Following the Washington, DC band Beauty Pill's summer 2011 open recording residency at Artisphere, the Immersive Ideal project returns with a multimedia installation designed by Kelley Bell and Stephan Moore. The installation will feature a user-interactive, monome-controlled (www.monome.org) array of photographs from the recording sessions by Nestor Diaz, Morgan Klein, Brian Libby, Jon Pack and PJ Sykes. From January 7-22, you can listen to Beauty Pill's new album—recorded at and presented exclusively at the Artisphere—while immersed in the photographs that document the band's experiment in radical artistic transparency. The installation will run in the Black Box Theatre itself, where the recording took place, furthering the intimacy between the viewer/listener and the work.
Access to Beauty Pill's Immersive Ideal will be limited to viewing from the observation window on Artisphere's second floor during the dates and times listed below. This is due to scheduled programming in the Ballroom. Artisphere and Beauty Pill have installed speakers at the observation window that allow you to hear the Immersive Ideal during times when the Black Box entrance is closed. Also included below for easy reference are our normal operating hours. Thank you. Installation closed:
Wednesday, January 18
Saturday, January 21 Sunday, January 22
1:30pm-4:30pm Artisphere Regular Operating Hours
(Immersive Ideal open except for closed during times noted above)
Sun: Noon-5pm *Open later pending programmed events
Immersive Ideal is part of Notasphere, a month of programming created by local artistic collaborators. From a pop-up restaurant and political cartoons to Brazilian beats, Artisphere will be filled with fresh, thought-provoking off-beat arts events presented by creative partners from across the DC-region throughout January 2012
Photo: PJ Sykes
Beauty Pill gives studio art new meaning
By David Malitz
Featured in the Washington Post Weekend
, Washington Post Express
and Click Track:The Washington Post Pop Music Blog
For most bands, an album-release show follows a simple protocol: Book a show at a local rock club. Play the new songs. Stand at a table in the back after the show and hope people buy your CD. Pretty standard stuff.
But Beauty Pill is not your standard band, and on Saturday it will be hosting a very different album-release show. The event won't be at a nightclub but at Arlington's progressive art hub, Artisphere. The band will be there but won't be performing. And you won't be able to buy the album, just listen to it as part of an interactive multimedia display.
The event is the culmination of Beauty Pill's "Immersive Ideal" project, in which the D.C. rock quintet transformed Artisphere's Black Box Theatre into a recording studio over 2 1/ 2 weeks last summer.
It was an interesting choice for a recording location, but what made the undertaking so different was that the whole thing was open to the public. Most bands cut themselves off from the world entirely when it's time to make an album, but Beauty Pill literally put itself on display, with onlookers peering into the studio from a perch above. Depending on when you arrived, you might have seen guitar overdubs, drum takes or the band simply sitting around and mixing. Visitors could hear everything happening inside the enclosed space through speakers. It wasn't always enthralling, but that was part of the point.
"Can we cast a spell if everyone watches us make a spell, and argue about the spell and see all the mechanics behind the spell?" band frontman Chad Clark said about one of the motives behind the idea.