Written by Kristin Cacchioli, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 18 January 2013 00:00
Ben Moon, multimedia artist, vocalist and DJ, has had his artwork featured at exhibitions around the world, including shows in London and Beijing, but the Westbury native recently launched his first major multimedia performance in New York City – ROKLYFE.
ROKLYFE is his attempt to unify multiple aspects of life into one creative expression. His various art forms combine a multitude of themes and messages, which are combined to create various masterpieces, unprecedented by artists before him. ROKLYFE features live and recorded music, projected visuals, such as sculptures and ceramics, and social media, to invite all types of people into the mind of Ben Moon.
Moon preludes his description of ROKLYFE with a story about a professor he had while studying at Tulane University in New Orleans where he received his degree in fine arts.
“Our first assignment was to make a portfolio of anything we came across that we found visually interesting or that made us think and captured our attention. After a while, the professor said we would develop a biographical record of what is important to us in life. I thought that was so interesting and I have never stopped doing that,” Moon said.
Moon reveals that he has had the idea for ROKLYFE for a very long time, but had to “wait for the technology to catch up until it could move forward.” Everything he has accomplished would have cost millions of dollars years ago, but “everything has changed so much and all the media is now designed to work together and it’s all very simple.”
Moon experiments with just about everything, from politics and culture to fashion and celebrities, but one of his most important themes is the idea that technology blurs the line between fantasy and reality. While some people get their inspiration from “a piece of paper they see while walking down the street,” Moon realized that most of his time is spent watching television or on the computer. When he finds something interesting, he takes that concept and incorporates it into ROKLYFE, which results in the social media aspect of his production.
“Whenever I see something interesting, I ‘like’ it on Facebook or re-tweet it to my friends on Twitter and I realized that everyone else is doing the exact same thing. When I am at a live show, I can see what’s trending and take it into ‘real time’ by bringing it into the show. ROKLYFE literally shows people exactly what they want to see. By seeing what is ‘trending’ and what is at the top of social media lists, I let the eyes of the world become my palette,” said Moon.
Moon’s work speaks to him in a certain way and he has a vision as to how he hopes his audience will find the experience of viewing ROKLYFE.
“It’s meant to almost get you outside of time, like a near-death experience. You just see all of your life flashing before your eyes like history and the future is just rapid fire. It’s an incredible montage and just really overwhelming, but in a good sense,” the artist added.
Many people must be wondering how one person can convey such emotions, but Moon has had his own brush with death, which he has transformed into a positive experience by letting it influence his work.
“I had a very bad car accident several years ago and had a near-death experience. I literally broke every bone in my body and was in a wheelchair for years; they couldn’t tell me if I’d ever walk again. It never occurred to me that I could actually die, but now that I look back it was completely up in the air and it was crazy.
“My entire vision and everything I do now comes from that experience. ROKLYFE is the best attempt I have at expressing something that is really beyond expression. Everything that I’m doing is to try to bring feelings and emotions from that time into this realm so I can share it with the world. If there is only one thing that has impacted my work, that is it,” Moon said.
Saturday, 18 May 2013 00:00
For most of the ’80s, ZZ Top was an inescapable presence thanks to a plethora of videos, often times containing underdog storylines revolving around gorgeous gals, a 1933 Ford hotrod and the hirsute threesome serving as a Greek chorus of cool to the aggrieved protagonist. But amidst all the bells and whistles, the most impressive feat pulled off by this Texas power trio was using 1983’s Eliminator to adapt its bluesy hard rock boogie sound and modernize it with synthesizers and drum machines sans any kind of artistic compromising.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
John Romandetti saved six people, but he shies away from the title hero.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” Romandetti says. “It’s nothing anyone else wouldn’t have done.”
During Hurricane Sandy, Romandetti risked his own life to go out to Howard Beach and get his girlfriend’s family out of their flooding homes. The Bethpage Air Show recently recognized his bravery, naming him the grand prize winner of the Hurricane Sandy Community Heroes contest. Romandetti, along with nine other winners, will receive VIP tickets to the Bethpage Air Show, plus the reception, and GEICO Skytypers Planeside Meet and Greet. As the grand prize winner, Romandetti also gets the chance to fly with the GEICO Skytypers during next week’s airshow.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.
Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00
Members of the Carle Place Sparc/Interact club recently donated their time and talents at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens. Working together with students from Mineola High School and Holy Cross High School in Queens, the SPARC members planted over 1,000 indigenous trees to help replenish one section of the 600-acre forest park. The group’s efforts were part of the NYC Plant a Million Trees Project in honor of Arbor Day, celebrated on Friday April 26th. The Carle Place planters were: Sarah Megiel, Kelsey Feit, Julia Powell, Sabrina Feit, Monique Slater, Matt Carr, Katie Megiel, Rob Ibos, and Lauren Powell. They are led by faculty advisor Kieran Morris.