A Multimedia Performance

Friday, July 22, 2016 / 5:30-7:00pm

ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) is the product of collaboration between artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens and writer Ander Monson. This video work revisits the ELF Project, a US Navy project consisting of two transmitters located in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The transmitters sent one-way coded messages to nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines and attack submarines submerged in deep waters around the world. Installed largely against the local population’s wishes, health and environmental concerns, this Cold War vestige was operational between 1989 and 2004, when it was decommissioned. ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) revisits and reimagines this project, its legacy, and its site near Republic, Michigan. Hosted by Makeshift, ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) will be featured in a live performance of ELFsong, an electroacoustic composition by Ashlee Busch for piano, violin and stereo playback. Continued below...

ELF (Extremely Low Frequency), HD Video, Duration: 7 min. 10 sec., video still, 2016

Based on the video ELF (Extremely Low Frequency), the musical composition is an electroacoustic realization of what the composer describes as the “singing of the towers created from wars past”. Upon first experiencing the transformative audio environments captured by Collazo-Llorens at the ELF Project site, the composer was struck by the musical nature of the vibrating soundscape. ELFsong was created by isolating those frequencies, extracting their naturally occurring harmonic tones, and arranging those interweaving pitches to electroacoustically illustrate both the journey of the sound as it travels across the great lakes and the journey through time these towers witnessed as their singing first rang out over a war-stricken world, then faded as the world let their song die. 


Nayda Collazo-Llorens, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a Kalamazoo-based visual artist engaged in an interdisciplinary practice incorporating multiple mediums and strategies. Through her practice, she examines the way in which we perceive and process information, often dealing with concepts of navigation, memory, language, hyperconnectivity and noise. Two solo exhibitions are currently on view at El Cuadrado Gris in San Juan and at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, MI. Previous solo exhibitions have been presented at LMAKprojects in New York City, and the Richmond Center for Visual Arts in Kalamazoo, among others. She has produced site-specific works at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh; the Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City; the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach; the 10th Havana Biennial in Havana, Cuba; the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Juan; and the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in Kalamazoo, among others. Collazo-Llorens, a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship, received an MFA degree from New York University and a BFA degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is currently the Stuart & Barbara Padnos Distinguished Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Art and Design at Grand Valley State University. Learn more at www.naydacollazollorens.com

Ander Monson is the author of six books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, including Letter to a Future Lover (Graywolf, 2015) and Vanishing Point (Graywolf, 2010), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. Originally from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, he edits the magazine DIAGRAM, the New Michigan Press, and Essay Daily, among other projects. He teaches at the University of Arizona. Learn more at www.andermonson.com

Ashlee Busch graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree of the Arts with emphasis in music composition where she was a longstanding member of GVSU's nationally recognized New Music Ensemble under the direction of Bill Ryan. Ashlee completed her Master’s degree in music composition at Michigan State University in the Spring of 2014. Ashlee's commissions include pieces for the MSU Concert Orchestra and MSU's New Music Ensemble under the direction of Kevin Noe as well as commissions for the GVSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Kevin Tutt. Ashlee is currently an adjunct professor in the department of Music and Dance at Grand Valley State University and a private music instructor at the Academy of Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Learn more at www.ashleebusch.com