Louis V E.S.P. is now E.S.P. TV

Posted on July 18th, 2012

Dear Friends of Louis V E.S.P.,

Thank you all for a great two and a half years at the 140 Jackson St. space but we are saying so long and moving onto new things at a new space with a new (sort of) name, and change in focus…

Louis V E.S.P. has now ceded to E.S.P. TV, the namesake of our self-produced live taping and broadcast event. E.S.P. TV is a project dedicated to promoting the performing and media based arts through direct collaboration with artists via live television production.

E.S.P. TV’s new HQ is located at 97 Green St. in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Please direct your attention to the E.S.P. TV site for future information on events, episodes of the E.S.P. TV show, development of the TUBE archive and more. www.esptv.com

Ania Diakoff: Fukushima Mon Amour

Posted on October 27th, 2011
Nov 11-27
Opening Reception: Nov 11, 7:30 – 9:30

When the nuclear reactors exploded at Fukushima on March 12, 2011 the world went into apocalyptic shock. A program system failure that would devour a generation and forever change a civilization.

The truth is, the nuclear plant explosions should have come as no surprise – a fated consequence of industrial design, technological advancement, and natural disaster. In Kurosawa’s 1990 film Dreams, he depicts a haunting foreshadowing of Fukushima through the sequence Mt. Fuji in Red. A power plant near Mount Fuji has begun to melt down sending plumes of color-coded smoke into the sky. Crowds of people run manically through the streets and into the ocean knowing that the radiation from the toxic clouds will eventually kill them.

It is Death by Design. Pre-programmed cell suicide. Every cell responds to a signal. When the signal is death, the cell boils then shrinks into a condensed mass to be swallowed by a neighboring cell. The process is neat so the organism can survive continuous cell death without injury or trauma. The Game of Life in action.

History looms heavy for Japan. The water is poisoned and the land is barren. The illusion has shattered. These formations bring movement and paralysis but never death. Cells change but can never disappear.

On the wall, images drift between the moment of explosion and collapse. When the cell knows its fate, and flowers to the surface of the skin. Pastel hues of ink fade into cotton candy dreamscapes. Fabric is worn and bundled. A kimono is strapped to the floor. It is the wake of a failed technological era. A de-evolution of cultural innovations. But the process remains. And each infinitesimal entropic mishap carries us through from heartache into bliss.

Text by Katerina Llanes

Ania Diakoff is an artist and designer living and working in Los Angeles. Her work takes an open approach to art and design practice, often crossing and collapsing contexts and mediums. She has degrees from the School of Visual Arts in New York and CalArts in Los Angeles.



Organs In The Snow

Posted on September 13th, 2011

A Group Show

and Story by Rachel Mason

Sept 30 – Oct 24 , open by appointment, email info@louisvesp.com

Opening Reception: Sept 30, 8 – 11 pm
Dan Asher / John Baldessari / Michael G. Bauer / Michael Bilsborough / Nancy deHoll / Jen Denike / Tim Dowse / Ellie Ga / Laleh Khorramian / Jason Lazarus / Mamiko Otsubo / Samuel White

Opening Night Performances:
Thank You Rosekind, Doom Trumpet, No Sky God, Mark Golamco

With special episode of E.S.P. TV featuring videos as seen in the show. Airing on MNN Manhattan Cable Access TV, date tba.

(Photograph by Jason Lazarus)

Part I

She was a lion sitting on her dad’s shoulders. They formed a totem of two heads, one large, one small as they walked down the street. Powerful with her lion-painted face, she stuck her tongue out at a man passing by. He tripped on the side of his foot and then fell to the ground.

The girl’s father didn’t realize that his daughter scared the man, causing him to fall. The man already had a fear of children. The girl’s father also didn’t realize that had he reached his hand out to help, the man wouldn’t now have two permanent rods conjoined in his hip bone, and wouldn’t have lapsed into a permanent hallucinatory state from which he’d never recover.

Organs in the snow.

Were they his or did they belong to someone else? Maybe they were donated with good intentions by a victim of a motorcycle accident but were then discovered to be diseased, so they were thrown out.

Organs aren’t supposed to be discarded like this. They’re supposed to be contained in red biohazard boxes. How unceremonious. Why is this fragment of a person lying here, just wasting in the snow?

Full story here: http://www.rachelannmason.com/shows/organs_in_the_snow.htm

E.S.P. TV / INDEX Rooftop Screening

Posted on August 24th, 2011
Fri. Aug 26, 8-12
119 West 25th Street, PH
New York, NY

Our friends at Silvershed have graciously agreed to host a screening party for the E.S.P. TV footage created during last weekend’s (Mis)Adventures in Manipulation performances at Millennium Film Workshop.

