Regardless of the particular discipline I'm working in, I appreciate the aesthetic of complexity and the concept of maximalism. Encouraging the comprehension of complexity in my audience, I employ random processes aided by algorithmic software and an improvisational performance practice that balances between noise and drone with my background as a classically trained performer of stringed instruments in all styles.
Described less abstractly, I perform experimental music, which often includes improvisation, is sometimes processed or prepared using computers or electronics (homemade and consumer) and may feature traditional scores or alternative methods of notation. I build instruments and other objects for installation, performance, radio, and for works of inhuman duration. I program algorithmic video installations using similar methods and resources.
These seemingly distinct or disjunctive disciplines in my work are all underscored by a critique of consumerism and the unavoidable results of a lack of forethought on post-industrial revolution population control. This embrace of the complex and the maximal is in the service of promoting some type of a heightened level of contemplation in the audience.
Philosophy of Education:
Teaching students creative art in our time needs to be informed of two central questions brought by the recent digital revolution: What are the artistic concerns in terms of access and restriction that unlimited digital resources bring about and what has this digital revolution done to the concept of authorship?
Now that students have access to nearly all art humanity has ever made, existing in zeroes and ones with increasing obfuscation of chronology, a proper placement within the history of cultural and art theory is important for the contextualization of a practice. Confusion over authorship (and the merits of authorship at all) needs to be seriously addressed and readdressed, in context of past values and in a critique of the present while not being oblivious to certain realities of digital distribution.
2013 - MFA, Studio Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
2001 - MM, Music Performance, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
1999 - BM, Music Performance, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Select Works and Artistic Activity:
Member of radio art/broadcast collective, NRRF (presents B Radio) - Toronto’s Deep Wireless Festival 2013, Summer Broadcast Residency at ESS (Experimental Sound Studios, Chicago) rebroadcasts by ORF Kunstradio, Austria and free103point9, NY
2013 Performer Dissecting Adam, an experimental multi-media opera by Julia A. Miller
2013 Performer Myopic Books Experimental Music Series, with Peter Speer(Sept.) and Mark Hardy(Dec.) curated by Brian Labycz
2013 MFA Show at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, paper/wire #1, paper/wire #2, and the end of the industrial age.
2013 Annotations, Performance with Peter Speer of John Baldessari’s Throwing a Ball Once to Get Three Melodies and Fifteen Chords, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, SAIC
2012 Complex, Volatile and Inefficient (Installation with hanging speakers, wire, computer)
2012 Delicate Wall Piece (Sound/Sculpture with paper, wire, motors and micro-controller)
2012 Feedback Ice Harvest (Video and Sound)
2012 For Sheet Metal and Modified Electric Guitar (Improvisation/Composition)
2012 Four Spatialized Columns (Installation)
2011 Piece for Sheet Metal and Roofing Nails (Performance/Installation)
2011 Three Studies on Randomness (Electronic Composition/Improvisation)
2011 One Hundred Numbers, a long durational work (Electronic Composition)
2009 Music to Have Nightmares To (Electronic Composition, Improvisation)
2008 Candy Factory (for 2 Electric Guitars and Double Bass)
I work with all of the standard digital video, sound and photo/still image applications on the mac platform. I use a Canon DSLR for my still photography and video work. Many of my pieces involve use of graphical programming languages such as Max/MSP/Jitter and PureData. I work with Arduino, Processing and many of the other common devices for bridging the software/hardware divide in making interactive, digital or kinetic artwork. I work with all of the standard wood and metal working tools as well as more advanced machines such as laser cutters.
Art and Design Teacher, Jupiter High School, Jupiter, Florida
Subjects include AICE Digital Photography, AP Art History and AP Music Theory
2013/14 Digital Media Mentor, Convergence Academy, Columbia College Chicago
2013/14 Teaching Artist, CAPE – Chicago Art Partnerships in Education, Chicago
2013/14 Recipient of a Propeller Grant for work with Plug-In Studio
2013/14 Studio Assistant, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, iamhome.us
2013/14 Instructor, Plug-In Studio, Kinetic Sculpture and Animation using materials from MIT Media Lab-Picocrickets/Mindstorm/Scratch; Hyde Park Art Center, Holmes Elementary, Oak Park
2011/13 Teaching Assistant at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Introduction to Sound, Songwriting, Improvisation, Sound Poetry, Max/MSP for Performance
2011 Assistant to Louis Mallozzi, Director of the Sound Arts Theories Symposium at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2010/11 Substitute teacher, Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Bak Middle School of the Arts,
West Palm Beach, FL
2005/7 Principal Double Bass of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Aguascalientes (Mexico) under the direction of Roman Reveultas.
2002/5 Section Double Bass of the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Guanajuato (Mexico)
under the direction of Jose Luis Castillo
Between 2011 and 2013, I was in the unique MFA program in Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Diverse subjects such as experimental music, sound art, circuit building/bending, sound poetry, algorithmic and electronic composition and non-traditional improvisation were taught by Nicolas Collins, Shawn Decker, Louis Mallozzi, Julia A. Miller, Robb Drinkwater, Eric Leonardson, Mark Booth and Guillermo Gregorio. SAIC’s approach is extremely multi-disciplinary and in addition to the sound faculty I also studied sculpture, technology, film, and new media with Frances Whitehead, Laurie Palmer, Christopher Baker and Rob Stone.
Between 2002 and 2007, I worked with every major conductor in Mexico as well as conductors from the US, Japan, Holland, Italy, and South America. I performed nearly every standard symphonic work and many operatic works. Composers included Berio, Rihm, Xenakis, Zappa, Glass, Trigos, Chavez, Revueltas, Moncayo, Webern, Messaien, Ligeti and others.
Nicolas Collins (ncollins[at]saic.edu)
Frances Whitehead (fwhite[at]saic.edu)
Christopher Baker (cbaker2[at]saic.edu)