Gallery Exhibitions: In A Star Orbit & Pan-demonium

September 3rd - October 10th, 2009
Opening Event:
Thursday, September 10, 2009. 6-8pm
Click to see shots from the exhibitions


In A Star Orbit (CandyStations One, Two, Threemix)

“In A Star Orbit” (Magic Feather, Catch and Release Remix)
“In A Star Orbit” (Noel Kupersmith, Hoo Hoo Remix)
“In A Star Orbit” (Kate Simko, Breathless Remix)
—Song Written and Performed by Rebecca Gates


The AC is pleased to present Deborah Johnson’s music video installation in collaboration with Rebecca Gates (formerly of The Spinanes).

By trade, Johnson designs live visual accompaniment for musicians, using a combination of film, video and animation to transform her collaborator's music into the visual realm. The visuals combine representational imagery, generative animation and patterns ranging from the more literal to the more emotive and abstract, all the while paying special attention to the narrative of the song and how it unfolds. Using real-time video software, she performs her compositions live with the band, at times projecting onto multiple or three-dimensional surfaces.

For Johnson’s In A Star Orbit (CandyStations One, Two, Threemix), she draws from Gates' newly released set of remixes The Ruby Series. Johnson takes three remixes of her favorite original song, "In A Star Orbit", creating unique music videos for each. Projecting the videos consecutively onto three hanging sounding balloons, she borrows from a childhood memory of constructing makeshift universes for her parents (a roll of scotch tape hanging from the ceiling representing Saturn, et cetera). Utilitarian and personal objects of varying size, shape, color and reflectivity orbit each balloon and help to concoct this world in which the videos can exist. These objects occasionally intercept the projections, catching light and casting shadows.

The installation reveals a small cosmos created through the relationship among all of its constellate parts: Johnson's distinct visuals; the original musician and her song; and the remixers, who together explore the range of interpretation.


Deborah Johnson, In A Star Orbit, video still, 2009


About Deborah Johnson:
Deborah Johnson, aka CandyStations, is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer based in Brooklyn. She primarily designs and performs live visual projections, working with groups such as Sufjan Stevens, Wilco, Calexico, M. Ward and Lambchop, in such venues as Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Fillmore, The Ryman and Wiener Konzerthaus. She has exhibited worldwide in group and solo shows, has screened music videos at several film festivals, designs projections for special events and performs either as a solo VJ (video jockey) or with other artists and musicians.

In January of 2008 she worked with Truckstop Media’s Braden King and musician Shahzad Ismaily on an installation and performance as part of the Sundance Film Festival's New Frontiers on Main. Later that year she attended the Digital Media Residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, where she worked and performed along with German audio/visual artist Carsten Nicolai. This spring she collaborated with musician Ben Vida (Town & Country, Birdshow) and artist Siebren Versteeg, performing experimental audio and video (the results of a residency at the Experimental Television Center) at Monkey Town and The Bell House in Brooklyn. This summer, a music video she created for Sufjan Stevens was included in the Olympia Experimental Music Festival, and the Austin Museum of Digital Art showcased a wide selection of her live visual work as part of their 46th Digital Showcase. Deborah Johnson has been on faculty at Brooklyn College, the International Academy of Art and Design in Chicago and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. For more information please see:





Things extra and other (details and excesses coming from elsewhere) insert themselves into the accepted framework, the imposed order. The surface of this order is everywhere punched and torn open by ellipses, drifts and leaks of meaning: it is a sieve-order.
―Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. S. Rendall


Pan-demonium resonates with the current global political, ecological and economic situation—one in which the hegemonic forces of order have been overwhelmed by a dynamic of chaos and disorder, turning the world 'upside-down'. Maybe Pan-demonium offers a metaphor for a critique of global capitalism and its 'devils'—its pan-demons—in all their guises (pan-demics included?). Or perhaps it conjures up collective creative forces for political challenge and the re-inscription of Pan in contemporary mythology?

AC Guest Curator, Bricolagekitchen, invited visual, sonic and written responses to some of these ideas and questions. Bricolage has various histories and contexts—from Claude Levi-Strauss on anthropology to Steven Connor on postmodern culture. John Cage’s explorations of indeterminacy and the polarities of randomness/order have an obvious relevance here. Michel Serres’ ideas on noise, clamour and cacophony and Michel de Certeau’s leaky ‘sieve order’ also lurk behind the concept of the project. Serres writes about ‘fuzzy logic’, but ‘mess’ is increasingly being cited as a new paradigm in research methodology and is being transposed to other disciplines and creative practices.

Through an exploration of the multiple meanings, interpretations and understandings of Pan-demonium, this exhibition hopes to open up political as well as its aesthetic potentialities. It brings together an assembled cacophony of over 50 contemporary artistic responses and global voices gleaned via the web in a panorama of sound, text, visual and moving imagery, celebrating the affective power of disorder and noise. Pan-demonium explores the ideas of randomness and mess through the adoption of bricolage in a makeshift bricologue of interactive presentation and responses.

So, what does Pan-demonium mean to you?


From Pan-demonium: Kim Wan, Pan Study After Poussin, 2009
From Pan-demonium: Kim Wan, Pan Study After Poussin, 2009


About Guest Curator bricolagekitchen:
bricolagekitchen, aka Gillian Whiteley, is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and writer working across critical-creative borders, currently based at Loughborough University School of Art and Design, UK. Her wide-ranging creative/research interests have a focus on the use of trash in visual/material culture and improvisational and collaborative practices. She has researched, published and curated a number of projects linking art and bricolage, junk assemblage and the politics of the social, public and affective imagination. Exhibitions include: Radical Mayhem: Welfare State International and its Followers (Midpennine Gallery, Burnley, UK); related forthcoming publications include: Junk : Art and the Politics of Trash (IB Tauris Publishers), Scavenging from margins to mainstream? Artist as Bricoleur in the 21st Century (University of Paris Press) and the co-edited Telling Stories: Countering Narrative in Art,Theory and Film (Cambridge Scholars Press). The Pan-demonium project is part of her ongoing research into bricolage and improvisatory techniques as a paradigm for research and practice. For more information please see:

This project has been supported by Loughborough University School of Art and Design (LUSAD). With technical assistance on print from Alan Duncan (LUSAD) and Danny Bright ( on audio-visuals.


Pan-demonium Artists:
Abstractus, Adam Burton, Andrew Erdos, Andy Clover, Anne Kolin, Barnaby Dicker, Beatrix Ward-Fernandez/Charlie Collins, Beck/Bright/Jasnoch, Branka Vidovic-Butler, Brian Rhodes, Briony Barr, Charlene Clempson, Corpus Collective, David Berridge, David Clarke, David Tucker, Dhaleen Devenish-Bright, Elizabeth Gower, Fabienne Audéoud, Freee, Georgia Kotretsos, Graham Scott, Gul Rose Smil, Henry Gwiazda, Jeremy Newman, Javier Seco, Jonny Drury, Josef Bares, Kao Okada, Kim Wan, Krzysztof Topolski (aka Arszyn), Laura Wild, Lemeh42, Lisa Erb (Laboratorium), Lisa Stansbie, Liz–n–Val, Louise Marlborough/Olive Barrett, Margarida Sardinha, Maria Zhalnina, Mark Cooley, Martin Archer/Geoff Bright, Paolo Consorti, Peter Ciccariello, Pierre-André Sonolet, Richard Bartle, Richard Newton, Robert Cheatham, Roland Bergere, Sndsukinspook, Stephan Weitzel, Tony Adams, Walt Shaw, Yelena Popova/David Strang.