I like to call myself an artist, maybe I’m not. Maybe part of being an artist is questioning everything, most of all yourself.
Everywhere I turn there are people asking what KIND of artist I am. I never can quite answer that question with one answer, or for that matter with any answer. To try to limit my ‘title’ to one thing would, in a sense, be self limiting. If I am a ‘painter,' it seems I can not be a sculptor. If I am a sculptor, it seems I can not be a musician. If I am a musician, it seems I can not be a craftsperson. If I am a craftsperson, it seems I can not be an artist.
When I fill out the government forms to be ‘classified,' I can only be one of these. Your ‘title’ is a number with one or two words next to a little square. There are several ’choices,' but you can only check one! I wonder which Albert Einstein would check: ‘poet’ or ‘mathematician’ or ‘author’ or ‘technician’ or ‘sculptor.’ What about Thomas Edison? Was he a ‘scientist’ or ‘recording artist’ or ‘light sculptor’? Was Alexander Graham Bell a ‘telemarketer’ or a ‘kite builder,' or a ‘flying sculpture performance artist’?
I certainly do not consider myself at the same level as
these fellow artists, but even THEY would only be allowed to check
one square. What would have happened if they had checked one square
and BELIEVED that it was TRUE?
In 1866, the great scientist Hermann Heimholtz built a device which introduced an intermittent electrical current into an electromagnet near a tuning fork to keep it vibrating.
Alexander Graham Bell, in 1876, successfully transmitted the human voice via an electrical current passed through a wire.
In about 1896, a fellow named Thaddeus Cahill built what is believed to be the first electronic device to produce and modify electrically generated sound.
It is possible to argue these ‘artists’ as the innovators who originated electronic sound in their ‘sculptures.’ It is also a consideration that any ‘artist’ playing an electronic sound emitting device is an ‘electronic-sculptor,’ after all the sounds occupy a three-dimensional space, and therefore could be defined as implied mass manipulated by the producer of the ‘sculpture.’ There is, however, an approach to electronic sound emitting sculptures which, although make use of these ‘implied masses,’ are observable stimulus with an electronically produced audio stimulus.
One of the best, earliest examples of this sculptural approach is the Minimalist, Robert Morris. His ‘BOX WITH THE SOUND OF ITS OWN MAKING’ in 1961, was a nine inch walnut cube with a small tape recorder inside which re-played the sounds produced in the construction of the box. Other Minimalists of that time, such as Don Judd, Barry LeVa, and Carl Andre also used sound with architectural-like objects; creating a kind of totally sensory abstraction.
Also in the early sixty’s, a Korean student named Nam June Paik was profoundly influenced by John Cage’s experiments with time-space relationships. Paik proposed the idea that “visual music,” or some sort of art could be made with images produced by the manipulation of television reception, and viewed on a video screen. The resulting work, which continues today, has made Paik widely accepted as “the father of video art.”
In 1970, Keith Sonnier built several ‘environments’ which used black-lights, mirrors, fluorescent powder, and live street sounds amplified into continuous sounds of varying intensity. These multi-sensory experiences proved so overstimulating that they were sabotaged three times during their existence.
In 1977, at the Morgan Thomas Gallery, Los Angeles, Karen Wolff and William Kingsley arranged eight slabs of dry wall, obliquely and symmetrically, toward a single upright slab, which served as a sounding board for a consistent noise emitted through one set of four side pieces, deflecting it through the remaining four.
There are, of course, many other examples of the work of many other artists in the past thirty years, each has their own personal technological sound base combined with the particular individual sculptural media and use of physical imagery.
In the 1980’s, more and more electronic interaction occurs between sculpture and the viewer. For instance, Marvin Torffield’s sound-sculptural environment at the whitney Museum-’BROKEN/UNBROKEN TERRA-COTTA’ is a room with large metallic forms placed on the walls, floor, and ceiling hooked into a continuous sound source. These forms are sensitized to human presence, so that nearing or touching them changes the sounds, often rather drastically.
In conclusion, it seems, I think, as visual artists continue
to experiment with integrating electronic sound and physical form, the
horizons can only expand and become richer. THE ARTISTS SHOULD REALIZE
THAT ALL OF THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY IS ONLY ANOTHER TOOL FOR THEIR VAST PALETTE.
IT IS ALL TOO EASY TO MISTAKE TECHNOLOGY AS THE PAINTING, RATHER THAN THE
PAINT, THE BRUSH, AND THE EMPTY CANVAS!
