there was something to it

there was something to it

On View from February 27, 2022 – March 20, 2022

Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) is pleased to host there was something to it, an interactive audio and visual, virtual exhibition created by poet and interdisciplinary artist Elena Botts.

Using the pseudonym, mourning dove, Botts organizes the unknown sound collective which produces poetry based sound art compositions of organic field recordings, experimental voice, and minimal instrumentation of their own creation. The layering of these various sources creates a noise and freak folk ensemble that mimics the otherworldly. Paired with nature/place-based glitch video, Botts creates a contemporary archive of experimental art-making and related communities in various parts of the world. Intended to provide a look into these small worlds, the videos give the viewers a chance to generate more thought on both human fallibility and potential, and how art can engender new social values. The collective has currently been moving towards more concept-based work, especially through the utilization of travelogs/digital mapping projects and various concept albums. Botts uses these particular modes of art making to question how these and the other works are archived and locatable online or otherwise. 

there was something to it
Video (00:28:44)

there was something to it 0
Video (00:48:20)

there was something to it 2
Video (00:27:08)

there was something to it is a series of field-recording based Google maps poetry albums with Botts as a stranger in new lands. This work is meant as an observational mission to find something of the “real”, among other cultures and places - through direct collection of sounds, moving image, and signs of life. 

In addition, this project also acts as a personal means to conduct a political ethnographic study of experimental artists around the world. Looking to facilitate international collaboration, Botts invited other artists to exchange with them resulting in the creation of a documentary of localized experimental art communities. 

Interested in the idea of creating more concept based and collaborative work, Botts created a collective mapping project where participants are open to contribute meaningful media on place. This type of work gives anyone with internet access the opportunity to connect and interact with each other internationally. 

Viewers are free to participate and add their own entry to the collective by going to the site, selecting a location and adding a link or uploading an artwork of their choice. The link to participate can be found here:

Working within the themes of place, Botts also creates digital collages through a thoughtful layering of glitches, maps and landscape photography. 

To learn more about Elena Botts, please visit their website: 

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Bronx River Art Center
1087 E. Tremont Ave., Bronx, NY 10460
T (718) 589-5819

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Monday - Friday: 3:00 - 6 PM
Saturday: 12 - 5 PM
Gallery hours are only in effect during the
exhibition dates.

Monday - Friday: 10 AM - 6 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM

DIRECTIONS TO CENTER:  By Train: Take #2 or #5 to West Farms Square/East Tremont. Walk one block east to Bronx Street. By Bus: Take #'s B9, 21, 36, 40, 42, or Q44 to East Tremont and Boston Road. By Car: Take Bruckner Expressway to Sheridan Expressway, and exit at East Tremont Ave. Turn left at the traffic light one block down onto East Tremont. Turn left after one block onto Bronx St. (Cross Bronx Expressway) towards Rosedale Ave, then exit. Turn left onto Rosedale Ave, then take a left onto Tremont Ave. Drive four blocks to West Farms Square.

This program is made possible with support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, including Council Members Eric Dinowitz, Althea Stevens, Kristy Marmorato and the Bronx Delegation. Additional support is from Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, the NYS Council on the Arts with support from Governor Kathy Hochul and the NYS Legislature. Foundation support is from Con Edison: The Power of Giving, The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, The Lincoln Fund, and private donors.

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