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Entries Tagged as 'Studio'


August 26th, 2018


18 – The Sea, The Stars, A Landscape, a new segment of Alison O’Daniel’s The Tuba Thieves accompanied by Helga Fassonaki and Omar Corona, both on trumpet.  This is the final installment of LAND’s Exchange Value exhibition.  


26 – Performance by yek kooCoaxial for the closing of Christopher Reid Martin’s installation of Mar Gauge


27 – Performances by The Renderers, Emily Lacy, Kathleen Kim, and yek koo @ Zebulon Los Angeles, CA


31 – Kathleen Kim and yek koo @ Spectrum, 70 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205, 7:30pm  

30 – Kathleen Kim and yek koo @ Root Cellar, Greenfield, MA 

29 – Kathleen Kim and yek koo @ Avenue Grocery, Brattleboro, VT 

26 – Ontopo presents: Kathleen Kim and yek koo @ Catskill ZenDo, a Korean Buddhist temple, Summitville, NY (NOTE:  this is a special 24 hours event including a talk by Kathleen Kim and Helga Fassonaki as well as performances, breakfast, and dinner.  Tickets are limited to 40, please email:

25 – Kathleen Kim and yek koo @ Vox Populi,  Philly, PA 

11 – Kathleen Kim, yek koo, and Kelly Coats @ Jenny’s4220 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90029, 8:30pm 


22nd – The Gallery @ Michael’s, 1147 Third St, Santa Monica, CA,  7pm 


21st – Juini Booth & Kathleen Kim aka @ Zebulon
The Booth / Kim , Eclectic Nativity*” celebrating their birthdays, Booth’s 70th!
Opening performances by Guillermo E. Brown (solo) and LA Fog, DJ’ing by Xandao
*w/ Joce Soubiran, Guillermo E. Brown, Wynne Bennett, Giles Miller, Kelly Coats, Jonathan Silberman, Mira Billotte, Helga Fassonaki, Scott Martin, Corey Fogel, Cameron Stallones, and Jon Leland PLUS Special Guest: Robert J. Carmack – Echoes of SUN RA Poetry

Facebook invite:

1st – present – untune field studies in Social Exchange Theory 


1st – presentuntune field studies in Social Exchange Theory 



June 16th, 2018

primary colors on 2 x 8″ paper

they live in a hollow hut
they come out together 
they hunt together 
they cook together 
they return together
they sleep together. 

too much 
corn fields forever 
I saw hell on my way here 
the blues frailship 
a nervous art erection 
repent and stop formalism 
human is 
is this it?  
I’m not famous yet 
Sunday morning 
feeling love, feeling freedom
feeling freedom in love 
feeling love in freedom 
love freedom 
freedom loves 


untune presents Social Residencies: October 6 – 28

October 6th, 2017

The slow delivery of this announcement was intended to provoke physiological anticipation for this bending shape of things to come.  As we anticipate a waking from this horror that is not Halloween but rather a reflection of a reality that we find ourselves accidentally in, we are forced to take a closer look at that photo we shot on our smart phones.  How much time passes between our first gaze onto the subject and the snap shot?  How many minutes missed as we find the perfect frame and how many more lost as we fragrance the post with half-heard conversations?  (untune invite email, 10-16-17)

untune Artist-in-Residents include Marcia Bassett (social entropy), Kathleen Kim (social slur), and Alison O’Daniel (social tone);  Similar in their mesmerizing abilities to lean deeper into human sensitivities, overlapping processes and bits of ‘real life’ integrated into poetic approaches that extend the boundaries of social involvement and collaboration.

Marcia Bassett
 (10-6 to 10-9)  
so·cial en·tro·py will be presented at untune on a future date

Kathleen Kim (10-16 to 10-22) 
so·cial slur

Kathleen Kim presented two events during her residency: 
Thursday October 19th 
LA Fog performed a rehearsal of new work with undiscovered endings.  LA Fog is an experimental music group composed of woodwinds and strings. Their music is composed by members Kelly Coats, Kathleen Kim, Giles Miller and Jonathan Silberman, and their compositions include structures for improvisation along with traditional and non-traditional scores

LA Fog

LA Fog
Picture 1 of 3


Saturday October 21st 
Siblings Eric Kim and Kathleen Kim invited guests to engage in conversation while enjoying the calming and healing properties of freshly brewed Wood Betony tea and hors d’eourves. The botanical term for Wood Betony, Betonica officinalis, means ‘tonic for head.’ 

Wood Betony Tea and Conversation

Wood Betony Tea and Conversation
Picture 1 of 5

Alison O’ Daniel (10-23 to 10-28)
so·cial tone will be presented at untune on a future date



Marcia Bassett is a NYC-based musician and multi-media artist. An artist whose alternately shimmeringly beatific and uncannily intense work has resonated through the underground world, Bassett is the exterminating and vivifying force defying boundaries of noise, free drone and dark psychedelia to arrive at a place of heavenly radiance and hellish intensity. Working with synthesis, processed field recordings, electric guitar, electronic experimentation and acoustic instruments, under the moniker Zaïmph, she seeks to transform, re-imagine and find new meaning within established structure. Her solo recordings appear on a number of independent USA and European record labels, as well as her own private-press label Yew Recordings. Bassett frequently collaborates and records one-to-one with musicians living in the USA and Europe; collaborators include Samara Lubelski, Bridget Hayden, Barry Weisblat, Bob Bellerue, Helga Fassonaki, Jenny Graf and Margarida Garcia. Additionally, Bassett is an active participant in ensembles that explore improvised sound and visual scores.  She has been an active member of  Andrew Lafkas’ large ensemble Alternate Models; the group presented “Two Paths with Active Shadows Under Three Moons and Surveillance,” at Experimental Intermedia and EyebeamNYC; Bassett has also contributed to “Gen Ken’s Supergroup performing at PS1 Solid Gold and Experimental Intermedia.

