Threshold at ZERO1 + PAAC

PAAC + ZERO1 3-channel, 5.1 surround sound installation

PAAC commissioned and presented with ZERO1 Mel Day and Jeanne C. Finley’s 3-channel, surround-sound collaborative project, THRESHOLD for the Grand Opening Exhibition, “Community Creates.” This piece was created in honor of Lytton resident, Maryhelen Macpherson (1923-2012) and in collaboration with Lytton Gardens Senior Communities, The Threshold Choir, Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), as well as Cascade Technologies. THRESHOLD was also made possible by a New Alumni Works Award from the Headlands Center for the Arts.

The show is up from October 6th, 2012 until April 14th, 2013 and includes work by eight other artists who have collaborated with various groups in the local community: Kathy Aoki, Anthony Discenza, Paz de la Calzada, Angela Beunning Filo, Susan O’Malley, Carlos Ramirez, Weston Teruya, and Lava Thomas.

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Project Statement

Artists Mel Day and Jeanne C. Finley will present a two-channel media-and surround-sound installation that explores communal, contemplative, and transitional experiences through the effects of light, sound, sight, and imagination. Threshold brings together voices of members of the Threshold Choir—an a capella group trained to sing at bedside for patients in hospice and palliative care—with voices from residents at Palo Alto’s Lytton Garden’s Senior Community. Musicologists from Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics process the singer’s recorded voices to simulate the reverberant quality of a performance in Stanford’s Memorial Church. This recombinatory sound space is visualized acoustically into a three-channel film- and surround-sound installation, including a time-lapse sequence documenting the changing light in the Church sanctuary from sunrise to sunset. Through the pairing of seniors’ voices with corresponding acoustic visualizations and new musicological methods, Day and Finely’sThreshold transports the residents of Lytton Gardens and amplifies the resonant emanations of their voices to the community.

Mel Day has exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum, Southern Exposure, and internationally in Berlin, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, and Toronto. Recent residencies include the Headlands Center for the Arts Alumni New Works Award; Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus Residency in Schwandorf, Germany; Djerassi Resident Artist Program; and a Visiting Artist Residency at the Experimental Media Arts Lab, Stanford University. Day has received the John D. and Susan P. Diekman Fellowship, San Francisco Foundation’s Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts, UCB Eisner Prize in the Creative Arts, the Sam Francis Distinguished Alumni Award and a Canada Council Explorations Award. She received an MFA from UC Berkeley.

Jeanne C. Finley, a Guggenheim Fellow and Media Arts Professor at California College of the Arts, has exhibited at the MOMA, the Guggenheim Museum, the George Pompidou Center, and in the Whitney Biennial. She has received many grants, including a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital Foundation, Cal Arts / Alpert Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the Phelan Award. Her work is represented by the Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco.

Day and Finley would like to acknowledge the support of the Palo Alto Art Center, ZERO1 2012, Headlands Center for the Arts New Alumni Works Award, and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University. 

Left: Lytton resident-paticipants (Photo credit: Jeffery Cross); Right: Balloon pop testing at Memorial Church by Stanford University's CCRMA (Photo credit: Mel Day)


San Francisco Threshold Choir: Betsy Bannerman, Mel Day, Charmaine Emery, Jeanne C. Finley, Kate Rose Kimer

Consulting Professor Jonathan Abel and graduate students Michael Wilson and Cecilia Wu
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University

Andy Greenwood, Sennheiser

Lytton Gardens Senior Communites, Palo Alto
Bethany Dinh, Volunteer Director & Susan Sataloff, Enrichment Director

Frank Ham, Cascade Technologies, Palo Alto

Jeffery Cross, Photographer

David Kerr (CCRMA), Photographer and Cinematographer

Lina Vezzani-Katano, Cinematographer

Palo Alto Art Center

Headlands Center for the Arts New Alumni Works Award

Lytton residents-participants visit Threshold! (Photo credit: Michael Rauner)

PAAC / ZERO1 2012 Opening (Photo credit: Jeanne Finley)