Special Effects Festival
January 12-13, 2024
Founded by the visionary duo, Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson of Big Art Group, the Special Effects Festival (SFX) has championed groundbreaking, genre-defying work since 2014. After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival is back to rekindle the spirit of the avant-garde and create a shared space to gather for contemporary performance.
Held every year in the midst of the Annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference in NYC, SFX celebrates the eclecticism of contemporary performance.
Past Alumni Include: Jeremy O. Harris, Sauda Aziza Jackson, Becca Blackwell, Lisa Clair, Braulio Cruz, Maiko Kikuchi, Agnes Borinsky, Joey Weiss, Kate Benson, Jill Pangallo, David Commander/ Rob Ramirez, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Adrienne Truscott, Colin Self.
SFX – Time and Material
Friday, January 12th, 2024 @ 7:00pm
“Time and Material” features performances by Molly Ross, Maxi Hawkeye Canion, Cherrie Yu, and Chloe Engel who center materiality in their practice and explore the body in relation to objects and textures in dynamic and expansive ways; and in so doing, offer strategies for shaping time more generously.
Curated and hosted by Kyla Gordon, a New York-based curator, researcher, writer, and archivist specializing in performance art, film, new media, and fashion. She currently works as a curator at 99 Canal and a research assistant at The Museum of Modern Art NY.
Time and Material features performances by Molly Ross, Maxi Hawkeye Canion, Cherrie Yu, and Chloe Engel who center materiality in their practice and explore the body in relation to objects and textures in dynamic and expansive ways; and in so doing, offer strategies for shaping time more generously.
Curated and hosted by Kyla Gordon, a New York-based curator, researcher, writer, and archivist specializing in performance art, film, new media, and fashion. She currently works as a research assistant at The Museum of Modern Art NY.
by Molly Ross
performed with Austin Selden
CARPETBURN! is a dance where the dancers get lost in the right direction.
Molly Ross, originally from Michigan, is based in Brooklyn NY. Her work has been presented at PAGEANT, FourOneOne, and Essex Flowers. She has also been collaborating with Nola Sporn Smith as MOLLY&NOLA since 2017. Their work has been presented at various institutions and DIY spaces in NYC. She loves dancing with Austin, Nola, and Jo McKendry.
Austin Selden grew up in Michigan and his favorite restaurant was/is found in his local mall, Olga’s Kitchen. He went to U of M, where he started making dances with Sarah Konner and they still make dances together. He and Molly didn’t meet in Michigan. He’s 35 with two herniated discs.
A performative glimpse into my rehearsal process for “willing to eat stars” in the form of a live trailer (number 3). As a bare-bones and experimental iteration of the overall work, we will present a reading of references that have inspired its inner verse, to be personified through the character “Dandi Damage”. “How heavy I lay only to be late, again”
Maxi Hawkeye Canion (they/she), originally from El Paso, TX, is a versatile artist specializing in durational performance, movement, and improvisation. In their creative process, Maxi materializes sensory experiences, guiding viewers to the intersection where the hyper-surreal and ordinary harmoniously meet. Collaboration and community are integral to their work as they investigate the intricacies of identity, intimacy, and failure. Their focus is on intricate character design, developing personas that synthesize broader socio-political stances and incorporate maximalist references from subversive niche media.
Recently, they held residencies at Art Omi, MOtiVE Brooklyn, Otion Front Studio, New Dance Alliance, Gibney, and the GALLIM Moving Artist Residency. During these residencies, they nurtured “willing to eat stars,” a work in process that weaves a hyper-surrealist horror with the bleak and mundane. Along with this, they have performed their work at Performance Space x Spectrum, Momenta #002, FUERZAfest, Performance Mix Festival 37, JACK, BOFFO Performance Festival, Pageant, Triskelion Arts, Arts on Site, Judson Church, BAAD!, CPR, and Chelsea Factory.
As a performer, Maxi has collaborated with notable artists such as Eve Tagny, Alexandra Waierstall, Ryan Ponder McNamara, Miles Greenberg, Sigrid Lauren, J. Bouey, slowdanger, Shikeith, Monica Mirabile, Richard Kennedy, Young Boy Dancing Group, and Sidra Bell, among others.
by Cherrie Yu
Verb List started as an found-footage project that collects movements from Chinese andChinese-diasporic moving image history. The title “Verb List” references the American sculptor Richard Serra’s 1967 drawing. In my project I borrow Serra’s structure of words and actions. Treating the history
of moving image as my raw materials, I wish to create a movement archive from Chinese and diasporic communities, and explore cinematic history as collective memory.