Recent solo and collaborative presentations of her work include “Transitory Freezing of Perpetual Motion” collaborative improvised sound performance with Jenny Graf and dancers at Here-10 Evenings Festival, Sweden;“Field Recording with Zaïmph”, BOMB magazine; “Out of Line: Narcissister” live improvised sound interaction with the performance, High Line, NYC; “Ed Atkins: Performance Capture” at the Kitchen NYC;  composition and performances of the score “One Two Sides Dirty,” part of Helga Fassonaki’s Khal project presented at galleries in the US and New Zealand; and “Ten Ways of Doing Time”, 2013, Single Channel Video, written and directed by James Fotopoulos and Laura Parnes with original soundtrack by Marcia Bassett. 

Kathleen Kim is an experimental musician and composer who creates solo work as well as collaborative work with LA Fog and SheKhan. She has performed in joint projects in museums, galleries and venues, nationally and internationally. She co-founded Human Resources Gallery with her brother Eric Kim along with Giles Miller, Dawn Kasper and Devin McNulty. Kathleen is also a full-time professor of law at Loyola Law School and a nationally-recognized scholar of critical theory perspectives on immigration and human trafficking. She is co-author of the first casebook on human trafficking. From 2013-2016 she served as a Los Angeles Police Commissioner and was a gubernatorial appointee to the first statewide California Anti-Trafficking Task Force. In 2014, Los Angeles Magazine named her one of Los Angeles’ ten most inspiring women. In 2016, The National Jurist selected her as one of twenty law professor “Leaders in Diversity.” She was a recipient of the Judge Takasugi Public Interest Fellowship, Skadden Fellowship and Immigrants’ Rights Teaching Fellowship at Stanford Law School.

Combining film, performance, sculpture, and installation, Alison O’Daniel structures her work as a call-and-response between mediums. Cinema, performance, sound-dampening textiles, sculptures, mobiles and large-scale installations foreground the deaf and hard of hearing experience through process, collaboration, and material. Her collaborations with composers and musicians often highlight the loss or re-creation of information as it passes through various channels, building a visual, aural, and haptic vocabulary as a means to tell stories inspired by events that are both historic and quotidian. O’Daniel’s current project, The Tuba Thieves, made in the wake of tuba robberies from Los Angeles schools, elliptically connects the story of a Deaf drummer to the students, band directors, and school communities who must reconcile with missing sound following the thefts. First-hand accounts and real life details from collaborations with students, musicians, composers, and actors are continuously altering the narrative, which is filmed in segments over time, eventually forming a feature length film. O’Daniel has presented solo exhibitions at Art In General, New York; Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles; Centre d’Art Contemporain Passerelle, Brest, France and performances at the Hammer Museum, Knockdown Center, and Art Los Angeles Contemporary.  Writing on O’Daniel’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Artforum, Los Angeles Times, and ArtReview. O’Daniel has received grants from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation; Center for Cultural Innovation; Art Matters; Franklin Furnace Fund; and California Community Foundation. She received a BFA in Fibers and Material Studies from the Cleveland Institute of Art, a Post-graduate Diploma of Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a MFA in Studio Art from UC Irvine, CA. During her residency at Untune, O’Daniel will begin a collaborative piece with a friend and her 3 year old son addressing issues of accessibility in closed captioning.

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To Clarify My Intentions on Khal

December 1st, 2016

This was written on September 15, 2015 as an attempt and conscious effort to clarify my intentions on Khal – a project I began in September 2014 while residing in Tabriz, Iran. I wanted to make clear that as an American of Persian and Azeri decent, my experience as a woman with freedom in America versus freedom as a woman in Iran (both post 1978) may appear different on the surface but both can be used to reveal something not talked about in the realm of the other.


To Clarify My Intentions:

Its important for me to acknowledge that the Khal project is not about saying that we as westerners have any right or responsibility to try and change the laws or culture of Iran.  I think artists in Iran have profoundly effective ways of dealing with their own government.  ‘Underground’ has a very different meaning in that country.  It means an outlet for expression that may be otherwise banned; it sprouts from necessity rather than desire.  It’s not outsider art, its insider freedom and its powerful and beautiful and does not require external interference.  It does not seek to be in the spot light, otherwise its freedom becomes threatened. 

