Paloma Kop

News archive: 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017

2023 News

Here are some things I've been up to recently. To stay updated, subscribe to my email newsletter, or visit my now page!

2023-12-31 ♦ 2023 Year in Review

Portrait of me in front of a scenic overlook

I've never done this sort of post before, but so much has happened this year that I feel a need to take one last look over my shoulder before 2023 is over. This year, I made twice the average number of posts in the "news" section of my website, because this year has been full of activities. Here are some of them:

  • Made myself a new artist website (this very place you're visiting now!) with hand-coded HTML and CSS; it took a long time but it was very fun and I learned a lot
  • Helped start Polyphase Portal, a cooperatively-run online educational space with our own self-hosted infrastructure (running open-source software for our website, video classrooms, chat, and wiki)
  • Attended my third vipassana meditation retreat, and finished a seven month, 200-hour yoga teacher training, which not only prepared me to teach others but also helped me evolve my own yoga practice
  • Left my corporate software development job of the last 5 years, and managed to scrape by for 8 months thus far without a "day job"
    • Side note: despite being part of a mass media conglomerate, my team there was small and scrappy, and we did some cool stuff together. Hats off to the great folks I worked with.
  • Left Brooklyn, where I've lived off and on for much of my adult life, and wrapped up Phase Space, which was run out of the basement of our apartment there
  • Bought a 1988 Chevy van with Andrei and spent 5 months traveling across the US together
  • Did 3 audiovisual performances and 2 artist residencies
  • Co-led 12 in-person video art workshops and demonstrations across the country
  • Camped in many national parks and other public lands, experienced many different biomes and landscapes; learned to identify a bunch of new plants
  • Returned to Catskill Mountains of upstate NY, where I grew up and then left 12 years ago, with a new appreciation for its vibrant forests
  • Started — and am still starting — a small business: Moon Ark Studio (with 4 clients so far and counting)

This year has been alternately fun, exciting, hectic, exhausting, and immensely fulfilling in a way I have not quite experienced before. And the way things are going, it seems there will be many more adventures in store in the coming year. Thanks for following along, and I wish you a happy old year, in the last moments before a new one begins.

2023-11-20 ♦ ELMET BRAE Compilation Release

Elmet Brae Compilation cover art by Rostiger

November 20th was the release of Elmet Brae, a community compilation of soundscapes/ambient/noise/drone from Merveilles Town members and friends. It includes an ambient piece I recorded while traveling in the national forests of the northwestern US, titled Artemisia Grove.

The online community of Merveilles Town has been a calm, creative haven for me on the internet, and a place of mutual inspiration and encouragement, since I joined the mastodon server in 2022. It has been lovely to listen to everyone's musical contributions to this compilation and appreciate the town's unique personality and atmosphere.

Shout outs to Orllewin for organizing the project, Bad Diode for mastering, Rostiger for the visual artwork, and to all the sonic artists and musicians who contributed.

🌐 Find out more: orllewin.github.io/elmet_brae/EB01

💿 Download FLAC: orllewin.itch.io/elmet-brae-eb01-the-land

🔈 Listen on Bandcamp: beldamrecords.bandcamp.com/album/elmet-brae-the-land

2023-10-31 ♦ SYNTHETIC FOREST at Coaxial

Synthetic Forest performance/installation at Coaxial

During the last week of October, Andrei and I did an artist residency at Coaxial Arts in Los Angeles as Phase Shift Collective. During our our time there, we created an installation/environment which also served as our stage and setup for a live performance, titled Synthetic Forest.

The concept was inspired by the time we spent camping in national forests during our five-month road trip across the US. Throughout our travels, we made video and sound recordings in nature, which we sampled and remixed in the performance. We wanted to create an environment which combined materials from the natural landscape with the synthetic elements of our electronic sound and video processing techniques. In our installation, we used real and synthetic plants and moss, chalk on the floor, overhead projectors, CRT screens, and a fog machine.

Andrei performed live video using a combination of liquid light show techniques, camera feedback, footage from our walks in the forest, and gravity_waaaves, a video processor/frame buffer device they created.

I performed quadraphonic sound with field recording samples, a foley box containing dried leaves, bells, a kalimba and an AM radio, synths, and granular and spatial processing. It was my first time performing music in quad, so it was exciting to create an immersive sonic landscape with Coaxial's multichannel speaker setup.

I've known about Coaxial for a long time, and it was really cool to finally get to be there in person. Many thanks to KA, Chloe, Eva, and Brock for their help and hospitality. We look forward to visiting again in the future!

