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Austin Young is a Tranimal

March 21, 2012 by Phil Tarley in Art, Artists, Photography with 0 Comments
Image from Machine Project, Hammer Museum. © Austin Young

Image from Machine Project, Hammer Museum. © Austin Young

Austin Young, whose work has shown at LACMA, LACE, the Hammer Museum, the Stephen Cohen Gallery and countless other spaces and places in and around the avant California scene, is bristling with excitement about his latest project Tranimal…Young’s new endeavor – a collaboration with Squeaky Blonde and Fade-Dra, is infused with the artist’s high voltage underground creative energy. Tranimal is a big and bold project. It incorporates video, photography, and interactive sound design. And its taking performance art to an operatic level.

I spoke with the Austin one morning, just after a night of performance at the Machine Project and he told me about his creative partners. Participants are put through an assembly line where Squeaky Blonde, Fade-Dra , Young costume them, make-them up and turn them into a cast of glamorous, genderless creatures. Mark Allen, director of Machine Project, makes light sensitive circuitry boards that are sewn into theor costumes. The boards have knobs that the performers use to change the sound frequencies, creating musical score with light and movement. Juliana Snapper, an opera singer and performance artist, guides the players to find the vocal expression of their new identities. The particpant-performers become collaborators in a musical performance. Then Young shoots formal portraits and video of the end result. Here is a sneak peak of his work.

Words Phil Tarley
Images Courtesy Austin Young


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About Phil Tarley

PHIL TARLEY is a Fellow of the American Film Institute and an artist member of The Los Angeles Art Association. As an art and pop culture critic, he regularly posts stories on The WOW Report, writes about art and photography for Fabrik Magazine and Art Week LA. Last year he wrote about Cruising the Archives for the Advocate, the One Archives, Pacific Standard Time exhibition. Tarley was recently appointed to a City of West Hollywood Task Force on Public Art Installation. He now curates for Artist's Corner, a bookmaking and fine art photography gallery in Hollywood.

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