Ten x Ten: a Dual-Media Collaboration

Presented by Chicago Composers Orchestra, Homeroom, and Spudnik Press

Ten x Ten: A Dual-Media Collaboration 1


Join Chicago Composers Orchestra, Homeroom, and Spudnik Press for a sneak peek of the seventh iteration of Ten x Ten!


Ten x Ten is a dual-media collaboration between visual artists and musicians that explores the collaborative process and the translation of artistic gestures across media. While COVID restrictions mean we’ll have to wait to debut the full orchestral compositions and the corresponding screen prints in person, we are sharing a sneak peek with sketches of the musical compositions and images of the screen prints during a multimedia virtual event. We’ll begin with performances and conclude with a discussion.


Join us online Saturday, January 23 at 7PM to see and hear the work of:

Susan Giles collaborating with Amy Wurtz

Carlos Matallana collaborating with Ben LaMar Gay

Michelle Nordmeyer collaborating with Andrew McManus


In addition to hearing and seeing the works, the artists and composers will be in conversation discussing the collaborative process of Ten x Ten, followed by an audience Q&A with the artists and composers. 


Learn more at https://www.chicagocomposersorchestra.org/events/ten-x-ten/.


January 25th 2020 at Roosevelt University: chaos | composed

chaos | composed : Chicago Composers Orchestra + Origin of Animal

6:30pm Discussion and Q&A | 7:30pm Concert

Join us for the first concert and print debut in our Ten x Ten 2020 series.
Composers David Keller, Trevor Watkin, Randall West, and Janice Misurell-Mitchell will debut compositions created in collaboration with visual artists Alexandra Antoine, Jessie Mott, Selina Trepp, and Azadeh Gholizadeh respectively. Each of the visual artists will debut their corresponding screenprints as well. The prints and music recorded at this concert will culminate in an art book and 12” vinyl record released in early 2021.


Ten x Ten 2020

Ten x Ten 2020 is a collaborative commissioned production featuring 10 composers writing symphonic work in collaboration with 10 visual artists producing screen prints. Presenting organizations Chicago Composers Orchestra, Homeroom, and Spudnik Press paired 10 visual artists with a composer. Together, the visual artist and composer are asked to write corresponding components of a single work, though each print and each composition may stand on their own as an independent work of art. 
Music and visual art are not typically presented or discussed as complementary art forms. Ten x Ten challenges this notion, asking participants to explore the common ground between one another's work. Collaboration is at the core of this process-driven project. Often, language is a starting point for the pairs: what adjectives might describe their work; how might narratives be embedded in their work; how do they organize and structure their compositions? From these discussions, the pairs develop a work plan and dialogue that allows their creative processes to influence one another.

Through this multimedia partnership, composers and visual artists are challenged to consider new factors and possibilities for creating work. Each artist is encouraged to cultivate a deeper understanding of their own creative process by delving into another, very different artist's approach to creating. 

January 25 at Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University @ 430 S Michigan Ave  

May 16 at Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University @ 430 S Michigan Ave

Fall 2020
Carlos Matallana with Ben Lamar Gay
Michelle Nordmeyer with Andrew McManus

About the Presenting Organizations
Chicago Composers Orchestra presents orchestral music by living composers, extending this rich tradition to make it open, vibrant, and diverse, and speak to our lives today. The organization envisions the orchestra as a powerful vehicle for contemporary music, filled with energy and purpose for composers, performers, and communities.

Homeroom Chicago designs artistic projects and programs with two core values: conversation and collaboration. We build programming structures with artists, audiences, curators and venues to create and artistic dialogue with shared and far-reaching impact.

spud logo.jpg
Spudnik Press provides facilities and services to artists who need a place to create or exhibit their original artwork, especially those who cannot obtain access to traditional printmaking facilities and exhibition spaces because of financial or other limitations. In addition, Spudnik provides education in printmaking practices by uniting professional artists with a diverse community of emerging and established artists, youth, and adults.


