PEPPER KEEN


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SELECTED PROJECTS



ASICS X LOLLAPALOOZA - Chicago. 2018
Project: Brand Activation
Client: ASICS + United Entertainment Group
Credit: Creative Director


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Teaming with global sportswear label ASICS, and entertainment, sports, and lifestyle agency, United Entertainment Group, Keen was invited to conceptualise and deliver an interactive onsite activation focussed on group movement, at Chicago's prestigious LOLLAPALOOZA festival.

The activation offered a platform for self expression, encouraging audience members to take centre stage, with their own chosen form of movement.

An interactive, motion-responsive, LED flooring accentuated each individual slide, step, and stride.
The faster the accumulative movement, the faster and stronger the response within the animations below the feet of festival goers.  
As participants commune and collectively interact through motion, colours warm, and speed of line and form increase.

An additional element of gamification and product gifting was involved. Whether moving as one, or moving as many, the greater the amount of overall steps made triggered the release of surprise gifts for all on the floor.


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Asics.com
Uegworldwide.com







SUGAR MOUNTAIN - Melbourne. 2018
Project: Music + Arts Festival
Credit: Creative Director / Curator

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A.B.Original [AUS] • Actress [UK] • Ara Koufax [AUS] • Beaches [AUS] • Body Type [AUS]
Cut Copy
[AUS] • Dan Shake [UK] • Eclair Fifi [UK] • Fantastic Man [AUS] • Gerd Janson [GER]

Honey Dijon [USA] • Jamila Woods [USA] • Joey Bada$$ [USA] • Kardajala Kirridarra [AUS]
Laurel Halo [USA]Love Deluxe [AUS] • Project Pablo [CAN] • Sevdaliza [NED]
Shanti Celeste
[UK] • Stella Donnelly [AUS]

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Staying true to the vision that shaped the festival’s early formative years, SM 2018 brought together a multitude of artists and mediums, featuring a selection of unique collaborative projects, and performances -

Amrita Hepi x Pasefika Victoria Choir [AUS]
Hiroyasu Tsuri [JPN] x Jun Inoue [JPN]
Justin Shoulder
x CORIN x Tristan Jalleh [AUS]
Marcus Whale x Athena Thebus [AUS]
VIA ALICE feat. Waangenga Blanco [AUS] x Khalif Diouf [USA]

VIA ALICE - Featuring dancer/choreographer Waangenga Blanco (Bangarra Dance Theatre), and New York artist/producer/performer Khalif Diouf (otherwise known as Le1f) - A moving meeting of two worlds, part virtual reality film, part live audio/dance performance. 

Dancer and choreographer Amrita Hepi teamed up with Pasefika Victoria Choir to deliver a contemporary Waiata, celebrating cultural resistance. 

Performance, sculpture, video and production genius Justin Shoulder met with classically trained electronic artist CORIN, and digital video artist Tristan Jalleh (who has created videos for the likes of SIA, Oscar Key Sung, and more) in a horror-filled, live performance.

Painter/sculptor/artist Hiroyasu Tsuri, aka TWOONE [JPN] joined artist, friend and collaborator Jun Inoue [JPN] in a physically performative artistic exchange.
First appearing as part of the opening act of Sugar Mountain 2011, songwriter Marcus Whale (also of Collarbones) returned with new music, a collection of live drummers and brass players, and went head-to-head with the multi-disciplinary artist and rising talent Athena Thebus in an awe-inspiring, collaborative performance, entitled LUCIFER II.



IDENTITY:

VISIT - SM x BOILER ROOM VIDEO ARCHIVE



Sugarmountainfestival.com




VIA ALICE Feat. Waangenga Blanco x Khalif Diouf
Project: 360° Virtual Reality Film [+ Live Performance] Premiere: Red Bull Music Academy, Sydney. 2017
Client: Red Bull Music Academy
Credit: Director / Producer

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VIA ALICE is an immersive virtual reality film that invites audiences to experience the strength and diversity of contemporary Indigenous Australian knowledges, cultures, and identities.

Join American artist, producer, and dancer Khalif Diouf (Le1f); alongside Indigenous Australian dancer, choreographer Waangenga Blanco (Bangarra Dance Theatre), as they take us on a surreal journey across countries and cultures from Mparntwe (Alice Springs) Arrernte country, Gadigal land (Redfern) through The Central Desert, Marlinja, and onward to the northern reaches of the Cape York Peninsula.

