Note: In 2016, six Rochester artists held a public art show titled "Ordinary Life" at the Riverside Building in downtown Rochester, MN. "Scenes for an Ordinary Life" was my contribution.
I am a multimedia artist that has interests in surrealism, minimalism, experimental, and the avant-garde. I tend to not specialize and thus take risks in different techniques while exploring new artistic venues and topics. However, there is an undercurrent in my work that focuses on the ignored and ordinary. Naturally, “Ordinary Life” is a good fit.
I am not trying to say anything specific nor is it a critique on any institutions or systems, but rather let my intuition, associations, and subconscious drive the process. The results are more focused on a mood, rather than a statement.
The subject matter was chosen based on what I encounter in my daily life as well as universal, western world topics that we typically don’t think about and therefore accept at face value. By hyper-focusing on the seemingly mundane, we are able to direct our attention to them in a way that most of us never experience.
Musically this project was influenced by genres of musique concrète1, Krautrock2, minimalism, and ambient music. I was also inspired by the work of avant-garde composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, the ambient works of Brian Eno, and many other early pioneers of experimental/electronic music. Much of the work you hear is a mix of manipulated and unadulterated instruments such as guitars, drum machines, field recordings, and synthesizers.
I was also curious what connotations people may have from the word “ordinary” and the phrase “ordinary life”, so I set out to ask various individuals their gut reactions to the phrase. The result is an entertaining mixture of humor, insight, and confusion.
Thank you to those who graciously answered my questions on video.
- Translated: Concrete Music. Recordings of found, raw sound. Popularized by Pierre Schaeffer. (Here is a YouTube video that demonstrates the techniques used.)
- Krautrock is genre of rock and electronic music that originated in Germany in the late 1960s with a tendency towards improvisation on minimalistic arrangements. (Source: Wikipedia)