Robert DeLand

1. Give some basic information about your studies and fields of interest.
I’m a studio arts major with really no emphasis constant throughout my time at CU. I knew in high school that I wanted to major in art and possibly music, but I didn’t know what medium I wanted to focus on specifically. Drawing was my first decision, then I really got interested in Photography, now I am immersed in the world of sound art (I have recently taken a sound art class with George Rivera). I have always been obsessed with strange sounds created with oscillators or synthesizers, even using a common instrument to create sounds that have never been heard. Why? Well of course, to sonically offend others while inspiring others to think outside the box; ultimately to encourage others to rethink their definition of music, music creation as well as instrumentation. My creation of visual art has gone by the wayside to explore the sonic arts, whether its “true music” (tonal) or “Sound Art” (atonal). Concerning my visual art, I like to draw “alien landscapes”, and I like to Photograph nature and architecture, and imagine a world devoid of human life even in the city.

2. Describe an exhibition that you liked or found impressive. Tell us why. Please provide a link to a website, if possible.
Tim Hawkinson’s “Uberorgan”, because it’s use of sound, and it’s incredible use of space (I mean this from a compositional point of view rather than a utilitarian one). Even though there is no beautiful melodic music coming out of this glorified bagpipe, it has an incredible psychological effect on the viewer/audience. Please Visit this link:

3. Which books did you read of late (art, fiction, non-fiction)? Pick one and go into detail about it.
I’ve recently read MicroBionic: Radical Electronic Music and Sound Art in the 21st century. (By Thomas Bey William Bailey). This book goes into detail about some of the most recent artist that create Sound Art, usually to transmit some social, political or metaphysical message. Some of the artists explored in the book are Throbbing Gristle (Industrial/Punk), Francisco Lopez (Nature/Technological issues to name a few), Coil (Industrial/Punk/Rock), Z’ev, Merzbow, Whitehouse, etc

4. What are your main interests besides art? hiking, biking, learning, thinking about the origin of the universe, grilling, computers, philosophy, making rudimentary musical instrument, and most of all listening to music.

5. Which blogs do you check regularly? This is my first experience with writing on a blog! I occasionally research computer parts and musical instruments through blogs, but usually I try to avoid blogs, because there is so much misinformation out there.

6. Which cultural event has really impressed you lately? This can be a museum, a concert, or anything like that, but also a sports game (if you consider this a cultural event for which there are good reasons). Or anything I am not even thinking of … Again, tell us why. About a year ago I went to a concert at the Black Box theater (of course in the double basement of Atlas). There were three acts in one concert, and the the Show was called “Dissonant Futures”. I can’t remember all of the names of the artists, but the show consisted of three performers who used various electronics and odd instruments (I won’t go into all of those) to create incredible, ever-changing soundscapes. I go back to that concert in my mind to think up of new ideas of where to take my own sound projects. Despite the fact that these artists sound weird the sound (not music) that they create is very accessible. If you are interested I could try to find the names of these artists, once the internet protests end.

7. Please describe briefly an article in a newspaper or a magazine that got you thinking lately. Reading online is fine, and what you introduce here does not have to be about art. If the respective article is available online, please link to it! Recently I was reading an old issue of Smithsonian (I believe Dec 2010) about the Colosseum. Art History is not my specialty by any means, but they were discussing/attempting to decipher many of the features. It’s amazing that little holes or notches in the underside of an arch they found demonstrates that the arch was used to cage lions, which they used in the battles. They also go into detail about how the stage was flooded, and used to reenact maritime battles. Its hard to believe how far we have come in the history of art, and also how little we know about certain works of art. It also shows how we as a people are still the same in many ways; we still make a spectacle out of violence.

8. Please share with us a thought or an idea that really widened your intellectual horizon. Again, this must not be limited to the visual arts. If possible, give a source for this idea so that others know where to go to if they are interested. Recently I watched a TED Talks with guest Justin Hall describing graphene, and how it can bee affixed to windows to regulate the amount of light coming into a public or private space, and how it can be used to gather electrical power. It made me think of our problem with fossil fuels and how there are so many great solutions to our energy problems that aren’t being explored. This is coming from someone who knows little about the sciences, but it made me think about our uncertain future; it made me feel hopeful, then doomed as I thought about many of the ideas that have gone ignored.

9. Have you been to the Denver Art Museum, MCA Denver and BMoca Boulder? Describe one art object or a show you remember seeing.
Out of these three, I have only been to the DAM. I remember seeing a multiple work by Do-Ho Suh (I believe) at the DAM. The work was many ceramic busts with the heads broken off and small toys placed on top. I was drawn to the absurdity of it; at first I thought it was uninteresting, but it stuck with me for some reason, and now its what I remember when I think of the DAM. I don’t know quite what to think of it (conceptually) but it was certainly intriguing to me. I couldn’t find any images of this, sorry.

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