Jessica Faith & Christopher Molla

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Multi-media soundscape artists and DANM alumni, Jessica Faith Hayden and Chris Molla came into KZSC to talk about their current project, Peer Gynt,  by Henrik Ibsen, a collaborative multi-venue experimental musical theatrical event developed and produced by the Theater Arts department and Digital Arts and New Media program.

Jessica is a theatrical performer/writer/interactive object creator. Chris is a musical composer, sound creator, and former member of Camper Van Beethoven. Both are successful collaborators making new media installation art using historical archival artifacts, soundscapes, and audio/visual content that involves participation for activation and education. They worked with Peer Gynt’s director and professor of theater arts, Kimberly Jannarone, on the wildly successful “Stop the Press!” theatrical event from 2010.

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 12.42.43 PMThis collaborative production of Peer Gynt combines traditional theater with new media arts to introduce a new audience to Ibsen’s timeless play that questions the nature of the self. Henrik Ibsen wrote this play in 1876 using Norwegian fairy tales and his own life. Many have argued that Peer Gynt is the first of modernistic play. It is very appropriate that the play gets a 21st-century interpretation.

Along with the production there is a conference, Peer Gynt in the Digital Age, which takes place the second weekend of the performance, March 8-9 at the UCSC’s Second Stage Theater, Theater Arts Center. This international conference brings together scholars, designers, and dramaturgs from Norway, Chris and Jess will be speaking March 9th at the conference about “The Sonic Onion: Layering the World of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt through Sound.”

The show runs March 1-3 and March 8-10th, 2013. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7pm and the Sunday shows are matinees at 3pm. The fun begins in the Experimental Theater and then moves to the Digital Art Research Center. More information on the production and the associated conference, go to the UCSC Arts Website.

To hear our Artist on Art broadcast in entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below. [haiku url=”″ title=”Jessica Faith & Chris Molla” graphical=”true”]

Christopher Molla

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Multi-media artist and 2010 DANM alumnus, Chris Molla came into KZSC to talk about his newest adventures with partner Jessica Faith Hayden.

Chris is a musical composer, teacher and  former member of Camper Van Beethoven.  Jess is a theatrical performer/writer/interactive object creator. They are both amazing artists doing wonderful participatory collaborative new media art. After graduating from UCSC with their MFAs, Chris and Jess took off across country and through the desert looking to get a start as artists.

Their newest endeavors involve starting a new gallery, Silver Street Contemporary Gallery, in Tucson Arizona. Their first exhibition will be October 22 through December 3 entitled The Deeds and Suffering of Light comprised of photographs taken by Chris and Jessica. Chris described his images as photographs approached in a painterly fashion and Jessica’s concerned with the macro lens.

The Silver Street Contemporary Gallery is just coming into being through a new art collective, Monterey Court found at 505 West Miracle Mile, Tucson, Arizona. The space originated from in late 40s and early 50s when motor courts were in vogue and populated routes throughout the Western States. After the advent of cheap hotels, motor-courts fell out of style and lay wasted. Monterey Court is repurposing their motor-court into a group of galleries. Chris also mentioned another interesting art gallery concept found in an organization, Axle Contemporary. They use a big moving van as their roving galleries on wheels for showing paintings and works on paper.

Here’s a little video we took right before the show:

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the grey ‘play’ button:
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Jess Hayden & Chris Molla Guests for 4/6/10

Graduating Digital Arts and New Media artists, Jessica Hayden and Chris Molla were the guests on Artists on Art for April 6, 2010 to talk about their upcoming installation entitled “SET” or “Seemingly External Things” a narrative/documentary/fiction theatrical interactive piece about growing up in Nevada in the 50s during nuclear testing, “a mobile theatrical installation in which visitors may play to trigger audio, video and live performance events that reveal a story. The project questions the roles that the spectator and the environment play in generating narrative meaning.”  The piece will be in a 1951 Silver Streak that will  be parked out in front of the DARC otherwise known as the NEW Digital Arts Research Center on West Campus.

