Irene Moon

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Irene Moon
Birth name Katja Seltman
Genres Avant-garde, noise, electronica, DIY
Occupation(s) Artist, entomologist, musician, lecturer
Instruments Vocals, synthesizers, drum machine, samples
Years active 1996–present
Labels Begonia Society, Surefire, Ignivomous, Carbon Records, APOP Records, Yod, Armageddon Record Shop, fusetron, tomentosa, RRRecords, Eclipse Records, Mimaroglu Music Sales, White Denim
Associated acts Auk Theatre, Collection of the Late Howell Bend
Website www.begoniasociety.org

Irene Moon (born Katja Seltman or Seltmann) is an American entomologist, performance artist, musician, playwright, actor, and filmmaker. She has published in the field of entomology as Katja Seltmann,[1] but is best known for her alter-ego Irene Moon, under which name she has released a series of musical recordings,[2] performance art-entomology lectures,[3] insect/human hybrid dolls[4] and Auk Theatre, a cycle of absurdist-horror plays that she writes and performs.[5] She has also toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe in all of these capacities.[6]

Biography[edit]

Moon was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. She began creating performances and films with the Melted Men, Deonna Mann and the Noisettes in Athens, Georgia during the late 1990s, and recorded her first album in 1996. She moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 2000 for Masters work in Entomology with a concentration in Insect Systematics and Evolution. While in Lexington, Moon developed Auk Theatre and began recording music under the name the Collection of the Late Howell Bend (credited for the soundtracks to Auk Theatre). She now works in the field of biodiversity informatics/entomology at the American Museum of Natural History, and continues to create musical and performance art.

Lectures[edit]

Moon has given surrealist entomological lectures throughout the United States and Europe, and has toured with noise music bands the Hair Police and psych folk band Eyes and Arms of Smoke, among many others. Lectures are accompanied by music, slideshows, flip charts, recorded commentary, insect sounds, and often feature background film accompaniment. Lectures are then followed by pop quizzes and/or question and answer sessions. Topics have included the helix aspersa snail, the Death's-head Hawkmoth, and the Nantucket Pine Tip Moth. She has lectured at such diverse venues as the Knitting Factory in New York City, Sluggo's in Pensacola, Florida, the 2003 Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting and Exhibition, and at an abandoned cathedral in Amsterdam.[7][8][9][10]

Recordings[edit]

Moon has released several of her lectures as recordings. She has also released the musical accompaniment to those lectures as stand alone albums. Her first full-length record, Floralaldehyde, was released in 1996 (re-released in 1999).[4] Notable works include Scientificially Speaking with Irene Moon, a series of her lectures and music, From Field Station A (1997, re-pressed 2004),[11] and the soundtrack to the Thin Wax Line, an animated bee propaganda film.[12]

Music[edit]

Aside from her recorded lectures, Moon has also released music under the name Collection of the Late Howell Bend. Notable titles among these works include For the Neonate (2004–2005), and a split with Kentucky-based psychedelic band Warmer Milks.[13] The Collection of the Late Howell Bend have supplied the musical soundtracks to Moon's Auk Theatre. Moon's music (and lectures) have been released and distributed by Begonia Society, Surefire, Ignivomous, Carbon Records, APOP Records, Yod, Armageddon Record Shop, fusetron, tomentosa, RRRecords, Eclipse Records, Mimaroglu Music Sales, and White Denim.[11]

Auk Theatre[edit]

Moon describes Auk Theatre as: "Noisy, short and simple Absurdist theatre with only the best topics in consideration; shoes, cardbord, bats, wine, shapes and murder."[5] To date, thirteen "Auks" have been constructed and performed. Their performances are marked by overstated art design, obscure, usually frightening subject matter, surrealism, medievalism, and occasionally, graphic violence.[5] Nico Nexus of NSMB has described Auk Theatre as "like Pippi Longstocking meets Throbbing Gristle."[14] Auk Theatre's membership has included artist Matt Minter, musician and performance artist Sara O'keefe, musician Jeremy Midkiff (as Jeramy Midkiff), Deek hoi, Ellen Molle', Christopher Cprek, Trevor Tremaine and Robert Beatty of Hair Police, Darryl Cook, and Ben Fulton and John Ferguson of ulysses.[5]

Films[edit]

In addition to several filmed performance of Auk Theatre, Moon also makes films that support her lectures and musical performances, as well as stand-alone short films. These films mix factual information (usually entomological, but also historical, occult, and esoterica) with her own music, field-recorded insect sound samples, photomicrography, and animation. Initially, Moon used 8mm film for her shorts, but has since experimented with Videotape and DV. About her films, Moon has remarked : "Primarily thee visuals . . . explain or emphasize the emotion of a composition. These films are highly synthesized and predominantly fantasy. They are memories not processed, distortions of important details that are often missed or not remembered."[15]