Cherrie Yu is an artist born in Xi’an, China and lives in the US. She works in choreography, moving image, writing and installation. She has been an artist in residence at ACRE, McColl Center, Yaddo, Monson Art, Kala Art Institute and Sharpe Walentas Studio Program. Her works have been exhibited at
Contemporary Calgary Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Mint Museum, Links Hall, Wassaic Project, Roman Susan Gallery, Pageant Space and Judson Memorial Church.
performed and choreographed by Chloë Engel
sound design by Jeremy WY
Rubber is a practice that explores rubber as medium. Rubber is a material unwilling to claim a singular purpose: it acts as the barrier between body and hazard (think latex gloves, fishing waders, a butchering apron); its donning induces erotic thrill for many; and a “Rubber Room,” a padded cell for confining a psych patient, is a carceral space mandating that a person cannot exist in community, a victim of their own potential corporeal violence. Rubber evokes a complex narrative: deviancy, safety protocol, and the forced isolation of peoples. I draw from my experience as a play therapist, the child of a psychiatric survivor, and a rubber enthusiast, to build a practice with rubber that engages questions of pleasure, pathology, queerness, and Madness.
Chloë Engel is a play therapist and performance artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Their therapeutic work with children ages 3-6 infuses their artistic practice with a respect for personal and collective play. Their studio practice is anchored by an ongoing research project investigating the mistreatment and subjugation of Mad peoples in Western European culture. They hold a BA from Bennington College in Performance. Chloë’s performance work has been shown at Lifeworld (Brooklyn, NY), AUNTS (Brooklyn, NY), Open Performance at Movement Research, No Theme Festival (Poughkeepsie, NY), Little Berlin (Philadelphia, PA), Middlebury College, and Bennington College. Chloë is in an ongoing collaborative process with multimedia artist, Anna Kroll. Their joint work has been presented in Tendon magazine and a part of re:semblance at New Media Artspace (NYC/ online), in Spark IV: A New World? (Baltimore / online) and Mind on Fire (Baltimore). Their current project is an immersive tabletop game called The Space is a Body and You Are In It, that was recently installed at The Peale in Baltimore as a part of Spark 6: Refractions. They have facilitated collaborative imagining workshops with The Deep Play Institute and School of Making Thinking.
Saturday, January 13th, 2024 @ 7:00pm
Curated and hosted by Lisa Clair, a New York based playwright and performer. She makes work under the name Lisa Clair Group, a collective of performers, musicians, and designers who collaborate across disciplines to create live, experimental performance.
The Aricama Invitation: Creative Counseling Cuisine Retreat to Reinvigorate Dead Broken Dreams
by Maria Camia
The Creative Counseling Cuisine Retreat is a mock conference presentation that invites the audience to revive their heart center with a slideshow presentation, puppetry, foolery, and the big question of life: If you were one of God’s Sisters, (the hot one, of course), what experience would you give yourself in this lifetime? Group audience participation required and appreciated.
Maria Camia is a Filipino American Artist, Fashion Designer, and Introspective Hypnosis Practitioner who creates Spiritual / Sci-Fi Puppetry Theater with the intention to globally inspire liberation through healing and play. She has performed original work at Chicago’s International Puppet Festival, La MaMa, Dixon Place, and Coney Island USA. Maria received the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre ‘23, the Jim Henson Production Grant ‘23, and the Puffin Grant ‘23 for her show The Healing Shipment. She is currently a resident for the Museum of Chinese in America
PDF on humanism
by Joey Weiss
In the beginning, humans. Their tools reflecting back to them their good plans and great ideas. This presentation will explore the concept of Humanism, now forgotten but kind of popular in the early 21st century.
Joey Weiss is an artist with a background in painting and sculpture, with work recently at the Exponential Festival, and NYCITFF at New Ohio Theater. Joey has collaborated in the past with Jordan Baum, Yuki Kawahisa, Kate Benson, April Matthis and Ben Williams in various projects.
Dick Biter (Bite Size)
by Blaze Ferrer
performed with Alex Romania
Dick Biter (Bite Size) is a (mini) dance that mourns the death of punk while channeling its contemporary deritus. Using deconstructed drag movement, riot grrrl sounds, mylar fringe buttplugs, and Fiona Apple’s 1997 VMAs speech as a springboard, Dick Biter collages dance scores and texts to embody both the divine femme and butch, and propose a space for abrasive, seat-forward revelry.
Blaze Ferrer is an interdisciplinary performer and choreographer interested in the mainstreaming of queerness within the American capitalist hegemony. Blaze makes experiences that express the vibrancy and limits of embodiment through post-Judson choreographic scores and the incorporation of consumerist cultural iconography. As a lead artist, Blaze has made work for The Brick Theater, The Exponential Festival, Pageant, Movement Research@Judson Church, Sundays on Broadway, New Dance Alliance, AUNTS, danceh0l0, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (NEEDING IT), HERE, Dixon Place, and various DIY events. Blaze has performed for and helped generate pieces with Yanira Castro Stacy Lynn Smith, Psychic Wormhole, Jeff Aaron Bryant, Nora Sorena Casey + Christopher Dennison, The Drunkard’s Wife, Radiohole, Ursula Eagly, Londs Reuter, Ilan Bachrach + Robert M. Johanson, minor theater, Sophie Weisskoff, Ben Ferber, The Pack and Built For Collapse. Blaze has received grants and funding from Foundation For Contemporary Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, and NYFA.