Virtual Exhibition Event: Return to the Field, Martha Tuttle and Charmaine Lee

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
6:00pm — 7:00pm

Outlooks artist Martha Tuttle and poet Gabriel Kruis invite you to the second virtual event in a series of live performances and conversations. The evening will feature a preview of the album Charmaine wrote in response to Tuttle’s site-specific installation, A stone that thinks of Enceladus. To learn more about Tuttle’s work at Storm King please visit the exhibition website.

“Earlier this summer, artist Martha Tuttle and poet Gabe Kruis invited me to perform at Martha’s installation at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY. Storm King has been close to my heart since I first moved to New York and I was thrilled at the opportunity.

Due to health restrictions, a live performance was not possible. Instead, we considered other ways for me to engage with the space, with the leading question in mind: how can one embody a space without being in it?

When I went up to the site in July, I felt an immediate connection and clarity with what I wanted to do. The installation site is situated in a highly complex sound environment in a valley framed by the I-87 NY Thruway, the distant Schunemunk Mountain, and the tree-lined Bunny Road. There is a noticeable presence of bird and bug activity, including a swarm of giant ground hornets which readily attack bees in close proximity. I was struck by the ways that Martha’s work felt both of the space and distinct from it, and how her writing on the accompanying sign (of which I sample in the title track) set a pointed tone for the work. I wanted to capture the complexities of the sonic, tactile, and emotional sensibilities present in Martha’s installation, and decided to create a set of short pieces, which I’m fondly calling miniatures. Together with Storm King, we decided that the album can be played as part of the Audio Guide on site, as well as on the exhibition website for those without access to the space.

All field recording material, including some vocal samples, were taken on site. Each track includes an image that I took of the work and surrounding environment. This project has been a guiding force for creativity during an intensely reflective summer and I am grateful to Martha, Gabe, and Storm King for the opportunity to share it with you.”

-Charmaine Lee, September 2020

Charmaine Lee, voice, electronics, field recordings, composition, images
Track 7 words by Martha Tuttle
Special thanks to Martha, Gabe, Storm King, and Chris Goudreau


Charmaine Lee is a New York-based vocalist. Her music is predominantly improvised, favoring a uniquely personal approach to vocal expression concerned with spontaneity, playfulness, and risk-taking. Beyond extended vocal technique, Charmaine uses amplification, feedback, and microphones to augment and distort the voice. She has performed with leading improvisers Nate Wooley, id m theft able, and Ikue Mori, and maintains ongoing collaborations with Conrad Tao, Victoria Shen, Zach Rowden, and Eric Wubbels. She has performed at ISSUE Project Room, the Kitchen, Roulette, the Stone, and MoMA PS1, and participated in festivals including Resonant Bodies, Huddersfield Contemporary, and Ende Tymes. She has been featured in group exhibitions including The Moon Represents My Heart: Music, Memory and Belonging at the Museum of Chinese in America (2019). As a composer, Charmaine has been commissioned by the Wet Ink Ensemble (2018) and Spektral Quartet (2018). In 2019, she was an Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room. Charmaine is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Sound American.

Martha Tuttle, a multidisciplinary artist born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has shown her work throughout the U.S. and abroad. Natural materials of wool, silk, and dye are worked by hand, each resulting piece having undergone an immaterial transfer of energy through Tuttle’s physical and meditative touch. The artist’s relationship to materiality is revealed further by the inclusion of small “stones,” both actual and cast polished metal, and of fabricated steel weights. These elements add another layer of visual incident and mark-making, to further open a dialogue of possibility and substance, light and weight. Overall, the unification of immaterial energy with material form results in constructed canvases and loosely hanging paintings that vibrate with a felt, unseen force.

Gabriel Kruis is a poet and educator living and writing in Brooklyn. He is cofounder and Development Director of Wendy’s Subway Reading Room and his work has been published in A Perfect Vacuum, PEN America Poetry Series, OmniVerse, The Brooklyn Rail, Atlas Review, Frontier Poetry, among others. He holds an MFA from Hunter College, was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center 2018-19, and his debut collection of poems, Acid Virga, is forthcoming in the fall from Archway Editions.

This program is part of Wanderings & Wonderings, which invites artists to share new and imaginative perspectives on Storm King.

Program Credit
Outlooks: Martha Tuttle is made possible by generous lead support from the Ohnell Charitable Lead Trust. Support is also provided by Roberta and Steven Denning. Artist Talks are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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