The Discovery Project is an ongoing collaboration between jazz composer and pianist Josh Nelson, live improvisational video mixer Travis Flournoy, architect Jesse Ottinger and artist Claudia Carballada. The artistic goal for each presentation is to create an immersive experience of music and moving images projected onto sculptural forms, transforming a space into a fusion of sound and image.
The initial idea behind this collaboration was born from Josh Nelson's album Discoveries. He was seeking to meld early sci-fi film video montages with original jazz compositions performed by a chamber jazz ensemble in a uniquely curated experience. The result has been an exciting integration, where the video becomes light, sculpture becomes the backdrop, and the music takes center stage, enveloped by the projected art.
Travis maintains a large collection of found footage, culled from every corner of the cultural repository, most noticeably the Prelinger collection available through archive.org. He presents the visual information live, using a midi-controller to trigger clips in time to the music.
Jesse and Claudia work in tandem to transform the space of the performance and to stretch the capabilities of the projectors and the surfaces they project onto. They play with notions of translucency, scale, and multiplicity as they construct various surfaces for the visuals.
The Discovery Project aims to deconstruct and play with the familiar relationship of performer, audience, and space. We allow the audience to experience music and image in a dynamic fusion, resulting in spontaneous narratives which arise from the interplay of the live VJ and the improvisational aspect of jazz.