What this project is about is presenting an action that connects one side of freedom to another.  I would not be allowed to perform the way I would like in Iran because of the existing laws and it’s not my position as a visitor to challenge those laws in a way that would risk my freedom as an artist.  So instead, I chose this gesture of sending scores out for artists outside Iran to perform publicly.  This action attempted to demonstrate a way of still creating and communicating language rather than letting the suppression of ridiculous laws stop the conversation.  Artists in Iran do not let such laws prevent them from making art; they are resourceful.  With Khal, I attempted to move beyond a direct critique of the laws that shaped its initial concept and in a way question our own supposed freedoms – the personal and political freedoms as an American. In America, we are allowed to perform publicly without asking a ‘ministry of art and culture’ for permission and without presenting our art to a censorship board for a stamp of approval, but still do we have the freedom we are made to believe we have?  Sure, we can go out and perform these scores publicly – but what are our own hang-ups?  Do we push the limits?  Do we express what’s meaningful, or do we hide behind the shadows of what we think we should believe?  We are allowed to sing solo in public, to use our voice for positive change, but do we?  We are free to create the kind of society we want to see, but is this it?  We are free to express our individualism, but doesn’t that just nurture our own ego?   We know we have the freedom to shout our opinions, but what about cultural meditation? Mind freedom. Do we have that? It’s easier to show paternal concern for the rest of the world’s freedom rather than take a harder look at our own, is it not?  

These questions led me to try and create a composition for ‘8 Pillars’, one of the 16 scores shipped abroad. I wanted to create a composition in the making (in the form of a filmed experience) because only in the creating process, can we begin to see and work through our own mental prisons. This film, 8 Pillars – A Free Score, was screened at Disjecta in Portland, Oregon for the exhibition, ‘Book of Scores,’ curated by Chiara Giovando in September 2015.

I believe in the power of voice and artistic expression to move us beyond unjust laws and paint a freedom that resonates internally, externally, and globally.  

Helga Fassonaki

More Info about Khal project: 


KHAL AT GLASSHOUSE, March 11, 2015

KHAL AT LACA, March 20 – April 9, 2015

KHAL AT THE AURICLE, October 8 – 30, 2015







December 1st, 2016


11 – Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home Street Los Angeles, California 90012 
Post-Election Policy Consequences on Marginalized Communities
6pm-11pm (6-8pm panel and discussion; 8:30-10:30pm performance program)

Join Human Resources for a gathering of leading social justice scholars as they discuss post-election policy consequences on marginalized communities. Law and policy experts will address immigrant and refugee rights, racial justice, criminal justice reform, reproductive rights, marriage equality, LGBTQ rights and climate change. They will suggest ways that the broader community can meaningfully assist the advancement of social justice causes.

Inspiring knowledge into action, a live music program will follow with performances by yek koo, White Magic and Pegasus Warning.

Participants include: Samantha Buckingham, Clinical Professor/Director, Juvenile Justice Clinic
Melissa Goodman, Director, LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project, ACLU of Southern California Carmina Ocampo, Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal Priscilla Ocen, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School Emily Robinson & Marissa Montes, Co-Directors, Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic

More TBA

01 – Dynasty Center, 818 N. Spring St. Los Angeles, California 90012,  The Unwrinkled Ear Concert Series  presents Biliana Voutchkova (violin), Rob Magill (woodwinds), and Helga Fassonaki (amplified pocket trumpet ) in solos, duos, and trio @9pm, $8

21 – Metal Rouge Official Record Release Date!  Stay tuned for Metal Rouge show announcement.  



11 – SADE Gallery, 204 South Avenue 19, Los Angeles, CA 90031 – yek koo, Some Pepper, Syko Freak


17 – The Box LA
, 805 Traction Ave, Los Angeles CA 90013 – BOXstock 2-day Festival – Metal Rouge @ 3pm, FREE 
3 – Non Plus Ultra
, 4310 Burns Ave, Los Angeles, California 90029, 9pm – GATE (Michael Morley will be joined by Gabie Strong and Christopher Reid Martin), Metal Rouge, Telecaves,  Peter Kolovos and DJ Prickle, $7

19 – Non Plus Ultra
, 4310 Burns Ave, Los Angeles, California 90029, 9pm – RECIPROCAL ALTRUISM – [yek koo + Zaimph], [Gregg Kowalsky + Jean Paul Jenkins], [Joseph Hammer + Christopher Reid Martin],
and DJ unit [Kathleen Kim + Thomas Torrescordova], $7

3 – The Wulf,  1026 s. santa fe ave. #203, los angeles, ca 90021, 8pm – Tom Carter / Michael Hentz duo and yek koo
7Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Ave, Los Angeles, 7pm – Metal Rouge
10 Basic Flowers, secret DTLA location, 8pm – The Renderers, Metal Rouge, and Gabie Strong
16 – Michael Todd’s studio, 2817 Clearwater Street 90039, 8:30pm – Noel Meek (NZ), and Peter Kolovos / Patrick Shiroishi Duo and Solos, and Metal Rouge
FB event:


2 – Queens, NY – Trans Pecos with Loren Connors & Tom Carter, JR Bohannon, 8pm
5 – Chapel Hill, NC – Nightlight Bar & Club with MAKE and WXYC DJs, 9pm
6 – Asheville, NC – Downtown Books & News with Shane Parish, 7:30pm
10 – Dallas, TX – Wild Detectives with Derek Rogers + 
Chris Hughes, 7:30pm
11 – Houston, TX – Super Happy Funland with Damon Smith, Bastard Mysticism (Andrew Durham)
13 – Santa Fe, NM – Zephyr, 7:30pm
14 – Albuquerque, NM – Gold House with Fina Nash, Other People’s Kids, Giant Killer, The Jeebie, 7pm
16 – Phoenix, AZ – The Trunk Space  with 
Dismal Light, Seth Kasselman
17 – Los Angeles, CA – High Fidelity, 6:30 – 8:30pm – IMPRESSIONS with LFZ/Heavy Hymns (duo), Helga Fassonaki/Meena Makhijani (duo), JC OSMUNDSON the REALIZER of HOUSE II (solo), and Ryo Kuramoto (Tokyo, solo)
18 – Valencia, CA – Langley Hall, Cal Arts, 8pm
Please RSVP to if you’re not a Cal Arts student and plan to attend
26 – Los Angeles, CA – Hyperion Tavern (Zebulon Presents) with Kathleen Kim/Special Guest Thomas Torrescordova, Jordonna, Ryan Sawyer and DJ Kerry Lacy

