The Getty Center

 


Ever Present is a new series that invites artistic experimenters to stage ephemeral performances amid the permanent collections, architecture, and gardens of the museum.

Walk through the garden created by artist Robert Irwin at the Getty and your feet will cross two stones in the path engraved with this message:
Ever present / Never twice the same / Ever changing / Never less than whole

This series takes Irwin's words as an invitation to explore concepts of temporality and permanence through the work of musicians, artists, dancers, and other cultural vanguards. Featuring innovative and irreverent experiences, Ever Present aims to question the link between what lives and what lasts.



Formerly known as Friday Flights, Ever Present continues to investigate interdisciplinary links in artistic networks, including new voices and those from the orbits of program alumni that include Brendan Fernandes, Geneva Jacuzzi, Dynasty Handbag, Sarah Davachi, Ian Svenonius, Rafa Esparza, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, John Wiese, Devon Welsh, No)one. Art House, Corey Fogel, Psychic Ills, MPA, YACHT, Tyler Mathew Oyer, How to Dress Well, Jim Drain, Lucky Dragons, No Age, David Horvitz, Shana Moulton, Sun Araw, Liars, and NO SESSO & Kelsey Lu.

Always free and open-ended, Ever Present occurs throughout the year.



This event has been canceled as part of Getty's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).





Performing amid the otherworldly architecture of the Getty site, electronic musician Holly Herndon and her ensemble presage a sonic future that connects human and machine to realize new definitions of beauty.

Operating at the nexus of technological evolution and musical euphoria, Herndon has released three full-length albums of dance-inflected experimental music that investigate the nature of humanity in the digital age—including 2019's PROTO, which enlists artificial intelligence as a collaborator. Developed in partnership with longtime collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and ensemble developer Jules LaPlace, the process around PROTO gave birth to what Herndon calls her A.I. 'baby', Spawn—an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC.

Spawn joins a contemporary ensemble of vocalists and other guest contributors to create a sound that synthesizes elements from Herndon's dynamic and idiosyncratic personal journey: the timeless folk traditions of her childhood experiences in church-going East Tennessee (particularly the prismatic layered practice of Sacred Harp singing), the avant-garde music she explored while at Mills College, and the radical club culture of her home-base, Berlin, all enhanced by her recent PhD studies at Stanford University, researching machine learning and music.

PROTO refers to what Holly calls the protocol era, where rapidly surfacing ideological battles over the future of A.I., centralized and decentralized internet, and personal and political protocols compel us to ask ourselves who are we, what are we, what do we stand for, and what are we heading towards?

"I'd like for people to have a sense of agency when approaching technology in their lives," says Holly. "I want them to know there's a future that doesn't sound like the past. It doesn't have to be some sort of sci-fi hellscape where the machines take over. It can be beautiful."

Following on the heels of recent presentations at London's Barbican Centre and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Getty's Ever Present series is thrilled to present an outdoor, sunset staging for what promises to be unique live experience of this complex and riveting project.

"Dizzying, spiritual, science-fact beauty and bracing beats."
The Guardian (UK)

"A conceptual tour-de-force that lands with the force of a dance track."
The New York Times






September 7, 2019
Celebrate California plant culture with a special program inspired by 1970s Los Angeles and Plantasia, the iconic album made for plants and the people who love them. Worldwide curiosities guide Atlas Obscura and Brooklyn's Sacred Bones Records teams up with the Getty's Ever Present series to delve into the plant-centric cultural movement behind Mort Garson's cult-classic electronic 1976 album Mother Earth's Plantasia. Join us for a day filled with music, workshops, and presentations that explore the influence of plants on art and culture in Los Angeles.

July 28, 2019
For this Sunday event, New York and Berlin-based composer and artist Colin Self—known for combining voice, body, and digital technologies to explore gender, communication, and our relationships to the biological and the technological—performs on the Tram Arrival Plaza. L.A. native Mandy Kahn is a noted poet and librettist who also collaborates with composers on inventive new works, such as Yuval Sharon's celebrated opera Hopscotch. Kahn presents a selection of immersive pieces that interact with the architecture of the Getty courtyards and feature a cast of singers and performers. Composer Ben Babbitt, known for work with Weyes Blood, Angel Olsen, and How to Dress Well, creates a multi-channel sound installation for Robert Irwin's Central Garden, with live singers and a quadrophonic ambient soundtrack.

July 13, 2019
Inspired by the exhibition The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts, Ever Present brings together a group of artists who integrate the intergalactic into their varied work. Like their medieval forbearers, they quest for new artistic, analytic, and spiritual ways of understanding our connection to the cosmos. Performances include music by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and Vedic astrologer Deradoorian (known for her work with Dirty Projectors), choral scores translated from the constellations by experimental artist and composer Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, an interdimensional ritual by A.S.T.R.A.L.O.R.A.C.L.E.S with live music accompaniment by ambient composer Ana Roxanne, a planetarium-style visual lecture on the multiverse by artists Jennifer Moon and laub, and site-wide energy work by multidimensional artist and Afrofuturist Jordi.

May 25, 2019
Join electronic composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith in the lush environment of the Central Garden for a unique guided meditation experience set to the sounds of her album Tides: Music For Meditation And Yoga. Raised on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington state, Smith's compositions are surreal yet rooted in nature. A series of breakthrough experimental albums utilizing the Buchla 100 synthesizer—an instrument that allowed her to combine the organic elements of her upbringing with the technological prowess gained from her studies at Berklee College of Music—earned Smith international acclaim by the likes of Pitchfork, NPR, Rolling Stone and SPIN. After several world-wide tours that brought her from major European festivals to the Hollywood Bowl, Smith found inspiration composing music for a more understated context: her mother's yoga practice. Nine tracks of densely layered prismatic tones are interwoven with field recordings of natural sounds for a music that ebbs, flows, and connects the listener to frequencies both environmental and internal.

Designed to be interactive, this hour-long guided meditation to the album is not a performance, but an experience. Feel free to bring your own yoga mat or blanket for the grass surface. A limited number of yoga mats will be provided. Opening set by Cool Maritime and Emily Sprague.


How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.