📺 Watch a recording of our performance: Youtube | Peertube

2023-10-23 ♦ Artist Talk at CalArts

Artist Talk at CalArts

On October 23, we did a Phase Shift artist talk/workshop at California Institute for the Arts in Santa Clarita, CA. We visited a class called Creative Technology Forum with professor Josephine Shetty. Andrei and I took turns showing some of our individual artwork and collaborations, and then the students tried out some of our video feedback setups in an interactive demo at the end.

I was excited to see that the students in this class were very engaged with their own unique projects and art practices. They asked insightful questions which showed that what we were doing was relevant to their own work. I was impressed with the level of initiative and self-direction of the students, and the level of creative cross-pollination that seemed to be taking place within the class.

Many thanks to Josephine for having us in her class and to Michael Bailey, audiovisual artist and CalArts student, for inviting us!

2023-10-19 ♦ Workshop/Talk at Indexical

Workshop at Indexical in Santa Cruz

On October 19, we led a Phase Shift workshop and artist talk at Indexical in Santa Cruz, with special guests Allen Riley and Denise Gallant. It was wonderful to see Allen, who is a good friend and former Brooklyn neighbor, now working on his PhD at UC Santa Cruz. It was also my first time meeting Denise, who has been working with video synthesis since the 1970s!

Michael Masaru Flora, my former classmate at Alfred and fellow audiovisual artist, helped us set up the event. He's now the Executive Director at Indexical! I'd heard lots of good things about this venue, so it was cool to finally get to be there in person.

We had a great turnout. Most of the folks who came were somehow associated with UC Santa Cruz. We had a record number of video game developers. The event was a combination of an artist talk and a workshop, beginning with each of us sharing about our art practice and demonstrating some techniques, and ending with an interactive opportunity to explore our tools.

Much gratitude to Allen, Denise, and Michael. We look forward to visiting Santa Cruz again!

2023-10-14 ♦ Workshop in San Francisco

Workshop at Cat Factory in San Francisco

On October 14, we led a Phase Shift video art workshop at Cat Factory, a diy space in San Francisco. Evan Sirchuk helped us organize it, and also invited us to visit the Internet Archive where he works. We had more help and gear lending from Nathan Trachimowicz, Chris Farstad, and Fetz A/V. Many televisions were activated with mesmerizing patterns, and fun and educational times were had by all.

2023-10-12 ♦ Video Artist Meetup at Syzygy

Video Artist Meetup at Syzygy in San Francisco

On October 12, we hosted a Phase Shift Video Artist Meetup at Syzygy in San Francisco, in collaboration with AV Club, a local art collective for technology-based performers. We set up an interactive demo of some of our gear, including Andrei's gravity_waaaves, waaave_pool and artificial_life. Our friend Sean Russell Hallowell also brought his self-built modular video synthesizer (and we had some fun sending signals back and forth between our systems).

Syzygy is a really nice community-run space, and the AV Club there is an awesome hub of algorave folks in the area. I had a great time meeting a bunch of new people, including Sarah GHP, a fellow video artist who I'd only known from online.

2023-10-07 ♦ Workshop in Eugene

Phase Shift workshop in Eugene

On October 7, we led a Phase Shift video art workshop at a private studio & wood shop in Eugene, Oregon. Attendees were a mixed group with some experienced video artists and some beginners, so it was cool to see the more experienced folks sharing their knowledge and personal techniques. Many thanks to Josiah Martens for hosting the event and to Adam Sladek for providing video equiment and some cool kaleidoscopic mirrors!

2023-10-05 ♦ Class Visit at University of Oregon

University of Oregon visit

On October 5, we did a visiting artist workshop at University of Oregon in Eugene, for the class Digital Imaging taught by our friend Kevin Kripper. We discussed iterative processes, feedback loops & recursion, and reaction-diffusion/Turing patterns in digital & analog processes and in nature. The students learned how to generate their own Turing patterns from photos, like in the examples below.

2023-09-17 ♦ Workshop in Portland

Poster for Portland workshop

On September 17, we led our Phase Shift Intro to Live Visuals workshop in Portland, Oregon, hosted by Synth Library Portland and CETI. Our attendees were an excellent group of videonauts, and we had a great time learning and experimenting. Many thanks to Jon Daries, Thomas Fang, Adam Sladek, and everyone else at CETI and Synth Library Portland who helped put this together!

2023-09-16 ♦ Video Mixer in Portland

Poster for Portland Video Mixer

On September 16, we were special guests at Video Mixer, a meetup and interactive demonstration of video art tools, hosted by CETI Institute and Synth Library Portland. It was great to hang out and chat with some local artists and tinkerers, and to set up a playground for folks to explore some of the tools and techniques we've developed!