13 (Wednesday) @ The Stone in NYC, NY –  10 pm (The Stone Residencies – Matana Roberts)
Matana Roberts, Helga Fassonaki, Ava Mendoza and Tomas Fujiwara
Matana Roberts (alto sax) Helga Fassonaki (pocket trumpet) Ava Mendoza (guitar) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)


One Song Two Sides Bold Breathing – MISSING

August 31st, 2016

a living score – a language used to tell a story, communicate a process, and provide instructions while remaining transient and undefined


lost_score1  lost_score2
one_song_two_sides_sketch1  one_song_two_sides_bold1

went forever missing to an unknown admirer thief,  to a fourth interpreter, to the sea of lost mail, to the piccolo player in the clouds, to albert ayler, to its original recipient matana roberts, to the bureau of sacrificial arts,  to the ministry for desired art, or to the museum of lost art.  somewhere it is resting in peace.

August 2016

Here’s the story:
I sent 15 of the 16 scores back to the recipients I initially created them for, after their final appearance of Khal at Audio Foundation Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, to locations around the globe.  The recipient of the above score, Matana Roberts, was in the process of shifting homes and said to keep her score.  After meeting this amazing underground dancer (literally underground) from Tehran, Iran at the opening of Khal at Nga Taonga Sound & Vision in Auckland (random and thrilling!), I knew this project wouldn’t end when I got back to the US.  I asked the dancer, Maryam Baghe Irani, if she would interpret one of the Khal scores into a solo dance piece.  She said yes.  The exchange occurred in November 2015.  The score (originally made for Matana), was finally on its way to Auckland on July 18, 2016.  My movements are slow.  She was to interpret it into a dance, send me a video recording of the performance, and I would then compose music to accompany it.   While more ideas were being exchanged, on August 10th 2016, I had the misfortune of receiving the package I had sent Maryam ripped and re-taped in a plastic bag, with a lovely note from USPS letting me know that they care and another letter stating that they found this empty parcel in the mail and believe that the contents were separated during handling.  It made it as far as LAX transit from Highland Park, Los Angeles.   This score survived Iranian customs and postal service, the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean, Brooklyn to Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean, the Coral Sea, the Tasman Sea, but then lost highway from Highland Park to LAX before even leaving the city.

Despite the score’s physical disappearance, Maryam will still be interpreting the visual score (from images I sent her) into a dance sequence and I will still compose the music.
one song two sides bold breathing will forever remain a living score.

bundled score getting ready to be shipped to New Zealand
july 2016





Dear Postal Customer:

We sincerely regret the damage to your mail during handling by the Postal Service.  We hope this incident did not inconvenience you. We realize that your mail is important to you and that you have every right to expect it to be delivered in good condition.

Although every effort is made to prevent damage to the mail, occasionally this will occur because of the great volume handled and the rapid processing methods which must be employed to assure the most expeditious distribution possible.

We hope you understand. We assure you that we are constantly striving to improve our processing methods in order that even a rare occurrence may be eliminated.

Please accept our apologies.


Your Postmaster



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Khal at Nga Taonga Sound & Vision – November 18 – December 11, 2015

November 15th, 2015

‘8 Pillars’ Score for Rachel Shearer

‘8 Pillars’ Score for Rachel Shearer


8 Pillars – A Free Score at Viewfinder window
November 11 – 24
Auckland Central Library, 46 Lorne Street, Auckland

Khal at Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

November 18 – December 11
300 Karangahape Rd Newton, Auckland NZ
Launch – November 17, 6pm
– 8pm

Nga Taonga Blog 

KHAL continues to document a living score as a language used to tell a story, communicate a process, and provide instructions while remaining transient and undefined.

Presented alongside Fassonaki’s filmed reinterpretation of her score 8 Pillars will be Khal Open Book – an archival box filled with score images, text, notes, interviews, and performance stills collected from September 2014 to current and includes conversations, exchanges, and actions that took place between Fassonaki and the sixteen plus artists involved.

Angeline Chirnside, Purple Pilgrims, and Rachel Shearer – three of the original score recipients have chosen three new Auckland-based artists to perform the scores for the opening:
Tuesday November 17, 8pm
Hermione Johnson & Zahra Killeen Chance will perform ‘Hypocrisy’
Elizabeth Mary Maw will perform ‘Hum Hum Hum Hum Hum’
Piece War/ Live Visuals by Cutss will perform ‘8 Pillars’

Working with the idea of a score as a living force containing the power to shape and reshape what enters our senses, Helga Fassonaki reinterpreted one of her scores ‘8 Pillars’ (originally created for New Zealand artist Rachel Shearer) into a performance composition for seven women. It was filmed on Independence Day 2015 in a forested area in Oldwick, New Jersey. The women (each representing a pillar) move in a slow and deliberate motion mirroring their meditative wordless humming of the Star Spangled Banner as they form a circular shape around the forest trees. The cameraperson is also one of the pillars whose motion and view is revealed through another camera frame that remains still, documenting the process of a composition being created but never finished. The group voices fade as one voice (the missing eighth pillar) continues chanting the anthem until the song becomes unrecognizable.

