SCREENED OUT: an evening with Jaron Lanier + Public Figures + Programmes
3/26/21 ~ 8 pm EST / 5 pm PST
~hosted by Rhizome DC on twitch.tv >> twitch.tv/rhizomedc
A renaissance man for the 21st century, Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, artist, and award-winning author who writes on numerous topics, including high-tech business, the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, internet politics, and the future of humanism.
As a musician, Lanier has been active in the world of new classical music since the late seventies. He is a pianist and a specialist in unusual instruments. He maintains one of the largest and most varied collections of actively played rare instruments in the world, and he has performed with artists as diverse as Yoko One, Philip Glass, Ornetter Coleman, George Clinton, Sean Lennon, Vernon Reid, Ozomatli, Barbara Higbie, Terry Riley, Duncan Sheik, Pauline Oliveros, and Stanley Jordan.
Lanier has been on the cusp of technological innovation from its infancy to the present. A pioneer in virtual reality (a term he coined), Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company to sell virtual reality products.
Lanier’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, Discover, Wired (where he was a founding contributing editor), Harpers Magazine, Atlantic, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, and his fourth book, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, is a another international bestseller for him.
In 2018, Lanier was named one of the 25 most influential people in the past 25 years of tech history by Wired Magazine, and he’s also been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. In addition to having a massive online presence (even though he does not at all use any social media), Lanier has appeared on The View, The Colbert Report, Nightline, and Charlie Rose.
DC rockers Public Figures use a masterfully inventive mix of snarling hooks, brawny thwack and bare knuckle vocals to drive home the point that the spirit of rock and roll hasn’t even looked at the menu yet.
After individually cutting their teeth in various punk bands such as the Harley Krishnas and Cars Under 1000 in the 90's, Van Hillard (drums/vox) and Chad McCall (bass/vox/theremin) have been performing together since Y2K on the dot, spending much of the 21st century in post-punk quartet People Chasing People and more recently DC rock noir outfit Park Snakes.
Doing all of their recording/mixing at their own House of Decay studio, Public Figures is spookily prolific, using a comprehensive but user-friendly set up of drums + accessorized bass rig + vocals + the occasional peppering of theremin and synth.
From collapsing cyberballads about how the world actually discreetly ended in 1988 (Acid Reign) to sneercore mic-stranglers about entitled customers (N.O.U.N.), the sound of Public Figures is sturdily inimitable and yet endowed with a protean slickness.
PROGRAMMES is a Seattle-based duo, consisting of Travis (guitars) and Samantha (drums), who utilize a modernist, minimalist aesthetic in both songwriting and production to zero in on a sound that is once powerfully raw and very entertaining.