This memory space takes place at the Empire Garden Restaurant in Boston, MA. I happened across this restaurant on a day trip to Boston with some friends and ended up. EATING SUM FUTURES acts as a form of documentation of this restaurant.
The space itself was built in 1903 as a vaudeville theater but proceeded to live many lives throughout the 20th century. At some point it became the last Chinese-language cinema before its (presently) final transformation into the iconic Empire Garden Restaurant.
Without knowing the history, as soon as I stepped inside I felt transported to a space that was familiar, warm, and timeless. Light strips line the walls flashing vibrant neon hues across the artificially painted sky inside. The lack of windows and bright lights shifted my perception of time to just with those around. My friend and I ended up staying here for 4 hours chatting and drinking tea.
I had a transformative experience while dining here, as I realized Asian identity is rooted in survival. This restaurant not only continues to stand the tests of time, but purposefully distorts it. There was a force here that was the past and the future colliding. It it my hope that this project, through photogrammetric scans, and field recordings can provide a form of virtual documentation to this iconic Chinatown monument.
Trevor Van de Velde
Trevor Van de Velde (he/him) is an experimental composer, sound artist, instrument builder, and creative programmer based in NYC/SF.
His practice is oriented toward exploring the relationship between technology, play, and hybridity through electroacoustic composition, custom-built electronics, and mixed-media.
He is the recipient of the 2018 Nicola De Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition, 2020 Eisner Prize for the Creative Arts, 2021 Guarini Alumni Award, and Hopkins Center for the Arts Art+Technology grant. He presented work at festivals such as New Music On the Point (2021), The Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance (2021), Labo Montreal (2021), Yarn/Wire Institute (2022) and Ensemble Evolution (2022) and has worked with a variety ensembles such as JACK Quartet, The Living Earth Show and Chromic Duo.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Computer Science and Music Composition from UC Berkeley and a Master of Arts in Digital Music from Dartmouth College. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Music Composition at NYU GSAS.