Britt Mosely’s “Buena Vista” focuses on the construction and evolution of miniature terrains, blown to enormous proportions with spotlights over a score of electronic music.
“Buena Vista,” an audiovisual puppet performance by New York artist Britt Mosely, will debut at the Folly Tree Arboretum in Springs Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. This is the first time the performance will be staged in its entirety.
“Buena Vista” focuses on the construction and evolution of miniature terrains, inflated on a large scale with spotlights on a score of electronic music. The performance is entirely live, but presented as if “you are going to watch a movie in a cinema, but someone is making the movie right in front of you – but we are doing it in miniature,” Mr Mosely said recently. The camera stays close to the action, and the images are then projected, allowing for a “gigantic and wild” presentation, he added.
During the performance, Mr. Mosely creates terrain out of household objects like soap. The idea evolved from his studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, from which he graduated in 2012, where he would create landscape and background films of foam or pencil miniatures. “I [had] I’ve always wanted to do these landscape videos,” Mosely said. “I never really figured out what it was.”
After graduating, he started doing puppet shows. “Once you’ve done it once, people think you’re the puppet,” he said. A road trip through New Mexico and southern Colorado brought him to Buena Vista, a valley town surrounded by mountains, and sparked the idea for this weekend’s show.
“If I could portray these visuals on a small scale, or in…my puppet language, that would be so, so neat,” Mosely said.
“Buena Vista” is produced entirely by Mr. Mosely, who creates and performs all video elements, and sound engineer Sean Pettell. Collaborators since 2015, the two met in Pratt and reacquainted in Greenwich Village during their lunch breaks. “Buena Vista” isn’t their only business: They also hosted an electronic radio show together and an improvised music and comedy podcast called “Poppa Squash.”
Mr. Mosely and Mr. Pettell developed the show over several years, primarily in residency at Alfred University’s Institute for Electronic Arts and St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab in Brooklyn. During this time, they had the opportunity to show 15-minute segments in workshops and present experimental video elements in galleries such as Dixon Place in Manhattan. The performance is partially funded by the state through a grant program from Wave Farm.
“It’s sort of the culmination of all these different workshops and residency programs that the piece was developed in,” Mosely said.
The Folly Tree Arboretum, where the production will be staged this weekend, is a nonprofit founded by Tucker Marder in 2013 to “promote an exuberant environmental ethic through art and science,” according to its site. Internet. It hosts landscape installations, workshops, lectures and performances at its Springs-Fireplace Road property.
Only 18 tickets will be sold for each performance of “Buena Vista”. They cost $15 and can be purchased by email [email protected] or by calling 631-680-7677.