Less Popular Music
September 6th-October 27th, 2012
Opening Reception: September 6th from 6-9 pm
Artist Talks: September 6th at 6:30 pm
Indiana artist Aaron Nemec explores the unique tactile qualities of audio and video in his new exhibition, Less Popular Music, opening at the Contemporary Arts Center in Las Vegas on September 6. Using performance, collaboration, and public participation, Nemec reduces and combines familiar elements, such as vinyl records, YouTube videos, and portable stereos, in order to extract and make accessible existing dialogues embedded within the source material.
Less Popular Music brings together several of Nemec’s most recent audio projects. The included projects seek to explore facets within popular music culture such as ownership of recorded material, aspects of musical performance, and the nature of public distribution. The exhibition includes three projects. The first is a listening station where visitors can browse and play handmade copies of vinyl records, which undoubtedly come with “flaws” inconsistent to the original. The second is an extended looping video montage of faces made during guitar solos. Though silent, sound can be interpreted through the contortions and rhythms of the heads and faces. Euphoric facial expressions switch seamlessly through gratification, pain, and confusion. All source material is edited from performances found on the video sharing website YouTube, which serves as a mass media outlet for music as performed by amateurs. Finally, the third is a public participatory project that harnesses the unoccupied radio frequencies of the exhibition’s location, at the Contemporary Arts Center, to create remote amplifiers out of everyday boom-boxes.
Earning his MFA from Purdue University with a focus in electronic and time-based art and his BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Michigan, Nemec has been internationally recognized for his work. His art has been exhibited recently at CONA Institute for Contemporary Arts Processing (Ljubljana, Slovenia), The Schoolhouse (Brooklyn, NY), Amsterdam Grafisch Atelier (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Cora Stafford Gallery (Denton, TX), and the National Academy of Art (Sofia, Bulgaria). Nemec is also well known as the co-founder of the Contemporary Arts Initiative in Lafayette, IN. The CAI, known for its work within the community, often hosts one-night-only events that rely heavily on participation and spontaneity to function.