Adam Overton is an experimental artist living in Los Angeles who works between performance, writing, experimental music, massage, workshops, event-production and various participatory forms, all in order to facilitate odd and intimate artist-led experiences. He connects regularly with a variety of artist-peers via several collaborative platforms, including Signify, Sanctify, Believe (with Tanya Rubbak and Claire Cronin, and involving the contributions of over 70 semi-secular artists), The Eternal Telethon, and UploadDownloadPerform.net. He works closely with Guru Rugu as co-director of the experimental meditation center of los angeles and as a ghostwriter for Guru Rugu’s Experimental Meditation Hour on KCHUNG Radio. Most recently he presented the collaborative exhibition and free speech auditorium, BESHT – The Bureau of Experimental Speech and Holy Theses – at the Pomona College Museum of Art.
Some ongoing projects and community involvements include:
... BESHT – The Bureau of Experimental Speech and Holy Theses! (1 Nov – 16 Dec 2012), hosted at the Pomona College Museum of Art, was an experiment in public address that explores the commingling of speech, authority, and performance. BESHT visitors witnessed the artists, writers, performers, and designer of BESHT delighting in various forms of rhetorical play, ranging from dictation to meditation to proclamation. The exhibition and related projects featured a series of weekly events that temporarily converted the project space into an experimental public speaking hall. During the rest of the week, BESHT served as a reading room and Free Speech Auditorium with an occasional Diction-for-Dollars Open Mic for adventurous students, faculty, and visitors. All BESHT proceedings were be broadcast online, and five issues of our BESHT Weekly newspaper publication, conceptualized with and designed by collaborator Tanya Rubbak, accompanied the exhibition.
... Signify, Sanctify, Believe, in collaboration with Tanya Rubbak, Claire Cronin and dozens of artist-seekers. Signify, Sanctify, Believe is a semi-secular artist collective invested in the gentle, temporary, playful exploration of [semi-]fictional religious technologies. As an umbrella organization, Signify, Sanctify, Believe and its powerful Library of Sacred Technologies has featured the devout writings and sanctified rituals of over 60 artist-seekers since 2011. SSB spent two weeks in residence hosting artist-led services and sermons at The Free Church of Public Fiction in April-May 2011, and led pilgrimages to Xhurch in Portland, OR (May 2012), and the Salt Lake Alt Press (SLAP) Festival in Salt Lake City (July 2012). The Library of Sacred Technologies will be featured again during the Los Angeles Art Book Fair at MOCA in February 2013...
... the establishment of the experimental meditation center of los angeles, which sporadically hosts small, private gatherings to engage in a variety of experimental artist-led activities ...
... the subtle bodies series, an ongoing series of investigations featuring subtle, barely-noticed experiments in sound, movement, action, and energy within public spaces, led by artists, performers, choreographers, and sound artists ...
... the maintenance of and contribution to Upload .. Download .. Perform . net, an online wiki-repository for artists, composers, choreographers, et al, to share contemporary experimental performance scores (est. Oct 2008) ...
... artSpa, a sporadic public interface for art-and-then-somes - artists living double-lives as bodyworkers, yoga teachers, psychics, healers, and new age dabblers - involving artist-run walk-in clinics, workshops, experimental meditation groups, new age aesthetics panels, touchy-feely music events, and more, plus the creation of the artPlus list-serv (since May 2007) ...
... the collaborative, traveling experimental music & massage series, that combines traditional chair massage with "therapeutic" experimental music performances by local and visiting composer/performers ...
Some upcoming projects include:
... the development of the Experimental Leadership Forum (ELF) with Elana Mann, featuring clinics and workshops for artists in topic areas generally only offered to professionals in the fields of law, mediation, diplomacy, community organizing, etc (coming someday) ...
... and the publication of several essays and texts, including New Music for a New Age: Return to Nature!, which focuses on the musics of eden ahbez, Anton LaVey, and Pauline Oliveros (coming Winter 2013 via East of Borneo); and Ripe For Embarrassment: For A New Musical Masochism, a proposal for a new paradigm in composer-performer relations wherein the composer is a masochist seeking his or her own humiliation at the hands of a determinedly indeterminate performer (keywords: John Cage, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Julius Eastman, malicious compliance) (coming Winter 2013 via the Experimental Music Yearbook).
Recent projects and performances have included:
... participation in Brody Condon's latest project, LevelFive, a 2-day Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) experience at the Hammer Museum exploring the dynamics of the self-actualization seminars of the 1970s, in collaboration with Nordic live action game designers Bjarke Pederson and Tobias Wrigstad ...
... the production of an artSpa energy assessment for the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (Fall 2009, released 2010), in partnership with Machine Project during a year-long engagement at the Hammer; the assessment employed several artist-psychics, -intuitives, -channelers, -ghost-hunters, et al, in order to energetically map the institution, and to provide actionable suggestions for improving the energetic interface for all visitors, spirits, and museum administrators ...
... participation as a board member of the experimental music space, the wulf., and participation in group brainstorms for various projects with Machine Project. In addition, I was a board member of the gallery and project space Sea and Space Explorations in Highland Park (2008-2009), and on the advisory committee for the interdisciplinary body-based residency program Genesis Project LA (2007-2009) ...
... experimental music performances as part of the Dogstar Orchestra, an annual Summer festival at CalArts (June 2006-2010) ... participation in the Eternal Telethon (July 2010) ... performances of scores with Mark So at the Torrance Museum as part of Presence (June 2010) ... artSpa workshops for artists at FOCA as part of the exhibition Performing Economies (Summer 2009) ... experimental music & massage at LACE, as part of the Resonant Forms Festival of electronic music (April 2009) ... performances of several works at the John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium at UNM in Albuquerque (March-April 2009) ... participation in the ridiculously massive, one-day happening, A Machine Project Field Guide to `LACMA (`LACMA, Nov 2008) ... participation in Elana Mann's election-based performance project, Exchange Rate: 2008 (Oct & Nov 2008) ... two days and one night of moonshot meditation, lunar warlock ritual, and spring tide syzygetics at artSpa Resort & artSpa atNight (Sea and Space Explorations, July 2008) ... as well as live performances in festivals and events in Beijing, Bergen, Berlin, and London (2004-present).
Many of my text-scores, as well as images from my performances, have been published in:
. Antennae Journal 11 (May 2010), a collection of texts, performance scores, and poetry, ed. Jesse Seldess
. Out of Nothing, Issue #1 (2009), "an electronic publication featuring new works in image, sound, text and the digital arts, as well as works located at the intersections between these media."
. Natural Born Fluxus (Nov 2008), an anthology of childhood-related scores, ed. Cecil Touchon
. Possibilities of Action: The Life of the Score, an exhibition of scores at Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) (June-Oct 2008), curated by Barbara Held & Pilar Subira
. maulwerker performing music (Berlin, July 2008), in performance and on notecard
I'm an adjunct instructor covering a variety of subjects at colleges around Los Angeles; recent school and topics have included OTIS College of Art (performance art, sound art, electronics and superpowers), College of the Canyons (introductions to design and multimedia tools), Art Institute of California (computer programming and shell-scripting), and ITT Technical Institute (3D modeling, game design, project & portfolio development, etc). I have guest lectured/workshopped at UCSD, USC, OTIS, CCA, and Columbia College Hollywood.
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I'm an MFA graduate of the Experimental Sound Practices (ESP) program at the California Institute of the Arts (2005).
last updated 13 January 2013, at 08:19 PM PST