Art of Music pays tribute to those who appreciate, collect and make handmade record art. It emphasizes the care in producing “a total work of art” in which the music becomes part of a synthesis including visual and audio representation in regards to style, fashion and the underground. The show features hundreds of handmade, original, and limited edition Record, tape and CD covers, from various artists, collectors, labels and bands- spanning across a variety of eras, genres and styles.
With work from Lightning Bolt, Paper Rad, Scritti Politti, 100 Flowers, Dan Seltzer/Acute Records, Kayrock Screenprinting, Social Registry, Troubleman, Hanna of Little Cakes, Barry London, Bill Bronson, Joe Show of WFMU, Erik Z., War Slut, kara bohnenstiel,USA is a Monster, Sonic Youth, NINJA, black dice, Gang Gang Dance, Vietnam,Oneida, EX-Models, Silt Breeze Records, Skull flower, Neil Hamburger, Mikey Wild, The Triple-C, Endometriosis, Dead C, Mike Goodstein, Allison Awesome color, Diego, Casey of EAT Records, and many, many more
Through out the modern era music has tended to follow, at varying degrees, two paths, the mainstream and the underground. The latter tends to speak to a set of ideals and beliefs about the direction of subculture. Though it comes from different political and social ambitions underground music ranging from early jazz to punk to experimental noise has always depicted a necessity for change. Thus making music an equalizer, a language in which the “hip” from varying styles can communicate their recognized dissatisfaction with the status-quo. But, beyond the music, there is a particular aesthetic associated with the underground, be it silk screening, xerox copies, brown bags, hand drawn, letter pressed- there is a sense of love put into the work- not just the music but the entire work of art, the fashion, the show.
Gesamtkunstwerk-or “a total work of art” was a term coined by Richard Wagner, while describing his dissatisfaction with the turn of the century opera scene. In his mind it was sadly lacking all the parts needed to fully move the viewer to catharsis, he imagined that a Gesamtkunstwerk would take the musical, visual, and performance aspects into synthesis.
The term was also used by the Vienna Secessionists who objected to the conservatism of mainstream art and wanted to create objects outside the confines of academic tradition. Their style is known for it’s attention to detail and ornamentation that kept to the idea that “to every age its art and to art its freedom.” Making them a forerunner of the underground movements that altered history through out the twentieth century.
In the Art of Music Secret Project Robot emphasizes the totality of the scene. The idea that a group of artists, musicians, collectors, labels and viewers, take time to create, find, and purchase music that is also art that also speaks to a particular aesthetic of style and people- and a desire for more. It is representative of a group that appreciates the time and effort it takes to make each piece by hand.
The Art of Music celebrates that one may purchase a record containing original art by many famous artists and musicians for affordable prices- make collecting part of the the Gesamtkunstwerk, and the underground.