By Kathryn Reilly
Lending his making skills to creating wearable sculpture and prosthesis, third-year B.Arch (Bachelor of Architecture) student Vincent DeRienzo performed in SubSurface: Site-Specific Sight & Sound this past December. The arts festival is held underground in a limestone mine in Brady’s Bend, Armstrong County, fifty miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Vincent participated in the performance as a member of the Activated Anamorphs performance group, the only School of Architecture student to do so. The course, created and led by professor Scott Andrew, is offered by the School of Art. The 2018 festival marked SubSurface’s second year of producing music, robotics, art, and performance in the limestone mine.
Students in the Activated Anamorphs class had the opportunity to participate in movement-based performance wearing costumes that reflected aspects of underground lifeforms. The ensemble interacted with the environment and activated the space by hiding in crevices of the mine and moving amongst the audience as the musical group Exploded Ensemble explored experimental sound during the performance.
Vincent’s costume, a poncho covered in film negatives which appeared as scales in the performance lighting, was accented by silver leggings and light-up sneakers. Students in the Activated Anamorphs ensemble employed a variety of mediums within their wearable sculptures ranging from bicycle pieces and LED lighting to football padding. The ensemble’s work reflects both imagined and physical perceptions of the environment.
"It was an amazing experience to take part in SubSurface through the Activated Anamorphs art studio because it re-introduced me to the interdisciplinary nature of making and performing,” said Vincent of the experience.
Kathryn Reilly is a third-year Professional Writing student in the Carnegie Mellon University Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.