KAF 3 is a performance organized by Öykü Tekten, co-organized by Miriam Atkin and our friend Jaime Puerta (Afilms) invited us to experienced it last Saturday.

It was great to see and feel all creative people playing in a performance like this.

Thanks very much.

Gao Jiafeng & Kurt Ralske (voice, electronics, trumpet)
Miriam Gabriel (poetry)
Jonathan Wood Vincent (accordion, songs)

About the artists:

is a composer, pianist, accordionist, improviser, singer, poet, gooroo, etc. He creates sprawling songs, piano improvisations, miniature epic story-pieces and chamber music, and is the founding member of Eye-Me-Or™ Therapeutics. He currently plays in Stupid Wisdom along with dancer Zack Fuller and violinist and composer Katt Hernandez. He has recorded and performed with post-Torah folk rockers Girls in Trouble, alt country singer songwriter Eileen Rose, Master Lee of Chink Floyd, a multilingual stripper rap band called Un Cuerpo Exquisito with Tatsuya Nakatani, inventor/microtonalist Adam James Wilson, drummer Jeff Arnal and Will Redman, reed player John Dierker, in addition to countless others. He runs a performance series called Papacookie in his living room and throughout New York. His works have been commissioned by Anti- Social Music and the Seattle Percussion Collective. He has recordings on Emanem, Sony, Kimchee, J-Dub, Stone Quarry, Generate Records, etc.

MIRIAM GABRIEL, MA, is a scholar and poet currently based in New York. She received her Masters in Consciousness Studies from Goddard College and is currently pursuing a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from CUNY. Her research interests include the politics (and gendering) of mysticism and the relationship between poetics and communal memory. As a poet she has been featured at the HUB Oakland alongside Sonya Renee Taylor (2012), Mindy Nettifee (2014) and Robert Karimi (2015). She was voted Poet of New York at the Bowery Arts + Science Club twice last summer and will be featured at their documentary. She loves making sappy handmade cards and posters that portray the irony of a domesticated leftism (not really an irony actually), and she dreams of becoming a (transinstitutional?) professor who does public-transportation performances on the side.

KURT RALSKE’s video installations and performances enact a dialogue with history: an exploration of the past that proposes a new view of the future. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2015, the Guggenheim Bilbao, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

Kurt is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship, and received First Prize at the Transmediale International Media Art Festival in Berlin in 2003. Kurt programmed and co-designed the 9-channel video installation that is permanently in the lobby of the MoMA in NYC. He is also the author/programmer of Auvi, a popular video software environment in use by artists in 22 countries.

Kurt resides in New York City. He is Chair of the department of Media Arts (Digital Media / Video / Film / Animation / Sound) at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Alongside his art practice, Kurt is active as an improvising musician and composer.

GAO JIAFENG is a crossdiscipline performer and multi-instrumentalist. He is known for a unique style of solo performance, which involves but not limited to freestyle storytelling, field recording, instrument improvisation, live Karaoke, DJing, body movements, etc. His work has been presented/exhibited by organizations and venues including Triennale Museum Milan (IT) , XP (CHN), Meridian Space (CHN), Kandala Records (TPE), Cochlea (TPE), Re-Records (HK), Flux Factory (US), Outpost Artist Resources (US). Gao is also known for his instrument design “Tri-O”- a MIDI controller based on geometric system-generated data irregularity, which was chosen the third place winner of 2014 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. He has collaborated with Li Zenghui, Arrington de Dionyso, Li Jianhong, Kurt Ralske, Todd Capp, Sean Ali, Michael Foster, Yi Xin Tong and many others.


KAF means “palm” in Arabic, Cuneiform, Farsi, Hebrew, Phoenician, Urdu, and many other languages. Kaf is the letter K in each. It signifies touch, vulnerability, intimacy. The hand lifted before it is clenched.

It shares its name with mount Qaf, the fabled goal of the Hoopoe and its followers in the sufi poem “The Conference of the Birds”. It is half of Kafka, the Czech author of empirical impasse, cruel absurdity.

Like the Hoopoe and Kafka’s K, we travel by wandering, without preconceived destination.

KAF curates work that moves “toward and away from text”, work that interacts with body, image & sound, work that places value on the space between words, letters, genres, discourses, languages.

KAF is an inquiry into the very possibility of itself. A well as a sustained meditation on the political, geographic and cultural borders that obscure this possibility.

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