Alison O’Daniel

Alison O’Daniel is a visual artist and filmmaker working across sound, narrative, sculpture, installation and performance. Her upcoming feature-length film The Tuba Thieves comes from an epidemic of tuba thefts occurring in Los Angeles high schools over the past four years. The school marching bands were missing their lowest resonant instrument. O’Daniel sees this incident as a parallel to her hearing experience. As the tuba thieves would deprive the marching bands of a tonality, her hear misses certain sounds. Her sound universe halfway between deafness and hearing becomes a working hypothesis for figuring this intermediate state between sound and silence. The film won’t speculate on the thieves and no tubas will be heard. Poetic associations rise between materials, time, quietness, and listening. Her approach reverses the usual process of filmmaking by starting with musical scores she commissioned from one Deaf and two hearing composers who experiment with boundaries of sound (Christine Sun Kim, Steve Roden, Ethan Frederick Greene). She presented each with a range of materials (poems, news accounts of the thefts, images, etc.) that served as a “score” for their score. O’Daniel’s previous feature-length film Night Sky premiered at the Anthology Film Archive in conjunction with Performa 11 and the exhibition Walking Forward-Running Past at Art In General, New York. The film has been presented with live musical accompaniment by musicians or with live Sign Language accompaniment at The Nightingale (Chicago), MOCAD (Detroit), NYU, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Jurassic Technology and other venues.  O’Daniel is a recent recipient of an Art Matters grant, a Franklin Furnace Fund fellow and a Fine Arts Work Center fellow.  She holds an MFA from the University of Irvine, a Postgraduate Diploma from Goldsmith’s College, a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Website