Doll-making[edit]

Moon has also created insect-human hybrid dolls, which she has used for a series of "micro-puppet" shows. These dolls were sold at the La Superette gallery in New York.[4]

Works[edit]

Recordings[edit]

  • From Field Station A (10 inch, 1997, re-pressed in 2004)
  • the SUPLICO tape series (endless loop cassettes, 1998–2000)
  • Birdsley (endless loop cassette, 1998)
  • Floralaldehyde (12 inch, 1996, re-issued 1999)
  • A Cocktail from the Preferred Host from Perhaps Transparent. A series of short moon segments and sound effects for DJs. (2000)
  • People Like Us and Friends vol.1 Track is one from ABC Radio National in Australia that Moon did with People Like Us and the Evolution Control Committee. (2000)
  • SUPLICO Gods of Tundra label (cassette, 2000–2001)
  • Lovely Larva (cassette, 2001)
  • Halloween Scarey Sounds (HeSDOM, 2002)
  • Grooming Casualties split with FsLUX (cassette, 2002)
  • From the Parlor (DVD, 2002)
  • Pangolin Variations split with Ergo Phizmiz (2004)
  • Dentist Auk/Split with Ortho (7 inch, 2004)
  • Windpipe Moods, Compilation of Contemporary Sound Poetry (2004)
  • For the Neonate (ten-inch, 2004–2005)
  • Free Matter for the Blind Fantastic Compilation CDs from Providence RI, 2004)
  • BLD Quilt (video compilation DVD, 2005) ordnung recORDs/Ignivomous/Invisible Generation
  • Find Ripe Fields with Christopher Cpreck(Deathbomb Arc Tape Club, split cassette, 2006)
  • Esquisite Corpse compilation with Akbar del Inizio, Michael Mahalchick, Rob Millis, Metalux, John Fell Ryan, Pengo, Amir Shoat, Brian Turner[disambiguation needed], Robert McNeill and Sarah Bernat (Museum of Fine Art Houston, 2006)
  • Auk Theatre split with Mudboy (Bread and Animals cassette, 2006)
  • Women take back the Noise Compilation. (ubuibi, 2006)
  • I Don't Think the Dirt Belongs to the Grass Carbon Records, 2006
  • Thin Wax Line Soundtrack to the film Thin Wax Line by David Fisher with assistance from Christopher Cprek, Katy Wizard, and Yellow Crystal Star.
  • Collection of the Late Howell Bend/ Warmer Milks split (LP, 2007).
  • Zelphabet Volume I Compilation. (Zelphabet, 2009)

Auk Theatre[edit]

  • Auk One: Monster Auk
  • Auk Two:Betratal Auk
  • Auk Three:Dental Auk
  • Auk Four: Bat Auk
  • Auk Five: Conjur Auk
  • Shadow Auk Formal: Auk of the Two Sisters
  • Auk Six: Bad Apple Auk
  • Auk Seven: Neither Auk
  • Auk Eight: Presents Auk
  • Auk Nine: Humors Auk
  • Auk Ten: Salamander Auk
  • Auk Eleven: Ten Phases of Fallen
  • Auk Twelve: Court of Common Pleas
  • Auk Thirteen: Auk of Nen Valentine

Films[edit]

  • The Insectavore (1997)
  • Perfectly Pleasant Decomposistion (1998)
  • Terroristic Entomology (1999)
  • P Dish (1999)
  • Suprizez (2005)
  • Snowflake (2005)
  • Court of Common Pleas (2006)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Begonia Society". Codex.begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Begonia Society Recordings". Begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Collection Redirection". Begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Andy Ortmann. "Spreading her wings : Irene Moon's music is cross-pollinated with the eye of an entomologist". Begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "collection redirection". Begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Begonia Society Events". Begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Omar Khalid. "A Bug's Life". Begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "The 2003 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition". Esa.confex.com. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "The continuing lectography of Irene Moon: New wave entomology and the postmodern lecture". Esa.confex.com. October 27, 2003. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ "BLASTITUDE No. 25". Blastitude.com. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Begonia Society Recordings". Begoniasociety.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Videos by Dave Fischer". Cca.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Foxy digitalis : reviews". Digitalisindustries.com. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "The Films of Irene Moon and the Begonia Society". Gmtplus9.blogspot.com. April 20, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]