April 13: Ten x Ten Retrospective @ Star Lounge

Performances by Allen Moore & Sadie Woods and Melina Ausikaitis & Ambrosia Bartosekulva. Plus DJ Set by BIGGIDZ. 

Stop by Star Lounge on Friday, April 13 to hear and see new collaborations from Chicago artists Melina Ausikaitis, Ambrosia Bartosekulva, Allen Moore, and Sadie Woods. Known for their robust practices in both visual art and music, these performers were brought together through the collaborative project Ten x Ten.

Functioning as both an encore of Ten x Ten 2017 and retrospective of prior iterations, audience are invited to enjoy musical performances from 2017 artist pairs (Allen Moore & Sadie Woods and Melina Ausikaitis & Ambrosia Bartosekulva) while viewing Ten x Ten screen prints from all five iterations.

Ten x Ten, established in 2010, fosters collaboration between visual artists and musicians, explores the collaborative process, and presents artistic concepts and gestures across media. In 2017, ten accomplished artists and three Chicago arts organizations united to present Ten x Ten 2017: Dual Practices, which commissioned and presented new audio and visual artworks.

The free event includes complimentary beer provided by Pipeworks Brewing Company.


In Progress Update: Allen Moore and Sadie Woods

As September 9th quickly approaches, we’re pleased to fit one last artist feature on the blog, this time spotlighting Chicago multimedia artists Allen Moore and Sadie Woods. Both natives of the Chicago area, their Ten x Ten collaboration stood apart from the pack with its clear interest in the intersection of personal narrative and Chicago’s history. Enjoy this talk with two of the city’s eminent audiovisual practitioners.

What inspired you both to pursue a collaboration built upon former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington?

Allen Moore (AM): The intrigue was reaching into the past, comparing and contrasting the socio political climate of the 1980’s with that of the present. I feel that Harold Washington was not only the first Black Mayor of Chicago, but was a progressive leader dedicated to education and grass roots empowerment. I think Sadie and I found it astonishing that the 30th anniversary of his passing will seemingly go by quietly and without any visible ceremony.

Sadie Woods (SW): We discussed several tropes on intersectionality and local Chicago culture over a period of time. Eventually, we came to a discussion of arts and culture, the end of Obama's presidency, and thinking of local figures that represented progressive change for marginalized communities. I also live near Mayor Washington's former Hyde Park home where he lived during his tenure, and walk by the Harold Washington Park often, so his legacy has been on my mind a lot during this process.

Can you describe your individual practices and interests, and how those crystallized in the form of more historical, rather than conceptual, outcome collaboratively?

AM: My painting/sound practice is heavily rooted in place and time. I specifically use creative source material from my childhood, which coincides with Mayor Washington’s tenure. During that time, I struggled with my mother being away from home in the hospital, fighting for her life against a rare life threatening disease. I remember the impact of Harold Washington’s death. The conception, in my opinion, is to question the sociopolitical space between then and now. We seemingly were on a positive and progressive path, but in 2017, we struggle with issue of racial injustice and police violence against POC. I’d like to image what could’ve been different if mayor Washington finished his second term. Was his vision abandoned? What would the political climate be in 2017? That is why the title of our piece “Dream Merchant” seems appropriate. I think the positives of Washington’s tenure can be linked all the way to Obama’s presidency.

SW: Much of my work is rooted in research; it is a process I enjoy. Having historical content informs the concept. It is grounded in a lived experience. I was in grammar school during Mayor Washington's tenure and was impacted when learning of his passing. Through this process, I've also been thinking about the progressive politics he fought for: economic growth, neighborhood development, affordable housing, and democratic school governance. I have also given thought to how much has changed (or not changed) over the past 30 years. This fall commemorates the 30th anniversary of his second term, when he passed away in office.

What About Chicago’s History specifically interests you?

AM: I’m from the village of Robbins, a small black town a few miles south of Chicago.
I was always enamored with city; it’s size and specifically the migration between the city and the suburbs.

SW: It's my hometown! Chicago over everything.