Born in Manhattan, New York, Khalif studied ballet and modern dance, attended the Concord Academy, and earned his degree in Choreography from Wesleyan University before returning to the city to begin his rap career.
Arriving on Australian soil sees Khalif team with the charismatic Waangenga Blanco, a descendant of the Meriam people and of the pajinka Wik, Cape York. Waangenga studied at the NAISDA Dance College, and is a lead male dancer of the widely acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation, and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies.

Armed with their incredibly diverse backgrounds in dance and performance, knowledge passed down from community elders, and their own unique methods of storytelling, Waangenga and Khalif take us on a stunning journey to deliver an insight into land and culture, whilst ultimately, through artistic collaboration, explore the meeting points between storytelling and dance.

VIA ALICE is accompanied by an original score composed by Daniel Stricker (Midnight Juggernauts) and John Carroll Kirby (Solange, Sebastian Tellier), featuring new work by Khalif Diouf (Le1f), and Kardajala Kirridarra members - Eleanor Nalyirrima Dixon and (RBMA Alumni producer) Beatrice.




Directed by multi-disciplinary artist Pete Keen, the story of VIA ALICE stands strong with the support of it's cast, their guidance and knowledge shared. Including actor, and Dharug songman Richard Nambrimbrii Green ('Snowtown', 'Boxing Day'), as well as members of the phenomenal Kardajala Kirridarra, (2017 'NT Song of the Year Award' winners) Eleanor Nalyirrima Dixon and Janey Namija Dixon.

[Online Release: 2019]



LIVE PERFORMANCE:

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On very special occasions the 25minute virtual reality film is followed by a 20min live sound + dance performance, involving the film's collaborating stars, and those featured on the soundtrack. Sessions cater for an intimate audience of 30, with performances choreographed and composed to be unique to an event. No two identical.

The premiere viewings and live sound + dance performances of VIA ALICE took place at Red Bull Music Academy Weekender Sydney, September 2017.


PRESS:

1 / 6

ACCLAIM

“The experience is a culmination of immeasurable hours meticulously collaborating and planning.
It is a testament to what can be created when individuals from various cultures approach art with mutual respect and courage. A film that is overwhelmingly evocative” [ . . . ]
- Article by Guest Editor Roj Amedi.  Behind-The-Scenes Photography by Timothy Hillier.


SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

DANCE YEAR IN REVIEW. SURPRISE PACKET - VIA ALICE. 
“There were some clues about VIA ALICE, but nothing that prepared me for a performance that brought together past and present, old and new ways of living, and ancient and modern methods of communicating. In an unrenovated corner of Carriageworks, Bangarra dancer Waangenga Blanco and American performer Khalif Diouf (Le1f) led audiences on a journey from the streets of New York to achingly beautiful expanses of central Australia. We sat on tree stumps remade to allow us to swivel so we could take in the full extent of the virtual reality vision brought to us through the goggles provided. We swooped around tall buildings like birds and swung low among the sparks of a desert fire. We watched a man in a dress struggling up a sand dune in high heels and followed a group of Aboriginal people introducing us to their country. The two dancers were part of that, but their most important contributions came as live performers on the patch of red dirt around which we sat. Each drew on his cultural background, past and present, in solos and a meeting point that brought them together. Unforgettable.“  [ . . . ]

- Article by Australian Dance Critic Jill Sykes.  Photography by James Tolich.

"Unforgettable” ★ ★ ★ ★
- Sydney Morning Herald.




Viaplanetearth.com




INFINITY SOUNDS. Samsung x Boiler Room Project: Global-Facing Product Launch + Live Broadcast Event. Sydney. 2017 Client: Samsung + Boiler Room
Credit: Creative Director

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To coincide with the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 handset, Samsung Australia and Boiler Room unite to deliver ‘Infinity Sounds’. An immersive, audio-visual show that marks the first Boiler Room event to be captured exclusively through the lens of a smartphone.



Broadcast internationally, live from Sydney’s Carriage Works, by way of the Boiler Room online platform, the event provided an up-close and personal evening with New York’s Jacques Renault, alongside Australian artists Flight FacilitiesAdi Toohey, and Kllo.

Responsible for the boundary-pushing visuals behind electronic music pioneers Warp Records and
the likes of Hudson Mohawke, Kelela, Night Slugs, Fade to Mind, and more – Melbourne based digital artists Nic Hamilton and Dave Mackenzie delivered the evening’s visuals. Complementing the Samsung Galaxy S8’s edge-to-edge infinity display, the duo created four unique and immersive CG environments with infinite horizons. The environments were constructed through generative visuals; never ending, infinite, and responsive to the music.




