Project Space, Headlands Center for the Arts, CA

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Email: melissa AT mmd DOT ca.

ARTIST STATEMENT & BIO

Mel Day is a British-Canadian interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and co-founder of The Wall of Song Project, a generative multi-media singing platform that includes a series of large-scale video installations, participatory choral works, and collaborative cathedral and sports stadium performances featuring personal and collective anthems. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Day’s multi-media work explores the concept and practice of ‘chorus’ by combining new technologies and the virtual with traditional media and ‘actual’ forms and experiences. Recent projects focus on the role of uncertainty and collective singing at the intersection of sports, entertainment, and civic engagement in collaboration with a wide range of community partners, fans, and athletes. Earlier video work grappled with amateur singing, often pairing endurance with song: a marine veteran rolling down a hill while singing a hymn about peace anything but peacefully; a couple treading water while singing until exhaustion; a durational video layering hummed singing every decade. 

Recently awarded the 2019 Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate Nexus Award for her ‘pioneering work in art and technology’, Day’s multi-media work has been shared nationally and internationally at venues that include Provident Credit Union Event Center (San Jose), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Film Festival (San Francisco), The Berlin Office and Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus Open Studios (Germany), Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley), Redhead Gallery and Peak Gallery (Toronto), and The Trafalgar Hotel (London). She has participated in a number of residencies including Stanford University’s Experimental Media Arts Lab, Headlands Center for the Arts Alumni New Works Award and UC Berkeley MFA Fellowship, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus (Schwandorf, Germany), and The Lab (San Francisco). Other honors include the San Francisco Foundation’s Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts and the Eisner Prize in the Creative Arts from UC Berkeley. As part of her inclusive practice, Day founded an IDEO-Awarded Youth Fellowship in collaboration with the Djerassi Resident Artist Program and has curated a number of exhibitions including an experimental video program for V-tape‘s Curatorial Incubator in Toronto, Canada. Day currently is a Visiting Lecturer at San José State University, previously at UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and University of Toronto Mississauga/Sheridan College. She holds an MFA from UC Berkeley and a BFA from Queen’s University, Canada with a year’s scholarship exchange to the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. // www.wallofsongproject.com

CURATORIAL WRITING EXCERPTS