East Bay SWAP FEST: April 24th to April 26th, 2014 ARTIST BIOS



    • Ain Media was started by Rushdi Al Sarraj & Yaser Murtaja in January 2012. The goal of Ain Media is to offer alternatives to mainstream media regarding life in Palestine. Ain Media creates documentaries and offers training courses in photography, public affairs, editing, lighting, translation and reporting.Ain Media has worked with the Muslim Hands, Maan Development Centre, Palestinian Housing Council, Al Tale’a Institution, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Partners for Peace & Development for Palestinians, The Holy Land School & Kindergarten, Interpal, Islam cannel, If charity, The Islamic University of Gaza & The University College of Applied sciences.Dominic Cramp released his first music for public consumption in 1995 on the ambient experimental electronic label, Silent Records, under the moniker, Arthur Dent. He has been creating and releasing music steadily ever since in a variety of formats and guises. Mostly mining an experimental and electronic vein of organic debris, collected from an ever expanding library of field recordings and captured sound; Cramp writes music for two solo projects, Borful Tang and Lord Tang. He plays in the free improvising organ/drums/electronics duo, Tiberius, and the electro-acoustic collective, Vulcanus 68 while touring internationally and recording with Carla Bozuluch’s Evangelista. Most recently he finished a South American tour through Chile, Argentina and Brazil with the electro-acoustic/pop group The Talking Book featuring Bill Gould of Faith No More. You can find much of his work on the label he co-runs, Gigante Sound : gigantesound.com . ” Dominic Cramp will be playing, processing and reconstructing selections from his extensive collection of field recordings made over the last 20 years from travels all over the globe. Accompanying him, Kelly Porter will be doing some large expressive colorful live painting and drawing on an easel, and possibly some watercolor collage on canvas.

      Alma Esperanza Cunningham started as a solo performer. While living in New York she performed her own choreography at Dixon Place, University Settlement, Movement Research at Judson Church, and DTW (Fresh Tracks). In 2001, after moving back to San Francisco, she formed a dance company Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement (AECM). AECM has been presented in New York (Joyce SoHo and Movement Research’s Judson Church series), Austin Texas (State Theater) and has been presented by many festivals and theaters in the Bay Area. Alma was an Artist in Residence at Jon Sims Center for the Arts, ODC (House Special) and in 2005 she partnered with Robert Moses in CHIME, Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange, a program of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. She is also received a Bay Guardian GOLDIE award in 2004. Coming back from a five year break from anything dance she has been working with a few dancers on a piece that will be presented in July at ODC titled she went.

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      Janet Das has been dancing professionally for over ten years.  She was a member of AXIS Dance Company from 2008-2011 and currently dances for Katie Faulkner’s little seismic dance company and other independent choreographers.

      Katy Dion is working on her first novel. She is a MacDowell Fellow and the recipient of a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received the Iowa Arts Fellowship. She currently resides in Berkeley, CA.

      Sonsherée Giles is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, costume designer and the Associate Director of AXIS Dance Company. She has performed for audiences throughout the United States and abroad. Sonsherée has received an Isadora Duncan Award for ensemble performance of To Color Me Different choreographed by Alex Ketley and a Homer Avila Award for Excellence in the field of Physically Integrated Dance.

      Susan Greene is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and clinical psychologist. Herpractice straddles a range of cultural arenas, new media, and public art; with a focus on borders, migrations, decolonization and memory. Greene has developed a particular interest in public projects that make use of social networking technologies, in addition to on-the-street listening stations via cell and I-Phone. Through public art projects Greene conducts research on the intersections of trauma, creativity, resilience and resistance. Greene has led or participated in more than 30 public art projects worldwide, from California’s juvenile hall to refugee camps of Palestine. Greene directs Art Forces, an international interdisciplinary art project that maps global solidarity and resistance- focusing on refugee camps in West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon as a fulcrum. Originally from NYC, she has been a resident of the Bay Area for 30 years.

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      Sheena Johnson creates inquiry-based performance that incites courage, imagination and change. She is Artistic Director of Rebel Home Dance and has an MFA in Dance from Mills College where she conducted research on the connections between community-based arts, re-embodiment, and collective liberation. www.sheenajohnsonrebelhome.blogspot.com

      Deborah Karp keeps it local and bicoastal at Temescal Arts Center, The Garage, Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts and Green Space, with Megan Nicely/Dance, Leyya Tawil/ DANCE ELIXIR, Susan Rethorst, Nancy Meehan and Luna Dance Institute. Deep gratitude to Daria, Janet, Karla, Leyya, Ian, Mary, Merlin, Claire and Patrick. Stay tuned for the premiere of tonight’s full production in September 2014 at DeborahKarpDanceProjects.com/

      Sarah Klein is interested in the contrast between the domestic world and the public world, and in her videos, drawings, and performances she explores the conducts and codes that define these two realms.  Since 2004, she has been using hand-drawn images and stop-motion animation to create humorous and often dark narratives on domestic life and other related themes.http://www.sarahklein.com/

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      Cheryl E. Leonard is a composer, performer, and instrument builder whose works investigate sounds, structures, and objects from the natural world. Her projects reveal and highlight unique sounds and often feature amplified natural-object instruments and field recordings from remote locales. Leonard has received grants from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, American Music Center, American Composers Forum, and ASCAP. She has been awarded residencies at Djerassi, the Arctic Circle, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Villa Montalvo, and Engine 27.www.allwaysnorth.com

      Amy Lewis has been presenting choreography in the Bay Area since 2005, after completing an MFA in dance from Mills College and BA in Theater from UCLA.  Her work has been supported by dance festivals, residencies, and commissions, including Women’s Work, West Wave Dance Festival, ODC’s Pilot Program, Dumbo Dance Festival, Meridian Gallery, and The Garage.  www.pushproductions.org

      Scarth Locke is a multi-talented pop music composer and performer from Oakland who started his journey by looping cassette tapes and jamming on his casio. Years later, he recorded his first album singing into his computer on an Indian hillside. His most recent effort Can’t Not is a visionary blend of acoustic and electric elements, blurring the line between the two, but never standing in the way of pitch perfect pop songwriting.

