On living as an artist in Brooklyn circa 2013 (and why I currently am not)

At the best of times you are absolutely part of something.  This something is a thing on the tip of your tongue, a thing that any moment you risk swallowing and no longer tasting.  It is a kind of living that becomes terrified of itself, lest one day it may become the only thing worth remembering.

I wanted to drag everyone along with me in this life.  On a good day this meant picking you up in a ‘98 Toyota with a busted door handle and chauffeuring you from underground show to underground performance to the diner in almost daylight.  We would bash souls like heads and share in this proverbial something like goats chewing the memory of food.  On a bad day this meant spending weeks recovering from a night or two or 6 weeks of chemical bliss.  I probably fucked you.  You were the proprietor of an underground gallery or mentally ill or nine-times-out-of-ten another cold blooded musician eager to succumb as much as I.  This really only happened in order to create pain.  Create the pain in order to extinguish it, and again.  If this applies to you I shouldn’t have to tell you.

Despite this, it was good, all of it.  That’s the thing about life.  Even in ridiculous displays of self injury and homicidal lasciviousness it sounds perfectly great, afterwards, as long as you lived it.  Really lived it.  And I really, really lived it.  If for nothing else, I lived my life in complete denial of any alternative.

What’s bizarre is that at a certain point, lacking alternative, life begins to turn papery.  I’m not sure I can explain it better than this.  You just start finding yourself in inexplicable corners in dimensions which probably do not exist.  On a Sunday you find yourself unable to stop researching the early 20th century medical phenomenon Phossy Jaw, a condition that developed due to exposure to white phosphorous, thus almost exclusively affecting workers in match factories.  The jaw bone begins to abscess, causing necrosis of the surrounding flesh, brain damage, organ failure, death.  This doesn’t really exist anymore but it did, and this blunt fact is really all that you get out of anything if you’re not living it.

You start seeing your life as a creation, or perhaps more accurately, a fabrication, that’s the thing.  Then you start searching for the thing that’s been fabricated; you realize it isn’t there.  At all.  It’s not a question of wishing it was something else, or somewhere else, it just isn’t.  And the alternative becomes researching the Krokodil phenomenon in Siberia on a Friday, another form of necrotic death, the drug that eats junkies, and you wonder if it isn’t so much that your life that simply is isn’t, but that you managed to kill it by exposure.

Hi.  I’m Valerie.  I’m a living, breathing art experiment.  I will tell you point blank that experience is the only proof of life.  Surprise!  The problem is that in experiencing you cease to exist.  The problem is I still have a jaw bone.

I’m not going so far as to say that I’m walking away from everything at the age of 29, it never goes down that simply anyway.  I will say that when you really, really love something, or someone for that matter, (probably yourself included), you must be able to walk away from it in order to preserve it.  Otherwise it doesn’t really exist anymore but it did.  Experience becomes meaningless through experimentation.  Blind faith is a dangerous thing without knowing grief.  Don’t bother asking what any of this means.  Art makes about as much sense as limbs falling off, on a Saturday, at dusk.  This is simply a means to write about what happens, afterwards.

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Thursday Nights at Ange Noir

Every non-holiday Thursday night, beginning Sept 19th, 3 acts will perform at Bushwick cafe/event space, Ange Noir (formerly Cafe Orwell).
Each week will feature one sound artist, one performance artist, and one songwriter, working within their respective communities to push the boundaries defined by their “genre” and therefore potentially creating something new entirely.

Spread the WORD!
all shows begin at 8p, a $10 donation for the performers will be collected.

Ange Noir is located at 247 Varet St. in Brooklyn.

L to Morgan ave.

Schedule of Weekly Events:

9/19: performance artist Joseph Keckler, Silver Process (Joe Merolla, cello/ Chuck Bettis, electronics/ Brandon Seabrook, guitar/banjo), songwriter/cellist Meaghan Burke

9/26: performance artists Melissa Tolve and Zach Gates, violinist/sound artist Jonathan Chen, neo-classical/cabaret songmaster Jonathan Wood Vincent.

