Bringing Home Berrie is our new virtual program series designed to provide you with some exciting conversations and performances featuring Ramapo College faculty, students, alumni, and guest artists. Watch here for additions to our schedule as we announce new videos on our YouTube Channel. For our unticketed events, we encourage you to think about a gift to the Contemporary Arts Fund or the COVID-19 Student Emergency fund at the Ramapo Foundation at www.ramapo.edu/give
Ramapo College Visual Arts Senior Thesis: Here Now
The visual art in the 2020 Senior Thesis exhibition is full of dread, prophesy, nostalgia, dystopia, and a few sprinkles of humor. The diverse group of young artists grew up with fear of school and church shootings, global climate catastrophe, and simmering racial unrest. Here Now is a testament to their determination to use art to better understand themselves and others.
This documentary by Joseph Perez provides a forum for some of the students to reflect on the impact the pandemic had on their experience of this penultimate course. Giselle Ruiz, Brandon Gerber, Tyler Manuele, Rachel Betts, Maria Gonzales, and the other students who appear in this entertaining film provide a glimpse at the creative process, candid statements about the sudden drastic changes in their lives, and an array of visual art showing the results of their art education at Ramapo College.
Fantini Futuro: a conversation with Ben Neill, composer/performer and Professor of Music Industry and Production at Ramapo College
In February 2020, Ben Neill gave his NJ-premiere of a new audio-visual performance, Fantini Futuro. Performed on his self-designed Mutantrumpet 4.0, an electro-acoustic instrument that also controls interactive video projections, Neill was joined by Ryland Angel, countertenor, and Gwendolyn Toth on Baroque keyboards.
Ben Neill is a composer, performer, producer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet and is widely recognized as a musical innovator through his recordings, performances, and installations. His music blends influences from electronic, jazz, and minimalist music, blurring the lines between DJ culture and acoustic instrument performance.
Neill has recorded 14 albums of his music on labels including Universal/Verve, Astralwerks, Thirsty Ear, and Six Degrees, as well as his own Blue Math label. Performances include BAM Next Wave Festival, Lincoln Center, Whitney Museum, Getty Museum, Cite de la Musique, Bing Concert Hall, Moogfest, Spoleto Festival, Umbria Jazz, Bang On A Can Festival, ICA London, Istanbul Jazz Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival. Neill has worked closely with many musical innovators including John Cage, La Monte Young, John Cale, Pauline Oliveros, Rhys Chatham, DJ Spooky, David Berhman, Mimi Goese, and Nicolas Collins. A long-time student and associate of La Monte Young, Neill leads performances of Young’s brass music with an international ensemble.
Neill began developing the mutantrumpet in the early 1980s, originally working with synthesizer inventor Robert Moog. In 1992 Neill made the mutantrumpet fully computer interactive at the STEIM studios in Amsterdam, and he has continued working with STEIM on new performance technologies since then.
“Ben Neill is using a schizophrenic trumpet to create art music for the people.” Wired Magazine
Now and Then: Composing for Strings at Ramapo and Beyond
Dr. Gilad Cohen engages Ramapo College of NJ alumni Brady Bock, Jenn O’Hagan and Daniel Heidt in a discussion about what they learned in his Musicianship III Composition course by revisiting their final projects as performed by the Aeolus and Aizuri quartets. Cohen then discusses what each of these distinct alumni have been doing since their graduation with an emphasis on how they applied what they learned and their current compositional work.
Aeolus quartet playing Brady Bock’s “A Ritual Under Moonlight,” 2017
Aeolus quartet playing Jenn O’Hagan’s “Sines,” 2017
Aizuri quartet playing Daniel Heidt’s “Solmization and Desecration,” 2018
2020 Animation Graduates Looking Forward
Professor Ann LePore checks in with recent Electronic Art & Animation graduates David Francis-Vaughan, Brandon Gerber and Joey Perez for a discussion on lessons they learned at Ramapo College and looking forward to what lies ahead for each of them.
Discussing the Impact of Creative Studies on Professional Careers
Professor Ann LePore checks in with Ramapo alumni Vanessa Nilsson, Rachael Viscusi and Jillian DiBlasio for a discussion on lessons they learned at Ramapo College from their coursework in animation and where this has taken them professionally.
Discussing the Impact of Creative Studies on Professional Careers
Professor Ann LePore checks in with Ramapo alumni Alec Barton, Brian Carter and Jake Stephens for a discussion on lessons they learned at Ramapo College from their coursework in animation and where this has taken them professionally.
In January of 1916, a young man, John Coldren, put an ad in the Pittsburgh Press seeking “Matrimony.” Within a few days, Coldren had received letters from Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, as far away as Wheeling, West Virginia. While he did not end up marrying any of these women, he kept the letters and carefully pasted sixty of them into a scrapbook, sometimes writing in his own script what had been written on the backs of the letters and postcards. The scrapbook was kept and, eventually, sold in an estate sale. In 2011, photographer and ephemera collector David Freund shared these letters with me.
Using multiple video projections, a layered soundscape, and live performers, the work immerses the spectators into the letters and their resonances, both historical and contemporary. These letters provide a window into the lives of these women, and this project aims to use the letters to explore the process of experiencing these letters and the lives of the women. A central element of the piece is a series of videos that track the journey from many of the addresses from which the letters originated more than a century ago to Coldren’s house. This is a concrete contemporary journey that suggests the journey of the letters, and what they represent: distance, duration, loneliness, yearning, hope, the attempt to cross from one place to another, to connect one body to another, one human to another.
