press release

Opening reception: Friday, November 15, 7-9 P.M.

Exhibition dates: November 15 – December 8, 2013

Performance: Friday, Dec 6




DAVID SCHAFER: ­­­­­­­ Four Letters to Mahler    



Continuing his usage of language, sound, and sculpture, David Schafer’s solo exhibition Four Letters to Mahler includes new works that reference Arnold Schoenberg and his letters to Gustav Mahler written in 1909 and 1910. 

In Four Letters to Mahler, Schafer presents a room sized sculpture fabricated of aluminum struts that are host to an eight channel sound work. In this work, Schafer created a complex sonic work based on Schoenberg’s own language but existing more in a Cagean arena of voice that challenges the listener further with degrees of aural perception and intelligibility. The letters are personal and reveal the complex relationship between Schoenberg and the composer Mahler, whom Schoenberg admired greatly. Schoenberg is known for his compositions in atonal and 12 tone arrangements.

The amplifier, lights, text panels, eight speakers, and four iPods are attached to the structure in what Schafer describes as a “sound-emitting kiosk” in continuous play. The sound is generated from a directed, spoken-word reading of four letters in English with German accent and intonation.  Each iPod is dedicated to one letter that is repeated with twelve variations. The tracks are processed with electronic treatments involving degrees of delay and distortion that interrogate the language to its collapse. The arrangement of the tracks challenges the dominance of the voice and it’s intelligibility. The continual shift and interruption of the voice generates an unpredictable spatial experience as one walks around the sculpture. The letters are presented on transparent film and hang from the sculpture, partially illuminated by two fluorescent lights also mounted to the sculpture.

DSENOISE is a signed edition boxed set that includes 12 CDs, poster, insert, sticker, and packaged in a die cut hand-assembled box, designed in collaboration with Shiffman&Kohnke in Los Angeles. This edition is the culmination of a one-year project in which Schafer released a CD once a month. The 64 tracks total add up to 10 hours of electronic noise Schafer created live in his studio and at NY and LA venues. A listening station is available with all tracks for selected listening in addition to a display of the complete set. Schafer has performed and recorded under the moniker of DSE for several years and is engaged in the genre and discourse of noise. This project serves as a conceptual document that contextualizes this sound work in multiple forms including mp3, vinyl, cd, cassette, and live performances.


Performance: Dec 6, 2013 8:00pm

David Schafer will perform the last in a trilogy of ‘processed’ Schoenberg compositions. This performance will sample Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nachte work from 1911.  Schafer’s first Schoenberg performance, Peirrot Lunarie, was at the Invisible Dog in Brooklyn as part of the series Mate’ curated by Richard Garet. The second performance, Erwartung, was at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.


David Schafer, currently based in Los Angeles, is a visual and sound artist. Recent solo exhibitions include; WhatShouldanAstronautPainterDo?GlendaleCollegeArtGallery,Glendale,CA. Recent group exhibitions include;Fix-It-Up Too, Blum and Poe, LA, CA;120 HOURS FOR JOHN CAGE, Staticage, a John Cage remix performance/radio broadcast and sculpture installation streamed on free103point9 and broadcast on WGXC 90.7, organized by Transmissionarts and the John Cage Trust; ROULETTE MUSICIRCUS II, Roulette, Brooklyn, NY;LaLaLand, Tent Gallery EdinburghUniversity,Edinburgh,Scotland. Recent performances include; RadioBreak,ForYourArt, LosAngeles,CA. MATÉ, SoundFestivalatInvisibleDog,OrganizedbyRichardGaret.Brooklyn,NY. David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Yann Marussich: Bleu with David Schafer and Dominick Fernow, LACE, Los Angeles, CA; ROULETTE MUSICIRCUS II, Roulette, Brooklyn, NY. Recent publications include Separated United Forms by Charta Press, Milan, and Site of Sound #2: Of Architecture and the Ear edited by Brandon LaBelle, Errant Bodies Press, Berlin. His sound performance in conjunction with the Whitney Biennial of 2010 was included in Noise Channels: Glitch and Error in Digital Culture, by Peter Krapp, Minnesota Press. Schafer was recently a visiting critic for the Cornell Art and Architecture program in Manhattan and is currently a visiting professor at Art Center College of Design and teaching at USC in Critical Studies.



For more information and images, please contact Annelie McGavin at (718) 213-2469.

Gallery hours: Thursday through Sunday 1 - 6 pm or by appointment

Contact: (718) 852-4396


The gallery is across the street from the Bogart Street exit at the L Train Morgan stop.

download PDF of press release