10/3: performance artist Lee Todd Lacks (Maine) w/Tom Swafford, David First’s The Western Enisphere presents drones in just intonation, songstress Elisa Flynn

10/10: curated by Sean Ali
double bass duo PascAli
solo performance by David Grollman

10/17: curated by Ryan Krause

10/24: legendary performance artist Borts Minorts, Valerie Kuehne and Yps Mael (Munich) perform sounds, songwriter/accordionist An Historic (New Haven)

11/7: performance artist Marie Christine Katz presents “What’s My Worth?”, Mara Mayer (bass clarinet) and Jason Anastasoff (upright bass) are Feral Children, songwriter Steve Espinola

11/14: performance artist/comic Lorelei Ramierz, sonic hijinks by Lathan Hardy and Carlo Costa, songwriting legend Jason Trachtenberg w/ Matt Dallow

11/21: a performance by the Cocoon Project, bassist Holly Ann Cordero.

12/5: songwriter Ember Shrag, a performance by Dave Ruder and Aliza Simons (euphonium),

12/12: pianist/songwriter/virtuoso Leo Svirsky (the Hague), Robert Pepper/Snakeyhunt Duo.

12/19: songwriter Gelsey Bell, Andrew Drury/Jack Wright, Ben Syversen.

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The Super Coda will be hosting 4 events for the first annual Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival (bipaf) on July 6th, 10th, 15th, and 21st, 2p-2a at Goodbye Blue Monday, 1087 Broadway. These events will feature the Performance Music you’ve grown to know and love over the years. This is a magical festival that will potentially only happen once. This July. Check the website for a full listing of participating artists, spaces, curators.

230 – Felix Morelo (NYC) – http://felixmorelo.wordpress.com/
315 – anaze izqueirdo (Peru) – http://desdeblancos.blogspot.com/
4 – geraldo mercado (NYC) – http://geraldomercado.com/
445 – adrienne anemone (NYC) – http://www.reverbnation.com/adrienneanemone
530 – Katelyn Hales (NYC)
615 – autumn hays (NYC) – http://autumnhays.com/index.html
730 – pendulum swings (NYC) – http://www.pendulumswings.com/
815 – Myk Henry (NYC/Ireland)
9 – theodore robinson (NYC) – http://www.weemsnet.com/
945 – lee todd lacks (maine) – http://leetoddlacks.bandcamp.com/
1030 – charmaine’s names (philadelphia) – http://www.charmainesnames.me/
1115 – the georges (NYC) – http://thegeorgesband.weebly.com/
12 – elana katz (NYC) – http://www.elana-katz.com/
1245 – adult content (philadelphia)

w/ durational performances in the back by:
sneaky mister – beginning at 9 – http://thesneakymister.com/
Wild Torus – durational at 11 – http://wildtorus.tumblr.com/

2:30 – mariana luna (NYC/Montreal) (durational) – http://vernacularhistory.com/
3:15 – Matti Havens (Netherlands/NYC) – http://www.mattihavens.com/
4:30 – kalan sherrard (everywhere) (durational) – http://www.enormousface.com/
5:15 – dr lisa levy (NYC) – http://www.lisalevyindustries.com/
6 – anya liftig (NYC) – http://anyaliftig.com/
6:45 – baxton alexander (NYC)
7:30 – Tess Miller (Detroit) (durational) (want to participate? email thwalk@gmail.com)
8:15 – Virgina Warwick (Baltimore)
8:30: Coralee Lynn Rose (NYC) (durational) – http://coraleelynnrose.com/
9 – jonathan wood vincent (NYC) – http://jonathanwoodvincent.bandcamp.com/
10:45 – boxing dreams with… (sean noonan) (NYC) – http://www.noonansmusic.com/
11:30 – mr transylvania (NYC)
12 – dennis sullivan/radical 2 (NYC)

