The New School News

The Fellowships will allow Geyer and Naphtali to pursue new creative projects...
The Fellowships will allow Geyer and Naphtali to pursue new creative projects...

Andrea Geyer, Associate Professor of New Genres at Parsons, and Dafna Naphtali, Faculty Member of Contemporary Music at Eugene Lang, Awarded 2023 Guggenheim Fellowships

Since 1925, when the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was established, they have granted nearly $400 million in Fellowships to more than 18,000 scientists, social sciences and humanities scholars, writers, artists, and more. Recipients have gone on to win Nobel prizes, Pulitzer prizes, National Book awards, and other prestigious recognitions.

This year, 171 Fellows were selected from an applicant pool of nearly 2,500, including Andrea Geyer, Associate Professor of New Genres at Parsons School of Design, and Dafna Naphtali, faculty member of Contemporary Music at Eugene Lang College.

“It’s an honor to be in such great company with other fellows and a wonderful recognition of my work as an artist in this mid-career moment,” shares Geyer. “It also affords the needed focus to push my own research to the next level and to imagine the work that needs to be done beyond.”

“I’m humbled and honored, and excited about my project and new opportunities the fellowship represents,” shares Naphtali.

As a multidisciplinary artist, Geyer’s works use photography, performance, video, drawing and painting to activate the lingering potential of specific events, sites or biography, with a particular focus on those who identify or are some point in their lives were identified as “woman.” With her new Guggenheim Fellowship, Geyer will continue work on scratching the surface from below, which is the third part in a body of work that she has been developing over the past three years that explores connections between her upbringing in the socio-political context of Germany and her life in the current political context of the United States.

“Anchored in an oral history with my mother, the diaries of my grandfather and independent research, the work will study the way in which trauma and responsibility travels across generations on the perpetrator side. Even though the atrocities of Nazi Germany are taught in schools and publicly reflected on through Germany’s “Memory Culture,” in individual families this violent past is often carried affectively through a prevailing silence. These non-verbal memories and silent responsibilities have a deep impact across multiple generations.”

Naphtali is a singer, instrumentalist, and electronic musician who composes and performs experimental, interactive electro-acoustic music, drawing on a wide-ranging musical background in jazz, classical, rock and near-eastern music and using her custom Max/MSP programming. She plans to use her Guggenheim Fellowship to take some time off from teaching, and focus on new creative projects.

“My proposal for the Guggenheim Fellowship is to compose an evening-length set of interrelated compositions for acoustic musicians, voice, and live electronic sound-processing,” shares Naphtali.

“In performance, I am transforming the sound of all acoustic performers – listening, playing and reacting/interacting, and paying close attention to room acoustics. I enjoy most the materiality of sculpting these acoustic sounds directly, creating new sounds, live, out of what I hear, in a corporeal way, with my hands, and with the immediacy of doing this in live performances and recordings. The new work is to be performed live over a multichannel sound system (8 channels), and recorded for release.”

For both Geyer and Naphtali, teaching is an integral part of their work as artists, and they credit their time at The New School with influencing and impacting their processes and approaches.

“Balancing the needs the university places on full time faculty with my own research as an artist can be challenging,” shares Geyer. “Yet I believe that I need to be a committed artist to be an effective teacher. The spaces created alongside students and colleagues in which to teach and learn together, allow me to translate my specific expertise and experience into more expansive, philosophical considerations of what art is, can be, and should be. Specifically, the conversations with an ever expanding group of international, emerging artists who come to us as students and stay connected as alum and their ever potent questions and considerations are essential for me to continuously challenge and expand not only my own work but the understanding of my own field and its potential.”

“My goal always is to be learning while teaching,” shares Naphtali. “New information and inspiration come from the process of course preparation, and importantly from my students who always bring new ideas and perspectives. Teaching has to be a two-way street.”

Naphtali will also be showcasing her new work on April 24th at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, in a concert featuring all of her duo collaborations. More information can be found here.

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