Aja Nisenson is an award-winning, internationally recognized actor/ comedian/ singer/ playwright originating from New Jersey. She earned a B.A. in Theater Arts with a Capstone in Playwriting at Brown University. A trained pop, jazz and opera singer, Aja has sung with renowned musicians in venues all around Italy.
Aja’s one-woman show, Piccola Cosi, about her experience as a jazz singer in Bologna, Italy, received critical acclaim and had sold out runs at the Triad Theater, soloNOVA Arts Festival and the New York International Fringe Festival. Her solo show, Daja Vu, a french cabaret gone awry, received rave reviews in the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival and the Flute Bar Gramercy. Aja’s most recent solo show, My Life Is A Woody Allen Film premiered in the 2013 Estrogenius Festival, had sold-out runs at the Cornelia Street Cafe and was awarded “Best Cabaret” and “Best Musical Direction” in the 2014 United Solo Theatre Festival on Theatre Row 42nd Street. Aja was the recipient of the 2007 Weston Award for Acting, a 2009 Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Fellow, Guest Artist at the 2010 Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Conference, and a scholarship recipient for the 2013 VT Jazz Center Summer Conference.
Alastair Noble is an environmental/installation artist and printmaker from the UK that has lived and worked in New York City for over 30 years. He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally including Peru, Chile, Bulgaria and the UK. His artistic practice is a response to architecture and the natural environment, and often reflects on particular sites in the context of poetry and literature. The writings of Mallarmé, Marinetti, Mayakovsky, Wittgenstein, Poe and Daumal have been the genesis of numerous works. The short story by Argentine author Borges On the Exactitude in Science has been the catalyst for recent projects entitled Mapping Arcadia and a Topography of Place – an on-going series of environmental sculptural projects that I have evolved to investigate an alternative means to map the landscape.
Periodically, he writes on sculpture and architecture for international sculpture magazines and journals. Additionally, he curates and organizes exhibitions that complement his own research. He has taught and lectured at numerous colleges, universities and public institutions.
Amir Parsa, an internationally acclaimed writer, poet and translator, Parsa is the author of seventeen literary books, including Kobolierrot, Feu L’encre/Fable, Drive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque Tradition, Erre, and L’opéra minora, a 440-page multilingual work that is in the MoMA Library Artists’ Books collection and in the Rare Books Collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
An uncategorizable body of work, his plurilingual oeuvre—written in English, French, Farsi and Spanish and various hybrids—constitutes a radical polyphonic enterprise that puts into question national, cultural and aesthetic attachments while fashioning new genres, forms and even species of literary artifacts. These provocative works employ various registers of textuality, fuse discourses to fashion new ones, and explore possibilities unique to each language and to literature as a whole. His writings in both English and French have been anthologized, and he has contributed to a number of print and online publications, including Fiction International, Textpiece, Guernica, Armenian Poetry Project and a mash-up issue of Madhatters’ Review and Bunk Magazine.
His translations include Bruno Durocher-Kaminski’s And They Were Writing Their History, and the first two books of Nadia Tueni, which appeared under the title The Blond Texts & The Age of Embers. Two books are being reissued in 2015 by UpSet Press—Drive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque Tradition and Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus, a theory of artistic creation that also reads like a labyrinthine story. Simultaneously in 2015, he launched, with Le Chaise (Yes, Le), the ‘Clandies’ (more formally classified as FoCD—Folios for the Clandestine Diffusions), full-blown works that nevertheless are most poignantly characterized by one particular property, their clandestine diffusions. Slated for limited dissemination in 2016 is another ‘Clandie’, One day Soon I Will Be the New Emperor of the New Persian Empire Just You Wait and See (And We Will All Live Happily Ever After I Promise).
