Selected Projects: Dmitry “Dima” Strakovsky

a strange case for optimism

performance documentation 2018

Actions: Chop onions. Rub them on own face. Cry. Recite Shakespeare's Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28. Write T on the paper roll. Repeat the process for each letter of the word TOMORROW. Smile at the end.

Virtual Realities
custom software, performance  2017

Richie Hoagland and Dima Strakovsky. Collaboration with Arimitsu Horikawa-Strakovsky and Hana Horikawa-Strakovsky.

Worked with children to create VR games that incorporated an adult outside of the virtual experience. Proposed it, as a rather humorous (but functional) thought experiment and demoed the idea in front of a live audience. The whole project occupied the narrative space somewhere between a performance art piece and a tech conference demo presentation. 

Communitarian Impulses

interactive audio installation, custom software, hacked Guitar Hero controller  2012 

Drives behind production of art objects quite often resemble a religious devotional practice. Why not make it into one? Why not amplify and reflow this aspect of the art world presentation? Choruses and chants were performed by the artist and presented in interactive installation format. Readymade interface of a Guitar Hero controller presents a great way to contrast a pseudo-sacred content with entertainment-oriented delivery tool.

“Traveler’s Prayer” - video excerpt from Varazdin Synagogue performance

sound performance  2014

“Traveler’s Prayer” is a sound performance created for the site of the old synagogue in Varazdin, Croatia. After the Holocaust, the building stopped functioning as a house of worship and, after briefly housing a cinema, fell into disrepair. I decided to bring the history of the building into my work as a part of a larger journey; a way to honor and remember the original occupants of the building and at the same time speak to the possibility of a future, where the structure is embraced by the whole community of Varazdin as a contemporary art center.

The performance is a sound textural work composed of recordings of 33 individual volunteers reading Tefilat HaDerech (Traveler’s Prayer) in Hebrew. The prayer, uttered when traveling for significant distances, references both the final voyage of the Varazdin Jewish community members from their home (many of them possibly spoke the prayer on their way to the concentration camps) and the metaphorical journey of the synagogue building.

The sound material used in the work is composed of individual readings of Tefilat HaDerech. The prayers are looped but never interrupted or rearranged (a concern expressed by one of the Rabbis I consulted on the project). I used both unprocessed audio and heavily band-pass filtered passages that provide more abstract sound content. In addition, the band-passed elements were literally be tuned to the resonant frequencies of the Varazdin Synagogue space in order to bring the building characteristics in as a one of the main components in production of the overall sound experience.
This work was made possible by Emergency Grant Program of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Special thanks to: Branko Franceschi and the organizers of Days of Performance in Varazdin, Rabbi Marc Klein, Rabbi Moshe Smolkin, Ruth Adams and all the individuals who have graciously given their voices to this project.

Videography by Vedran Hunjek

creative act (studio documentation)

perfromance 2012

Studio documentation of "Creative Act". - collaboration with Matt Page. The work is based on the text from Marcel Duchamp’s lecture “The Creative Act” (1957). Custom electronics allow records to spin only when the guitar is played. The guitarist plays rock solos for as long as it takes to get through the whole record. Duchamp’s cool conceptual approach questions the nature of creative genius and positions audience members as co-creators of meaning; it is intentionally juxtaposed in this performance with the Romantic notion of a lone guitarist hero channeling the supernatural powers of music.

untitled (seascape)