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How a Multimedia Artist Collective Went From Viral Videos to Art Week

Illustration for article titled How a Multimedia Artist Collective Went From Viral Videos to Art Week

Art Week may be winding down in Manhattan, but all those sculptures, paintings, and installations probably left you with one lingering question: who gets to create these inspiring and perplexing pieces? We were lucky enough to visit the studio of multimedia artist collective, Fall On Your Sword (FOYS) — who exhibited their installation, "Private Drive-In," at this year's Spring Break Art Show — to get a better sense of how these creatives landed careers as artists.


Fall On Your Sword's journey has been almost as dynamic as the film scores and installations they create. Cofounder and multimedia composer, Will Bates, started his career as a teenage jazz musician before going on to create records for techno and electronic labels in London, and touring the U.S. as the lead singer of an indie rock band, all before creating the band, Fall On Your Sword. Will says FOYS "began as a kind of video art installation experiment. It really was a performance tool for me while I was getting involved in doing video art and related work." The group got its break in 2009 when their video, "Shatner Of The Mount," featuring none other than William Shatner (on a mountain), went viral, causing FOYS to expand into much more than a band in the traditional sense.

Bates went from scoring commercials to composing soundtracks for Sundance films like Another Earth and Lola Versus while managing to win a few Clio awards along the way. In 2010, they invited producer, Lucy Alper to join the collective, and brought on audio post mixer, Ryan Price in 2013. Since moving to their Williamsburg studio, FOYS has been teaming up with their neighbor and self-proclaimed "catchall for anything visual," artist Sarah Bereza. Sarah says, "Fall On Your Sword has this element where it's always music-to-picture. That's always the end for the art: trying to combine audio and visual."


To see what she means, look no further than "Private Drive-In," their most recent collaboration, which they exhibited at this years Spring Break Art Show. The FOYS team created an interactive installation where viewers sat behind the wheel and honked the horn of an old school VW Bug (equipped with vibrating seats, of course) while watching movie make-out scenes set to escalating soundscapes. And that's just the most recent in the string of FOYS installations, which have involved an apocalyptic piano, an eerie lawnmower, and obviously some killer audio production.

So while most people are working their nine-to-fives, Will says the FOYS team is "destroying the world together." One soundscape at a time.

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