OF THE ACTUAL BEGINNING OF MY SOUND/LIGHT SCULPTURES
As I try to evaluate this body of work, I try to establish the beginning of it. It could be the day I picked up my first drawing tool as a child. It could be the thirty-day-free-home-trial of a Hammond organ my mother arranged when I was about eight years old, I didn’t want to play music, I just loved pushing the special buttons along the top of the instrument to make all kinds of various, wonderful noises. It’s possible it started the day our first black and white television set arrived, or maybe the night we all went to my uncle’s house to see a device he hung in front of his black and white TV which was giant color wheel spun rapidly in front of the screen and MADE COLOR IMAGES OUT OF BLACK AND WHITE!!!! On the other hand it could have been the TV show called WINKIE DINK AND YOU, where, if you bought a SPECIAL KIT you could “follow the MAGIC LINE” by drawing directly on the screen with a green tinted clear plastic stuck to the surface of the TV. We didn’t have a kit, but I ‘discovered’ that you could draw right on the glass with a crayon, right after that we got a SPECIAL WINNKIE DINK KIT!
Several years later, another uncle bought me a set of oil paints and spent a day showing me how to mix colors and apply them to canvas. There was one event in 1968 that best defines the beginning of this research project: One day, I was wandering through an electronics store and spotted ANOTHER KIT which claimed that, when properly assembled, could be attached to audio speaker wires and MAKE LIGHTS FLASH TO THE MUSIC!!! I bought the kit, put it together one evening, and hooked it up to the stereo and two table lamps with the shades off. I turned on the music, and IT WAS A MIRACLE!!! The music filled my ears and the lights flashed in unison to the sounds! I stayed up the whole night playing AND WATCHING all my records.
This was the first time that I realized that I, as an individual artist, could integrate technology and art into a single, powerful tool. There were many lessons to learn, for instance, never accidentally hook an audio speaker wire to an electrical wall outlet! AND DON’T DO IT AGAIN! (TWICE!)
Anyway, this was the beginning of the project, and it
appears to have no end.
Alfred University / New York School of Ceramic Engineering & Design
Student of Special Studies
August,1986 to August,1987
Pittsburg State University / Graduate School- ART
Graduate Teaching Assistant / Guest Lecturer
MASTER of ARTS DEGREE- ART 1989
September,1976 to July,1978
University of Tulsa / Undergraduate School-ART
BACHELOR of FINE ARTS DEGREE in Ceramics 1978
1999 - Present
Fine Art Silk Screen Assistant- Karl & Gail,Inc.
Pen Argyl, PA
Responsibilities include most aspects of limited-edition fine art serigraphy. Paper handling, press printing, screen prep (pre & post press), cutting, curating, and final shipping.
1981 to October,
Co-Owner/ Operator of Ginger Blue Studio
Pen Argyl, PA
Responsibilities include design, production, packaging, and marketing RAKU clay art objects, cone 6 oxidation porcelain and majolica stoneware including decorative and functional pottery, sculpture, clay drums, tiles, and jewelry. Forming methods include slip casting, wheel-thrown, and hand building (slab, coil, and press molding.) Additional responsibilities include technical consulting in plastic clay bodies, glazes, and casting slips. Also using Netscape Composer and HTML code to edit and maintain our own extensive website on the Internet.
July,1992 to December, 1993
Production Manager - Sackett Ceramics/Design Technics
Pen Argyl, PA
Responsibilities included all aspects of production of custom terra-cotta tiles and lamps including: glaze development, RAM pressing, mold design, materials handling, kiln firing and maintenance, casting slip technical support, technical and design consulting with sales personnel and clients, including public art projects in New York City.
August, 1987 to
Technical Consultant / Ceramics - Mottahedeh Corporation NYC, NY
Provided technical assistance on project to produce porcelain reproductions in Macau, China; included testing and manipulation of clay slip and glaze fro Mainland China.
January, 1990 to June, 1992
Commercial Printing Binder/ Graphic Artist
General duties included paper bindery, photo dark room, computer-assisted graphic design (Aldus Page Maker/ PC), and occasional press work.
August, 1989 to June, 1991
Part-time technician at small general hospital. Therapy included some laboratory duties.
Dental Laboratory Technician
Issued a total of four patents of medical products related to respiratory therapy, supervised prototyping and limited manufacturing of products, demonstrated at trade shows and hospitals.
1967 to 1976
Respiratory Therapist/ Supervisor
Primarily pediatric intensive care, and laboratory analysis.
1963 to 1967
Air Force Medical Corpsman/ Open Heart Surgery/Intensive Care Tech
Raku Clay Workshops
Three studio workshops given by Bahereh Khodadoost and Walter Heath.
Raku Firing Workshop
Workshop given by Bahereh Khodadoost and Walter Heath.
Art Education Seminar
In-service seminar given by Bahereh Khodadoost and Walter Heath for Stroudsburg Area School District art teachers.
Studio Visit Field Trips
A series of eight in-studio, hands-on clay experiences given to area Girl Scout Troops by Bahereh Khodadoost and Walter Heath.
Two classroom clay workshops given at Plainfield Elementary School by Bahereh Khodadoost and Walter Heath.
Visiting Artist Residencies / Pennsylvania Council of the Arts
- A Family of Artists, Stroudsburg, PA, August, 1996
- Greenwood High School, Millerstown, PA, April, 1997
Glaze & Clay Technology Workshops (2) / Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen
Pen Argyl, PA
- August, 1987
Pittsburg State University
GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT: Fall 1986- Design I. Spring 1987- Art for Elementary Teachers.