Come enjoy Silvershed’s gorgeous rooftop and watch the newest E.S.P. TV featuring recorded performances by

Future Archaeology
Maria Chavez
MV Carbon

as recorded, melted and mixed by E.S.P. TV live to VHS last weekend.

Original performances curated by Victoria Keddie for INDEX Festival


Stills from program

E.S.P. TV at Silvershed

Posted on July 5th, 2011

Sat. July 9, 8pm-12am

119 West 25th Street, PH
New York , NY 10001
Tel: 1-646-322-332

E.S.P. TV is coming to Silvershed this Saturday with a rooftop screening of highlights and outtakes from Episodes 1-4 and a sneak preview of Episode #5. If you’ve never seen the show this is a great chance to catch up and if you’re already a loyal viewer there will be plenty of new material.

E.S.P. TV is a Manhattan cable access TV series, produced by Louis V E.S.P., that mixes local bands, performance and video artists with a rotating line up of illustrious hosts. The show is taped to VHS “in front of a live studio audience” with live video mixing and primitive effects processing. Episodes air monthly on Manhattan Neighborhood Network and through public viewing parties.

Including performances by:
Kunsole, InnergazeMazing VidsGanjatronicsDana BellRachel MasonFormaAna Lola Roman w/ Matthew Caron and more!


and videos by:
Shana MoultonAaron NemecJason UnderhillErica MagreyColby BirdSophia PeerJonathan PhelpsDerek LarsonAndre Perkowski, and many more.

Also featuring the hosts of E.S.P. TV 1-2, Bradford Nordeen as “Mary Boom” w/ Hayley Blatte as “Coco” and E.S.P. TV 3-5 host, Sam Mickens.

Recent write-up on Altered Zones
RSVP via Facebook invite

The End of Failure

Posted on March 30th, 2011

Curated by Katrina Lamb

April 29 – May 13

Opening Reception: April 29, 7:30-10 PM

Chris Sollars

Ross Moreno

Michelle O’ Brien

Christian Oitinnen and Kellie McCool

Shalo P

Anna Pratt

Jeff Ray

Chris Sollars

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Ryan Wilsie

Anne Yalon

Micahel Zheng

from A SHORT PLAY ON FAILURE by Harry Aclund, 1999.

Andrew Mackenzie-Oh timelord, we have heard your cries from the future. We are the oracles you called. You have succeeded in distorting time.

Andrea Garner-Yes, Lord knows how blind you have been: all here are from the past, like it or not.

Timelord- Then you are not real.

Chorus (sing)- A Ha. Are we real. Real or false. Are we real. Real or false.

Timelord- By Davros what are these voices — my failure is confirmed, Am I real or false? My success is a fraud, it is not possible at all. My failure is my inevitable tragedy.

Chorus (Sing)- But we are here, we are real, you are false.

Nickie Smith- Yes we are here for you, we have come for you, to rid time of you. We come in the image of friends, but Davros sent us to destroy you; your success is your downfall; your success is to be our end. you could say your failure.

(she strangles him)

Timelord- My success? my success is my downfall. I have run out of time….


Narrator- And so we witness the madness, and the death of our hero – a self-proclaimed failure, who’s success was his downfall, although he (tragically) only knew this on his death. He was surely a sacrifice for the stability of time itself at the command of the mighty Davros, but we are running out of time too, and our moral tale must close upon this sadness.

Chorus (sing)- Our tale must end, our tale must end,

this sadness is so overwhelming,

the Lord of time is dead, the lord of time is dead,

this sadness is so overwhelming,

or will he fight the mighty Davros on another day,

in another time.


Matilda Bernstein Sycamore

Jeff Ray

Ryan Wilsie

Anne Yalon

Christian Oittenen

Kellie McCool

Kellie McCool

Ross Moreno

Dana Bell: A Delicate Balance

Posted on February 21st, 2011

March 4, 2011 – EXTENDED THROUGH March 24 2011

Open by Appointment, please email info@louisvesp.com

CLOSING RECEPTION: March 24, 7-9 PM w/ performance by the artist with Brian Chase, Meg Clixby, Leah Retherford and Kerry Davis

Pulling together multiple concepts behind Dana Bell’s work in A Delicate Balance, March 24th’s closing performance will include African inspired drumming by Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase (in homage to the colors in Bell’s paintings drawn from African fabrics and crafts) on a backdrop of minimalistic micro-tones.  Meg Clixby, Kerry Davis and Leah Retherford perform reworked hand gestures from Bell’s paintings of hysterical women as inspired by Hollywood films.

"Trying to Push Time Out of Your Mind (from The Snake Pit)", 2011, acrylic and flashe paint on aluminum, 9 x 13 in.

