WRITINGS

 

ANTIPRISM

jonbernson_writings1

Screenplay for de Young Museum residency video.

 

Cooper St. John

My role is not to interpret their experiences or tell them if they're receiving contact from a different world or if our water is contaminated or if someone hijacked the airwaves for the longest interval in the history of television.
 

Caller #1

It was definitely a message of some kind, but I don't know if it was meant for us.
 

Caller #2

I don't think this was a prank, like the Max Headroom thing.
 

Caller #3

It didn't feel political. The words were clear, but their meaning was hard to understand.

 

Cooper St. John

I provide a safe forum where people can discuss unordinary and sometimes extraordinary events that have no rational explanation. Does anyone have time to set up a science experiment when they encounter an extraordinary event? Has anyone ever proven that love exists, or that time or consciousness exists? We believe in them all, but everything that has been proven rests on a cloud of assumptions that will one day change shape or disappear. I'm not about to hand the whole conversation over to religion, scientists, my friends or the government.

 

DISTANT FUTURE SYMPOSIUM

jonbernson_writings2

Script for Vessel XII play / de Young Museum artist residency.

 

Astrid Bly

By collecting accounts such as these and by piecing together the information in the broadcasts, a narrative emerged, and I realized that this was much more than a random string of incidents.

Mathias Quo

The transmissions were shared in a linear fashion, almost like sequential entries in a diary or a travelogue.
 

Dr. Jonah Samadhi

Each contains details of one of the twelve locations on this spacecrafts' journey through outer portions of our galaxy.
 

Lorraine Curtis

The transmissions convey information about specific areas on a space map.
 

Dr. Carol C. Sidney

And we think the lines connecting these landmarks refer to different modes of inner, outer or interspacial travel.

 

MUSEUM OF THE HIDDEN CITY

jonbernson_writings3

Script for live documentary which premiered at the 2015 San Francisco Green Film Festival.

Karen Thurston

Look, I’m not worried about your ability to manage a high-end complex. You seem very competent, but this position requires someone who can troubleshoot a wide variety of atypical scenarios. Tell me something. Have you monitored ongoing accusations of domestic abuse? 

 

Franklin Carr

Not that I can recall. I don't understand…
 

Karen Thurston

Have you ever managed a tenant who made LSD in their apartment? Accepted food stamps at your wine bar? Dealt with legal action on a weekly basis? 
 

Franklin Carr

I have had to provide special services to elderly clients, but no, I haven't, I mean, is this part of the advertised position?  
 

Karen Thurston

No Mr. Carr. This is part of the unadvertised position.
 

Franklin Carr

Are these actual scenarios?
 

Karen Thurston

Daily scenarios.
 

Franklin Carr

I see.

 

STUDIO APARTMENT

 Monthly home recording column for Decoder Magazine.

"Jim Haynes is a magnet for the world’s most elusive and ephemeral sounds. They follow him everywhere, knowing that he will accentuate the beauty of their demise. His albums are masterful deconstructions, with pieces that range from the massive to the molecular, sometimes like global force fields recorded in the upper atmosphere, sometimes like miniature wiretaps placed inside the human body. Haynes explores plenty of worlds in between, but seems obsessed with the fringes that most artists overlook or discard: the rust, the static, the seams, the murmurs, the fine frequencies that return in our dreams to remind us that the subconscious remembers everything. He has exhibited internationally as a photographer, video and sound artist. He has released numerous albums under his own name, and with others, most notably Loren Chasse in Coelacinth. As Editorial Director for 23five, he has programmed multiple festivals and written about experimental music in many publications, including The Wire, Aquarius Records, Sound Projector and Metro Pulse."
(Excerpt from interview with Jim Haynes)

More links to Studio Apartment:

 

One Act Play about U.S. veterans, commissioned by Storyworks (Tides Theatre in collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting). Aftermath was based on Mimi Chakarova's investigative documentary '"Her War," about U.S. veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma.


SCENE FIVE

Shopkeeper
You speak English?

Bedenko
[Faking an accent.]
A little.

Shopkeeper
Sounded like they blew up a bus.

Bedenko
A car.

Shopkeeper
Sounded bigger than a car. You see it?

Bedenko
No.

Shopkeeper
That was a bus. 
What are you looking for?

Bedenko
A battery.

Shopkeeper
Right over there. In the basket.

Bedenko
Thanks.

Shopkeeper
You like music?

Bedenko
Yes.
Sometimes.

Shopkeeper
How about now?

Bedenko
[Paranoid]
What do you mean?

Shopkeeper
Is this one of those times?
That you like music.

Bedenko
Oh. Sure.

Shopkeeper
This is good music. You'll like it.
And I have a CD for sale.
[Holds up his CDR with tinted plastic case suggestively.]

Bedenko
Very nice.

Shopkeeper
I'm working on another one.
Listen. Check this out.
[Gets everything ready.]
This is the new shit.
[Points boombox in her direction and presses play.]
I call this one "Running for Cover."

 
SPUR HAPPENINGS - PDX to OKJ.jpg

Commissioned by Spur Happenings, this interactive theater piece was staged on an overnight train trip from Portland to Oakland. Each passenger played a character with a specific set of given circumstances and motives. Co-created with Jennifer Welch, Jessica Lonergan, and Frank Lonergan.

