“If you ordered lasagna at a Chinese restaurant, it would look like this.”
Such is Jim Phelps‘ description of “Chinet,” a multimedia program to be presented at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, by Shotguns To Daylight, an art duo comprised of Phelps and Bart Woodstrup, music and art professors, respectively.
“There are multiple, thick layers of Sino-American metaphor,” Phillips adds, “advanced by somewhat ‘uncomfortable bed-fellows’ of chosen subjects and objects.”
“Chinet” will offer its materials with three projection screens, two computers, electric guitars and non-traditional sound controllers. Sound and visual components were composed by Phelps and Woodstrup, sometimes working independently and at other times in close collaboration with one another.
Phelps offers a “heads-up” to those for whom such things may matter: “This event contains brief images of full-frontal female nudity.”
Woodstrup sees this audio/visual performance as a “big character poster” designed to “inspire people to do what they do not want to do in order to achieve what they want to achieve.” On working with Phelps, he says that ” ‘Chinet’ is a great leap forward in our collaborative process and represents a very productive force of technological and social concerns.”
Phelps and Woodstrup have long maintained a collaborative relationship, often creating and presenting experimental musical and visual works.
One such work, “RickLicks,” for live electric guitar, computer music and digital video, has been performed many times both in the United States and internationally. It is currently available on YouTube and has collected roughly 7,000 “hits” — not bad for experimental art work. It has received positive reviews at various venues worldwide.
Working independently, both Phelps and Woodstrup have performed and exhibited musical and visual art works across the United States, Europe and Asia. Both were invited to Havana, Cuba, in 2000 to perform at one of the first International Electroacoustic Music Events in that country as part of the Spring in Havana Festival.
Phelps is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee and of the University of North Texas while Woodstrup holds both music and art degrees from NIU and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Both are NIU faculty members with Woodstrup a driving force in the time arts department and Phelps directing NIU’s computer-music composition/performance ensemble, Annex Group.