Flyer for Face the Music: Extensions, an evening of experiments with player piano held at Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx. Image shows a white piano with tube TVs displaying faces in red, yellow, green and blue.

FACE THE MUSIC: Extensions

experiments with player piano

Bainbridge, Crouse, Jones-Darrell, Naphtali, Held, Puryear

Face the Music: Extensions
Benton C Bainbridge, Jeff Crouse, Obediya W. Jones-Darrell, Dafna Naphtali, Barbara Held • Moderated by Walter E. Puryear
Andrew Freedman Home1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10452
December 22nd, 2021 • 5 PM
Free w/RSVP to AFHarts@gmail.com
Masks Required

On Wednesday, December 22 at 5 PM, Andrew Freedman Home presents an evening of collaborative music, media performance, and interactive art made with player piano, followed by a discussion on the impact of facial recognition algorithms on creativity and society.
In Benton C Bainbridge (Bronx) and Jeff Crouse (Chicago): Face the Music, guests play piano with facial expressions. In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition at AFH, an international group of artist-musicians create Extensions to control the player piano.
Dafna Naphtali (NYC) and Barbara Held (Zooming in from Barcelona) adapt Naphtali's ongoing research into making music with the Disklavier, using Held's live-streamed flute and Naphtali's custom software (and voice) to interact with the piano.
Canadian artist/composer Obediya W. Jones-Darrell (Zooming in from Cleveland) will present a new composition for piano, in which a solo performer follows a score of facial gestures to play the piece.

Andrew Freedman Home Director, Walter E. Puryear, will lead a discussion about creative uses of surveillance technology. The artists and audience will consider whether Machine Learning can "read" facial expressions across diverse cultures, and how algorithms might be subverted to encourage or discourage criticism of ubiquitous data harvesting.

The event is free with RSVP to AFHarts@gmail.com. Audience size will be limited for COVID safety; masks are required for all attendees.

This project is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the Bronx Council on the Arts.

ARTISTS:
BENTON C BAINBRIDGE handcrafts media artworks with custom image processing systems. As Artist-in-Residence at Andrew Freedman Home, Bainbridge has created immersive installations, video sculptures, and interactive experiences in collaboration with dozens of artists and performers. Via Decentralus, Bainbridge works with AFH and Bronx communities to explore decentralized art.

JEFF CROUSE is an artist, teacher, and creative technologist. Jeff creates immersive experiences using custom software and hardware, generative graphics, computer vision, physical computing, projection, LEDs, web technologies, and much, much more! He is currently a partner and creative technology director at the experience lab, Odd Division, founder of the experimental art & technology studio, See-through Lab, and represented as an artist by Tool of North America.

DAFNA NAPHTALI is a sound-artist, vocalist, electronic musician and guitarist. A performer and composer of experimental, contemporary classical and improvised music since the mid-90’s, she creates custom Max/MSP programming for sound-processing of voice and other instruments, music for robots and Disklavier, multi-channel sound projects and audio-augmented-reality soundwalks in NY and Berlin.

BARBARA HELD is an artist, flutist and composer whose practice as a classically trained musician gives priority to a lifetime of collaboration, of interdisciplinary work in relation to other artists.  Known for her subtle exploration of the minutiae of sonic material, she creates sensitive, focused sound work that exposes the detail of the physical space of listening in equal part to a keen attention to how we listen as bodies moving through the world.

OBEDIYA W. JONES DARRELL is a music composer and orchestrator for theatre, film, television, and radio, whose work has reached audiences worldwide.

WALTER PURYEAR is the Director of The Andrew Freedman Home and a science fiction writer. He is currently working on a story that explores ownership of DNA, ancestral identity, technocracy classism, and decentralization.

Flyer for MORE THAN, an exhibition of media art at Andrew Freedman Home shows a black heart against a dark pink background. Artists in the show include Noté Peter George, Jennie West and Benton C Bainbridge.

MORE THAN NFTs

Concurrent with Face the Music: Extensions, don't miss the opening reception for a group exhibition of digital media artists in the adjacent gallery!

