The Dilating Nexus (shakingray.com/nexus/) is a monthly series of non-conventional events and ritualized social experiments housed in a variety of “total environments” throughout Chattanooga. The five-month series aims to stimulate rarefied and esoteric actions within the region, while honoring and highlighting what is already in existence. Each of the five events is presented as a challenge to inspire marginalized performers and artists from any discipline, pushing them into unforeseen situations and inspiring them to respond in creative, resourceful, and spontaneous ways, said officials.
Typically, festivals present professional or esteemed artists who are expected to represent their individual skills, but for the Dilating Nexus series, the emphasis is less on the individual and more on the collective. Furthermore, by approaching each event in a non-hierarchical manner, both experienced and emerging artists are presented on equal footing, forming new and unexpected collaborations, with a mixture of local and national performers.
Here is the lineup of events and reviews:
An Evening with Tapes - April 26, Artifact Gallery, 1080 Duncan Ave, teamartifact.com
A magnetic night of chance exclusively utilizing tape as instrument, featuring a mixtape exchange (bring/take a mix) and unlikely duos, trios, and quartets presenting musical, visual, and performative sets using tape: reel-to-reel, audio cassette, video, adhesive, 4-track, etc.
Lupton City Snake Show - May 31, Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave, barkinglegs.org
A mercerized variety show that beams the limelight on esoteric expressions and hidden histories as imparted by raconteurs, mythologists, comedians, visionaries, musicians, folklorists, hawkers, barkers, and Holy Fools.
Random Gear Festival - June date and location TBA
The Random Gear Festival, curated by Ren Schofield, is a conceptual celebration of the excitement and spontaneity of avant sound in which performers are randomly assigned an assortment of non-traditional instruments and objects (not necessarily of any musical nature) and expected to improvise live. The results of this process will likely be varied, confounding, and questionable. Nothing will be proven.
Breathing Artifacts -July 19, Barking Legs Theater, 1307 Dodds Ave, barkinglegs.org
World premiere of videos, films, and live scores by choice directors, actors, cinematographers, and editors, featuring unpredictable narratives and abstractions rich in rhythm, color, humor, gesture, content, and texture.
Soul in a Box - Aug. 30, Mark Making, 2510 N. Chamberlain Ave.
A festival dedicated to the late Chattanooga artist, musician, storyteller, improviser, educator, and icon Dennis J. Palmer (of the Shaking Ray Levis). Participants will utilize one or more of Palmer’s unreleased “samples” as the sonic source material for their performances. Visual artists will create works that are inspired by and/or make use of Palmer’s unique visual world.