Presented as a kind of paradox, the ‘8 Pillars’ composition explores two sides of freedom – personal vs political, whilst stripping content from song until the sacredness of a singular voice is revealed. A solo voice whether banned by political law or censored by our own fears is a vessel for a powerful recalcitrant freedom, one that is always vulnerable to attack no matter how ‘free’ a country is.

Performers featured in the film include: Yasi Alipour, Julia Santoli, Gabie Strong, Nazanin Daneshvar, Laura Sofia, Suki Dewey, and Helga Fassonaki (also as cameraperson)

Solo Vocals: Julia Santoli

Watch 8 Pillars – A Free Score 

8 PILLARS LIVE PERFORMANCE (September 26, 2015)
Julia Santoli (solo vocals) alongside Helga Fassonaki performed the next sequence of the ‘8 Pillars’ filmed composition at Disjecta in Portland, Oregon. As Santoli continues to hum a deranged Star Spangled Banner anthem, the notes are elongated and blurred into solid tones of color.

Presented as an unpublished book – an archive open to edits, renewal and dialogue. Contains notes, interviews, spoken words, score drawings, performance stills, and past exhibition iterations gathered from September 2014 to present from original score recipients:
Kali Z Fasteau (NYC, NY), Kelly Jayne Jones (London, UK), Heather Leigh (Glasgow, Scotland), Jenny Gräf (Copenhagen, Denmark), Zaïmph (Brooklyn, NY), Chiara Giovando (Los Angeles, CA), Shana Palmer (Baltimore, MD), Purple Pilgrims (North Island, NZ), Rachael Melanson (London, UK), Christina Carter (Austin, Texas), Gabie Strong (Los Angeles, CA), Ashley Paul (London, UK), Angeline Chirnside (Auckland, NZ), Matana Roberts (NYC, NY), Rachel Shearer with Beth Ducklingmonster (Auckland, NZ), and Kathleen Kim (Los Angeles, CA).
additional participating artists:
Suki Dewey (Califon, NJ), Fariba Safai (San Francisco, CA), Nazanin Daneshvar (NYC, NY), Yasi Alipour (NYC, NY), Laura Sofia (NYC, NY), Julia Santoli (NYC, NY), Stainer Black-Five (Christchurch, NZ), Mela (Christchurch, NZ), Misfit Mod (Christchurch, NZ), French Concession (Christchurch, NZ), Instant Fantasy (Christchurch, NZ), Hermione Johnson & Zahra Killeen Chance (Auckland, NZ), Liz Maw (Auckland, NZ), and Piece War (Auckland, NZ).

More about Khal

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Unpublished Interview with Jennifer Lucy Allen of the Wire

August 25th, 2015

Jennifer Lucy Allen of the Wire asked me the following questions about my project Khal on March 30, 2015.  As far as I know it was never published.  I thought I would share the Q&A as my responses offer insight  into the project’s early landscape.

Jennifer Lucy Allen:  Can you tell me a bit about the residency – who runs it, and how/why you applied?

Helga Fassonaki: It was not a residency.  I resided in an artist’s studio for a month, but maybe I confused people by saying that cause many folks have asked me how I got a residency in Iran.   My uncle is an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor from Tabriz, Iran who now lives and works out of a studio in Shomal, which is along the Caspian Sea.  Because of him I was able to have access to this studio in Tabriz, a city in Northern Iran, part of the East Azerbaijan region. 

JLA: Can you describe the location? (Paint a picture, if possible?)

HF: To me the studio felt like a shrine located in an older part the city, close to an ancient mosque, bazaar, bathhouse, and the museum of Azerbaijan.  The studio is three floors – the main floor where I worked was more of a creative thinking hub – a kitchen, lounge area with couch and a single bed for guests, and a rectangle dining table where we’d gather for long lunch exchanges.  I worked in one of the side rooms on this floor.   The middle floor was covered in paints and stacks upon stacks of paintings and books.  The bottom floor was the sculpting studio that was covered in plaster, cement, pottery and had a giant firing kiln. Half the space was filled with huge sculptures and both finished and unfinished projects.    There was a tower air shaft that connected the floors and filled with plants.  One of my studio mates who I really bonded with would work downstairs and sing while working.  With the air shaft windows open, her raw uninhibited voice would resonate upstairs to where I worked.   Listening to her voice while I made the scores greatly influenced my process and brought incredible attention to the lone female voice, more so because its banned from public exposure in Iran. 

JLA: How extensive was your knowledge of the restrictions on performing before you started the residency?

HF: I was very aware of the laws before going to Iran.  The laws were created post 1978, after the revolution, making it difficult for both men and women to perform music other than classical and traditional, especially anything coined ‘western’.  And most specifically the law that bans women from singing solo for mixed men/women audiences.


Before I left I knew I wouldn’t be able to perform in Iran publicly, though curious about the ability to do so secretly. But still assuming I wouldn’t, I had an idea for this project to not only draw attention to the issue but also as a way to activate a global response that embraces and acknowledges the freedom of artistic expression.   I invited 16 female artists to participate before I left – all 16 accepted to receive a score in a non-standard notation that they would perform publicly in leu of my ability to do so.

 JLA: How did you present the work at the residency?

