Fisch Haus event aims to take arts in Wichita ‘to the next level’

06/26/2014 3:02 PM

08/08/2014 10:34 AM

Crowds will be mingling with creative synergy Friday night on Commerce Street – literally. The Fisch Haus is hosting a video art and experimental film exhibition that will allow gallerygoers to interact with projections and music in ways that will affect the sights and sounds they experience. The artistic goal of “Projecting Process” is to explore the concept of how creativity is birthed, demonstrating from conception to the finished product how imaginative ideas become art.

The result will highlight elements of creative flow that have been under-explored locally. Event organizer Wynn Ponder says the show is also a way to elevate the city’s creative brand.

“Wichita has never seen an artistic collaboration of this magnitude or a new media art installation this ambitious,” said Ponder. “The idea of such variegated artists coming together for this event is very emblematic of the artistic community being an increasingly powerful force in this state. It’s evolving the public perception of what it means to be a Wichitan and a Kansan.”

As Final Friday participants wander south down Commerce Street, they will hear sounds disseminating from the rooftop of Fisch Haus from Lance Ponder (Wynn’s son, better known as the digital musician Fox) and see images by videographers Curt Rierson and Aaron Wirtz projected onto the white metal building across the street from the gallery’s entrance. Upon entry, they’ll have a chance to manipulate those images and immerse themselves into the creation of a music video. A stream of digital sounds by Fox will play on speakers inside and outside the gallery throughout the night, and the projected images will also be a continuous, evolving presence.

There will be a two-part rotating experience every half-hour or so that Ponder says will make the show stand out by mixing live music with music videos.

“What makes the event different is the manner in which it combines all of the artists’ work into a single installation … one medium meshes with the next. There’s no clear line between the various creative components,” he said. “For instance, in the first rotation you’ll see video manipulations by Aaron, via his stage persona Cutter the Absurdist, reacting with Fox’s live performance of his song ‘String Theory’ in an organic way. There will be a collection of behind-the scenes clips that show the steps of creating a music video for that song, and it will also be performed on stage at the same time.”

At the end of the live performance for “String Theory,” the recently completed music video for the song will play on the domed screen in the gallery. The video is a mix of Old Town film footage and 3-D dream environments and features a performance by local actress/singer Amanda Blackmon.

The second part of the rotation will spotlight a live performance by Wichita musician Uche, of Uche and the Crash, and his song “Second Hand Dress.” A noir-style video that demonstrates his writing process for the track will accompany it.

The event itself is a collaborative effort between Fisch Haus, the Tallgrass Film Festival, which donated much of the projection equipment, and Cinema 1 Film & FX, a new Wichita-based video production company where Ponder works as creative director and cinematographer. Many of Cinema 1’s employees were involved in helping craft this show (along with the Uche video) and have done video work and animation for Hollywood hits like “Iron Man,” “Spider-Man” and “Transformers,” as well as the famous Warren Theatres policy trailer.

Ponder said he expects the gallery will be filled with boisterous energy.

“This event is really about a maturing of sorts for our arts community. We’ve had a great thing going in Wichita for a while and this is taking it to the next level. It’s all about creative forces converging. It’s complex, layered, innovative, and it’s very exciting.”

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