Over The Opening

Once a month, from 7PM to 10PM, the artist collective MTAA convert their N6th St. Brooklyn studio into a venue for the presentation of time-based art.

Thursday, August 30, 2012



Once a month from 2007 to 2009, MTAA invited artist to present work in our North 6th street studio. Over the years, we presented 24 one night exhibitions and 1 online artwork under the name Over The Opening (OTO).

In this time, we showed a few bands, a few video installations, a tamale instructional, a LAN party, some durational performances,  a wall to wall ballon filled environment, a sound work with a low frequency brown note, and a virtual make out.  We gave away paintings, held spoken word karaoke, and held an iPod drum circle in a public park. All of these wonderful artworks and more found temporary homes under the name OTO . The one thing we never did, and I always regretted not doing, was present a formal exhibition of art. That is, until now.

Please join as Over The Opening temporally resurfaces for one night on September 7, from 7pm to 10pm, with #otoshow26. The exhibition presents the works of Michael Buckland, Hillerbrand+Magsamen, Steve Ott, Shannon Sberna, and Michael Sarff.


more photos from the event in the #otoshow26 flickr set

posted by mriver at 8:38 pm  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Indulgences 2010

10 Untitled Drawings (Indulgences), 2010

“…the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven.” - Wikipedia

Back in in the fall of 2007, MTAA began to invite artists and art collectives to present one-night exhibitions of time based art in their Brooklyn studio. This ongoing monthly event, Over The Opening (OTO), operated as a blurring of studio space, exhibition venue, social experiment and media laboratory. The artists who worked with OTO represented a diverse range of practices. Using mediated performances, theatrical productions, participatory events, and conceptual lectures, artist who participated in OTO shared interest in how the digital world intersects within the corporeal.

On December 10 of 2009, after 24 exhibitions, MTAA put Over the Opening (OTO) to sleep.

In spring of 2010, MTAA began sending co-editing invites to artist for Goggle doc drawings. The ten invites, sent out without instruction or further information, have resulted in the following 10 collaborative, web based and ongoing drawings.

Untitled Drawing #1 (MTAA)
Untitled Drawing #2 (MTTA+Stern)
Untitled Drawing #3 (MTAA+Olson)
Untitled Drawing #4 (MTAA+Cloninger)
Untitled Drawing #5 (MTAA+Mandiberg)
Untitled Drawing #6 (MTAA+RSG)
Untitled Drawing #7 (MTAA.+Renda+Poe)
Untitled Drawing #8 (MTAA+Abrahams)
Untitled Drawing #9 (MTAA+Ramocki)
Untitled Drawing #10 (MTAA+Garnett)

Seen together, these 10 drawings represent Over The Opening’s 2010 exhibition titled Indulgences.

posted by mriver at 9:45 pm  

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Purple Reign

OTO is pleased to present Brinson Renda, Preston Poe and Michael Sarff ’s The Purple Reign - live and prerecorded dramatic readings of the 1984 classic Purple Rain

Prerecorded readings at The Purple Reign’s YouTube channel -


Installation for live readings Dec 3rd to 12th at Digi a Go Go  - 2724 NW 2 Avenue, Miami, FL 33127 - corner of NW 2nd Ave & 28th St. Opening Friday Dec 4, 2009 from 7-11pm

This will be the last OTO project for the near future.

purple reign in miami

more photos from The Purple Reign in Miami on Flickr

posted by mriver at 11:16 pm  

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SUBWAY • 1 • 2 • 3

SUBWAY • 1 • 2 • 3

On Saturday November 21, from 7 to 10pm, Over The Opening is pleased to present
SUBWAY • 1 • 2 • 3, a new three-channel projection by G.H. Hovagimyan.

The subway is a defining urban experience across cultures. Underground and in the subconscious, every rider experiences a disjunctive experience when entering one place and emerging in a different one. In day to day experience, time spent on a subway ride can resemble lost footage between cuts in a movie. But when a movie includes scenes shot in a subway, the subway passage becomes a shared, collective experience. Familiarity with subway scenes from movies have become part of the contemporary vernacular, creating “Oh I remember that film!” reactions. Movie scenes shot in subways also trigger deeper feelings as the viewer defines and redefines personal and shared experiences. In the work I have created using subway scenes from movies, narrative conventions of standard film techniques have been removed to further the exploration of submerged emotions.

The installation includes three video loops of one hour each. The piece is designed as a three-panel projection with the three loops running simultaneously. Since the individual movie clips in each loop are of varying aspect ratios, I selected a standard 1280 x 720 pixel ratio and fit the clips into that size. By doing that, some of the clips are squeezed into higher definition and others become pixilated. The use of translation and codec problems, and the variations produced by varied definition are an integral part of the work. Visual association, media memory, and a collective experience can be furthered by asking the viewer to adapt to differences. Copyright issues are addressed as the completed artwork is composed entirely of re-purposed cinema found solely on the Internet.

