Dead Horse Bay
(Thoughts From the Future)

SCOTT WOLLSCHLEGER:

"Dead Horse Bay…thoughts from the future… was originally written for two violins and a live-projection film. The music can be performed with or without the film. Individual movements can be performed as stand-alone movements. The ideal presentation of the video is to include both wall projections and to project the film’s image through a large cell phone prop. 

The video is an amateur documentary I created showcasing Dead Horse Bay, located in south Brooklyn. I filmed the footage over the course of several visits during the spring and summer of 2019. During the filming process I became fascinated by the island’s history and how the location was once the site of numerous industrial horse carcass-rendering plants as well as New York City’s primary garbage landfill. The island’s inhabitants – many who worked as laborers on the island – were forcefully removed and their homes leveled to the ground.

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The city transformed the island into a peninsula by the 1950’s by using trash as topsoil. Since then the landfill caps have broken open and remnants of garbage, dating back to the 1800’s, can be found along the beach shore. During my first visit to Dead Horse Bay I was shocked by the sense of abjection. The beach was littered with old domestic trash such as glass bottles, plates, shoes, stoves, and the occasional horse bone. The scene on the beach was terrifying and weirdly mystical. It was beautiful to see how the trash was becoming part of the natural landscape. The inorganic mixed with the organic, both seemingly woven together at times. The various pieces of garbage projected an aura that I imagined as being rendered into music. My mind however became  possessed by one idea, “This garbage is telling me thoughts from the future.”

For the first performance we created a large and very intentionally homemade, retro-looking, large cell phone made of a shower curtain and square chunk of foam. The phone’s screen displayed the film and acted as a sort of third character to play along with the two violins. Two large projections of the film were displayed on the walls surrounding the performers. Rather than being just about garbage, I also intended Dead Horse Bay…thoughts from the future…to help demonstrate the demonic nature of our cell phone reality. The cell phone gives us instant internet and a liquid, hypermodern, connective reality that shapes us in ways beyond our full knowledge. The cell phone is a portal into another dimension.The technological singularity has arrived in its nascent phase and we can feel it controlling us through our cell phones. Every time we turn the thing on, we should in some sense say to ourselves “This is a portal into another dimension, do I want to stick my head into this vortex to be devoured?” 

Du.0 at Tenri Cultural institue (world premiere)

Performances:

Pennsylvania Mini-Tour

Lancaster, PA, Friday, July 22, 2022

Art Association of Harrisburg Harrisburg, PA

Saturday, July 23, 2022

3Dots State College, PA,

Sunday, July 24, 2022

​NYC Trash Tour

Sunview Lunchoenette Brooklyn, NY 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Ridgewood Garden Queens, NY

Sunday, May 1st, 2022

Prospect Park Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, May 1, 2022

3-7 Sounds *World Premiere

Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, NY

February, 22nd, 2020 

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Performances in Ridgewood Garden and Prospect Park 5/1/2022

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Constructing giant cell phone for the film to be projected onto.

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Workshops with Scott Wollschleger