Boilerroom.tv
 




SUGAR MOUNTAIN - Melbourne. 2017
Project: Music + Art Festival
Credit: Creative Director / Curator

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ALTA [AUS] • The Avalanches [AUS] • Baba Stiltz [SWE] • The Belligerents [AUS]
Beppe Loda [IT] • Big Scary [AUS] • Black Cab [AUS] • CC:DISCO! [AUS] • Daydreams [AUS]
Dro Carey [AUS] • HABITS [AUS] • Jaala [AUS] • Jack River [AUS] • Jesse Lanza [CAN]
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith [USA] • Kelsey Lu [USA] • Kornél Kovács [SWE] • Kučka [AUS]
Little Simz [UK] • Methyl Ethel [AUS] • Mood II Swing [USA] • Moses Sumney [USA]
MY DISCO [AUS] • Palms Trax [UK] • Pantha Du Prince [DE] • Rolling Blackouts CF [AUS]
Slum Sociable [AUS] • Spank Rock [USA] • Sui Zhen [AUS] • Suzanne Ciani [USA]
Tornado Wallace
[AUS] • Weyes Blood [USA] • Young Tapz [NZ]

Caleb Shea [AUS] • Elliott Routledge [AUS] • Karan Singh [JPN] • MOMO [USA]
Myriam Bleau [CAN] • Robyn Moody x Caroline Polachek [USA] • Supergroup London [UK]

SENSORY Feat. Daniel Arsham x SURVIVE x Pete Gunn

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IDENTITY:






48 STRING LASER HARP. Robyn Moody x Caroline Polachek Project: Sound-Responsive Installation
Credit: Creative Director



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In 2017, Sugar Mountain audience members were given the chance to pluck and play audio-responsive strings of light.

Conceived by director Pete Keen, and programmed by Canadian tech-wizz Robyn Moody,
each of the 48 beams aligned with a specific sound or pitch of vocal provided by the incredible Caroline Polachek (Chairlift, Ramona Lisa, & more). This personalised interactivity allowed for audiences to create everything from a beautifully layered piece of music, to a chaotic orchestra noise.







SENSORY. Daniel Arsham x Pete Gunn x Survive Project: An Immersive Restaurant Experiment
Credit: Creative Director / Producer


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Sugar Mountain curators Pete Keen and Brett Louis pushed the boundaries with SENSORY, the sell-out success, ‘world first’, on-site dining concept at the Sugar Mountain 2016, and then went one step further in 2017.

“An immersive restaurant experiment”, SENSORY is a collaboration  between Sugar Mountain and three international icons of taste, sight and sound.
Working with international collaborators; New York based contemporary artist Daniel Arsham [USA], Texan composers SURVIVE (’Stranger Things’ soundtrack) [USA], and award winning chef Pete Gunn [AUS]; Sensory delivered a true artistic representation of the core concept with abstract and performative elements.


Throughout the dining set menu, guests are treated to a tactile and interactive environment where all senses are stimulated through a 60-minute narrative.
An alternate reality where artists play with the audience’s perception and understanding of the world around them, creating a visceral and unique dining experience unlike any other.

(..yes, those are night-vision goggles!)


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PRESS:

“We've reached peak food. Also peak music festival. But audio-art-food collaborations like SENSORY are showing that we can still punch a hole through the known universe and discover something interesting, and delicious.”
- Gemima Cody, The Age Good Food 


“It was weird, but that's the point! .. SENSORY is the pinnacle of risk taking.”
- Broadsheet





 

V MOVEMENT. Augmented Reality Stage Environment Project: Brand Activation + Live Event
Client: V Energy Drink

Credit: Creative Director




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In an era boasting vast technological triumphs, and a global society growing ever-so connected, we roam into the future with our heads down, appearing to have logged-out of our natural environment, and a great deal of our day-to-day interpersonal interactions, IRL.
Noting this peculiar phenomenon, Keen chose to bring method to the madness, by inviting attendees to warp their festival experience through means of Augmented Reality.
Ultimately aiming to raise both vision & handsets to each on-stage spectacle.

At Sugar Mountain 2017, a static, illustrated, stage facade, and spatial artworks by Tokyo-based Australian artist Karan Singh, could be animated via the festival app.
This provoked patrons to interact with their surroundings, and bring further movement to the live performance arena.

