Creative Arts in the Digital Revolution
Advisor: Daniel Kiefer
In a word? I can’t describe myself in a word.
Okay, two then. Three. A short paragraph. A narrative. Tell me about yourself. Tell me who you are.
There’s nothing I can say I haven’t said before. Everything I am is in my art. In high school theatre, I loved it not because I could be someone else, but because I could be another version of myself. I still find that when acting today, as well as in role-playing and writing. My visual art is nothing more than a collage of the images in my head on any given day. This one’s titled “gender,” this one, “pornography,” this one is “religion,” this one, “art.” The idea of collage is something I bring even into my music; borrowed ideas and sounds, reassembled. I am a child whose only consistent parent was MTV. Awake on the Wild Side showed me unconditional love. Is it any wonder, then, that my biggest teacher and influence is pop culture, and my most common medium is pastiche?
Computers are wonderful toys. Ever since I first touched a computer I was fascinated by its inner complexities, and wanted to be able to decipher all of them. Writing a program is as much a process of creation as painting, even more so in my opinion. When programming, my only medium is the computer and my knowledge of the language. There is no canvas but the monitor, no paint but the code. The final product has the potential to be more widely seen than any painting created. Distribution and/or advertisement on the Internet allow for computer-related products to reach the far corners of the world. But computers hold more novelty to me than machines to do my bidding. Computers allow for miraculous manipulations of prerecorded media, such as paintings, sketches, photographs, and audio. They’ve changed the way I look at art by creating a new dimension, a new medium, a new genre of art. They are amazingly powerful tools, and since my first computer, I have been drunk with the power they have given me.
Music is my blood. Music is my primary language. Music is how I communicate. I learned how to speak music naturally, through osmosis. Music has been a part of my life since before birth, when my parents would take me to concerts in utero. I spent the first 10 years of my life simply appreciating it. Then, for a few years, I went about solely copying the sounds I heard. About the time I was in 7th grade, I started composing my own music. It was at this time that I started my first band (I think we called ourselves Zygote). In high school, I prolifically recorded a new album of original compositions at the rate of one every couple of weeks. It was only natural once I got a computer, to use that as a medium for music-making. In addition to creating my own original music, listening to music and sharing that with others remains important to me. It is for this reason that I enjoy performing behind a pair of turntables and cd players as disk jockey. DJ’ing is an art. It’s more than just spinning disks. A DJ has to read his/her audience, and know how they are going to respond to each song the DJ plays. A DJ needs to know what songs go well together and what songs don’t. Mixing music as a DJ is just like mixing media as a collage artist. Music is emotion. Listening to music–as much as writing it–is an expression of what I’m feeling. Just the right song at the right moment can make me laugh, cry, love, hate. Part of the thrill of playing music-whether through DJ’ing, composition, or live performance-is the idea that I’m guiding people on a journey, and making them feel a variety of emotions. That’s what defines good art for me; creating something that instills emotion in the audience.