Back from the Road: CalArts
One of the exciting things about the Center for Integrated Media is that it seems like a place for truly interdisciplinary work to take place. People come from music, dance, literature, theater, art -- you name it. Artists are often collaborating with others in a different field but just as often it seems that they are moving out into different fields. We had productive studio visits with Phil Stearns and James Orsher, both of whom come from music but are making work that also functions in another sphere. Phil Stearns, who is working on circuit bending instruments that use sounds to filter images, has a project that is pulling him heavily towards the visual arts world. James Orsher's scores are beautifully arranged on the page in ways that point to poetry. He thinks of them as conceptual art and literature, as well as music. Though there is a long tradition of working simultaneously in many genres in which Orsher and Stearns see themselves participating, it was really refreshing to hear and see and think about how they are meeting the challenges and pleasures of doing their work. Our conversations with James ended on a question about the place of beauty in chance work. Perhaps I'll write and think more about this at a later date. In the meantime, I wonder what any of you (dear, often silent) readers think about the place of beauty in your own work.