LARRY LIVERMORE (Performed by Evan Goldberg)
Occupation: Visionary Physicist, Developer of Lawrence Livermore Labs

You are an American Physicist and Nobel Loreate, known for your invention, utilization and improvement of the cyclotron atom-smasher. You have had a very prestigious career at the University of California at Berkeley as a Professor of Physics. You are in the process of embarking on one of the most ambitious projects of your lifetime: the construction and fulfillment of the Lawrence Livermore Lab in Livermore California! This lab will be critical to the U.S. Government's Cold War scientific research. The government is seeking to line up a small number of private individuals to help fund the project. One of your primary goals at this time in your life is to build public support, enthusiasm in the scientific community and work with the government to woo investors to help fund this historic project. You are involved in an affair with your lab assistant, Gina Milo, which has been terribly exciting, but dangerous on many levels from an emotional and security perspective. The train will be a perfect place to get away and enjoy some fun, away from the national spotlight.

GINA MILO (Performed by Cindy Goldberg)
Occupation: Physics Graduate School Student

You were born in Rome but have lived most of your life in Washington, DC as the daughter of an Italian Ambassador. You are attending the University of Berkeley and obsessed with science. It has been a hard road for you. Your family is traditional and wary of your unconventional scientific career aspirations. Thankfully you have undeniable promise and talent. You earned a full scholarship to Georgetown undergrad and then parlayed that into a full ride to University of Berkeley where you have had the great fortune of meeting and then falling in love with one of the titans of the American atom, Larry Livermore. Your passion for one another is remarkable, which is matched by the exciting mental connection you share as physicists. Larry has been instrumental to your career and has helped you develop connections to the academic and professional community.

TOP SECRET: You are a spy for the U.S. government. From an early age you embraced the opportunity offered to you via your father's connections to Washington. Your Father and you share a special connection in that he has launched your spy career and has been involved in the creation and fabrication of your cover as a scientist for years. By necessity, you do have scientific prowess, but your current mission is to continue to seduce Larry and keep a close eye on him as he develops the Lawrence Livermore Lab. You are to make sure that he is not doing anything to endanger the security of this lab. You are to help make sure he does not make social missteps as he tries to build public and scientific support for his project. You are to keep an eye on people who surround him as well, to beware of Russian spies who may be embedded in the project. You have developed a genuine liking for Larry, but you are an uncompromising spy with an extremely high priority position. You have been a political soul your entire life and have no intentions of changing course.

 

Record label, founded and operated in collaboration with Jennifer Welch, Michael Zapruder, and Colin Held. All written content gets cooked up by yours truly.

THE FRESH & ONLYS
The Fresh & Onlys began in the spring of 2008 as a recording collaboration between Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin that has quickly led to a fountain of amp-crackled, hook-infested treasures. Brimming with hooks and lyrical rewards, these songs are like those water stained 45's you found at a yard sale for a quarter apiece. You took them home, cleaned them up and within days, they had a monopoly on your speakers. You're not sure if these lo-fi hits were recorded on a four-track or an eight-track with four working tracks, but it definitely made you poke around for the one you had in storage. 

For those who haven't followed the costume changes of Cohen and Sartain over the years, these twoAmoeba Records employees have mined their many influences in a wide number of bands including The  Skygreen Leopards, Black Fiction, Kelley Stoltz, Window Twins and Three Leafs. No doubt this is one element that sets The Fresh & Onlys high above the rest of the garage rock rennaisance: songs that could be recorded in many different genres and still hook you as addictive pop gems that walka perfect line between foreign and familiar.

Scott Pinkmountain
In the rarest of cases, more really is more: Scott Pinkmountain's 'The Full Sun' blends improvisation and avant composition with classic song writing and more musicality per square inch than most box sets. Using upwards of 60 musicians, including a full orchestra, an eleven-piece big band and numerous experimental hybrids, Pinkmountain channels music with freedom, precision and raw earthy emotion. In the process of creating this opus, he also draws an arc of dissolving love. The record begins with romantic euphoria, and over the course of the hour, takes us through a downward spiral into a bleak vacuum of betrayal. The centerpiece of this turmoil is revealed in the song 'Unforgiven', which stretches out over a pained landscape and ends with a bold cinematic march of redemption. 'The Full Sun' is a story of artistic, as well as personal transformation.

Before changing his name, Scott Rosenberg carved out a successful career as avant composer and free jazz saxophonist who worked with the likes of Anthony Braxton and other pioneers of modern music. He has been called 'one of the best creative saxophonists in America' by the All Music Guide, and is a founding member of the psych band Pinkmountain, which includes Sam Coomes (Quasi, Elliot Smith) and Gino Robair (Tom Waits, Thinking Fellers Union). The only problem with this trajectory is that through all his explorations, Rosenberg turned his back on his first musical love: songs.

CHARLES ATLAS
Charles Atlas are masters of tranquil deliveries, but the contents have subtle tensions that reveal themselves over a period of years. The packages were sent to you, but without a return address. Their mysteries are always just out of reach, with messages that never demand, or ask for anything in return.

 

Interactive theater piece, performed at multiple venues over the course of twelve years. Ray's Vast Basement documents the fictional history of a large cave on the northern California coast. The project includes a written songbook, a sixty card set documenting the history of the cave, and several albums of musical accompaniment.