His curatorial interjections, conceptual pieces, artistic interventions, and critical educational praxis have taken place in a host of public spaces, organizations, universities and environments. A former Lecturer and Educator at The Museum of Modern Art, Amir was born in Tehran, educated at French international schools and at Princeton and Columbia universities, and is currently based in New York. A former Chairperson and Acting Associate Dean at Pratt Institute, he is currently an Associate Professor at Pratt, where he also directs trans/post/neodisciplinary initiatives in the Office of the Provost. During his residency, Amir will be working on the manifesto of The New Definitely Post/Transnational and Mostly Portable Open Epic, as Rendered by the Elastic Circus of the Revolution, which is comprised of cantos and fragments constituting an on-going multilingual scriptural epic. Since 2007, pieces have been featured at The Bowery Poetry Club and The Riverside Church, during the Uncomun Festival, the Engendered Festival, and the Dumbo Arts Festival in New York, at the Baroquissimo Festival in Puebla, Mexico, and the Paris en toutes lettres festival in Paris in 2010, among other venues. These poetic fragments unfold over time on multiple platforms, in multiple arenas and spaces (private and public), and through various scriptural strategies—from the traditional (handwritten sheets and books) to the new (electronic, web). A theoretical apparatus and a critical enterprise engaged with the history and forms of literature and the reading phenomenon, the work also challenges traditional modalities of publication, exhibition, commodification, dissemination and interaction.
Anne Katrine Senstad is a multidisciplinary Norwegian artist based in New York. She was educated at Parsons School of Design and The New School for Social Research in New York. Senstad works in the multidisciplinary intersections of installation art, photography, video, site and time specific work and land art. Her work examines phenomenologies of sensorial aesthetics, transcendental ideas of art and philosophical practice, and social-political awareness. Since the mid 90’s she has been concerned with the perceptive elements of light, sound and color, a foundation for her explorations in the experiential and experimental. She engages projections, sound and installations with landscape and structuralities of architecture redefining the psychological space. Her sources lie in literature, philosophy, technology, film and phenomena of ocular perseptions.
In 2013 her work was exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennial at Officina delle Zattere. In 2011 she completed a major public art commission in collaboration with the internationally renowned architecture firm Snøhetta, at The Wolfe Center for the Arts, Ohio. International exhibitions include Abu Dhabi Art Hub, Zendai Moma, Shanghai, ThisIsNotAgallery, Buenos Aires, SALT, Utsikten Kunstsenter and Stiftelsen 3,14 in Norway, Björn Ressle Gallery, Gary Snyder Gallery, Gallery Nine5, Fiterman Art Center and Elga Wimmer Gallery in New York, Zhulong Gallery, Dallas, TX, Pink Gallery in Seuol and KK Projects and New Orleans Biennial Prospect 1 and 3 in New Orleans amongst others. Ongoing collaborations with composers include the electronic sound pioneer C.C. Hennix and JG Thirlwell. Her video work has been shown at Centre Pompidou, Haus Der Kultur Der Welt, Berlin, Beirut Art Center, Lebanon, The Canadian Museum of Nature, Museum of Modern Art Ukraine, Kiev, Dallas Aurora TX, Video Arte Internacional Buenos Aires, Eva Peron Museum, Oslo Screen Festival and ISEA Dubai 2014. Art fairs include Downtown Fair NY, Scope Miami, Scope New York, DIVA Paris, Paris Photo, Paris Fever Photo, Miami Photo, London book Art Fair/Serpentine Gallery, Sao Paolo Contemporary Art Fair, HAF Hong Kong, Seoul Art Fair, KIAF Korea International Art Fair, MiArt Milano Contemporary Art Fair, Zona Maco Mexico. Upcoming exhibitions include the inaugural Bruges Art and Architecture Trienniale 2015 and Dallas Aurora 2015. Her work is represented in gallery, institutional, corporate and private collections.
With almost four decades of performing festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses, colleges, and house concerts, along with a half dozen acclaimed CDs, Bernice Lewis has built a solid national fan base. She is also a published poet, a producer, and an educator extraordinaire. Lewis — who studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson — has been a featured performer on NPR’s Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, she was awarded an Artist in Residence position by the National Park Service. In 1987, she was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Contest at the Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival, where she continues to be a main stage favorite. Her ballad, “Bridges That Hold,” was included in Peter, Paul and Mary’s Lifelines video (PBS). She was featured in Yoga Journal for her work with sound and yoga, and has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Dar Williams, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Pete Seeger, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Livingston Taylor, Odetta, Christine Lavin, Marty Sexton, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Mary Gauthier… it’s a long list. She has a forty-year old daily yoga practice, loves good coffee, and her religion is the Grand Canyon.
