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Michael Clemow
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Park Slope

ARTIST STATEMENT: My work explores serendipitous encounters while exploring. I contrive to have a cause for exploration, often a stated destination or objective, and allow myself to be distracted, side-tracked by events, objects, and people along the way. Documenting these by collecting found materials, field recordings, photography, drawing and writing, I build an archive of materials on my journey. Later in my studio, I continue my exploration through these materials and build a re-imagined landscape of my experience using an impressionistic, montage approach. The final form of a work may range from time-based media, to performance, to objects and installation. The issues engaged in my work are a function of the context of the expedition and my internal state and each piece reflects my personal interest in the peripheral encounters while on the journey. A personal myth of searching for a lost city, “la Cuidad Blanca,” rumored to be somewhere in the rainforests of eastern Honduras, and sought by many explorers but never found, drives my own vision of my practice; since art hides in the periphery of experience, actually finding the lost city would mean the end of the journey. I therefore view my art making as endless searching while remaining open to discovering art along the way. I am inspired by artists who must go out and search for their art as part of their experience. For instance Francisco Lopez, whose field recording practice brings him to remote areas of the world in search of new sounds, and Andy Goldsworthy, who must journey away from his studio to discover his art in the materials he finds in the physical landscape. Unlike these artists, however, my work is more overtly concerned with my own internal experience and often that of the other people around me, which both add rich and surprising dimensions to the work.

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/disk0 Computer, cables, speakers, software "A computer, processing the sound of its own hard drive, while searching repeatedly for files that are not there."

A Rooster Watching the Angels (2017) CRT monitor, 5.56mm NATO bullet casings, rooster feathers, slow-motion video // A reference to a passage in the Hadith which mentions the rooster and donkey's calls as calls to prayer, (for one has seen an angel and the other a devil or Shaitan), this chimera image—both a rooster and a donkey—complicates the relationship, asking the question who is seeing and who is being seen?

Mirage is a multi-channel audio performance using field recordings from a trip to South Africa in 2013. The speakers are arranged around the audience to create a physical space. The live mix is informed by my personal experiences making these recordings—losing my way in the bushveld, exploring the Limpopo River, the death of Nelson Mandela. Mirage transforms a set of individual recordings into an experience-as-place through the arrangement of sound-images through time and across the physical space defined by the speaker arrangement. The work encourages deep listening and conveys a sense of place to listeners as opposed to telling a story.


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