Newname performance


Newname performance

NewName Performance/Nouveau Dance Troupe was the name of a performing group founded by Leslie Streit and Robin Elaine McCain, it was a synthesis of modern dance, multimedia and performance art) while Streit was teaching at Ohlone College, Fremont, CA in 1985, and co-incorporated the company as a non-profit in 1990. As the nature of the artistic work had changed substantially from the original vision, a decision was made to discontinue the brand and represent the work as that of the principal artists as individuals. Works by Leslie Streit have been included in Prix Ars Electronica catalogs.

Contents

History

The company went through several dba/name changes over the next few years as it struggled to define its place in Silicon Valley culture. Work was presented under "Nouveau at the NoView", "Nouveau Dance Troupe, San Jose", "Nouveau Performance", and "NewName Performance".

In 1989, the company moved into its home with Raymond Avalos at the NoView Gallery across the hall from Steve Storz' Studio at 855 South 5th St. (location of Mike Clark's Citadel Cannery artists/warehouse space in the historic California Hawaiian Pineapple Company canning complex) in San Jose. When Raymond moved out in 1990, the space was renamed the NoView Theater and then the Nouveau Theater in 1993. When Steve moved out in 1993, his space became the company scene shop. After the company founders moved to San Francisco in 1996, the scene shop became the home of Tom Chargin Photography.

In the summer of 1989 the company collaborated with artists Geoff X. Alexander, Tony Bustamonte, Raymond Avalos, Ken Wheeler, Steve Storz, and Robin McCain to present "Necropolis Tour 89" (an original site specific performance piece) at the Citadel Cannery. Reviews: High Performance, Winter 1989, by Salli McQuaid. San Jose Metro, August 17, 1989, by Eric Reyes.

Funding

The company received grant funding from the Arts Commission, City of San Jose; Arts Council of Santa Clara County; and California Arts Council, as well as donations from FMC, Intel, Liposome Technology, IBM, LMC Recycling and others.

Focus

The focus of the company gradually shifted from live performance to video and film production as artistic and production values rose. The 1994 touring production of "Vlad Dracula in the Year 2000" marked the end of performance before a live audience. The magnitude of work and money involved in an international touring production overwhelmed the principal artists and led to a critical re-examination of the public reception of the body of work to that date.

In 1995, "Sacrifice" (filmed at Avebury during the UK tour, digital special effects by Half-Inch Video, SF) was released. This work, along with two video excerpts "Messengers" and "The Visitor" from the 1994 production became part of the OffLine Networks Collection and available for television and cable syndication. The company was offered an online web presence by San Jose Metro as part of their Virtual Valley project. The difficulty of updating online content quickly became an issue. Robin McCain attended an Internet trade show at the San Jose Convention Center that summer and talked to several ISPs, resulting in the decision to create the domain new-performance.org hosted on servers at Mountain View's Best.com. (new-performance was a compromise as domain names lengths were then limited and newnameperformance was too long)

The Web as a Performance Medium

In 1996, Leslie Streit, Robin McCain and Jan Bernstein developed the pioneering web episodic "VD2001", one of the first explorations of the use of the World Wide Web as a performance medium and received several awards during its lifetime. Several factors led to the decision to produce the work in episodes - hard drive space on the server was limited to 25 megabytes - audio and video compression algorithms were extremely primitive - download speeds for the average user at the time limited use of rich media content. The production team used a Miro DC-10, Netscape Navigator Gold and hand-tweaked HTML to update content every two weeks. As new episodes came out, the site was used by Otis Sweezey in his theatre classes at Southern Illinois University as an experiential example of new media. A somewhat updated archive of the site is still online at VD2001 and the original content is available at archive.org. Leslie Streit and Robin McCain closed the Nouveau Theater and relocated to San Francisco, completing the episodic from a live-work space in the Bayview.

New Media

The exploration of new media continued in 1997 and 1998 with production of "Hospital of the Mind" (in development since 1994) - a provocative tale of biomedically engineered mind control, which was the team's first work to include extensive compositing, rotoscoping and animation. This piece was one of the first works to be uploaded to iFilm during their startup phase.

In 1999, "Eyewitness" (A mental patient is abducted by aliens) was completed, using some of the source material created for "Hospital of the Mind".

Leslie Streit & Robin McCain began work on a longer film, God Wears My Underwear (GWMU) in 1998, hired Tony Khalife to compose the soundtrack. Adam Streit was the Director of Photography and editor. Robin was the digital effects artist. As post production progressed, several scenes were shown as shorts. "Lavinia's Dream" was one of the first scenes to be completed and was shown at the 2le Festival International Du Film Independent in Brussels, Il Coreografo Elettronico in Naples. The filmmakers were invited to Brussels for the Belgian premiere.

A more recent new media adventure is Anarchist, an online graphic novel developed from a screenplay by Leslie.

ReFocus

As the nature of the artistic work had changed substantially from the original vision, a decision was made to discontinue the NewName Performance brand and represent the work as that of the principal artists as individuals. Works by Leslie Streit have been included in Prix Ars Electronica catalogs.

Post production work progressed on GWMU over the next few years. It took 8 years for the team to complete, due to the ambitious nature of the film, the longer format and heightened production values.

"Billboard Man" aka "Scene 54" premiered in Naples at Il Coreografo Elettronico in 2004.