“For me, it’s about the songs, each different, each a well thought out message, each a labor of love,” says Bernice. Her seventh CD, Checks & Love Letters, was released in 2014 on Houston based Berkalin Records. Produced in Nashville by Mike T Lewis of The Twangtown Paramours, this collection of originals features guest appearances by Jimmy Van Cleve of Mountain Heart, Harris Paleltiner of Darlingside, and MaryBeth Zamer of The Twangtown Paramours..
Bernice is The Artist Associate in Songwriting at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. She also teaches at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO, Rock On Camp at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA, as well as at many schools and retreat centers. She has also been an Artist in Residence and workshop presenter at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, Kripalu Center for Yoga in Lenox, MA, and Esalen Institute in Big Sur.
Bernice is also becoming widely known for her History Alivepresentation, a multi-media discussion of her family’s emigration from Nazi Germany, specifically designed for Junior and Senior High School classrooms. Her song, “Ways to Survive,” won an award from the American Zionist Movement in 1996.
She is a founding and current member of The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra.
Her writings and recordings will be archived in the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
C. C. Ann Chen is an artist and educator based in Chicago, IL. Her work stems from architecture and landscape, and explores perceptual translations and misinterpretations of place, time, and memory. Projects range from direct observation to site-specific ideas, allowing an intuitive, experiment-based approach in her studio practice. She has participated in exhibitions in numerous Chicago venues, including slow gallery, The Bike Room, Heaven Gallery, Research House for Asian Art, Beverly Art Center, Zhou B. Art Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Heaven Gallery, and The Franklin. Chen was a recipient of the Midwest Voices and Visions Award in 2012, and has been nominated for the 3Arts Award. She earned a BA in Architectural History from the University of Maryland, and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently Adjunct faculty in the Liberal Arts Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Catherine Page Harris is an interdisciplinary assistant professor and teaches Art and Ecology and Landscape Architecture at the University of New Mexico in a split position with the College of Fine Arts and the School of Architecture and Planning. She received her BA from Harvard University, 1988, MLA from UC Berkeley, 1997, and MFA from Stanford University,
2005. Harris works in art/design, and digital/analog expressions. Her built work resides at Deep Springs College, White Mountains, CA, McCovey Field, SF, CA and The Violin Shop in Albuquerque, NM, among other sites. Recent projects include collaborations with
Alexander Webb and Nina Dubois on modular explorations of space at Montessa Park for High Desert Test Sites and trans-species habitat furniture with Sam Martin, shown at the Santa Fe Art Institute among other spaces. Trans-species Repast, a performance sharing meals with animals, was most recently shown at the Wignall Museum, CA. Transpecies studies, food, and morphogenesis, are current theoretical foci.
Celina Jeffery is a curator, writer and associate professor of Art History and Theory at the University of Ottawa. Recent curatorial projects include Preternatural (2011-12) at venues across Ottawa, Canada; Hold On, co-curated with Avantika Bawa at Gallery Maskara, Mumbai, 2011; Afterglow (featuring Ghada Amer, Alfredo Jaar and Bill Viola, amongst others) in Lacoste, France, 2007, and Wangechi Mutu: The Cinderella Curse at the ACA Gallery, Atlanta, USA, 2007. She is the co-editor with Gregory Minissale of Global and Local Art Histories (2007) and her new book, Artist As Curator will be published by Intellect, UK in 2015. Her new project, Ephemeral Coast, brings together artists, writers and climate change experts to explore how curating can advance consideration of environmental degradation.
An American film, stage and television actress and playwright. She has written four plays, titled Pretty Fire, Neat, In Real Life, which she starred in, and “Flight”. She portrayed the recurring role of Janice on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. She played the role of Vonda on Roseanne, and also appeared in a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Sister Peg, a nun who looks out for the safety of prostitutes and junkies and occasionally helps the SVU detectives. Her film credits include the role of Tituba in The Crucible, alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder, Elijah’s mother in Unbreakable alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis, and Angel Kosinsky in Eye for an Eye, alongside Sally Field. She was one of the original cast members in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, and in 2009, starred in a one-person performance called The Night Watcher at Primary Stages in New York City. In 2011, this production came to the Kirk Douglas Theater and her performance won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Solo Performance. Woodard was trained at the Goodman School of Drama.