MORE THAN
Digital Art & NFT collectibles
Noté Peter George, Jennie West, Benton C Bainbridge

A woman sits on a piano bench in front of a white baby grand piano which is surrounded by screens in a tall-ceilinged white gallery. The screens display an outline of a face. The projection reads, "SURPRISED".
Benton C Bainbridge & Jeff Crouse: Face the Music on view at Andrew Freedman Home

FACE THE MUSIC

an interactive COMMUNITY experience

at Andrew Freedman Home

Benton C Bainbridge & Jeff Crouse: Face the Music
Opens Friday, November 19th, 2021
1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10452
M-F 9-4 & by appointment info@midbronx.org

Andrew Freedman Home presents an interactive installation by media artists Benton C Bainbridge (Bronx) and Jeff Crouse (Chicago). The exhibition engages Bronx families with a piano controlled by participants’ facial expressions.  Using the most expressive part of our bodies, all are welcome to play a magical piano in communal song. 

COVID-19 courtesy measures are in place to ensure the safety of all participants. Small, masked groups are welcomed into the Andrew Freedman Home Executive Room to ensure ample social distancing—only one guest unmasks at a time, with a limit of 10 unmasked participants per hour. AFH will be documenting—please share your thoughts on camera!

Emotivating the player piano

Face the Music is installed in the Executive Room on Andrew Freedman Home’s 1st Floor. Participants sit on a piano bench in front of a Yamaha Disklavier, framed by TVs. The installation is controlled via a web browser; custom hardware and software drive the player piano, lighting and video.

A projection above the piano shows a simplified view of each guest—just outlines of eyes and mouth, with text saying the detected emotion: HAPPY/SAD/SURPRISED/ANGRY/DISGUSTED, etc. By making faces, participants can change the composition in real time to match their emotions. 

Old-school TVs frame the piano, showing previous participants’ minimal facial performances on solid color backgrounds. Each participant’s performance is recorded; the queue plays back when live performers aren’t playing. Thus, Face the Music becomes a performative snapshot of our community at a time when we are starving for music and art that transports us beyond our quarantine pods. A synchronous light show bathes the beautiful piano in visual harmony with the music. The palette is coordinated across the TVs, and onto the piano itself.


This project is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the Bronx Council on the Arts.

Meet the artists


Jeff Crouse is an artist, teacher, and creative technologist. Jeff creates immersive experiences using custom software and hardware, generative graphics, computer vision, physical computing, projection, LEDs, web technologies, and much, much more! His projects range from absurd critical commentary on technology to commercial experiences that help brands look hip. His work has been shown at The Sundance Film Festival, Laboral Art Center in Gíjon, Spain, The Performa biennial, and Palais de Tokyo in Paris. His clients have included brands such as Lexus, Samsung, IBM, and Intel, and institutions such as the National Building Museum, Moogfest, and the Barbican Museum. After graduating from NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a made-up MA in interactive storytelling, he went on to Georgia Tech to get an official MS in Digital Media. From 2007-2010, Jeff was extremely lucky to be an artist in residence at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center in New York. He is currently a partner and creative technology director at the experience lab, Odd Division, founder of the experimental art & technology studio, See-through Lab, and represented as an artist by Tool of North America.

Benton C Bainbridge handcrafts media artworks with custom image processing systems. Current projects include Rue Bainbridge, the first recipient of the Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota Video Art prize, with recent shows at de Young Museum, Pace Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield Museum, and Hauser & Wirth. Artist-in-Residence at Andrew Freedman Home, Bainbridge exhibited video sculptures and moving paintings with Beauteous: the AFH / Museum of Modern Art immersive spectacle written by Craig "muMs" Grant. Bainbridge has shown at Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, Museum of Arts & Design, Museum of the Moving Image, American Museum of Natural History, The Kitchen, EMPAC, SFMoMA, Boston Cyberarts Festival, l’Auditori, Fundación Juan March, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Sonic Light, Wien Moderne, Teatro Colón CETC, Korean Festival, and Dak’art. Bainbridge is faculty at SVA MFA Computer Arts. 
“Benton fingerpaints with video.” – Trilby Schreiber