"God Wears My Underwear" was completed in 2005 and premiered at the Digital Narrative Arts Film Festival (DNAFF) in Toronto where it won the "Best Short Film Award". A week later it was shown in Florence at XXVII Festival Internazionale di Cinema e Donne - Leslie and Robin were invited guests, the following month at NYIIFVF (New York City, NY) where Leslie, Robin, Adam and several cast members were present, and a few months later at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) - again Leslie and Robin were invited guests. The film has since been re-edited and was most recently shown at the Napa-Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival. It is now in distribution - available through M&L Banks, NYC.

Details for more recent works are listed in IMDB.

Production Chronology

1989

Open Studios, No View Gallery, Citadel, San Jose

California School for the Deaf, Fremont

Tapestry in Talent, San Jose

"Necropolis Tour '89", Citadel, San Jose

Open Studios, No View Gallery, Citadel, San Jose

8th Street Studio, Berkeley

"Princess of Roo", Fairmont Hotel, San Jose

1990

"Meals", San Jose State University, San Jose

Open Studios, No View Gallery, Citadel, San Jose

"Kimono Warriors", WORKS, San Jose

"A Shirt with Wings", Rosicrucian Museum, San Jose

8th St. Studio, Berkeley

"TRAVEL!", No View Theater, San Jose

"Baroque in Vogue", Theater at the Point (Hunters Point - Artists Open Studio), San Francisco

(presented Arrowhead Readers Theater 10/90-5/91), San Jose

1991

"Angst Relief", No View Theater, San Jose

Open Studios, No View Theater, San Jose

Underground Arts Festival, No View Theater, San Jose

"Who Murdered Verna the Dove?", No View Theater, San Jose

1992

"Lives of the Ant People", No View Theater

Open Studios, No View Theater, San Jose

No View Theater Marathon, No View Theater, San Jose

Fringe Festival, San Jose America Festival, San Jose

"The Reincarnation of Peaches", No View Theater, San Jose

1993

"Flossie & Oswald's Journey to Hell", Nouveau Theater, San Jose

Open Studios, No View Theater, San Jose

The Best Experimental Films of Cinequest, Nouveau Theater, San Jose

8th St Studio, Berkeley

Fringe Festival, Nouveau Theater, San Jose

"The Ghost of Chloride Canyon", Nouveau Theater, San Jose

1994

Open Studios, No View Theater, San Jose

8th St Studio, Berkeley

"Vlad Draculea in the Year 2000", Los Altos Hills, Edinburgh Scotland, San Francisco

filming of "Sacrifice" on location at Avebury, England

1995

placement of video shorts from Vlad on Cable TV, Internet

completion of "Sacrifice"

1997

filming of "Hospital of the Mind" at Cortland Studio in San Francisco.

1998

production begins on "God Wears My Underwear"

1999

ATA (Artists Television Access), San Francisco - screening of all works to date

Recent Work

(see IMDB entries for Leslie Streit or Robin McCain for more recent work)

Films

with Videographer Bill Birkley

"The Fountain" (1988) (shown as an interstitial on KTEH-54 in San Jose for several years)

"Aces" (1988) with music by Doug Vertin

"City Pigs" (1989)

"Ancient Lives" (1990) with music and animation by Ken Wheeler

with cinematographer Robin McCain

"Ants" (1990)

"The Moving Men of San Jose" (1991)

with videographer Adam Streit

Messengers (1994, 2 minutes), The Visitor (1994, 3 minutes), Sacrifice (1996, 3 minutes)

Screening: Foothill Festival of the Arts (Los Altos, CA), Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Edinburgh Scotland), Tokyo Video Festival (Tokyo, Japan)

Broadcast: Eastern Standard Time Productions, Offline, Unquote TV, KTEH Bay Area PBS

with videographer John Reilly

Hospital of the Mind (1998, 8 minutes)

Screening: Open Screen- Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema (San Francisco, CA), The Sync, ifilm.com, Digital Catapult (San Francisco, CA), 01films.com, Alwaysi.com, ipepperview.com (Paris, France)

Distribution: Interdvd, DVD-ROM magazine, Tel Aviv, Israel

Eyewitness (1999, 5 minutes)

Screening: Filmfilm.com, Independent Exposure (Seattle, WA), Always Independent Film Festival, ATA (San Francisco, CA), ipepperview.com (Paris, France), Women Make Waves ( Taipei, Taiwan), Video Screening Project, Hong Kong, “Memory S-[X]-ick”, (Hong Kong Biennale 2002)

Broadcast: DUTV (Philadelphia, PA), KTEH-Channel 54 (Bay Area PBS)

Distributors: Blackchair Productions, Seattle Washington

  • OffLine, Ithaca, New York
  • The Screening Room, Amherst, NY

Interdvd, DVD-ROM magazine, Tel Aviv, Israel

with Director of Photography/Editor Adam Streit

Lavinia’s Dream (1999, 3 minutes)

Screening: Il Coreografo Elettronico (Naples, Italy), ATA (San Francisco, CA) ifilm 2le Festival International Du Film Independent (Brussels, Belgium)

Billboard Man (aka “Scene 54” – 2004, 2 minutes)

Screening: Il Coreografo Elettronico (Naples, Italy)

"God Wears My Underwear" (2005-2006, 40 minutes) This film ties the Jewish Holocaust in the 1940’s to the genocide in Tibet in the 1950’s.

Screening: DNAFF (Toronto, Canada), XXVII Festival Internazionale di Cinema e Donne (Florence, Italy), NYIIFVF (New York City, NY), Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF)

DVDs

"Ghost of Chloride Canyon - 10th Anniversary" (2003)

"Vampires in Cyberspace" (2003)


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