An agitation of hands. Cries and whispers. An inner monologue manically externalized. Fending, grasping,  beckoning for something—anything—a solution… or an escape route…

This is the embodied language of ‘the hysterical woman;’ the dangerously reductive diagnosis not so long ago given to women who exhibited signs of significant psychological distress. Historically, the fluctuation of women’s emotion and temperament has been highly pathologized. Like the Cassandra of myth, women’s troubles and anxieties were dismissed as rumblings of a weak or defective mind.  Biology was destiny, it was only a matter of time before a fragile psyche was interrupted by the real world, and a woman descended into full-on psychosis. The hysterical diagnosis, rooted in antiquity, transformed into a pervasive archetype, with far-reaching consequences. The narrative of ‘the hysterical woman’ reached it peak in the the Victorian Age, when the prevalence of the “disorder” and its corresponding “treatment”—from incitement of “hysterical paroxysm” (i.e. placating pelvic massage) to institutionalization and ultimately to such extremes as lobotomy—was used as a means of socio-cultural domination and control.

Though this diagnosis has declined sharply in the last century, and its assumptions have been demystified, the archetype still lingers in the public consciousness…and in the corresponding cultural production. The archetype, long referenced in the history of Western Art, has frequently been the subject of film. American Cinema is rife with depictions of women on the verge of some sort of nervous breakdown. In A Delicate Balance, Dana Bell’s inaugural show at Louis V E.S.P.,  she examines some of these depictions in classic Hollywood films.

Bell critically interprets a broad section of hysterical collapse, as dramatized by a who’s who of great actresses. There’s descent into madness, and subsequent forced clinical institutionalization: Jessica Lange, as tragically wronged actress Frances Farmer, in Frances (1982); Gena Rowlands in husband John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under The Influence (1974); Joan Crawford in The Caretakers, (1963); Olivia de Havilland in The Snake Pit (1948). There are accounts of unaddressed psychological trauma wreaking dissociative havoc internally, via multiple personality disorder: Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1967) and Sally Field in Sybil (1976).  And trauma leading towards an external acting out, (cruel abuse of others: Faye Dunway, as Joan Crawford, in Mommie Dearest (1981). And of course there’s the requisite general mania due to family dysfunction, drugs, and overwhelming pain: Katharine Hepburn in Sidney Lumet’s version of Eugene O’Neill’s  Long Days Journey Into Night (1962), and Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).

Dana Bell paints films stills as a means of distilling (psychological) motivation, placing sharp focus on the physical realization of intent, and how gesture transforms from dramatic idiosyncrasy to a vernacular body language, or a clichéd response. In (A) Delicate Balance,  she has created a reductionist study of women who, through a perceived loss of sanity, have lost recognition as an individuated self. The “hysterical woman” is  essentialized. Bell portrays the women as they are perceived– faceless, reduced to gesture erased of nuance, of subjectivity. The works (totalling over 50 panels) wrap around the gallery in a single line reiterating their filmic origins and passages between emotional states.

Dana Bell was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1974 and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She studied with Vito Acconci and Joanne Greenbaum at the Maine College of Art while working towards her MFA. Bell has shown her work in Prague, Bratislava, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles at institutions including The Pacific Design Center, Paris London West Nile, D’amelio Terras, The Chelsea Art Museum, The Parrish Art Museum, and Dvorak Sec Gallery.

"Just a Minute (from A Streetcar Named Desire)", 2011, acrylic and flashe paint on aluminum, 9 x 13 in.

"Something I can Hardly Remember (from The Snake Pit), 2011, acrylic and flashe paint on aluminum, 9 x 13 in.

Performance w/ Meg Clixby, Leah Retherford, Kerry Davis and Brian Chase

Photo by Jane Koh

Photo by Jane Koh


Posted on January 21st, 2011

Episode 1 Air Date: April 27, 9:30 PM, Channel 57 Time Warner, 83 RCN

EPISODE 1 of a new cable access show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

Featuring live performances and video by:

Dana Bell

Colby Bird

Elbis Rever


Kate Gilmore


Katrina Lamb

Derek Larson

Erica Magrey

Rachel Mason

Sam Mickens

Bradford Nordeen

Andre Perkowski

Jonathan Phelps

Sophia Peer

Andrew Steinmetz

Jennifer Sullivan

Brian Zegeer

Kunsole, 2011

Erica Magrey


Elbis Rever

Ganjatronics (Doron Sadja / Justin Craun)

Kate Gilmore

"The Dust Up" with Sam Mickens

Rachel Mason / Little Band of Sailors

Elbis Rever (photo by Nick Normal)

Third Meaning Commercial, By Dana Bell (photo by Nick Normal)