No Collective (You Nakai, Kay Festa, Ai Chinen, Jay Barnacle, Earle Lipski, Dee Ali, et al.) makes music performances which explore and problematize both the conceptual and material infrastructures of music and performance. Other forms of work explored over the years include play-scripts, picture books, haunted houses, and nursery rhymes. Since its inception circa 2007, members of No Collective have varied both in quantity (from none to sixty) and quality (from reluctant novices to devoted professionals) according to each works’ objective and situational conditions. Recently No Collective was featured in Leonardo Music Journal (vol.24, 2014) as one of the composers doing interesting things with technology (for no good reason, really). Works which have been most arduous to make include Vesna's Fall (Judson Church/Black Mountain College/Queens Museum, 2014-15), a decidedly modernist dance piece made in collaboration with Lindsey Drury, in which each dancer wears a 13-feet movable, curtained stage and counts the necessary counts for other dancers who they cannot see, and Concertos No.4 (National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, 2012) performed with ball-shaped speakers operated by blind performers in a completely darkened 16,000 square feet performance space. Recent works that went pretty well include House Music (C): Two Stories (KulturRaum, Berlin/University of the Arts, Helsinki, 2014-15) another collaboration with Lindsey Drury for which we made non-human dancers, and Immaculate Conception (Mise-en_PLACE, New York, 2016), a commission from ensemble mise-en for which we made a doppelganger ensemble. Publications include Concertos (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), a book which describes and prescribes the process of preparation, execution, and documentation of a music concert in the form of a play-script, and Sonnet for ‘Concertos No.4’ (National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, 2013), a score of a nursery rhyme whose lyrics are the entire instructions for making another ‘serious’ music concert. A brief and inevitably biased portrayal of No Collective’s activities forms part of an interview with You Nakai by Elizabeth Hoffman published in Perspectives of New Music (Winter, 2013). curatorial projects include the first concerts of the Argentinian composer Ellen C. Covito in New York, Tokyo, and Berlin. No Collective also runs a publisher called Already Not Yet which has released Ellen C. Covito: Works After Weather (2014), and Museum of Unheard (of) Things (2015).
For You Nakai
Believing themselves to be quite progressive for their species, a group of ants get together and decide to form a collective. They gather the necessary documentation, fill out all the proper information in the correct little boxes, get photos taken in appropriate size and dimension and angle, and step precisely through every single hoop required of them to become an officially recognized collective.
Their application is denied, however, on the grounds that ants are an inherently collective species, and this designation would be redundant and downright unnecessary.
One ant is so upset by this verdict that it begins to cry, thereby forging a breach in the collective emotional unity of the group. This very breach, however, makes the officer falter, reconsider for a brief moment, entertaining the possibility of a radical change of heart, but this very possibility of a change in the officer's heart makes the ant's tears dry up, which lands them all back at their original, inherently collective state, and that's the end of that story.