GUEST LECTURER: Summer 1987- “THE ELECTRONIC PAINT BRUSH I & II. Graduate / Undergraduate computer graphics and video workshops.
- July, 1986
Crowder Community College
Ceramics, Introduction To The Visual Arts, Drawing & Design.
CLAY INSTRUCTOR - Adults (Handbuilding / Clay & Glaze Research)
Summers of 1987
Pittsburg State University
-SUMMIT VIDEO/ART WORKSHOPS, GIFTED CHILDREN’S WORKSHOPS
-VISUAL VISIONS, CHILDREN’S VIDEO/ART WORKSHOPS
6 Glaze & Clay Technology Workshops
Tulsa International Mayfest Raku Workshop
HONORS & AWARDS
Philbrook Museum Art School
First Place Award- Sculpture
Music Motif Exhibition- Antoine Dutot Museum/ Delaware Water Gap, PA.
Second Place Award- Sculpture
Monroe County Arts Council Annual Members Exhibition
Graduate Dean’s Scholastic Honors List
Pittsburg State University, KS
Research Grant from
Oklahoma Arts & Humanities Council
To develop new glazes and clay bodies at medium temperatures (cone6 oxidation)
Member of Pennsylvania Guild of Craftspersons
- Juried Artist- 1996-98 Directory of Pennsylvania Artists
& Folklorists/State of PA Council on the Arts
- Member - Monroe County Arts Council of PA
- Juried Artist of Pennsylvania Made Crafts
CURRENT ART REPRESENTATIVES
- Tideline Gallery,
- Grassroots Handcrafts, Newark, DE
- White Birch Gallery, Easton, PA
- Pa-Made Craft Gallery, Zeleinoplel, PA
- Legends Gallery, Bethlehem, PA
- Designer Crafts On Main, Stroudsburg, PA
- Pennsylvania Crafts Gallery, Bushkill, PA
- Scarborough Faire VM, Allentown, PA
- C. Leslie Smith, Allentown, PA
-Sky Top Lodge Gallery, Sky Top, Pa. Spring 1997.
- Pocono Record Gallery, Stroudsburg, Pa., Summer 1997.
- Pocono Cinema Gallery, East Stroudsburg, Pa., Summer 1997.
- ‘FACES AND FELINES’,
a three-person exhibition of clay mask and cat images by Bahereh
Khodadoost, Walter Heath, and Sienna Mae Heath. White Birch Gallery, Easton,
Pa. July 1997.
- Two-Person Show/ The Antoine Dutot Museum and Gallery, an exhibition of clay objects by Bahereh Khodadoost and Walter Heath. Delaware Water Gap, Pa. July 1997.
video, computer sound, and computer graphics, The Rhodes Gallery, Alfred University/ School of Ceramic Design, April 24-26, 1988, Alfred, N.Y.
- ‘POTS AND PIXELS’, an exhibition of paintings, ceramics, and computer images by Walter and Bahereh Heath, Student Gallery, Alfred University / School of Ceramic Design, April 17-19, 1988, Alfred, New York.
- ‘THE RAYON STORY’, a multi-media planetarium presentation by Walter Heath and Sami Al-Jamea. Original story with musical sound track and projected computer images. Kelce Planetarium, Pittsburg State University, December 10-13, 1986 and May 11-14, 1987. Pittsburg, Kansas.
- ‘GRADUATE EXHIBITION OF WALTER HEATH’, a one-man show, Whitsitt Gallery, Pittsburg State University, May 7-30, 1987. Pittsburg, Kansas.
- ‘CERAMIC EXHIBITION BY WALTER AND BAHEREH HEATH’, Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium Gallery, February 1987. Pittsburg, KS.
- Crain / Wolov
Gallery, 1985-1986, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- The Center Art Gallery, 1984-1985, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- The 53rd Plaza Art Fair, 1984, Kansas City, Missouri.
- The Marshall-Field’s Gallery, 1984, Chicago, ILL.
- Tulsa International Mayfest, 1983-1984, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- The 26th Annual Art Fair on the Square, 1984, Madison, WISC.
- Tulsa Designer Craftsmen Exhibitions, 1981-1984, Tulsa, OKLA.
- The 52nd Plaza Art Fair, 1983, Kansas City, Missouri.
- The Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, 1983, Okla. City, Ok.
- The 24th Annual Art Fair on the Square, 1982, Madison, WISC.
- The Omaha Summer Arts Festival, 1982, Omaha, Nebraska.
- The 11th Annual Houston Arts Festival, 1982, Houston, Texas.
- The Clay Bowl Invitational- Johnson Atelier, 1981, Tulsa, Ok.
- 20th Century Icons, Philbrook Art Center, 1981, Tulsa, Ok.
- The National Contemporary American Crafts Invitational, The Signature Art Gallery, 1981, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Oklahoma Designer Craftsmen Exhibition, 1978, Oklahoma City.