School of Experimental Work (SEW) : 

Audio Visual Workshop Series

SEW poster

April 9th-April 30th 2016

Alabama Song Houston | 2521 Oakdale Drive | Houston, Texas 77004

organized by Charisse Pearlina Weston, co-organized and hosted by Alabama Song Founder Gabriel Martinez.

made possible through funds from the 2014 charge//practicum grant and the Santo Foundation

The School of Experimental Work: Audio-Visual series, which took place April 9th-April 30th, was a series of workshops, lectures, meditations and/or performances. Artists were invited to conduct sessions highlighting interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and experimentation. All sessions were open to the public, with the intended audience being emerging artists who can not afford other means of arts education. This intensive “school” focused on exploring ideas and artistic practices surrounding the use of various forms of technology in the arts. 


APRIL 9TH |3PM | Language as Material | David Feil |

Description: This workshop will explore ways of looking at language and creating text-based works outside of the traditional practice of writing. Participants will be introduced to a handful of techniques and ideas borrowed from computational linguistics and natural language processing, and provided with an overview of online resources. The group will then use simplified, pen-and-paper versions of these ideas to create collaborative texts and experience the techniques through practice. While language will be the topic of focus, the underlying theme will be of the creative role of abstraction and modeling in all art-making.

 David A. Feil is an interdisciplinary artist and educator whose work is written, performed, seen, heard, and interacted with. His most enduring fascination is with language, as a complex, organic, communal landscape within which we carve our own individual expression. Most recently he ran a small software company that worked with artists and mathematicians to experiment with creative applications of current computational language modeling techniques.


APRIL 16TH | 3PM | Meka Jean: Ivy League Ratchet | Tameka Norris |

Description: Lecture and Performance.

Tameka Jenean Norris aka Meka Jean (b. Guam) received her undergraduate degree in 2010, at the University of California, Los Angeles before graduating with an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. She has participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2009), the Fountainhead Residency (2012) and the Hermitage Artist Retreat (2012). Her group exhibitions include Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art recently at the Walker Art Center, Studio Museum of Harlem and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2014-2015). Norris debuted her feature length film/installation Meka Jean: How She Got Good at Prospect 3 in New Orleans (2014) then at Emerson Dorsch Gallery in Miami, David Shelton Gallery, Houston and 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA (2015). Norris lives and works between New Orleans, LA , Los Angeles, CA, and Berlin, Germany.


APRIL 23RD | 4PM | Fuzzy Dicers & Hex Inverter Oscillators | Will Eriksson |

Description: Circuit Building Workshop.

Will Eriksson studied under Nic Collins, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Having turned his focus from the sculptural to the aural he focused on developing interactive systems and generative musical programs. Concrete (not to be confused with concrète ) electronic compositions are a main fixture of his practice as well.


APRIL 30TH |3PM | Holdings & Intervals | Ayanna Jolivet McCloud |

Description: Holdings & Intervals is a mostly silent, meditative sound installation with interjections of altered sound from spirituals/gospel music and field recordings. An accompanying text will be read (from the same sources) and this reading will transition into sound meditation. Attendees are invited to meditate, read, and listen. Limited edition booklets of Holdings & Intervals will be available for purchase. 

Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud is an artist based in Houston, Texas. Her work takes on many forms — primarily painting and writing, and occasionally sound. While minimal, her work is driven by explorations in sensation, physicality, and materiality. She has participated in exhibitions and residencies throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and in the U.S.  She is the founder of labotanica, a collaborative studio scheduled to relaunch this year.



Gabriel Martinez lives and works in Houston. He graduated with an MFA from Columbia University and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program before moving to Houston as a Core Fellow and artist-in-residence at Project Row Houses. He is the founding director of Alabama Song and a Friend of Angela Davis Park. Martinez’ work has been exhibited in Havana, Milan, Houston, and New York. He was the recipient of the Elizabeth Long prize in 2012 and The Idea Fund grant in 2014. He is cofounder of paratext, an independent small press and the author of SoledadA Student’s Guide to Stealing, and Bad Land.

Charisse Pearlina Weston is a Houston-based artist and writer. She graduated with a MSc from the University of Edinburgh. She has exhibited and/or performed in various venues including Project Row Houses, the Lawndale Art Center, and DiverseWorks, and has participated in residencies at Alabama Song Houston, Sunblossom Residency (organized by Carrie Schneider), Vermont Studio Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts  (June/July 2016) and will be a Southern Constellations Fellow at the Elsewhere Museum this summer. She has received awards from the Artadia Fund for the Arts, the Santo Foundation, the Sally Hands Foundation, and the Dallas Museum of Art's Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund.  


Alabama Song is a small arts space in Houston located in a home near the Museum District.  We exploit two of Houston's specialties: irregular zoning and hospitality.  Our focus is on experimentation, both in the production of new work and its distribution.  Our programming features performances, readings, and workshops as well as screenings, exhibitions and installations. We aim to contribute to the discussion of ideas around cultural production in this city.