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      Frank Moore (1946-2013), “one of the U.S.’s most controversial performance artists” (P-Form Magazine), performed monthly at Temescal Art Center from February 2009 until October 2013.  Frank changed the name of his series over the years.  Starting as “Reality Playings – experiments in experience/participation performance”, it then became “The Uncomfortable Zones of Fun”, “Risk for Deep Love – a ritual audience participation experience experiment”, and finally “Erotic Risk for Deep Love”!  Frank always created the performances around the people who came … Frank always said that he “just followed” … if the audience was willing to risk, the performance melted, in Frank’s words, “into a cozy little joyful community, willing to be uncomfortable and whatever else it takes to go into adventures of fun” … “willing to play together deeper than the normal reasonable world allows”.  Nudity, eroplay*, dressing and undressing were among just a few of the “tricks and tools” from 40+ years of performance that Frank used at TAC to create this altered space.  Frank greatly valued the ability to have an ongoing series at TAC, which he really considered his performance home for this period.

      Phoebe Osborne:  I consider myself a choreographer and a mover. My purpose and practice is to offer an embodied response to what is happening, rooted in listening and noticing. My work has touched on concrete issues such as identity and culture, as well as explored the vast realities of subjects such as time and memory. Originally from the Bay Area, I have also worked and lived in San Diego, Barcelona, and London. For a number of years, I was explicitly focused on gender and queer politics within my performance work, however more recently I have come to feel that within my present concerns it is not enough to focus on gender and queerness as an avenue for radicality. My current work is a testament to my grappling with this realization. God Sees Everything uses the topic of psychedelic drugs to unravel the modern approaches to the spiritual and transcendent qualities of the human experience and the fragmented capitalistic politics and power structures of white modernity. I have found that within an investigation of psychedelics, I am able to look at both abstract esoteric fields and global politics and relations, which I believe are deeply entwined within the collective psyche.

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      karen penley writes, acts, and performs.  she really does. or tries to. she likes weird things. and petticoats. she plays the accordion. and the violin. and she wrote, directed and performed in two text driven circuses each with a cast of 7 performers, singers and dancers and live music by the bands 20 Minute Loop and Bill Horvitz. Circus Proboscis: A Sneeze of Freaks and Not the More Lovely: A Circus Sideshow.   karenpenley.com and stardombecomesme.wordpress.com

      Kelly Porter was raised deep in the woods, in a Northern California mountain community called Grizzly Flats. He writes: Endless forests were my playground, and a powerful force of inspiration for my imagination.  Now I live in the Bay-Area, amidst cities, traffic, and lots of people. In 1999 I received an individualized BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and have been working as an artist since. Most of  my paintings are expressive musings over the philosophical dilemmas present and future technologies can manifest in society.  They are made with watercolor, ink, and pen, and painted alongside musicians in warehouses, clubs, galleries, and museums. You can see Kelly’s work at www.squidcannon.com

      Ralph Steiner is an American avant-garde experimental filmmaker working extensively in the 20’s and 30’s. We are showing his rare 1929 film, H20. It is a black and white poetic evocation of the light, movement and surface properties of water set to modern, minimalist musical accompaniment by composer, Colin McPhee and brought to us by SF curator Molly Hankwitz.

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About the venues and hosts:

The MilkBar https://milkbar.org at The Sunshine Biscuit Factory in East Oakland is an artist curated salon series, established in 2004 as an environment for the intersection of innovative, contemporary and experimental dance, music, theater and film. The MilkBar’s co-curators are: Mary Armentrout, Merlin Coleman and Ian Winters. Their shared curatorial aesthetic produces the MilkBar salons in their vibrant intimate forty seat venue. Over the past 10 years The MilkBar has evolved into the site of dialogue between artist and artist, artist and audience, audience and the new, while remaining focused on its primary role as studio / workspace.  Special thanks to our funders the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the Clorox Foundation and Meet the Composer.

Where: The Milk Bar is located in East Oakland in the Sunshine Biscuit Factory Complex. We are approx 1 mile from the Oakland Coliseum on 81st Ave, 1/2 block east of San Leandro Ave.

TAC: Temescal Art Center http://www.temescalartcenter.org/

511 48th St, Oakland. was founded in 1994.  Current director Leyya Mona Tawil has been curating and overseeing TAC since 1997.  TAC is a program of DANCE ELIXIR, an Oakland-based non-profit organization.  The venue is dedicated to promoting emerging and experimental artists from the Oakland region as well as international guests.  TAC also offers affordable rehearsal, performance and event space for rent, supporting the broader bay area community.

The Subterranean Arthouse http://www.subterraneanarthouse.org/ 2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley was founded by Nicole Rodriguez and Claire Duplantier. The Subterranean Arthouse is an interdisciplinary community art space that offers diverse opportunities for local, national, and international artists to teach, create and present their art form. The Subterranean Arthouse is rooted in a tradition of experimentation unique to the Bay Area as it extends its branches to the terrain of other art communities. The Subterranean Arthouse is a project of the Tree of Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded with the mission to bring  arts programing to schools and communities.

east bay swapfest | the milkbar | temescal arts center | subterranean arts house