Macklen Mayse – durational in back starting at 11

2-6p: BIPAF 10 minute marathon, featuring back to back 10 minute performances by:
Halona Hilbertz – http://www.halonahilbertz.com/
David Moscovich – http://davidmoscovich.com/
Alex Berry
Raquel du Toit – http://www.raqueldutoit.com/
Louis King
Carisa Bledsoe – http://cabwork.tumblr.com/
Lorelei Ramirez – http://www.loreleiramirez.com/
Karla Stingerstein – http://karlastingerstein.com/home.html
Katya Grokhovsky – http://www.katyagrokhovsky.net/
Jenna Kline – http://jelliebeers.com/
David LaGaccia – http://hyperallergic.com/author/david-lagaccia/
Erik Hokanson – http://hokadelic.wordpress.com/
Rae Goodwin – http://www.raegoodwin.com/
Thomas Albrecht – http://thomasalbrecht.com/home.html
Amy Finkbeiner – http://www.amyfinkbeiner.com/
Benjamin Lundberg – http://benjaminlundberg.com/
Kristin Mitchell – kirstinmitchell.com

6 – thomas bell (call in) (Detroit) – http://spreadart.org/
6:15 – Matthew Silver (NYC) – http://www.maninwhitedress.com/
6:30 – ross moreno (NYC) – http://rossmoreno.com/home.html
7 – hiroshi shafer (NYC) – http://hiroshishafer.com/
7:45 – elinor thompson
8:00 Marie Christine Katz (Switzerland) – http://www.mariechristine.com/
w/ Ruth Phaneuf and Robert James Anderson.
8:30 – Upholstery (Philadelphia) – http://upholstery.bandcamp.com/
9:15 – ryan krause (NYC)
10 – animal tropical (Miami/NYC) – http://animaltropical.bandcamp.com/
10:45 – alejandro acierto (Chicago) – http://alejandroacierto.net/
11:30 – jill burton (Gainsville) – http://www.jillburton.net/
12:15 – christen clifford (NYC) – http://christenclifford.tumblr.com/
12:45 – ivy castellanos (NYC) – http://www.ivycastellanos.com/
1 – Andrew Drury/Dan Peck

Scott Hawkins (UK) (durational beginning at 9 through end) – http://www.scotthawkins.co.uk/4.html

2:30 – arianna ferrari/albert behar (durational throughout day) – ariannaferrari.yolasite.com
4:30 – egg, eggs (Northampton, MA) – http://eggeggs.bandcamp.com/
5:15 – middle children (Pittsburgh) – http://midchild.bandcamp.com/
6 – alison brianard (NYC) – http://cargocollective.com/allisonbrainard
6:45 – robert pepper (NYC) – http://pasmusic.weebly.com/
7:30 – i’d m/walter/andrea (Portland/Lowell/Salem) – http://www.kraag.org/
8:15 – sean ali (NYC) – http://seanali.com/
9 – Joseph Keckler – http://www.josephkeckler.com
9:45 – crank sturgeon (Maine) – http://cranksturgeon.com/
10:30 – borts minorts (LA) – http://www.reverbnation.com/bortsminorts
11:15 – birdorgan (Manchester, NH/Lowell) – http://www.reverbnation.com/birdorgan
12 – rebecca patek (NYC) – http://rebeccapatek.com/
12:45 – Valerie Kuehne (NYC) – http://www.valeriekuehne.com/

Christhian Diaz – durational – http://www.christhiandiaz.com/

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The Super Coda Returns this Friday at Panoply

Join us at Panoply this Friday, June 14th. There will be a music professor from outer space. Jason Ajemian is in town for a limited time and will play bass. Jeremy Gustin and Booker Stardrum will have a drum off. Tommy Wallach will replace the Bflat soul of our old Wurlitzer (I love what this man does).