We talked about Chris and Jess’ backgrounds leading up to going back to school to get their MFAs.  Chris is a musical composer, teacher and  former member of Camper Van Beethoven.  Jess is a theatrical performer/writer/interactive object creator.  They are both amazing artists doing wonderful collaborative participatory new media art.  We got to hear some of the sound art that you’ll hear playing around in their Silver Streak. We talked about the seeds of the piece; Jess’ science fiction short story about a girl coupled, the desert sounds, their road-trip to Nevada, and trying to harness technology.

That’s the beauty of their art. It is meant to be touched and investigated while learning and experiencing through the participation.  I can hardly wait to see their shiny informative piece.  I asked them about their future.  They said they’re taking it on the road, a traveling  art installation.  I think it’s brilliant that their MFA piece can be their home and car.

“SET” is a part of the larger DANM 2010 MFA Exhibition, Things that are Possible, showcasing digital art with social impact at the DARC. There are 14 graduate students taking part in this exhibition that runs April 30th to May 9th with a free reception on Friday May 7 from 5:30-7:30PM. For details visit

If you missed the live broadcast,  you can listen to our show in entirety by clicking on the triangle below.


Here’s a twitvid we did right after the show.

This is a trailer for Chris and Jess’ recent collaborative theatrical ensemble “Stop the Presses“.  At 1 minute 20 seconds, you’ll see Jess’ “Gypsy Fortune” piece that was performed in March 2010.  This piece came out of the Performative Technologies group research.

3/2/10 Artists on Art Poppy Champlin and Topher Maraffi

Queer Queen of Comedy Poppy Champlin

This radio show on KZSC was a little different than usual by featuring  two guests, Poppy Champlin who’s bringing the Queer Queens of Qomedy to Santa Cruz, and Topher Maraffi talking about the  experimental theater production, “Stop the Press”.

The show began with Poppy Champlin speaking about her show “Queer Queens of Qomedy” at the Rio Theater happening March 6, 2010. She is bringing this “make you laugh so hard you’ll crack a rib or at least be crying” show for everyone not just gays and lesbians.

We talked about her co-Queens (feisty Latin Diva of Comedy”, Sandra Valls, and multi-talented “secret love child of Steve Martin and Better Midler”, Roxanna Ward).  We spoke of  Poppy’s beginnings as a comedian in Rhode Island and moving to the big times by becoming a member of the famed Second City Comedy Troupe.  We also talked about her upcoming Showtime Comedy Special “the LOL Comedy Festival”.

For tickets, you can go  the Rio Theater or to

Next, Topher Maraffi and I spoke about the experimental performance, “Stop the Press!”.  This is a collaborative production of the DANM Performative Technologies Group (Topher, Jessica Hayden, Chris Molla, Kathleen Kralowec) and select faculty from the UCSC Theater Arts Department.  Jim Bierman helped with writing, The performance was directed by Kimberly Jannarone.  David Cuthbert worked with the group as well.

The performances take us into two worlds. the golden age of newspapers and the triumph of the digital age.  Where else are you going to see Topher in a spandex mocap suit dancing with his realtime 3D digital double, or go through Leland’s electrifying video tunnel to the future, or enjoy Kathleen’s amazing dancing animations, or interact with Jessica’s cool fortune telling devices, or immerse yourself in Chris’ timeless soundscapes? Just a few more hints on what you will see: animatronic Ray Kurzweil, embodied Bill Joy, The Carousel of Progress, and a gigantic realtime 3D eyeball controlled by a joystick. The actors directed by Kimberly Jannerone are excellent, the set is mesmerizing, the costumes are sexy android steampunk, there is tons of digital media, and the story is thought provoking.

Not to be missed or you’ll be really sad upcoming shows are: Mar 4, 5, & 6, Thurs-Sat at 7pm & 9pm, and March 7th, Sunday matinee at 3pm. UCSC students with ID get one free ticket! General Admission $14. Other students and seniors $11.

Tickets for “Stop the Press!” can be bought at the UCSC Ticket office (call 459-2150) or online at

Listen to the different guests on the show in entirety by clicking on one of the triangles below.  The top triangle is Poppy Champlin’s interview the second triangle Topher Maraffi.


Here’s a little video of Topher that I took right before the show:

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