SNKR (with Kelly Rauer)

SNKR was a collaborative project with movement and video artist Kelly Rauer, resulting in videos, sounds, performances and hybrid combinations thereof.

SNKR began with a two-minute performance using tap shoes and acoustic feedback through a large resonating metal sheet.

That experiment led to the capturing of improvisational performances for camera in various Portland locations – sounding out spaces with tap shoes, framing found geometries.  The resulting footage was edited for sound as much as image, creating repetitions, stutters, rhythms and glitches.  An accompanying score was created entirely from processed samples of two degraded vinyl LPs.

Further improvisations for camera included a three-camera shoot in Portland’s oldest building using no-input mixer, acoustic feedback, effects pedals and amplified small objects, and movements inside an unused, Soviet-era grain mill in Estonia, with its multiple levels of turquoise machinery.

These videos were incorporated into a 20-minute performance at the Risk/Reward Festival in 2016. Against a large video projection, Rauer created on-stage shapes, moving sound-making objects and speakers, and arranging items in task-based sequences.  At the back of the stage, I created, mixed and processed sounds, including samples, contact microphones, acoustic feedback and a record player.  Near the end, a large-screen television was rolled onstage, displaying a live video feed of my hands.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre NW – Well Worn

This 4-channel video installation was created to accompany a performance by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre NW at The White Box Gallery, University of Oregon.  I shot footage on the day leading up to and including the group’s site-specific performance in a burned-out and graffitied building.  The rain came and went, creating puddles that reflected the textures of concrete and spraypaint. Colors darkened into night against the architecture with dancers in yellow and silver raincoats.  Within the gallery, four screens surrounded the viewers on all sides for a 10-minute screening.

Kelly Rauer – Weight

My sound design and camerawork for this installation captured dancer and video artist Kelly Rauer leaping, jumping and crawling through the empty space of a blank, sunlit studio.  Rauer arranged video projections throughout the gallery along with televisions of various sizes.  Viewers were surrounded by stuttering sequences and asynchronous rhythmic gestures, unable to see all screens at once – or any screen in isolation.    From rafter-mounted speakers emerged closely-miked recordings of separate but similar movements, mixing with the small scattered sounds on television monitors.  The gallery space was filled with creaky footsteps, bodily thuds and breathing.

8 video screens with multichannel sound
Jan. 13 – Feb. 15, 2013
The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Portland, OR

Children’s Games


Children’s Games was an evening-length performance combining cinematic images with sung and spoken voice, abstract sound, and performative actions.  The piece drew inspiration from the 1560 Breughel painting of the same name, and the 1970 Truffaut film, The Wild Child.

Children’s Games celebrated the associative, fragmentary and irrational aspects of play and explored the traumatic colonizations of wild space.  Onstage, a chorus dressed in the medieval garb of the Breughel painting conduct vocal games and patterns.

Video projections, recorded sound and live voices mingle before giving way to an enigmatic noise band.

Continue reading “Children’s Games”

Bandage a Knife (with Linda Austin Dance)

This dance performance, created and co-directed with Linda Austin, was based on a strategic “forgetting” of Seijun Suzuki’s 1967 cult yakuza film, Branded to Kill.  Themes, images and language emerged in our thinking through , writing through, dancing through the freewheeling surrealism of the film.  Against the back wall, projected fragments of video narrative and noir imagery flashed amidst the dancers.

Choreography, including long “non-sequitur” movement sequences, interspersed with moments of dialogue, abstracted violence and shards of action.  Along both sides of the stage, dancers silently mimicked and responded to movements behind semi-transparent black curtains.  Mounted on the ceiling, a television monitor played a continuous hour-long action by Kaj-Anne Pepper (coming slowly unraveled in an all white “weatherbox”). An ambiguous narrative included slow-motion mock battles, chanted syllables and swung lightbulbs.

Much of my original score can be heard on the album Knives.

Co-written and directed by Linda Austin & Seth Nehil

Choreography:  Linda Austin
Sound and video:  Seth Nehil
Dancers: Anne Furfey, Kaj-Anne Pepper, Linda Austin, Lucy Yim, Bonnie Green, Rebecca Harrison.

Performance Works NW, Portland OR, November, 2009

Flock & Tumble


This performance combined 6-channel recorded sound with 12 live vocalists and 4 video projections.  The performers flashed colored lights and moved through the large warehouse in simple geometrical configurations. Interacting with spatialized recorded textures, they produced clusters of sound with voices and sound-making objects. Encircling, traveling and moving among the audience, the performers used percussive whacking of boards strapped to feet, rustling of large laurel branches and the tonal friction of small bells dragged across the floor.  Patterns were informed by research into the emergent properties seen in schools of fish or swarms of swallows. On the four projections, colorful flashes of images: painted faces screaming, dancing figures, recombining words.

The space between events is charged. We utilize an erotics of distance: a call connects across space and invigorates a shared medium – our atmosphere. In balance, we utilize an erotics of proximity: the “tuning-in” of closeness, the ways of changing and being changed by those who are near.
Distance and proximity interact as a self-organizing form. I am interested in schools of fish, flocks of swallows, swarms of ants. Spatial distance may be confused and con-fused as a map of temporal distance for making music. Our sounds stay near, keeping an always-same but always-changing form, self-maintaining but allowing for rupture at any moment. This is a proximation of form.
Our ears move in the spaces between events. – {from the program notes}

Video Performers: Linda Austin, Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner (Rikki Rothenberg,

Live performers: Elie Charpentier, Eve Connell,Theodore Holdt, Emma Lipp, Sara Mapelli, Mindy McGovern,Peter Musselman,Sandra Preston, Kelly Rauer, Morgan Ritter, Kersti Werdell.

Costume & Makeup: Diana Lang

Movement consultant: Linda K. Johnson

AudioCinema, Portland OR
November 2008

Circus Me (A Round) (with Linda Austin)


This collaboration with choreographer and dancer Linda Austin used the camera to extract and reconfigure a solo from her larger project Circus Me Around.  By filming three different renditions of the dance from three different heights (at foot, torso and head level), the body was fragmented into separate parts and projected throughout the space.  The solo becomes “a round” as the three performances (with their rustling, footfalls and bits of speech and song) move in and out of sync.  Props, set elements and lights created a tableau in the space, suggesting and reflecting various moments from the dance.

Three video projections, 4-channel sound, objects

Light & Sound Gallery at the Portland Art Center
Sept. 2006

photos by Jeff Forbes