DROUGHT SPA + Madison McCartha
a cybernetic assemblage of language, imagery, and sound interested in global logistics systems and statecraft
Debuting at Indexical, HALO FOR WORLD SYSTEM extends DROUGHT SPA's interest in global logistics systems and analyses of value, art, and capital. For this performance, cruse has created a paratext of reference materials sourced from her corpus of critical theory, poetry, and prose written over the past five years. Books referenced therein are then scanned by cruse and Lo, and used as primary inputs for a cybernetic assemblage of language, imagery, and sound. Playing their bar codes and textual material as digital instruments, DROUGHT SPA examines the book as both aesthetic object and commodity.
DROUGHT SPA is the interdisciplinary experiment of artists alex cruse and Kevin CK Lo, who live and work on Chochenyo Ohlone land.
Since 2015 cruse and Lo have used generative visuals, stochastic synthesis, sensing-technologies, video, text, and movement to explore questions regarding statecraft and the built environment; the political economy of machinic/nonhuman sensing; and the weaponization of time-based media, among other topics.
DROUGHT SPA has performed and presented at Cloaca Projects, Brown University, San Francisco State University Poetry Center, UC Berkeley's CNMAT, Gray Area (San Francisco), CounterPulse (San Francisco), SOMArts (San Francisco), B4BEL4B Gallery (Oakland), Aeromoto (Mexico City), Audio Foundation (Auckland), the International Symposium of Electronic Art (Vancouver), and elsewhere.
Madison McCartha is a poet, critic, and multimedia artist whose writing appears in Black Warrior Review, BOMB, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, The Spectacle, and elsewhere. Their work has been exhibited through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center, the Poetic Research Bureau, and digitally through Small Press Traffic; was shortlisted for the 2019-2021 CAAPPCreative Writing Fellowship, and has received support from The Millay Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and Winter Tangerine.
McCartha holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, where they received the Samuel and Mary Anne Hazo Award in Creative Writing. As a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, their current research deploys a Critical Race Studies lens to examine the histories of the Artist's Book as a political and material site where Visual Cultures and Avant-Garde literary practices meet.
McCartha's debut book of poetry and visual art, FREAKOPHONE WORLD, was published by Inside the Castle in 2021. Their second book, THE CRYPTODRONE SEQUENCE, is forthcoming from Black Ocean.