Peter A. Campbell is a theater director, installation artist, writer, teacher, and scholar. Professional productions include Can’t Get There From Here, which was developed in residency at MASS MoCA, and medea & medea/for medea, iph.then, and Yellow Electras at the Incubator Arts Project in New York City. He has published essays and reviews in venues such as Theatre Topics, Modern Drama, Theatre History Studies, Contemporary Theatre Journal, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. He is currently working on a series of installations based on public documents such as the CIA Torture Report, Donald Trump’s interviews with the New York Times, and Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony about Facebook for the U.S. Congress. He received his MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism and PhD in Theatre from Columbia University, and is Dean of the School of Contemporary Arts and Associate Professor of Theater History and Criticism at Ramapo College.
Liz Magic Laser is a cutting-edge artist whose performances and video-based installation work has involved collaborations with political strategists, market researchers, journalists, actors, dancers, therapists, surgeons, and motorcycle gang members. Her most recent projects, In Real Life (commissioned by FACT, Liverpool, UK) and Handle / Poignée (commissioned by Centre Pompidou, Paris), explore the efficacy of new age techniques and psychological methods used in both corporate culture and political movements. These works examine the techno-utopian logic of the scientifically managed self and the sociality that hyper-productivity forges.
Laser earned a BA from Wesleyan University (2003) and an MFA from Columbia University (2008). Her work has been shown at venues such as Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2018); Metro Pictures, New York (2018) Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2017); the Swiss Institute (2016); the Whitney Museum of American Art (2015); Lisson Gallery, London (2013); the Performa 11 Biennial, New York (2011); and MoMA PS1, New York (2010). She has had solo exhibitions at CAC Brétigny, France (2017); Jupiter Artland Foundation, Scotland (2017); Kunstverein Göttingen, Germany (2016); Mercer Union, Toronto (2015); Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2015); Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2015); Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2013) the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2013); and Mälmo Konsthall, Mälmo, Sweden (2012) among other places. Sternberg Press published her monograph, Public Relations / Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in conjunction with a solo exhibition at the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Germany (2014). Laser is the recipient of grants from Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, the Southern Exposure Off-Site Graue Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art.
Made in Jersey: Elizabeth Walsh Presents Dream Window
Microtonal musician Elizabeth Walsh presents her multi-disciplinary work “Dream Window” using video projection, spoken word and percussive instruments. In this piece, Walsh revisits a work from 2010: “Dream Window” where she looked at dreams as experienced by several different people. Now, ten years later, she explores her own dreams. While the pandemic has driven us all inside, it has encouraged Walsh to look inward as well. Lately, she sees a geography to her dream universe. She states “I revisit the same locations over and over again; they are essentially real places, but with a very different look. Here, I examine a few of the places in my dreams, and ask myself why I keep returning to them over again.” Walsh sees comfort these days by living in an alternative universe – dreams, gaming, books – but feels it’s so important to be awake and focused too, so that we can all move past the current nightmare and into our dreams of the future.
Elizabeth Walsh was born in Illinois but grew up in New Jersey. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College, and master’s degree from Montclair State University. She studied music composition with Annea Lockwood and Richard Wilson at Vassar, and Robert Aldridge and Dean Drummond at MSU. Walsh has been exploring different aspects of sound since she was in college. She is very interested in microtonal music and was lucky enough to write for and perform on the Harry Partch Instrumentarium. She also improvises music a great deal, usually as part of the band Headbrain. When not doing that, she plays the bass in rock bands. Walsh states “music is a more powerful form of communication than speech. I especially lean towards improvised music, which at its best can be an incredible personal exploration.”
International Education at Ramapo College: An Overview
The Roukema Center for International Education houses the Study Abroad Office, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, and the National Student Exchange program. This video introduces you to the staff of the Center and provides an overview of the programs and services available through their department.
Look for future videos where we will introduce you to both RCNJ students study abroad experiences and international students who have come to Ramapo to learn and experience American culture.
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In her performance memoir “Mudang Magic,” Michelle Myers explores how words can hang onto grief and how memory can create a landscape of both loss and healing. The vulnerability of her storytelling and performance allows Myers to meditate on the entwining of experience as both emotional departure and spiritual return as she shares her reflections on her relationship with her mother and of losing her mother to cancer. Myers’ performance plumbs the depths of memory and delves into the idea that, sometimes, to know who we are, we have to retrace our steps. Utilizing spoken word poetry, storytelling, and song, “Mudang Magic” joins her and her mother’s stories in a way that acknowledges that with loss comes not only deep pain but revelation and renewal.
Made in Jersey: Kiran Rajagopalan
Vaiśravaṇa, commonly known as Kubera, is the Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu deity of wealth in the form of natural resources, currency, and commerce. In some depictions, he is the pot-bellied, self-serving, dark-skinned ruler of the Yakshas – an indigenous tribe of magical healers and shamans coveted for their knowledge of Earth’s secrets but feared by “respectable” society. In others, he is the radiant, noble, golden-skinned guardian of the north and official treasurer to the gods.
His shapeshifting in religious art and literature is reflective of South Asian society’s framing of good and evil around wealth, caste, and complexion. His endurance in collective consciousness symbolizes mankind’s relentless pursuit of wealth in an era dominated by consumerism and driven by instant gratification. These themes will be explored in three acts, each of which is dedicated to a specific South Asian classical dance style, geographic region, and time.
This solo work by Kiran Rajagopalan has been commissioned by Prakriti Dance and premiered in full at their “Festival of Solos” on October 20, 2019.