NEW DOC + TOUR: Site-Specific: A History of the Mattress Factory by David Bernabo

Yayoi Kusama with  Dots Obsession , 1996

Yayoi Kusama with Dots Obsession, 1996


Site-Specific: A History of the Mattress Factory (97 minutes)

Through a mix of stories and anecdotes, archival installation footage, and interviews with artists and razor-sharp co-directors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk, Site-Specific: A History of the Mattress Factory presents an in-depth look at one of the first site-specific museums in the United States. 

Founded in 1977 in Pittsburgh, PA, the Mattress Factory is a contemporary art museum and experimental lab featuring site-specific installations created by artists in residence from around the world. Starting as a quirky, anything goes food co-op and artist studio space, the museum created a program of artist residencies in 1982 to focus on site-specific installation art and they never looked back.

The film parallels the installation of the museum’s 40th anniversary exhibition with an in-depth, story-driven journey through the museum’s long history of exhibiting site-specific art. Through interviews with artists such as Ann Hamilton, Sarah Oppenheimer, Vanessa German, Dennis Maher, and others, the film provides an intimate, sometimes humorous, look at the indirect path a museum takes as it creates its identity.

By mining the museum’s extensive tape and video archive, the film unearths rare archival installation footage of James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama, Meg Webster, and David Ellis. Detailed discussions provide the history and context for John Cage’s changing installation, Allan Wexler’s Bed Sitting Rooms for an Artist in Residence, and Dennis Maher’s three-story installation “A Second Home”, among other works.









05.25 | SITE | TIME 6PM | SANTA FE, NM







James Turrell,  Gasworks ,   1993

James Turrell, Gasworks, 1993

Eating & Working & Eating & Working -- raising money for a film about food and labor by David Bernabo


Despite being literally visible, the conditions surrounding labor in the service industry are often unseen. Eating & Working & Eating & Working is a feature-length documentary film that follows seven people working in food from the being to the end of their work day. Along the way, participants discuss the joys and frustrations of working, the skills utilized in their labor, and the impacts of sexism, racism, and classism on their work environments.

Support the production of the film AND get a downloadable copy for $8. See below!

What I'm up to in the first half of 2016 by David Bernabo

This may be more of a list to keep myself organized, but I do hope that you, the reader, will check out a few of these events, products, and showings.


Causal Loop, my two-person show with Blaine Siegel opened at SPACE gallery on 2/12. It is easily the happiest I have been with an art show. The staff at SPACE have been wonderful and my two year-long worries about how to fill the space were easily relieved. I love the pieces that Blaine has created for this, and many people have commented on the fluidity and dialogue created by our juxtaposed pieces. This show runs through March 27.

Also, my film, Food Systems, Chapter 1: A Night Out, which documents local restaurant history and culture, is screening (20 times!) at Historic Howell Theater in Michigan.


March is action-packed. In 2014, I start composing the score for Mark C. Thompson's movement theater piece, Kimono. Now, the finished piece will have a string of performances at Off the Wall. Mar 18-19, 24-26 @ 8:00 pm,   Mar 20 @ 3:00 pm

March 11 - Lightlab 13 at SPACE Taylor Knight and I founded the Lightlab Performance Series two years ago. Now, Anna Thompson has joined our curating team. As part of the Causal Loop exhibit, we programmed the 13th Lightlab event. This event will include the 14th? performance of MODULES (Taylor, Anna, Jil Stifel, and myself), Roberta Guido, and a few other performers.

March 16 - Artist Talk at SPACE Curator Adam Welch directs an artist talk with Blaine Siegel and yours truly. Come see if I have anything to say about my work. Spoiler: I do.

March 17 Rangda at The Andy Warhol Museum I have the privilege of opening for the powerhouse rock/jazz/other trio, Rangda. Rangda is Sir Richard Bishop from Sun City Girls, Ben Chasny from Six Organs of Admittance, and Chris Corsano, most famously known for working with Bjork, but also known for a wealth of amazing solo and collaborative records. My set will contain solo guitar pieces along with some new work for guitar and pitched cowbells. 

Also, The Glassblock, the new web magazine that I founded with EAT THAT, READ THIS's Adam Shuck may launch near the end of March. Stay tuned.