SUGAR MOUNTAIN - Melbourne. 2016
Project: Music + Art Festival
Credit: Creative Director / Curator




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Alpine [AUS] • City Calm Down [AUS] • Courtney Barnett [AUS] • Dam-Funk [USA]
Dirty Three 
[AUS] • Empress Of [USA] • Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda [AUS]
Hot Chip 
[UK] • Jnett [AUS] • Julio Bashmore [USA] • Kate Miller [AUS]
Kate Tempest [UK] • Kelela [USA] • Laila Sakini [AUS] • Le1f [USA] • Pearls [AUS]
Research & Development [AUS] • Roland Tings [AUS] • Royal Headache [AUS]
Sampa The Great 
[AUS] • Tim Sweeney [USA] • Tom Trago [USA]
Total Giovanni [AUS]  • Viet Cong [USA] 

Daniel Askill
[AUS] • Nic Hamilton [AUS] • NONOTAK [JPN]
Prue Stent
x Honey Long x Clare Longley [AUS]
Sibling
[AUS] • Yahna Fookes x Martha Zakarya [AUS]

SENSORY Feat. Cut Copy x Bomba x Tin & Ed


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IDENTITY:






Sugarmountainfestival.com



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FESTIVAL NRMAL - Mexico City. 2015
Project: Music Festival
Client: Nrmal
Credit: Guest Curator
Australian Acts: HTRK . Kirin J Callinan




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Nrmal.net





VAGABOND : Ariel Pink
Project: Short Film
Release: Pitchfork TV. 2015

Credit: Producer


TERRIBLE LOVE : Kirin J Callinan
Project: Short Film
Release: Rage, ABC TV. 2015
Credit: Writer / Director / Producer
Awards: Rage ‘Indie Clip Of The Week’




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A short film made for Sugar Mountain to coincide with an exclusive, loveless - fueled, live performance of the same name, starring the enigmatic Kirin J Callinan



LIVE PERFORMANCE:

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In partnership with LA-via-NYC label Terrible Records; Sugar Mountain played host to an exclusive live performance, entitled TERRIBLE LOVE. Created by Callinan & Director Pete Keen, TERRIBLE LOVE featured a string of un-announced, surprise duets. By way of Skype, collaborators phoned-in from around the globe to perform their favourite covers & love-ballads alongside Callinan & band.

Dialing direct from NYC, Dev Hynes (aka. Blood Orange) joined Callinan to perfom Michael Jackson‘s “Black or White”. Dressed in silk pyjamas, and phoning-in from his NZ home-studio, Neil Finn brought the house to tears with a rendition of his very own Crowded House classic, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. Featuring spicey cameos by son, Liam. Appearing to hide away in the background, nude with lampshade on head. Alex Cameron called from what appeared to be a backstage dressing room, enticing Callinan to join him to perform their (then to-be) hit single “Big Enough”. Live from Sydney, Jack Ladder crooned & swooned with Callinan on the Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias track, "To All The Girls I've Loved Before". Riding the line between endeering, and confronting. A performance in true Callinan fashion. A remarkably odd exhibit of the faults and occasional clumbsy triumphs of masculinity. Finally, diving right over the edge that they had skillfully walked prior; From mid-tour, somewhere in Europe, Jay Watson (Pond, Tame Impala) was joined on screen by Mac Demarco’s testicles, wishing us and our loved ones a “terrible evening(!)”




DOWNLOAD WALLPAPER - ‘#TERRIBLELOVE’







SUGAR MOUNTAIN - Melbourne. 2015
Project: Music + Art Festival

Credit: Creative Director / Curator




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Anthony Naples [USA] • Ariel Pink [USA] • Banoffee [AUS] • Bo Ningen [JPN]
Body/Head
(Kim Gordon + Bill Nace) [USA] • Chela [AUS] • Dan Deacon [USA]
Dexter 
[AUS] • Horse Meat Disco [USA] • How To Dress Well [USA]
King Gizard & The Lizard Wizard [AUS] • LA Pocock [AUS] • Midnight Juggernauts [AUS]
NAS performs Illmatic [USA] • NO ZU + Sal P (Liquid Liquid) [AUS] • Noise In My Head [AUS]
ODESZA [USA] • Oscar Key Sung x Cassisus Select [AUS] • Rat & CO [AUS]
Slum Sociable [AUS]  • Soul Clap [USA] • SWANS [USA]
TERRIBLE LOVE Feat. Kirin J Callinan [AUS]
The 2 Bears [UK] • Twerps [AUS]

