Crowded: A Divergence of Birds – A Performance Art Event

May 20, 2023 - 8:00 PM

Congregation by Carolyn Monastra

As a closing event for “CLIMATE CONNECTIONS: Our Shared Future”, ArtRage welcomes Brooklyn based artists Betsy Andrews, Asa Marder and Carolyn Monastra for a performance of their new work: Crowded: A Divergence of Birds. We will kick off the evening with a musical performance by local singer/songwriter Colleen Kattau.

The contemporary sky is a human sky; we dream up into the anthropocene. Planes, drones, skyscrapers, missiles, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases jostle the birds and the souls of the dead.

Entailing live performance, soundscape, video, and still projections, “Crowded: A Divergence of Birds” leads the audience through anthropogenic loss, transitional rage, and finally, the mourning necessary to heal ourselves and the planet.

About the Artists

Betsy Andrews is the author of three books of poetry: Crowded (Nauset Press, 2022); The Bottom (42 Miles Press, 2014), recipient of the 42 Miles Press Prize in Poetry; and New Jersey (UWisc Press, 2007), winner of the Brittingham Prize. Her chapbooks include She-Devil (Sardines Press, 2004), In Trouble (Boog City Press, 2004), and Supercollider, with artist Peter Fox. She is the recipient of two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, an Astraea Award in Poetry, the Philadelphia City Paper Prize in Poetry, and numerous writing residencies and visiting writer residencies. She was the co-curator, along with Kerala-based poet VK Sreelesh, of the website Global Poemic, publishing poems from around the world that witness to these times of Covid-19.

Asa Marder records, performs, paints, designs, lives and breathes in Brooklyn. Marder deploys his practices as a multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and architecture student to contemplate the nature of harmony, relationship, and shared space. By manipulating media such as field recordings, cell phone photography, trash, found objects and audio from social media, he harnesses the wake of everyday existence as a resource to explore narrative and portraiture. Marder recently received his BA from Bennington College with concentrations in Music and Visual Art. At Bennington he wrote and recorded hundreds of songs; built synthesizers, and a tube audio compressor; designed a library and a post-pandemic house, and painted large works of art to exhibit in the college’s Usdan Gallery. Marder has composed audio for commercials, gallery installations, and theater, including a work in development at NYC’s TheaterLab.

Brooklyn-based artist, educator, and environmental activist, Carolyn Monastra has received awards from The Puffin Foundation, The Adirondack Art Fund, BRIC Arts Media, and The City of New Haven. Artist residencies include Ucross Foundation, Caldera Arts, Djerassi Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, and Saltonstall Foundation. After a 2009 residency at Skaftfell Visual Arts Center in Iceland she was inspired to begin The Witness Tree, a project documenting the effects of global climate change.  In 2012, Carolyn was selected by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to become one of their Climate Leaders. She has since given presentations about climate change to dozens of audiences. Her artwork is in the Marguiles Collection in Miami and has been exhibited in venues in the United States, China, Ireland, and England. In fall 2022, she was an artist-in-residence on Governors Island with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. To date, Carolyn has photographed in over twenty U.S. states, nineteen countries, and on every continent. Her current climate project, Divergence of Birds, is focusing on the threat of species extinction of North American birds.

Colleen Kattau is an award-winning bilingual vocalist songwriter who stirs listeners with her clear voice, collective spirit and rhythmic sensibility. NERFA showcase artist Colleen Kattau’s music has been featured on Democracy Now, and she performs at Phil Ochs nights. Her compositions are full of nature, social movements, and Latin American nueva canción. In 2019 she was invited to tour Italy to perform at the International Ritmi y danze dal mondo Festival and at the European Ecovillages Conference. Besos/Kisses is her 2020.