extended bio…


…site and sound

Since the early 90s I’ve been working with various media with a focus on sound. much of this happened through collaborations with fellow explorers in Austin, Texas, Seth Nehil, Michael Northam, Olivia Block, Josh Ronsen, Rick Reed and others. But my interest in the fringes of music extended back to the vibrant days college radio programming and friends with keen musical interests during high school.

My output over the years has never found a standard format and ranges from recording and composing, to making performances, workshops, installations, events etc… I seek personal integration into the artwork whether it is only myself or with others. This means being present from the inception, through the process and on to presentation. The “art” is then the vehicle for exploring life, learning and facilitating the creation of meaningful ‘culture’, as the means by which we commune with each other. This approach opens the territory for ephemeral or long-term, contextual or displaced work, broadening the scope from being a mere artistic product into something that addresses the wider social and cultural realm.

My varied artistic approaches to sound includes the generation, recording and production of works through techniques that range from the construction of original instrument devices and installations, to the capture of acoustic phenomenon through environmental field recordings to digital multi-tracking and manipulation. The resulting compositions are often studies in extended evolutionary permutations of a selected set of sound sources. These sources can concentrate on different properties of sound instigation and emanation that can range from the textural animation of inanimate objects or an open-air mechanical noise field to overtone resonances from a set of wires stretched across spaces.

…from Balkania to Balticum

In May of 1999 I moved to Ljubljana, Slovenia and worked on various projects there for a year and a half, mainly with the Ministry of Experiment (Marko Košnik, Borut Savski) and hEXPO, developing online cultural platforms. Since that time I have furthered my strategies of self-production, presentation and documentation with numerous trips around Europe, stretching from the Balkans to the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). I give workshops on digital video versatility, construct site-specific media interventions, and keep up collaborations with various sound and video artists. my current regional concentration is in Estonia where I work with MoKS, an artist-run non-profit art space.

…on economy and creativity

Although my interests and areas of work are many the motivation is often the same; creativity and artistic output fuel the being that I am. Accepting this fully means to explore the implications of creativity beyond theory and concept and into the social and cultural spheres of everyday life. This may come as a given where involvement with the ‘art world’ is concerned, but the logic runs deeper. In a time where specialization and market mentalities commonly rule out over the diversification and dissemination of ideas, I often find myself choosing the latter even in the wake of unpopular sentiment. The reasons for this, though not always clear, stem primarily from the view that human evolution is characterized by differentiation and diversification of biological communication and interaction. How does this relate to personal creativity? Without looking too deeply, one can see that in the developed world, commodity values and market ideals have infiltrated and control nearly every aspect of society and life. I say nearly because the desire and personal act of creation itself cannot be easily quantified and hence commodified in a market* reality (although the dominant belief is quite the contrary). Creativity is based on individual and cultural necessities that extend far beyond the deterministic nature of “free” markets and consumer ethics which, more often than not, serve those who serve it most. My concern is with the over specialization of a market* dominated reality as the predominant form of human cultural activity and its threat to the very idea of diversification and dissemination of human culture. In other words, culture, seen as an evolutionary biological phenomenon, relies on differing and diverse forms of communication and interaction beyond the speculative “progress” of commodities and market driven ideologies. The options lie in the open ended qualities of living through the refined social practice of observation, reflection, creativity and communication with yourself and those around you. These principles serve to challenge me in my personal exploration of ideas and the sharing of my work with others. Many points here are debatable and deserve further explanation. Rather than doing so in detail here, I will let the content of the site and my work open the territory.
– John Grzinich

“Reflection is the process of knowing how we know… every reflection brings forth a world”Maturana and Varela from ‘The Tree of Knowledge’

* Deifinition according to Websters Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary: 2. archaic : the act or an instance of buying and selling 3. the rate or price offered for a commodity or security 4a. a geographical area of demand for commodities b. the course of commercial activity by which the exchange of commodities is affected.

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