HF: I presented no work while in Iran.  I shared my process and the completion of my scores with my studio mates who were supportive and interested in the idea.

I spent my time in the studio scouting for materials (found) and creating the sculptural scores, each one was personalized for the artist I was sending it to.  My own political, emotional, and social experience while in Tabriz, seeped heavily in the making of the scores as well.  My greatest research and window into artist’s struggles came from the artists that I shared the studio with.  So I spent a lot of my time conversing with them.  One of them helped me in the process of shipping the scores from Iran to the 16 addresses outside the country.  This was a huge unexpected mission in itself.  All art must past through the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance’s council of art and possibly await months for approval or rejection before it can even reach customs.  To avoid this, my studio peer suggested I go through the normal international postal route and avoid saying I’m an artist.  I had to take the 16 objects to the post office unpackaged so they can examine before they approve packaging. I told them they were hand-crafted gifts I made for friends overseas.  They thought I was nuts and maybe took pity on me which helped a bit.  It was a crazy process nevertheless.

JLA: What have you taken away from it, as an individual and an artist?

HF: From my time in Tabriz, I learned about the significance and strength of an art community that really supports one another – its power in overcoming the pressures of society and unjust laws.  And that feminism is not about what women can’t do…its about supporting what women do and women supporting other women.   

So far I’ve had many exchanges with the participating artists and been learning a lot – this conversation is ongoing as the project moves forward.  One thing I noticed in working with these artists is that often its our own fear of public expression that inhibits us rather than backward laws.
I’ve been introducing new artists to reinterpret the scores.  One of the new added artists, Suki Dewey did a free-style spoken word interpretation of all the scores live at the Glasshouse show in Brooklyn, NY. Through our exchanges she spoke about the inhibition artists in the US have in performing publicly in the streets as activists, speaking out – being radical, political.  She asked, ‘Are we really free?’.
As I’ve been exploring this issue and the art climate in Iran, its also made me question my own strengths and abilities as an artist in a western landscape.  I’ve been developing an even deeper emotional and physical connection with voice and its channeling capabilities.

JLA: How does this project relate to your other work? 

HF: Most of my projects move through different phases – changing, evolving, and developing along the way. Nothing feels permanent or finished.  Often I bring in other artists/musicians to respond, collaborate, or interact creating another dimension or layer to the work.  This project is similar where I laid out the initial concept and then offered it outside myself to be interpreted, reflected, acted, performed, altered, expanded and exchanged, in effect creating an on going dialogue and a community outside myself. What happens in transit is what interests me most.   All my work tends to be an experiment where the outcome is unknown.  I don’t really see the point in doing something I know the outcome of.   On the other hand, its not always a clean finish.

JLA: Has anyone’s response surprised you?

HF: Artists sent me audio/video documentation of their public performances which is currently [WAS] showing at Los Angeles Contemporary Archives.  I wasn’t necessarily surprised, but very touched by the active and conceptual thought that went into each artist’s different interpretations.  Many who don’t normally sing, used their voice and I think it challenged and pushed some artists out of their comfort zones. 


Walk Through of Khal at LACA – Monday April 6

April 3rd, 2015


Photos taken by Jens Jonason, 2015


Sonic Postcard – Holy Conch – Airing February 14 on AFM

January 29th, 2015

Rachael Melanson, producer of Sonic Postcards  presents sounds from my Holy Conch on AFM, the radio station at Audio Foundation (Auckland, New Zealand).  Also included is an interview where I chat about my project Khal.
Airing on 1-14-15, 4pm NZST


More on Holy Conch


Matana Roberts performs One Song Two Sides Bold Breathing –

January 17th, 2015

A score created by Helga Fassonaki part of Khal project

sketch of ‘One Song Two Sides Bold Breathing’
Original Score made with felt and wire

Performed on January 14, 2015 by Matana Roberts:

KHAL Project


on missing a beat

September 7th, 2014





Obracadobra – Artist in Resident

June 7th, 2014

JUNE 2014
reporting from studio in

slow_movement   3_pieces


Studio sketches –

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Metal Rouge – Three for Malachi Ritscher CD exhibited at Whitney Biennial 2014

March 24th, 2014

Whitney Biennial 2014 – March 7 – May 25, 2014
Metal Rouge’s ‘Three For Malachi Ritscher’ album appears at the Whitney Biennial as part of Public Collectors’ show about Ritscher’s life, work and death.  We also contributed some words to Marc Fisher’s essay that accompanies the exhibition.

Public Collectors @ 2014 Whitney Biennial

Whitney Biennial 2014

Booklet published for the Exhibit can be read online:

Selected Press Links:

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January 10th @ Human Resources

January 3rd, 2014


Gabie Strong
Ted Byrnes / Jacob Wick
yek koo

9pm / $5
Human Resources – 410 Cottage Home Street Chinatown Los Angeles


Metal Rouge UK/Euro Tour Targets – Oct 5 – Oct 25

December 6th, 2013

Volcanic Tongue 10/5/13
1 Target

Cafe Oto - 10/6/13
2 Targets

Kraak - 10/7/13
3 Targets

Ecuyes - 10/10/13
5 targets

Odyssée - 10/11/13
6 Targets

La Cantine de Belleville - 10/12/13
7 Targets

Velvet Club - 10/13/13
8 Targets

Spazio Targa - 10/15/13
9 Targets

Hybrida - 10/16/13
10 Targets

mo.e Thelemanngasse 4/1 - 10/18/13
12 Targets

Walpodenakademie - 10/20/13
13 Targets

The Student - 10/22/13
15 Targets

Roodkapje - 10/23/13
16 Targets

Servants Jazz Quarters - 10/24/13
17 Targets

The New Bradford Playhouse - 10/25/13
18 Targets


How gun control is losing, badly (in charts) by Niraj Chokshi in The Washington Post