The complete subway movie list is provided below for reference. The movies with dots after their names had subway sequences that I gleaned from the Internet and are included in the work.

48 Hrs
A Taste of Tea‚•
Adventures in Baby-Sitting‚•
After Hours‚•
Along Came A Spider
American Werewolf In London
American Werewolf In Paris‚•
Annie Hall
Bang the drum slowly
Barbershop 2: Back In Business
Beethoven Virus‚•
Bless the Child
Bless the Child trailer‚•
Brother From Another Planet‚•
Carlito’s Way‚•
Conspiracy Theory
Die Another Day
Die Hard With a Vengance
Do the Right Thing
End of Days
FBI Story
Getting Even With Dad
Inner Circle‚•
Jacob’s Ladder Cowboy Way
Crocodile Dundee
Daybreak Express‚•
Death Wish
Little Fugitive
Little Nicky
Lost in Translation
Malcolm X
Marathon Man
Matrix Revolutions
Men in Black 2
Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Meat Train‚•
Money Train
Mr. Wonderful
My Best Friends Wedding
My Boss’s Daughter
My Dinner with Andre
Naked City
Neverwhere (Neil Gaimens )
Next Stop Greenwich
North by Northwest
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
On The Line
Passer By
Pickup On South Street‚•
Predator II
Prizzi’s Honor
Pursuit of Happyness
Quartermass and the Pit‚•
Resident Evil?
Risky Buisness
Rosemary’s Baby
Rules of Attraction
Saturday Night Fever
Seven Year Itch‚•
Silver Streak Just Another Girl on the IRT
King Kong‚•
King of Comedy
King of New York‚•
Sleeper Cell‚•
Sliding Doors
songs from the 2nd floor
Step Up 2‚•
Strange Days
Subway (by Luc Besson)‚•
Suicide Club‚•
Taxi Driver
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret of the Ooze
Three and Out‚•
Total Recall
Train Simulator‚•
Twelve Angry Men
volcano ‚•
Waking the Dead‚•
Weekend at Bernie’s II
West Side Story
When Harry met Sally
While you were Sleeping
Wings of Desire‚•
Wrong Man
You’ve Got Mail

Update - documentation from the event

posted by mriver at 7:06 pm  

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

youTunes: a performance sound project with Preston Poe and Kyle Hester


On October 10, 2009 from 7pm to 10pm, Over The Opening is pleased to present “YouTunes”: a performance sound project with Preston Poe and Kyle Hester.

YouTunes is a personalized song customization and distribution system. Poe and Hester invite you to participate by filling out a simple primarily multiple-choice form. Based on your answers, the artists will craft a custom-made song just for you.

“We’ll write, play, sing, record and burn a CD just for you on the spot- all for 99 centavos”

In an effort to compete with iTunes, the artists will be charging 99 cents per song. You bring a dollar bill and they will give you back your very own song burnt on CD and penny for your thoughts change. Choose your themes, rhythm, key phrases, and musical style, and they will match it to a carefully considered, spontaneous, personally crafted melody - with lyrics to boot!

Poe and Hester’s cache of musical YouTunes styles and instruments includes (but is not limited to) Theremin, electric “micro” pipe organ, washtub, fingerpickin’ guitar, ukulele, various percussion instruments, and many other surprises.

Free beer and wine will be on hand as well as a variety of international culinary tastes that will appeal to one and all.

Update - documentation from the youTunes event

You Tunes at OTO

some photos from You Tunes at OTO last night on Flickr

Participants answer questions on a form, such as favorite superhero or cake. The You Tunes band (Preston Poe, Kyle Hester, David and Tara Gladden, Monica Hurtado and Clinton Wilkins) with about 1 min prep, played your song and burned it on CD. They asked Tim and I to kick it off by attempting to each do a song. Here are the awkward-but-fun results.

M.River Song by T.Whid
T.Whid’s Song By M.River

posted by mriver at 10:07 pm  

Saturday, September 5, 2009

World’s First, Possibly Only and Probably Last iPhone Drum Circle (aka IPDC)

ipdc poster

OTO and Conflux09 are proud to present MTAA + Mike Koller’s World’s First, Possibly Only and Probably Last iPhone Drum Circle (aka IPDC)

Who: MTAA in collaboration with Mike Koller and anyone with an iPhone and a drum or bongo application.
What: a 1-hour iPhone drum circle in a park.
Where: McCarren Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Driggs and union near Green Dome Garden).
When: September 20, 2009 from 2 to 3pm
Why: it is an idea that needs to be attempted at least once.

