Peter Burr’s 'Dirtscraper,' courtesy of the Museum of the Moving Image.

It’s a night of string music, interactive digital art installations, and participatory experiences.

The Museum of the Moving Image will launch the new-and-improved Signal to Noise series with a live event on Friday, Dec. 14, from 9 p.m. until midnight. (Yes, this is an after-hours party.)

For starters, computer animation artist Peter Burr’s “Dirtscraper” will run on a 90-minute loop in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater. It’s actually the New York premiere of this room-sized, large-scale, single-channel, computer simulation which can be seen above. The endlessly changing labyrinth has “smart architecture” that is moderated by artificial intelligence.

Confused? Click here for a 10-minute sample of the project video that is not apt for epileptics.

Meanwhile in the Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room, videos selected by The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival will loop continuously. (Warning: The festival’s mission was to explore “altered states of consciousness created by music, art, film and psychedelia and transpersonal states.” In other words, these videos aren’t apt for epileptics, either.)

At 9:45 p.m., a “live documentary performance” will unfold in the Video Screening Amphitheater. Laura Ortman will provide violin improvisations to accompany “Wanderlust West,” a triple-projector piece by avant-garde filmmaker Martha Colburn. The video is actually an expansion on Colburn’s 2017 creation “Western Wild…how I found wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand.”

The final act is scheduled for the Digital Learning Suite at 10:30 p.m. Ortman and Burr will join forces for “Interference AV.” She will provide vibrant, amplified violin sounds while he flashes his mutating digital imagery in real time. One of their goals will be to create new ambient environments.

Patrons will also get free snacks and beer by Mikkeller, which operates a brewery at Citi Field.

Normally, the entire museum is closed on Friday nights, but Signal to Noise participants will also be able explore current displays, such as “The Jim Henson Exhibition” and “A Whole Different Ball Game: Playing Through 60 Years of Sports,” which looks at competitive video games (see gallery image at far right).

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age.

The event kicks off the latest Signal to Noise series of monthly parties. The next one is set for Jan. 25, 2019.

The Museum of the Moving Image, which is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District, last hosted Signal to Noise parties in 2011. Those events were similar, featuring three rings of live electronic music, moving image performances, and interactive art.

Editor’s note: In science and engineering, the “Signal-to-Noise Ratio” is a comparison of a desired signal’s level to background noise. It’s often expressed in decibels.


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