1965 W Pershing Rd
Chicago, IL

FLATLAND’s second show proudly presents for your listening pleasure: OPEROSE MUSIC, four attempts at impossible music by Jane Carver, Josh Rios, Lauren Sudbrink, and Tamara Becerra Valdez.

For OPEROSE MUSIC we found four images of individuals holding/“playing” their respective instrument incorrectly and asked four brilliant thinkers/musicians/artists/etcs to respond with a sonic equivalent.

These musical results will fill the air of our humble little space and be available for you to listen to in your own humble little spaces (but not limited to humble little spaces) in takeaway cassette editions of 25 each. There will also be a small takeaway publication that's part illumination, obfuscation, and puzzle book.

Operose means “involving or displaying much effort.” The irony of interpreting musical activity by non-musicians is that it often takes a good amount of industry to achieve. Unskilled playing is incredibly difficult to emulate or recreate by a professional, as its spontaneous or haphazard character is almost akin to an improvisatory act. This is why whenever we hear professional covers of an untrained band like The Shaggs it sounds off-putting; when someone sings well during karaoke it seems to defeat the purpose; a professional orchestra cannot emulate a children’s orchestra well.

OPEROSE MUSIC is interested in this non-musical situation, and seeks to understand how certain measures against empirical values of mandated artistic skills generate new or lasting musical vernaculars.

To say it another way: OPEROSE MUSIC is music that everyone can play but won’t sound the same way twice, and what’s that all about?

Jane Carver is is a Philadelphia-based artist and musician, primarily a vocalist and accoridionist. She sings with Svitanya, a women’s vocal ensemble that specializes in Eastern European folk music.

Josh Rios is an educator, media artist, and writer whose projects deal with the histories, archives, and futurities of Latinx subjectivity and US/Mexico relations as understood through the intersections of modernity, postmodernity, and neocoloniality. Josh’s projects highlight moments of intercultural contact and co-belonging.

Lauren Sudbrink is an an artist, musician, and performer whose work looks at the possibilities of social engagement. Sudbrink seeks to examine and assert the notion that art is never passive or static, but a constellation of systems and processes that determine, affirm, and condition our experiences. Employing common everyday objects as mediums such as glue, balloons, ice; simple performative gestures such as breathing onto glass, burning paper; musical performances that are centered around non-hierarchical ways of sonic experience such as Fluxus instructional scores and music designed for non-musicians, her work explores the limits and gains of the simple gesture.

Tamara Becerra Valdez uses photography, video, drawing, and installation alongside an adoption of methods in archaeology and ethnography to consider how historical topographies can be discovered in traces and fragments in the urban social landscape. Through intervening methodologies and chance encounters, she observes the uses, meanings, and functions of discarded materials. The ephemeral nature of human behavior leaves an impression in her work.