Oct 16, 2019, 7pm
Sold Out

Blank Forms Third Annual Benefit Honoring Ikue Mori and Arto Lindsay

Benefit Committee:  Laurie Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Matthew Barney, Ian Cheng, Stephen Cheng, John Corbett, Willem Dafoe, Anthony Elms, Moriah Evans, Lauren and Joe Grimm, Kim Gordon, Carol Greene and Craig Kalpakjian, Charline von Heyl, Andria Hickey, James Cohan Gallery, Ruba Katrib, Sanya Kantarovsky, Christian Marclay, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Pace Gallery, Jeff Preiss, Rachel Rose, Tracey Ryans, Jay Sanders, Cordell G Spencer, Debra Singer and Jay Worthington, Craig Taborn, Christopher Wool, Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner.


With performances by Arto Lindsay, Ikue Mori, & Craig Taborn, Martin Rev, Jessika Kenney, DJ Lary 7, and a special guest.


In 1977, Television manager Terry Ork offered aspiring writer Arto Lindsay a gig the next week at now-legendary punk nightclub Max’s Kansas City. Lindsay suggested his apocryphal band play the following month instead and promptly recruited performance artist Rob Crutchfield and fellow non-musician Ikue Mori to form DNA. Lindsay bought his first guitar, Mori discovered she could make a 4/4 beat on a drum kit, and within a year the band’s spasmodic dissonance had been immortalized alongside Mars, Contortions, and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks on Brian Eno’s No New York compilation of no wave pioneers, forever changing the face of rock music. To this day, the carnal economy of Mori’s pummeling drums wedded with Lindsay’s barbed-wire guitar and strangled, cerebral snarl remains an inspiration for musicians and artists working at the more alien limits of confrontational performance.

Although she had never played drums prior to DNA, Tokyo transplant Ikue Mori continued to do so following the band’s 1982 dissolution, collaborating with a variety of women under the guises of Sunset Chorus, Jungle Geisha, Toh Bandjan, and Electric Fukuko before meeting John Zorn in the mid-1980s and falling in with his circle of improvisors and downtown musicians. In this most unlikely of contexts, Mori started performing exclusively with drum machines and effects, developing an inimitably frenetic vocabulary through which she sought to produce beats that would “sound broken,” improvising with the likes of Sonic Youth, Zeena Parkins, Jim O’Rourke, Christian Marclay, Evan Parker, Catherine Jauniaux, and Robert Quine. 1999’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon marked Mori’s first use of notation in group composition, and in 2000 she transferred her idiosyncratic drum machine working method to laptop electronics, with which she has performed since. The bulk of Mori’s recorded output is released by Zorn’s Tzadik label, for which she also does graphic design.

Born in Richmond but raised in Brazil by missionary parents, Arto Lindsay came of age during the Tropicália, a fertile 1960s Brazilian artistic movement that fused the popular with the avant-garde as well as traditional Brazilian culture with foreign influences, two impulses which would leave a lasting impression on the young artist. Deliberately avoiding the development of technical ability on his guitar, Lindsay’s noisy, atonal playing is highlighted best in juxtaposition with the comparatively straight jazz of The Lounge Lizards, a group he co-founded prior to a brief stint as a founding member of Anton Fier’s Golden Palominos in the early 1980s. Choosing to develop his singing rather than his guitar playing, and embracing his Brazilian roots, Lindsay subsequently delved deep into samba soul, first with Peter Scherer as Ambitious Lovers before his ongoing career as a solo artist. Continuing his wilful lack of instrumental capability, Lindsay’s gift for attracting collaborators—which have included Caetano Veloso, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Naná Vasconcelos—has yielded three decades of eclectic, sophisticated, and sultry music that infuses electronic and experimental music with the Brazilian tributaries of bossa nova and Tropicália.

Autodidacts both, Lindsay and Mori are emblematic of the creative potential that a lack of conventional instrumental technique can provide to inventive minds. They have both remained active improvisors on a grassroots level, perpetually injecting vital and daring energy into subsequent generations of experimental musicians. It is because of these major contributions to the city’s sonic landscape and beyond that we are thrilled to honor their legacy.


Honoree Table: $10,000 (Tax deductible portion $8,400)

  • Priority front row table for eight* guests with table service, dinner, and drinks
  • Special name recognition on the Benefit Committee list in print and online
  • Complimentary all access membership for two ($1,000 value)
  • Complimentary membership “Friends” membership for six guests ($750 value)
  • Complimentary copies of Blank Forms' journal and tote bags for eight guests
  • Complimentary copies of all 2019 Blank Forms publications


Benefit Committee Priority Table: $7,500 (Tax deductible portion $6,700)

  • Table for eight* guests with table service, dinner, and drinks
  • Name recognition on the Benefit Committee list in print and online
  • Complimentary all access membership for two ($1,000 value)
  • Complimentary copies of Blank Forms' journal and tote bags for eight guests


Benefit Table: $5,000 (Tax deductible portion $4,200)

  • Table for eight* guests with table service, dinner, and drinks
  • Name recognition in print and online
  • Complimentary all access membership for two ($1,000 value)
  • Complimentary copies of Blank Forms' journal and tote bags for eight guests


General ticket: $250 (Tax deductible portion $195)

  • One reserved general seat
  • Complimentary dinner and drinks


Table purchases can be paid for by check (preferred), credit card, or through PayPal. Contact lawrence@blankforms.org to purchase.

The deadline for name recognition in print is October 1st, 2019. Unable to attend? Make a 100% tax-deductible donation here or sponsor an artist with a ticket or table.

Lary 7 is a multimedia art alchemist whose work with photography, film, performance, installation, and sound has made him a fixture of New York’s experimental underground since 1970. Rejecting digital technologies because of their premeditated nature, Lary uses esoteric, often precarious analog equipment and instruments for his absurd, unpredictable presentations. In addition to his solo work, Lary has worked as a photographer for Matthew Barney and collaborated with the likes of Tom Verlaine, Swans, Jarboe, Foetus, and Tony Conrad. He is the subject of a documentary by Danielle de Picciotto titled Not Junk Yet - The Art of Lary 7.

Jessika Kenney is a vocalist, composer, and teacher whose work extends the vocal traditions of Indonesian sindhenan and Persian radif into new realms by way of contemporary composition and improvisation. Internationally regarded for the elegiac timbral quality of her voice, her practice of sphygmoresonance, or resonance of pulse, entails ritualistic focus and reverence for inner architecture that emanates a palpable sense of stillness. A student of radif with Ostad Hossein Omoumi, Kenney’s music is timeless, yet steeped in textual research, respectful of its spiritual roots while invoking unknown futures.

As one half of Suicide with Alan Vega, Martin Rev was among the first artists to use the term ‘punk’ to describe their music. But the notoriously confrontational duo’s expression of modern alienation via Rev’s throbbing synthesizers and drum machines made them closer conceptual godfathers of the no wave movement from which Ikue Mori and Arto Lindsay emerged. Alongside his work with Suicide, Rev has released nine records of his signature minimal synthesizer work, ranging from dreamy bubblegum to caustic rhythmic noise. Vega passed away in 2016, but Rev’s keyboard-spanking solo performances continue to perpetuate Suicide’s dangerous sleaze.

*Ten-guest tables can be arranged for an additional fee.

With additional support from Richard Aldrich, Olivier Berggruen, Meredith James and Jacques Vidal, Luhring Augustine Gallery, Lise Stolt-Nielsen and @bigsurlivebarnmusic.

Cuisine by Superiority Burger with libations provided by Grimm Artisanal Ales and Aquitaine Wine Company and chocolate by Fine and Raw Chocolate.