Rain location at OTO - 60 North 6th Street 2nd floor

Update - documentation from the IPDC event


IPDC Flicker Set
2 short quicktime clips
Teck Si-Fi Jam
Pet Sounds

posted by mriver at 1:00 pm  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Feraliminal Lycanthroparty

The Feraliminal Lycanthropizer

On June 13th from 7 to 10pm, OTO is pleased to present a new sound environment by Kai Vierstra

The Feraliminal Lycanthroparty is a celebration of one of the most diabolically wacky inventions science has ever seen (or at least whispered about). It’s the feraliminal lycanthropizer and it’s a low frequency thanato-auric wave generator, and it’s at OTO for one night only. Expect some serious relaxation of muscles and mores with vibrations and party favors. It’s gonna be an awesome night. The feraliminal lycanthroparty is brought to you by the Brooklyn based artist, Kai Vierstra, who bases this and most all his other work on the continuation of what little he knows and can guess about his father’s wave research with MIT/Lincoln Laboratory’s group 38 “Air Defense Systems”.

For more information on the feraliminal lycanthropizer, please visit-

and for more of Kai’s work - http://kaivierstra.com

documentation from this event

posted by mriver at 7:26 pm  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Wheel of The Devil (aka the loop lecture)

wheel of the devil promo image
stills from “The Horror! The Horror! (.info)” by Jon Rafman

The Wheel of The Devil (aka the loop lecture)
curated by MTAA with Ed Halter
presented by T.Whid of MTAA

The infinite loop is the perfect form for expressing the reality of contemporary existence. From the endless boom-bust cycle of capitalism to the repeating right/left swings of American politics to the misbehaving computer code frustrating our days, we are the society of the loop. We’re doomed to repeat history ad infinitum (not to mention ad nauseum) with no progress nor resolve needed. These observations are nothing new; how could they be? We’ve always been Sisyphus.

while (history) {
    history = true;

Come celebrate the horrific beauty of the infinite loop at “The Wheel of The Devil,” a one-night-only screening of historic and contemporary loops at Over The Opening. Each loop screened until the audience votes to move to the next.

Artists include (in no particular order):

JODI - Rick Silva - Brody Condon - Jon Rafman - Deidre LaCarte - Michael Sarff - MTAA - Hayley A. Silverman - Mathwrath - Chris Coy - Michael Bell-Smith - jimpunk - and more… JODI - Rick Silva - Brody Condon - Jon Rafman - Deidre LaCarte - Michael Sarff - MTAA - Hayley A. Silverman - Mathwrath - Chris Coy - Michael Bell-Smith - jimpunk - and more… JODI - Rick Silva - Brody Condon - Jon Rafman - Deidre LaCarte - Michael Sarff - MTAA - Hayley A. Silverman - Mathwrath - Chris Coy - Michael Bell-Smith – jimpunk - and more…

* where:*
Over The Opening (OTO)
60 N. 6th St. 2nd Flr (btw Wythe & Kent)
Brooklyn, NY, 11211

* when:*
Friday May 29th, 2009 7-10PM (one night only)
Doors open at 7PM, the lecture starts looping at 8PM sharp!
free and open to the public

Michael Sarff (M.River) and Tim Whidden (T.Whid) formed the Brooklyn-based
artist collaboration MTAA in 1996. MTAA has presented artworks and
performances at The New Museum of Contemporary Art, P.S.1 Contemporary Art
Center, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Postmasters Gallery, Artists
Space, and Light Industry all in New York City; The Walker Art Center in
Minneapolis; The Beall Center for Art and Technology in Irvine, CA; San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA and at The Getty Center in
Los Angeles, CA. International exhibitions include the Seoul Net & Film
Festival in Korea and Videozone2 - The 2nd International Video Art Biennial
in Israel. The collaboration has earned grants and awards from the Creative
Capital Foundation, Rhizome.org, Eyebeam and New Radio & Performing Arts,

Ed Halter is a critic and curator living in New York City. His writing has
appeared in Artforum, Arthur, The Believer, Cinema Scope, Kunstforum,
Millennium Film Journal, Moving Image Source, Rhizome, the Village Voice and
elsewhere. From 1995 to 2005, he programmed and oversaw the New York
Underground Film Festival, and has organized screenings and exhibitions for
the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cinematexas, Eyebeam, the Flaherty Film
Seminar, the Museum of Modern Art, and San Francisco Cinematheque. He
currently teaches in the Film and Electronic Arts department at Bard
College, and has lectured at Harvard, NYU, Yale, and other schools as well
as at Art in General, Aurora Picture Show, the Foundation for Art and
Creative Technology, the Images Festival, the Impakt Festival, and Pacific
Film Archive. His book From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games was
published by Thunder’s Mouth Press in 2006. With Andrea Grover, he is
currently editing the collection A Microcinema Primer: A Brief History of
Small Cinemas. He is a founder and director of Light Industry, a venue for
film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York.

