BAR Magazine

Issue 02

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Media_Rins Brings Post-Internet to the MFA

Quick Bit

by Allison Miller

19 October 2018

Media_Rins Event Poster, 2018. Images courtesy of Cleo Miao.

In a dance studio above Cambridge’s Center For Marxist Education, people lined up to get their bodies 3D scanned. Nearby, a camping tent, wallpapered with a glowing computer grid, housed a computer showing Tiffany Topor’s movie “Free Wifi.” At the center of the dance studio, Christian Cahill, or TRNGS, energetically performed techno music while standing in front of a laptop wearing ski goggles.

The event was Becoming Post-Human: a one night multimedia event which showcased artists and musicians tackling ideas of humanness in the digital age. It featured artists from New England and New York, including the video artists MSHR and performance artist, Jennifer Vanilla. Held last November, the successful event spawned Media_Rins, a like-minded, “Post-Internet” collective. Today, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has booked the group to showcase themselves as a collective for an iteration of the massively attended MFA Late Nite event.

Friday, October 19th’s lineup consists of musicians Swan Meat, Bergsonist, and King Vision Ultra with Yatta, in addition to Media_Rins’ own members: Adammmmmmmmmm (Adam Tuch), Jonstar (Jon Starks), Beauty Mark, TRNGS, and Cleo Miao. In just a year’s time Media_Rins impressively brought together all of these artists as collaborators, chosen for their shared use of Hi-Fi digital tools, analogue electronics, and information media. In addition to their processes, works of all of these artists are satisfyingly cohesive. They are consistently absurd and fun to experience, in their differing expressing of internet aesthetics.

The MFA presents a major change of venue. Media_Rins historically kept to  basement performances in Allston and JP. Even when they ventured into Cambridge for Post-Human, they didn’t turn a profit. And that was the group’s most popular event. Cahill, a Media_Rins founder and jazz student at the New England Conservatory of Music, along with Tuch and Starks, is happily anticipating a bigger stage.

“I’m really excited for the public aspect of it, because a lot of these shows that we have are these exclusive, underground, secret location things,” said Cahill.

Their “raves,” like most basement shows, faced other obstacles as well. Issues with power plagued the events. Once, the collective had to find a generator during a DJ-set. Crowd-control was difficult. Suggested entrance fees were often ignored by drunk attendees who offered a cigarette or joint in place of admission, told Cleo Miao, show booker and VJ for Media_Rins.

“It’s hard to not be lenient at the door, because people come in and they’re like, ‘I don’t have money,’” said Miao. “People don’t realize that it’s shitty because them not paying means that we end up paying for it.”

That won’t be the case this October. In a city with little to no nightlife, Late Nites are now popular gathering places for the community. Bringing together different demographics of inebriated people—college students, working professionals, and museum members—the Late Nite crowd is a mixed bag of people excited to have something to do. The lines to get in, which form after sunset and last until 2 am, stretch around the museum’s wide campus. Now, this mainstream crowd will become Media_Rins’s audience.

With the security of an institutional budget in their hands, Media_Rins’ lineup will bring performers from Berlin, New York, and Washington DC. Founding members of the group will perform music and art that inspired its formation and ideals. Miao will project the internet onto museum walls. And Cahill, who will again perform as TRNGS, says Media_Rins will ultimately expose a “full spectrum” of people to Media_Rins’ content.

“This time it is very public. There’s going to be people coming from the scene, as well as yuppy-bros that just want to party,” said Cahill. “We’re excited to have an audience to subvert.”

Media_Rins Logo. Image courtesy of Cleo Miao

MFA Late Nites is a ticketed, after-hours event on October 19th 2018 from 8pm-2am. Tickets will be available at the door on a first come first serve basis.