2023-09-09 ♦ Workshop in Seattle

Poster for Seattle workshop

On September 9, we led our Phase Shift Intro to Live Visuals workshop at Patchwerks, a synth boutique in Seattle. This was our biggest group so far on this tour, with almost 30 people attending. Luckily, we had assistance from local artists & people from the video community, and everyone had an excellent time collaborating and exploring analog video feedback with cameras and mixers, optical effects, and liquids.

Many thanks to Connie Fu, SleepPattern, and Tesseractive for helping facilitate and lending equipment!

2023-08-15 ♦ Inspiration from the Forest Floor

Lichens on the surface of a stone

While camping in the national forests in Wyoming and Montana, I spent some time looking closely at the many forms of moss, lichen, fungi, and flora inhabiting the forest floor. Since much of my artwork draws inspiration from the intersection between the organic and the algorithmic, I decided to take a macro lens and try to document some of this wealth of fascinating tiny landscapes and patterns, for later reference and admiration. Here are some of my favorites.

2023-07-20 ♦ Workshop in Minneapolis

Demonstrating video feedback techniques at Minneapolis workshop

On July 20, we led a Phase Shift video art workshop at a public library in Minneapolis. With the help of our local artist friends, we were able to set up six stations for exploration of video feedback with cameras, processors, and mixers. Since Minneapolis has a thriving a/v art scene, there was a lot of interest, and many people came to participate. I also had an amazing time jamming with a bunch of people the following weekend.

Many thanks to our friends Shawna Lee, Erik Tinberg, Chris LeBlanc, Charles Hainsworth, and others who helped out with things!

2023-07-01 ♦ Workshop in Iowa City

Me demonstrating liquid light show techniques at Iowa City workshop

On July 1st, we led another Phase Shift video art workshop in Iowa City at Public Space One. I've never been to Iowa City before, so it was quite fun to meet so many folks there from the experimental art / noise music scene. We greatly appreciated PHOSPHENES for booking the space and hosting us, and everyone who brought over gear for the workshop. I look forward to visiting again some time!

2023-06-18 ♦ Phase Shift Residency at FEED

Phase Shift performance at FEED

In late June, I did a 1-week artist residency with Andrei Jay and Kevin Kripper as Phase Shift Collective at FEED, a new media art center in Erie, Pennsylvania. We did a live performance and art installation, and led a video art workshop. It was an interesting space and location, and we look forward to visiting again some day to see how this new space will evolve.

2023-06-13 ♦ Traveling + Life Updates

The phase shift van

For the past few years, I've been living in Brooklyn, working a full-time tech job, and helping run a video art studio and collective called Phase Space out of my basement. Now, I've left the city and started a six-month road trip across the USA and back with my partner & collaborator, Andrei. Since we have left Brooklyn for the foreseeable future, Phase Space has come to a close after four excellent years of offering workshops, events, and community. However, some of my friends and I are working on some new projects which will continue the spirit of Phase in two ways...

First of these is Phase Shift Collective, which consists of Andrei and myself teaching workshops, attending artist residencies, and visiting art spaces across the country as we travel. You can find out more on our new website for this (also lovingly hand-coded with plain html/css):

🌐 phaseshift.zone

Secondly, me, Andrei, and our friends Tim Caldwell and Sean Hallowell have started Polyphase Portal, a DIY, collectively-run online school that hosts workshops, classes, and talks. We already have some classes on the schedule, and I hope to lead an online workshop in the next few months on making simple, hand-coded websites in HTML and CSS that bring back some of the magic of the early internet. Polyphase is online at:

🌐 polyphaseportal.xyz

We've only just started our road trip, and we are deliberately moving quite slowly, but we'll be on the west coast by September, and then driving back and spending most of the winter in upstate New York. Our first major stop will be at a 1-week residency later this month at FEED, a new art center in Erie, Pennsylvania, founded by Benton C Bainbridge.

I am hoping that these life changes will will lead to more time and energy spent on creative and independent projects, and I'm looking forward to spending more time in nature and meeting like-minded people in different parts of the country. I find my lifestyle is becoming more and more offline and low-tech, but I also want to stay connected and share what I'm up to, so stay tuned for more updates over the next few months!

2023-05-06 ♦ OUT OF PHASE at Phase Space

Out of Phase show flyer

On Saturday, May 6, we hosted our last show at Phase Space before moving out (more on that soon). I performed live ambient music for a collaborative a/v set with Andrei Jay as REALITY ORP. Our friend 식료품groceries did a set as well! As always, there were a variety of installations on view throughout the event, and we also had tarot readings.

We will miss organizing events here in Brooklyn, but our friends are taking over the space and continuing to do cool stuff there, while Andrei and I are hitting the road for a cross country tour. So this was also a bit of a going away party, and a final hurrah for Phase Space as we know it.

📺 Watch a recording of our performance as REALITY ORP: Youtube | Yewtube