Over The Opening (OTO) - Once a month, the artist duo MTAA convert their
Brooklyn studio into a venue for the presentation of time-based art. The
ongoing project, begun in October 2007, has presented work ranging from
group tamale production to a LAN party involving a computerized version of
Guy Debord’s 1978 “Game of War.”

documentation from this event

posted by mriver at 9:41 pm  

Monday, April 6, 2009



On April 18, 2009 from 7pm-10pm, OTO is pleased to presents SOAP BOX OPERA WORKSHOP by Artists Meeting www.artistsmeeting.org

SOAP BOX OPERA WORKSHOP is a project developed by the collective
Artists Meeting. Honing in on the dramaturgy of theory, the group
has adapted excerpts from a variety of scholarly and art-theory-
based texts from different eras and genres to a “Soap Opera”
filmic format whereby plots are reduced to one liners, drama is
played out in an exaggerated manner and scenes rely on emotional
turmoil and ambiguity to capture the distracted viewer.

In the SOAP BOX OPERA WORKSHOP, professional actors and Artists
Meeting members have thus adapted the texts as scripts for scenes
of domestic and personal conflict and intrigue. The filming of
these performances follows the parameters of the “affect image,”
as described in Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema 1 and 2: Hence, the
capture is restricted to only close-up shots of the performers,
with no staging or sets, letting the detailed micro movements of
the face, reflecting both external circumstances as well as inner
reactions, carry the meaning of the episodes and scenes.

The project draws from the decadence of Rimbaud, the deconstruction
and criticism of Derrida and Foucault, and the controversy of Ted
Kaczynski and Andy Warhol in order to combine the intellectual
tract writing with soap opera-style acting. Taking inspiration from
“All My Children” to “General Hospital”, “Dark Shadows” and an
array of South American soap opera acting styles, combined with the
presence of literary criticism and theoretical text, Artists’
Meeting creates a new genre: the Interpretive Soap Opera.

During the exhibition at OTO a surprise element will contribute to
the distracting nature of the soap opera and will interfere with
the audience’s reception of these transformed but otherwise
scholarly texts.

Project Curators: James Andrews, Raphaele Shirley, Olga Lysenko

Excerpts of Arthur Rimbaud, Jacques Derrida,Henri Foucault and Andy
Warhol directed by Raphaele Shirley

Excerpts of Guy Debord and  Ted Kaczynski directed by Lee Wells

Featuring performances by Caraid O’Brien, Edita Zulic, Aaron
Beall, Randolph Curtis Rand, George Spaeth, G.H. Hovagimyan, Lee Wells

Special Thanks to: Gia Forakis, Lanna Joffrey, G.H. Hovagimyan

Artists Meeting is a New York City based art collective. Brought
together by chance, circumstance, and a common purpose, Artists
Meeting members gather in person and via technology. Free of
commercial influence, participants draw on each other’s expertise
to refine concepts, further experimentation and engage each other
in collaboration. Since it’s official start in 2006, they have had
public art projects in Conflux 2008 and the Dumbo Arts Festival
2007, and at Post Master’s gallery in 2008 and 2009 .


documentation form this event

posted by mriver at 7:20 pm  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Secret School 04: Gold


On March 7, 2009 from 7-10PM, OTO welcomes back Secret School

Secret School is pleased to collaborate with a team of economists led by Daniel J. Martin to create a functioning and participatory economy based on the gold standard. They will examine the global and political forces that drive the continued mining and hoarding of gold, and the ecological and humanitarian crises that result. Secret School and Martin will present a text that reframes, in a contemporary context, Adam Smith’s argument for the use of the gold as a medium of exchange.

Secret School explores the importance of the hidden and invisible in the social identity of a community through a series of time-based events and collaborations. Ranging from the political to the personal, epic to the quotidian, unknown to unknowable, how do secrets function in the transfer and preservation of power? At a time in which oversaturation of readily available information already exceeds our capacity for adequate synthesis, how can the poetics of secrets cut through the logic of facts? When does the form of a secret supersede its content, and under what circumstances must information remain a secret? Secret School spans an indefinite number of sessions and range of spaces and extends from the aesthetic practice of building systems of social exchange.

For more information, visit secretschool.wordpress.com or email s3Cr37.5ch00l@gmail.com

documentation form this event

posted by mriver at 11:36 pm  
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