Panoply Performance Laboratory

104 Meserole st. in Williamsburg


Professor Musikmacher – www.stanleyschumacher.com
w/ Max Johnson, bass – http://www.maxjohnsonmusic.com/
Jason Ajemian – http://jasonajemian.com/
Jeremy Gustin, Booker Stardrum, drums
Tommy Wallach – http://tommywallach.tumblr.com/

Brooklyn Brewery available for consumption.
Suggested Donation for Artists.


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Variety Night Experiment No. 6 – 4/12

Spectrum – 121 Ludlow st., buzz 2
Friday, April 12th, 7:30-11

HOUSE BAND – ZAVODNIKS. A large, large group of improvising brains led by Hans Tammen, sure to please. http://tammen.org/

Jeffrey Shurdut/Valerie Kuehne

Courtney Leigh Novak w/ Karyim A Carreia, Jeffrey Allan Hinshaw, and Ceelo Green


Yaman Palak

Charlie Rauh/Concetta Abatte – guitar and violin duo yes oh yes.

The Georges

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Ron Leach Art Opening/Variety Night Experiment no. 5 – 4/5

Ron Leach will be showing his paintings at Spectrum on April 5th.
Spectrum is located at 121 Ludlow st. buzz 2

This event will also be the next installment of the Super Coda Variety Night Experiment.
Ron’s work – http://www.saatchionline.com/ronleach

Opening at 7p. Food and Drinks will be available.
w/classical music and performances by Coco Karol and Valerie Kuehne

House Band at 8
Performances at 8:30

House Band – Beninghove’s Hangmen – Creeptastic Noir for the Masses – http://beninghoveshangmen.bandcamp.com/

Sonic Experiments in Intensity and Brevity:

Sean Ali/Koh Otera (Japan)

Kid Millions/Spreaders

Andrea Parkins/Dominic Lash

David Grollman/Valerie Kuehne/Emile Mouchous/Floria Nica

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14 Minutes of Fame or This is Not a Cockfight

Thursday, March 14th at The Panoply Performance Laboratory
104 Meserole st. Brooklyn, NY
L to Montrose, J to Lorimer, G to Broadway
5-15$ Suggested Donation
Beer lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery, available by donation

Experimental Music * Performance * Dance: Face to Face, Facing off, Face Lifting

Nick Gianni and Chizuru Tanaka (Japan) – music/dance

Joseph Mygan (Boston) –

Anthony Lamitina – http://lesbianbrothers.bandcamp.com/

Miguel Morte Valentine – creepy folk songs

Harp/Violin duo by Lucia Helen Stavros and Joanna Mattrey

A special performance by David Vilayleck – http://ayankoko.bandcamp.com/album/lo-fi-guitare-objets

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Variety Night at Spectrum no. 5

Spectrum is located at 121 Ludlow st., buzz 2
9p – House Band And Performances
$5-15 Donation
Beer available.

Pure Fusion

Behold the following five, who will show you what it’s like to eat, breathe, shower and ?!$% five times a DAY:


NJ noise family (cult)

the best damn vocalist in Paris, I dare you to read her name backwards.

Found cassettes, a long long spring, and some math.

Beninghove’s Hangmen –
creeptastic grinder jazz for the masses.

Black Sea Hotel Plays Early, 7p. They are Gorgeous
Open JAM to Follow.

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Variety Night Experiment no. 4, featuring the TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS

FRIDAY, february 15th.
SPECTRUM – 121 Ludlow st, buzz 2

This Variety Night Experiment, co-curated by Matt Dallow and Valerie Kuehne, features a reunion of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, contortions by the Amazing Amy with Valerie Kuehne accompanying, trans-human art songs by Jonathan Wood Vincent, improvised narratives by Dave Treut, performance art by Hiroshi Shafer, a curious duo by Hans Tammen and Miguel Frasconi, techno accordion by Matt Dallow and more!