Inside the Power of the NRA by Robert Draper

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November 21st, 2013

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}



Decayke 2: Guts and Stuff, or Contents

May 12th, 2013

The second official issue of DECAYKE features an interview with Helga Fassonaki – ‘The Night We Talked for Hours’ and a group of reviews on Emerald Cocoon’s Alone / Together Series – Together In The Darkness
Check out the whole Issue here: DECAYKE



Letter from Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse

January 4th, 2013

Letter from Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse

Learn to say “Fuck You” to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itchin, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!

From your description, and from what I know of your previous work and you [sic] ability; the work you are doing sounds very good “Drawing-clean-clear but crazy like machines, larger and bolder… real nonsense.” That sounds fine, wonderful – real nonsense. Do more. More nonsensical, more crazy, more machines, more breasts, penises, cunts, whatever – make them abound with nonsense. Try and tickle something inside you, your “weird humor.” You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant [sic] approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end” You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!

I have much confidence in you and even though you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier for you if you stopped working – then stop. Don’t punish yourself. However, I think that it is so deeply engrained in you that it would be easier to DO!

It seems I do understand your attitude somewhat, anyway, because I go through a similar process every so often. I have an “Agonizing Reappraisal” of my work and change everything as much as possible = and hate everything I’ve done, and try to do something entirely different and better. Maybe that kind of process is necessary to me, pushing me on and on. The feeling that I can do better than that shit I just did. Maybe you need your agony to accomplish what you do. And maybe it goads you on to do better. But it is very painful I know. It would be better if you had the confidence just to do the stuff and not even think about it. Can’t you leave the “world” and “ART” alone and also quit fondling your ego. I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself. Well, you know I admire your work greatly and can’t understand why you are so bothered by it. But you can see the next ones and I can’t. You also must believe in your ability. I think you do. So try the most outrageous things you can – shock yourself. You have at your power the ability to do anything.


Trapdoor Fucking Exit – Day 1: April 20, 2012

June 18th, 2012

Curated by Helga Fassonaki as part of her exhibition of ‘Touching Them, Touching Me – A Love Song for the Dead C’
Human Resources Gallery, Los Angeles CA
Performances by Adam Willetts (non-appearance) , yek koo, Queen Victoria, Glands of External Secretion, Brian Crook, and Tom Carter

Photos taken by Lemuel Barbour, 2012

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Yek koo / LA Lakers – Tour 2012

April 26th, 2012

May 2 – Brooklyn, NY with Zaïmph and Aster @ Zebulon Cafe
May 3 – Portland, Maine with Mystic Out-Bop Review @ Strange Maine
May 5 – Boston, MA with Preggy Peggy and the Lazy Babymakers, Howard Stelzer, and Arkm Foam @ Whitehaus
May 6 – Northampton, MA with Bill Nace/Chris Cooper and Horsebladder @ Media Mansion
May 7 – Albany, NY with Burnt Hills @ Helderberg House
May 8 – Buffalo, NY with Totem Pole and VWLS @ The Vault
May 9 – Toronto, Canada with Man Made Hill and HVYWTR @ TRANZAC
May 10 – Pittsburgh, PA with TBA @ The Shop
May 11 – Baltimore, Maryland with Jenny Graf and 8th Frequency @ Current Gallery
May 12 – Philadelphia, PA with Wall Wymyn @ Highwire Gallery
May 13 – Brooklyn, NY with TBA @ Big Snow Buffalo Lodge


Upcoming – Touching Them, Touching Me – A Love Song for the Dead C

January 18th, 2012

is the first in a series of multimedia installation and performance works in which I situate myself in the position of a Hagiographer, visually depicting the lives of my musical saints. The first hagiography is on the Dead C (an experimental rock band formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1987/88).

Exhibition: March 24th – April 22, 2012
Opening Reception: March 24th, 8pm
Performance Series: April 20 – 22

410 Cottage Home St
Chinatown, Los Angeles CA 90012

I’m using kickstarter to help raise money to cover building and production costs.  For more info, description, and some personal insights on the project, visit: I appreciate your support and welcome any donations you can offer….there’s also special gifts for those who contribute including the upcoming yek koo LP, limited edition CDrs, artwork, and performance series passes!

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Free Money

August 17th, 2011

‘Free Money’ will be exhibited at UCLA’s New Wight Gallery August 31st – September 16, 2011 as part of a group exhibition, In Practice. Its a wall and audio piece, referencing a Patti Smith Song – this is the first in a body of work that attempts to paint a visual hagiography on Patti Smith, part of my ongoing musician-idol-worship hagiography series, Touching Them, Touching Me.

Opening Reception: Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 5:00–8:30pm

New Wight Gallery
Broad Art Center, Suite 1100
240 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095


UPCOMING – Touching Them, Touching Me

June 16th, 2011

Touching Them, Touching Me – a new series consisting of visual hagiographies exploring my musical idols.
The first hagiography in the series will be on the Dead C (an experimental rock band formed in New Zealand in 1987/88). More on this soon.