Allen Moore is a Black American visual and experimental sound artist born and raised in the small village of Robbins IL, just south of Chicago. Allen has a Bachelors of Arts from Chicago State University, a Masters in Arts fro Governors State University and a Masters of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University. His work converses with the signifiers of African American culture and popular culture; bringing to view the underlying themes of racial, emotional and socio-economical, conditions.

Chicago native Sadie Woods has held DJ residencies throughout Chicago for over a decade and performed for art institutions and tastemakers alike. Her practice includes sound art and design, deejay performance, exhibition making, and collaborations within communities of difference. She's been a participant of Ecole du Magain’s International Curatorial Program and editor of “Harald Seemann Individual Methodology” project; resident artist of the Hyde Park Art Center Program; Resident Artist at ACRE; Artist-In-Residence at Nichols Tower Homan Square; Sponsored Artist at High Concept Labs; Resident Curator of Chicago Artists Coalition's HATCH Projects; and Collaborator of Independent Curators International Dakar Intensive. Sadie is the recipient of the Bemis Center for the Arts Artist Residency; sound designer for Brujos Web Series; Curator-In-Residence at Art + Public Life Arts Incubator with La Keisha Leek; Resident Curator for Terrain-HATCH Projects; resident DJ at Boleo at The Kimpton Gray Hotel; and Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


In Progress Update: Lou Mallozzi and Joseph Clayton Mills

As we gear up for this year’s Ten x Ten Release, we invite you into the collaborative process between two of Chicago’s foremost multimedia artists, Joseph Clayton Mills and Lou Mallozzi. Tasked with an open exploration of space and location, the pair literally took the matter in their own hands, laboriously rubbing the floors of Experimental Sound Studio to create an audiovisual aesthetic hyper-tactile in process and utterly ethereal in outcome. Enjoy this generous look into Lou and Joseph’s intentions and be sure to see for yourself the true breadth of their work Saturday, September 9th, at Experimental Sound Studio.

How would you describe the themes and underlying ideas you are exploring in your collaboration?

Joseph Clayton Mills (JCM): One is the question of history—the passage of time, the contingencies imposed by a particular location and particular materials that can bear the marks of their interaction with other bodies and other histories. This history of contact between bodies is registered in the traces that are left—dust and detritus, scratches, and scars. In the case of the ESS studio, this is most noticeable in the deeply incised burn marks left behind as a result of its previous life as a metalworking shop, but there are also perhaps less noticeable traces left behind by everyone who has played there, recorded there, or passed through as an audience member. The superimposed rubbings and the sound of their making compress that history into something that can appear to be at once both abstract and absolutely concrete. The rubbings record the surface of floor at a scale of one-to-one, but their superimposition disorients the viewer and frustrates any easy resemblance between original and copy. I think that, in some ways, this mirrors how we often relate to the traces left behind by others or ourselves. We are left with recordings, histories, and stories that register our experiences, the meaning of which we can intuit but not fully capture—signs that can seem both deeply significant and opaque. Our experiences invariably exceed our ability to represent them—to touch them or to hold them—and the persistent, perhaps hopeless need to do so is another theme of the work.

Lou Mallozzi (LM): The interactions of site, time, and body seem to be the basis of the work. There is the historical time of the site; the implied time that I, in particular, have spent there since 2006; the time taken for the process of making that we pursued, which was in direct contact with the floor. Circulating around that is the way so many others have interacted with the site over time, some it documented, most of it ephemeral and irrecoverable. Perhaps some of the melancholy of that irrecoverable time is also encased in the pathos of the activity that generated the work: two men sweeping and then rubbing the floor, on our knees for two hours. Traces and layering -- both sonic and visual -- are the physical manifestation of these interactions. The process of executing the two-hour action of floor sweeping and rubbing and then collapsing it into 13 minutes of multi-track audio and three images from the 39 rubbings is a distillation of sorts, yielding results that are of the original but certainly distinct and somewhat autonomous as well.

How does narrative manifest in this project?

