S K A K U N & S P A D I N E + O R D E L
Valerie Skakun is a multidisciplinary artist/educator based in NYC. She received an MFA from Hunter College of the City University of New York in 2019, and a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2009. She is appreciative to the Canada Council for the Arts for awarding a Digital Originals grant, Queens Council on the Arts for two SU-CASA grants, PlySpace Residency Program for a Resident Artist Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center for an Artist Opportunity Fellowship, and to Highly Authorized for a fully funded residency.
Skakun's red blood cells are mutated, spherically shaped and fragile; at age five she became severely anemic and underwent an emergency splenectomy, leaving her body immunocompromised. For decades, as a way of survival as a chronically ill person, she has researched ways to boost immune systems in order to improve cell function and create healthy microbiomes.
The philosophy of her recent body of work began in 2014, when she was struck by a car while on her bike and left unable to walk for a year, resulting in permanent damage to her bones and muscles. Informed by the process of being routinely sick and learning to walk again, her work references "organs" as a double-meaning of body parts and musical instrument, physical therapy equipment, prosthetics, and plants/foods which protect and heal our bodies. She has explored sculptures as objects of ritual, labor, and play, ranging from time-based devotions to endurance trainings in order to transform mental and physical states of being. The materials and rituals which help to regain and maintain a somewhat functioning body and immune system inform the materials and processes used in her sculptures.
P Spadine is a composer, tinkerer, scientific tourist, and pack rat nested in New York City. The voice of his practice is the Ashcan Orchestra, which is simultaneously a pen name, revolving performance ensemble, and a growing collection of instruments designed and/or reappropriated to perform new works of theatrical music which attempts to emulate and celebrate the basic mathematics and physics that bind the world around us. Born and raised in the DIY world of basement shows and underground parties, Ashcan has been humbled to also be able to present works at institutions such as the Clocktower Gallery (NYC), the New Children’s Museum (San Diego), Roulette Intermedium (NYC), National Sawdust (NY), Salem Art Works (NY), Issue Project Room (NYC), The Red Room (Baltimore) Pioneer Works (NY), Green Wood Cemetery (NY) and Outpost Artist Resources (NYC) among others.
Valerie Skakun and P Spadine have been working as collaborative partners since 2017. Together they work in the realm in which the physicality of sculpture and sound overlap. Skakun & Spadine seek to explore the dual nature of labor and play, as a way to engage the world of wonder within the viewer through a physical catalyst. Their sound sculptures have been performed at art and music venues across NYC, including Outpost Artist Resources, Pioneer Works, NY(G), 205 Hudson, and Club Sourdough.
Corbin Ordel (b. 1989, Vancouver, B.C.) specializes in virtual & augmented reality, game design, and interactive content for live and online events. Corbin emphasizes the use of a flexible and far-reaching set of tools allowing for the creation of content that explores uncharted genre, technological needs, and subject matter. Using his skills as a musician, programmer, and 3D artist, Corbin's skill set will allow for quick prototyping, playtesting, and timely deployment of this online project. Having taught several classes on game design and 3D design in both high schools and summer camps, Corbin hopes to add elements from this project to his curriculum for future workshops.