A Rainbow Coloured Repast – Zine

February 20th, 2011

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EPMoA Visitor Center

January 1st, 2011

LACE is proud to present Elysian Park Museum of Art (EPMoA) running 13 October – 19 December 2010 as a part of its PUBLIC INTEREST initiative. A constantly evolving association of artists and curators involved with EPMoA have created site-specific performances, installations, and actions that consider the fractured geography of the park — its unmapped trails, picnic areas, a stadium, a police academy, highway onramps, radio towers, squatter communities, and parking lots — with the goal of creating a cohesive investigation into the contemporary function of a museum, a park, and public spaces in general.

Since October 2009, the EPMoA has existed as a curatorial workshop, initiated through Telic Arts Exchange’s Public School Project, and as a public forum encouraging participation from a diverse and unaffiliated section of the park-using community. Through a series of monthly meetings in the park, participants have worked together to address issues of how to implement creative actions within the parameters of public fair use of Elysian Park, as well as raise questions about the relevance and significance of this project within the overlapping contexts of art history, local politics, and public engagement.

The LACE galleries have been transformed into the park visitor’s center complete with artifacts, benches, and foliage. The installation documents and recreates past and current EPMoA actions inside the park. Representatives of both the curatorial workshop and the park-using community will take part in the selection and presentation of documentation (sound recordings, photography, video, illustration, re-enactment, written description, etc.)

Additional performances and site-specific interventions allowed by fair use of the park are scheduled to occur inside Elysian Park during the course of the exhibition. Public events at LACE include performances, a class in museum studies and a guest speaker series to discuss the role of a museum, the ecology of the park, and more.

Participants include (but not limited to): Beau Sievers, Gabie Strong, Amy Howden-Chapman, Luke Fischbeck, Sara Rara, Lauren Mackler, Fiona Connor, Akina Cox, Helga Fassonaki, Cindy Rehm, Paul Pescador, and Pod Blotz

To learn more, visit the Elysian Park website at

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December 24th, 2010


The hunt for Spirulent Green began at the tree dotted picnic area adjacent to the Grace E. Simons Lodge in Elysian Park at 1:00 PM, December 5th.
Lisa Tucker and Ron Chiarello invited participants to join them in gathering Spirulent Green (aka Spirulina).  Ron had a ‘scope to see the algae collected and a display of how to grow the green superfood.
A lunch of Spirulina pasta with prawns, fresh local greens, bittersweet chocolate Spirulina brownies, and lemon/limeade with fresh Spirulinaas was served as Ron led a discussion and investigation on the possibilities of a food that can feed the world. Spirulina is a complete protein source, containing all 18 amino acids. It has the highest protein concentration of any food known.

Read about FOOD project


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December 24th, 2010


FOOD 4 was presented by Alice Tseng & Jeremy Rotsztain on December 5th at the Elysian Park tree grove. They invited participants to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon under the trees in an effort to celebrate Americana, Minimalism, and Picnics. Installed in the tree grove were piñatas made for Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, and Anne Truitt filled with grill cheese sandwiches, lemonade, corn dogs, pickles, and various real American food snacks.

Read about FOOD project

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December 24th, 2010

New Zealand artist and writer Tessa Laird presented FOOD 3 in Auckland on November 6th. Helga Fassonaki remotely recreated her Rainbow-Coloured Repast on November 14th in Elysian Park.  Each event featured artists who had been selected to prepare and share a dish in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Purple.

November 6, 2010 – Western Park, Ponsonby, Auckland New Zealand
Red: Peter Madden – roast beetroot and tomato salad, chipolata sausages and tomato sauce, strawberries, and much more!
Orange: AD Schierning – tangerine dream tart
Yellow: Judy Darragh – corn on the cob, frittata, bananas, cheese
slices, and much more!
Green: Richard Orjis – zucchini and lime cake
Blue: Xing Cheng – blueberry muffins with poppy seed and borage garnish
Indigo: Layla Rudneva-Mackay – thai black sticky rice pudding with blueberries
Violet: Nova Paul – potato salad made with Maori purple potatoes – urenika
Tessa Laird: a rainbow of juices

November 14, 2010 – Elysian Park, Echo Park, Los Angeles CA

Red: Ginette Pohlmeier – red stuffed bell peppers
Orange: Fiona Connor – farm fresh oranges from Valencia
Yellow: Bettina Hubby – egg salad pasta popcorn banana lemon walfer golden raisen cheese corn cheerios caserole
Green: Katie Vonderheide – green spinach salad and green tea cookies
Blue: Jean Robison – blueberries desert wih blue cream topping
Purple: Marcos Lopez – purple cabbage salad
Helga Fassonaki – blue chips, mango salsa, and rainbow drinks.

Read about FOOD project

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December 24th, 2010

FOOD 2 took place on Sunday October 31 from 1 to 3pm at Elysian Park. Amy Howden- Chapman joined chef hands with Helga Fassonaki and Andrew Scott as they combined hand-picked fall produce from Oak Glen Farms to produce a seasonal pumpkin and apple feast.

white pumpkin soup
yellow squash and zucchini curried barbecue
Honey glazed butternut squash and wheat berry salad
toasted pumpkin seeds
pumpkin bread
home-dried apples
apple pie
pumpkin pie

Conversations and inside chatter: Pumpkins, Apples, U-Pick farms, Food Transportation, Music

Read about FOOD project

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