.Ten Reasons to Zero In on ZERO1

From September 12 until December 8, the ZERO1 Biennial merges art and technology in Silicon Valley and throughout the Bay Area. Here are our top 10 picks to zero in on for the event.

1. Taiko Takes on Tech

For its ZERO1 performance, San Jose Taiko turns its annual fall show into a collaborative project called “Taiko+Technology.” Working with ZERO1 curator Jaime Austin; Michael Fienen of the USGS, who specializes in the “sonification” of earthquake data; the artists’ collective AnticlockwiseArts, which fiddles with Kinects to produce visual effects; and the South Bay’s Tim Thompson, a noted artist-cum-hacker, who also explores the possibilities of the Kinect motion sensor technology, Taiko aims to dissolve the presumed differences between an art with ancient roots and the latest innovations in digital presentation.
According to artistic director Franco Imperial, audiences can expect to see San Jose Taiko “using technology as a platform for inspiration,” with an emphasis on “use of projection to visualize how taiko is being interpreted on a digital canvas.” During the intermission, “the audience will be able to participate in interactive texting … and vote to select the first song for the second half of the program.”
The troupe has often experimented with intriguing partners for genre-trashing (or at least redefining) shows, most notably their memorable meeting of minds and meets with the Bangerz hip-hop crew at the SubZERO Festival in 2010. People are still talking about that show, which bodes well for this latest joint effort.
Sep. 21 at 8pm, Sep. 22 at 2 and 8pm; School of Arts & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose. Tickets are $20–$30.
2. A Hidden Space Revealed
Generally, the pleasant courtyard attached to the California Theatre, with benches and trees, is cordoned off with a wall of metal lattice work. For ZERO1, the Bay Area design team of Nataly Gattegno and Jason Kelly Johnson, a.k.a. Future Cities Lab, is converting the off-limits space into a public environment: Datagrove. A strange, alien contraption fashioned from shiny rods bent in a wave form serves as a superstructure for some orblike data transmitters. When fully functional, the device, fashioned by “luminescent fibers,” will produce subtle sound textures geared to the ebb and flow of curiosity seekers.
Runs Sep. 12–Dec. 8; California Theatre, San Jose.


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