7p – open mic to determine a possible host for the evening.
8p – performances
11p – open JAM

15 donation at the door
Beer available by donation

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The Super Coda Variety Night at Spectrum No. 3

Friday (1/1/13) marks the third week of the Super Coda Variety Night Experiment at Spectrum.

7p – Open Mic
8p – House Band/MC
8:15 – 11ish – performances
Open jam involving the evening’s performers to follow.

Natti Vogel
– Combining “the swagger of Jim Morrison with the honky-tonk piano of an old-timey saloon” (WeLiveInBeijing.com), barely legal “indie rock fusion virtuoso” (New York Press) Natti Vogel is not above “throwing your own overpriced cosmopolitan in your face from behind his piano” (the Onion). Possible side effects include re-evaluation of music and your self (“Natti Vogel is an artist who can transform you” – Diane Taha of Associated Content, “Natti Vogel and his band do a wild part-vaudeville, part-pop, part-classical act that made me think about what music does” -the Brothers Frank).

Robert Dick
– With equally deep roots in classical music old and new and in free improvisation and new jazz, Robert Dick has established himself as an artist who has not only mastered, but redefined the flute. Known worldwide for creating revolutionary visions of the flute’s musical role, listening to Robert Dick play solo has been likened to the experience of hearing a full orchestra. His performances typically include flute (with his invention, the Glissando Headjoint®)piccolo, alto flute, and bass flutes in C and F. On special occasions, he’ll bring out the giant, stand-up contrabass flute.

Jeffrey Young! – solo violin w/ electronics. Jeffrey Young is a composer and violinist from Brooklyn, NY who specializes in experimental classical music and rock music.
Jeffrey has worked with Pierre Boulez and other leaders of the European avant-garde including Kaija Saariaho, Georg Friedrich Haas, Marc-Andre Dalbavie and members of IRCAM, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Stellari String Quartet, and the Kairos Quartett during fo ur summers at the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland, and with Steve Reich, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival in North Adams, MA. His recent work as a solo performer has centered on his own half-composed, half-improvised music for violin and the software program Ableton Live, including two solo sets, which he has performed in Europe and around the Northeastern U.S

Lindsey Drury – Lindsey’s research and performance work in Dance has taken her all over the world, addressing socio-political contexts through collaborative movement. She is a maker of large scale project’s and performances. She has shown her work at Kitchen, in Draftwork, Danspace’s Food for Thought, and the MR Fall Festival at St. Mark’s Church, Judson Church, the BAX Upstart Festival, Dance New Amsterdam, The Chocolate Factory’s Throw, Bushwick’s SITE Festival, Vaudeville Park, Chen Dance Center, Superfront Brooklyn, and in Panoply Lab’s Performancy conferences, among others. Her cooperative space, The Woods, is located in Ridgewood.

What Color is your Machine Gun?
– What Color is Your Machine Gun? is the solo project of
composer/performer Brian McCorkle. He is the Co-Director of the
Panoply Performance Laboratory (panoplylab.org), a collective and
performance space in Brooklyn (panoplylab.org/space/). He writes
operas with librettist Esther Neff and performs and collaborates with
artists all over the world. He is also a founding member of the
Varispeed Collective (varispeedcollective.com), which performs epic
works of music in a durational and site-specific fashion

Lathan Hardy/Valerie Kuehne

Girls and God – I was once a bear. Life for such an animal is simply preparing for winter and enduring it. In my animal mind it was decided that I would not stand for this continuous cycle any longer. I was going to find a way to hold back the approaching winter. After the winter thaw, spring, and early summer leading to the solstice. The first thing that would change is that my diet moved from roots to berries. The revelation occurred to me that if I continue on a diet of roots the summer would be unable to progress. As that summer matured and the berries ripened I would approach the plants with confidence and say “I have seen the creator.”

Interested in performing at a future event? Contact me asap. valeriekuehne@gmail.com


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