Alumni New Works Award, Headlands Center for the Arts

Alumni New Works is a project-based award program intended to support the cutting edge contemporary creative practices of Headlands Alumni. As part of their Alumni New Works Award, Mel Day and Jeanne C. Finley will be Artists-in-Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in the Marin Headlands, California for July 2012. During this residency, they will be editing and completing the following two media projects:

Fat Chance, a two-channel video installation and film work with original sound score and narration by Pamela Z, is based on a shipwreck tragedy the artist’s witnessed during their overlapping residencies. Early one morning in 2005, Mel Day discovered the sailboat Fat Chance stranded on Rodeo beach and filmed the waves washing up over the mysterious boat. Later that night, she told fellow resident Jeanne Finley what she had discovered and Jeanne went down the next morning and caught the salvage operation on film. The two artists parted ways and in the meantime Mel found a blog uncovering the details of the tragic events that led up to the 40′ keelboat being stranded on the beach and developed a single-channel installation and short film called Whistle + Shipwreck and a series of Shipwreck-less paintings (with the blog hidden inside the paintings and installed with the film work) with the support of an MFA Fellow Residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Five years later, Mel invited Jeanne and Pamela to work on a collaborative piece combining their shared footage. With the support of an Alumni New Works Award from the Headlands Center for the Arts, Jeanne and Mel developed a two-channel installation and film piece with an original sound score and narration by Pamela Z in 2012. An additional film version incorporating an interview with the crew is being developed by Jeanne C. Finley in collaboration with Mel Day.

Whistle + Shipwreck and a related series of related Shipwreck-less paintings were exhibited by Mel Day at the Project Space, Headlands Center for the Arts (2006), Spur Projects in Portola Valley (2007) and at a solo show at Peak Gallery, Toronto (2007). The collaborative work with Jeanne C. Finley and Pamela Z was installed as a work-in-progress at the Gym (installation), and at the Open House (film), Headlands Center for the Arts, as part of their collaborative residency in 2012.

All these works were developed in honor of the Fat Chance crew.

view Fat Chance clip

Threshold is a three-channel, 5.1 surround installation work developed Jeanne C Finley and Mel Day in collaboration with the San Francisco Threshold Choir, Lytton Seniors Community, Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and Cascade Technologies. This two-channel media- and surround-sound piece was commissioned by the Palo Alto Art Center and will be shown at the inaugural opening in the Fall of 2012 and Zero1 Biennial 2012. Please drop by and check out the progress of these latest works at the Headlands Open House Sunday, July 29th!

Threshold has been made possible with the support of the following individuals and organizations: San Francisco Threshold Choir; Lytton Gardens Senior Communities; Consulting Professor Jonathan Abel and graduate students Michael Wilson and Cecilia Wu, CCRMA (Stanford University); Cascade Technologies; Andy Greenwood (Sennheiser); Headlands Center for the Arts Alumni New Works Award; and the Palo Alto Art Center.

view Threshold clip

Fat Chance by Jeanne C. Finley and Mel Day with an original sound score and narration by Pamela Z (film still), 2012