for the “Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and Mediterranean” (Bjcem) as Project manager.

With the underwriting support of the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation.

Microscope Gallery Events Series 2016 is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). 


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