JCM: I think that it functions as a kind of background to the project or as a necessary antecedent to the finished work. Part of what hopefully makes both the screen print and the sound piece compelling is how they each record experiences—whether that’s the history of the space and the lives of those who have passed through it or the sequence of activities that Lou and I performed in making the pieces. Those experiences could conceivably be represented as a sequential narrative or series of narratives, arranged in a linear fashion through time or extended in a kind of grid across the space of the studio floor. Instead, the rubbings and the sound of their making are layered into dense, essentially nonnarrative artifacts that fold space and time back on themselves and present them as a kind of superimposed simultaneity. What might have been straightforward narratives are instead compressed and distilled until they verge on complete abstraction. At the same time, the print and the sound piece each invite the audience to imaginatively unfold them to recapture the human scale of the original experiences. What’s retained and what’s lost in that process of translation is one of the questions that the work hopefully asks.

LM: For me, the collapsing process that I mentioned above is a way to excite a tension between narrative and non-narrative modes. The simple repetitive linearity of our actions, which function like "work" and not simply "art-making," implies a narrative in the sense of a linear sequence that fluctuates over time and carries in it something like what we call a "story," that is, something that puts us self-reflexively in the world. Conversely, since the action is not in itself any kind of story making, it acts like a frame around the narratives inherent in or implied by the site (its histories).

How does collaboration fit into your current practice? Does it vary for visual and audio art?

JCM: Collaboration is central to my work, particularly the musical projects I’ve been involved in. Haptic was specifically conceived as a vehicle for collaboration with different musicians and artists, and I’ve also been involved in numerous duo projects with Marvin Tate, Michael Vallera, Noé Cuéllar, and numerous others. This affinity for collaboration extends to working across genres and in hybrid forms—providing soundtracks to films, creating scores that use text and graphic imagery, and working with dancers and poets to create performances that cross disciplines. The small label that I run, Suppedaneum, focuses on presenting musical scores and their realizations and by its nature is centered on exploring collaboration between composers, musicians, artists, and designers. My visual work also tends to take a collaborative form, although perhaps less explicitly—it often draws on the lives and work of other artists or writers and explores issues of influence, canonicity, and authority. More generally, my work relies on a global community of collaborators and peers who inform and sustain it.

LM: I have a fluid relationship with collaboration in my work, and I don't consider it an inherently superior method of art making. Some of my practice is solo and exclusive, some is work in which I participate and contribute, and some is truly collaborative. Interestingly, the visual work tends to be at the solo end of the spectrum and sonic work tends to be at the collaborative end. I think all of my work is porous to the influence of others, whether present or not at the time of the making. But for me, collaboration specifically means that all participants have equal responsibility throughout the work. So, this project with Joseph is certainly in that realm, as are my improvised music projects and a small number of others, such as some performance work from a few years ago with Alessandro Bosetti. I tend to think of collaboration as something like what's articulated by Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs in The Third Mind, where the personalities of the collaborators meld into a third creative entity in some ways independent of the individuals, if only for a moment.

Lou Mallozzi is a Chicago-based artist known primarily for his work in sound, often with a focus on dismembering and reconstituting language, gesture, and signification. His work includes performances, installations, music works, recordings, and radio works. In addition, he has a visual art practice that includes drawing and other media. In addition to his solo works, Mallozzi often collaborates with artists, filmmakers and musicians. He is on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is co-founder and former executive director of Experimental Sound Studio.

Joseph Clayton Mills is a musician, artist, and writer who lives and works in Chicago. His text-based paintings, assemblages, and sound installations have been exhibited in Chicago, New York, and Europe and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker. He is the author of the short-story collection Zyxt, and in 2012 published Nabokrossvords, a translation of early Russian crosswords by Vladimir Nabokov. He is an active participant in the improvised and experimental music community in Chicago and his recordings have appeared on numerous labels, including Another Timbre, FSS, and Entr’acte. In 2013, in conjunction with Noé Cuéllar, he launched Suppedaneum, a label focused on releasing scores and their realizations.