April should be wonderful! I head to Middlebury to work with choreographer Maree ReMalia, choreographer/dancer Jil Stifel, the aforementioned Blaine Siegel, and videographer David Cherry for a week of experiments and collaborative dance making. I also get to screen a short edit of my upcoming documentary, Food Systems, Chapter 3: The Ecosystem.

Speaking of Food Systems, I will premiere the finished version of Food Systems, Chapter 3: The Ecosystem at the Food Innovation Symposium in late April. Additional screenings will follow in May.


and then . . .

at some point, I will release a new solo record called The Inn. For this record, I play all of the instruments myself. The album started with a few drum sessions and then I wrote all of the songs to the drums improvisations. The four-piece Host Skull band may start playing some of these tunes, but I used a bunch of weird tunings on the guitar and didn't write down any of the songs, so we'll see. But along with the two Host Skull records and the first Vale and Year record, this is easily one of my favorite records that I have made. I feel like there are advances with the harmonic scope of the record. Also, it is the first time that I have successfully written and sung four-part harmonies. Stay tuned for a listening party this Spring along with a few music videos.

All the best,


MakerDate, Mine Factory Opening, and CDR by David Bernabo

I write this note to you while listening to the stream of the new Jim O'Rourke record - it is great, unique from his other song-based records, unexpectedly reverb-y, with an unexpectedly low mix on the voice, complex, harmonized, and just crazy good. I'm also making dinner. Slow cooking chuck roast that I froze a few weeks ago. Dehydrating rhubarb. Roasting squash. Quick pickling cucumber.

Anyway, three things are coming up this week. An art opening, an event with Host Skull-related activity, and MakerDate, where my newfound filmmaking skills will be auctioned off for a filmmaking date.

CDR Pittsburgh, 5/14, Space Upstairs

Host Skull has been working on our third record for a bit. We started a little over a year ago, and we are close to completion. We'll be presenting the first video at the CDR event. The song is called "Big Tan" and it closes the record. Here is some background info on CDR. Note: lots of folks will present works in progress. Should be interesting!

"CDR (Create, Define, Release) is an evolving multi-platform music project delivered by a collective of music producers, artists and thinkers passionate about creating opportunities to share the process of music production.

CDR sessions offer music makers the opportunity to submit their own songs (burnt onto CD, on a USB or uploaded in advance) then hear them played in a club environment over a superb soundsystem.

By getting a chance to publicly listen to their sonic works in progress, producers can identify any tweaks or development their songs could benefit from. They can also gauge people’s responses as well as discussing their tracks with others attending."

Live music at Space Upstairs

MakerDate, 5/16

Assemble, founded by my college-era and current-era friend Nina Barbuto, is a great gallery that has consistently engaged the community and brought "making" to the neighborhood through children's programs, interesting curation, and unique events. MakerDate is one of those unique events. It's a fundraiser, but you can bid on an experience. Get a private welding lesson from artist Dee Briggs. Make a zine with Maggie Lynn Negrete. And, um, hang out with me while making the FOOD SYSTEMS films, learn a bit about Adobe Premiere, and strategies for editing. Lots of people are donating their skills and there is a silent auction, too. Check out Nina on CBS!

The event is this Saturday, May 16. MakerDate Tickets


Mine Factory Opening, 5/17

A bunch of us have studios in 201 N. Braddock Ave, which is a building that is often referred to the Mine Factory building or, sometimes, the building that Stacyee Pearl's dance studio is in. Whatever you call it, the building houses the Mine Factory gallery and the tenants are having a group show on Sunday, May 17. The show is called NO VACANCY. The opening starts at 5pm and ends at 8pm.

Lastly, I'm raising some modest funds to cover the remaining expenses of the Food Systems film. By backing the project, you will ensure that you can see the films. Early previews have been very positive. So, I think you will like it. If you can help (even $5 gets you one of the films), I greatly appreciate it! Thanks! Back the project here: Food Systems Kickstarter



Also, while you are weighing your options with those selfishly-me-related activities, maybe you want to go to Conflict Kitchen's Palestinian Film Festival instead. 5 Broken Cameras screens Thursday night at Regent Square Theater. Divine Intervention screens at Melwood on Friday. And Saturday, 5/16 has a double feature with the short, The Dinner, and the long, When I Saw You, under the tent in Schenley Plaza.