Abby Portner
[USA] • Ash Keating [AUS] • Cara Stricker x John Carroll Kirby [AUS]
Confetti System
[USA] • Cornelius Brown [AUS] • Ghostpatrol [AUS] • Johann Rashid [AUS]
Keith Deverell [AUS] • Leif Podhajsky[AUS] x Hisham Bharoocha [USA] • NONOTAK [JPN]
Poppy Lane [AUS] • Robin Fox [AUS] • Sean Morris [AUS]




Sugarmountainfestival.com

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FESTIVAL NRMAL - Mexico City. 2014
Project: Music Festival
Client: Nrmal
Credit: Guest Curator
Australian Acts: NO ZU . Young Magic . Kirin J Callinan



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Nrmal.net
 




SUGAR MOUNTAIN - Melbourne. 2011 - 2013
Project: Music + Art Festival
Credit: Creative Director / Curator


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Sugarmountainfestival.com


INFORMATION 


Pete Keen [also known as Pepper Keen] is a multi-disciplinary Artist / Director exploring the meeting points between music, art, and individuals.

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Founding member and Creative Director of Melbourne's Sugar Mountain festival, Keen has played a pivotal role in shaping a unique voice for the boutique event. Since it’s debut in 2011, Sugar Mountain has fast become one of the most engaging, and distinctive music and art events in the Australian cultural sphere.

The inaugural event has played host to the likes of ESG, NAS, Kim Gordon, Ariel Pink, The Avalanches, Little Simz, Courtney Barnett, Dirty Three, Swans, Suzanne Ciani, Dirty Projectors, Hot Chip, Joey Bada$$, Peanut Butter Wolf, Dām-Funk, Kelela, Deerhoof, Dan Deacon, Thee Oh Sees, and many more. Sugar Mountain prides itself on its strong emphasis on visual arts and has featured contributions from the likes of Thomas Campbell, Maya Hayuk, Ash Keating, Abby Portner, Leif Podhajsky, Hisham Bharoocha, Daniel Askill, Vincent Moon, NONOTAK, Beci Orpin and more.

Sugar Mountain is a place for creativity to be absorbed and celebrated. Keen and his co-curators have been successful in creating an environment that is both convivial and interactive, with performances and happenings that remain with the audience long after the festival finale.

Keen has commissioned and produced a vast number of notable collaborations, and performances. Offering awe-inspiring, one-off experiences for audiences, whilst also providing a platform for exchange between individuals and groups from diverse artistic backgrounds.
In 2015, ecstatic Australian live act NO ZU were invited to perform alongside early inspirateur, Sal P, frontman of 80s NYC luminaries Liquid Liquid. 2013 saw the pairing of electronic outfit, Forces, with contemporary dance choreographer Antony Hamilton. In 2012, California’s Sun Araw were invited to mobilize (by way of on-stage performance) a sound-responsive, robotic installation by Western Australian artist Ben Barretto. Whilst 2017 saw the union of NYC-based producer / vocalist Caroline Polachek (Chairlift), and Canadian new-media artist Robyn Moody, in the delivery of a vocal-warping, motion-responsive, laser harp. 
Keen has pushed the envelope in all things experiential. Dabbling in culinary collaborations too; Bringing together internationally acclaimed, NYC visual artist Daniel Arsham, with award-winning Australian chef Pete Gunn, and Texan composers SURVIVE (‘Stranger Things’ soundtrack), to develop an hour-long, four-course, sensory / dining exeriment.

In his latest artistic pursuit, Keen directed and produced the 360°, 3D, virtual reality short film, VIA ALICE. An immersive journey inviting audiences to experience the strength and diversity of contemporary Indigenous Australian knowledges, cultures, and identities.
VIA ALICE was premiered at RBMA Weekender (Sydney, 2017), accompanied by a live sound and dance performance, involving the film's collaborating artists, and those featured on the soundtrack.
The film received four stars from the Sydney Morning Herald, who described it as “an emotionally moving and technically interesting experience. A strong communication in body language”.
Later, seeded as the top selection in the official 2017 ‘Dance Year In Review’; VIA Alice was quoted by Australian dance critic Jill Sykes as being “Unforgettable”.

Keen's ongoing artistic endeavors bring a uniquely Australian perspective to a global platform, in an attempt to showcase experiences equally as immersive as they are progressive. Simultaneously pushing boundaries, and dissolving those that separate us.





SPEAKING
[Recent : 2017 - 2018]

  • FLUVIAL, Argentina. 2017
  • SIM SÃO PAULO, Brazil. 2017
  • EN ORBITA, Chile. 2017


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