GH Hovagimyan: I have always been involved in language-based Conceptual Art. My early work was a mix of performance and object-based art.
GH Hovagimyan: In the 80's, I took the opposite route: Instead of making art, I became an art dealer in the East Village--though I did continue performing in punk rock bands.
GH Hovagimyan: By the early 90's I started making art again and did a riff on conceptual art that I called faux conceptual art. My "Surveys & Questionnaires Series" and "Faux Conceptual Art Show--Boxed Edition" date from that period. Some of the younger artists I know are making second generation "faux conceptual art " with automated pieces.
GH Hovagimyan: In this work, I'm not a musician, but I'm working with musical ideas. I use the computer both as an instrument and as a compositional tool. In the SoaPOPera series, basically the computer is singing.
GH Hovagimyan: Because the voice recognition software is imperfect, the four computers who make up the performance ensemble--like humans--sometimes misunderstand each other. So, Kathy will say something about sex and Ralph might respond with a comment about politics. Sometimes they break into song--usually a Chuck Berry tune.
GH Hovagimyan: Our SoaPOPeras, now created both for mobile laptops and stationary iMacs, are produced for a digital--not a "record" or a "play-back" culture. Digital art is about rendering in real time, so it's always original; copyright decisions are moot discussions.
GH Hovagimyan: Because of this conceptually-based approach to art, in the normal course of our work, we don't set out to create many art object by-products. But last year, under the auspices of Galerie Aldebaran, we produced a compact disk called The Last Noel avant l'an 2000 (the last Christmas before the year 2000). It's a combination of singing and conversation/commentary on the joys of the season performed by the computer ensemble as choir and as characters.
GH Hovagimyan: Peter and I are currently at work on a piece for the museum in Marseille where the audience will generate the interaction of the players. It's a different physical structure in which the characters reside on a platform. By moving any of them the viewer starts or changes the course of the social interaction between the different characters. If two or more figures are moved on the board at the same time, they will begin a conversation which varies according to various parameters: who is talking to whom, how close they are to each other, how many characters are present or what was the last word pronounced.
View art objects by GH Hovagimyan offered for sale in Biddington's Contemporary Art Gallery. Price range: $50-$5000
For information on acquiring "performance vehicle residue" (the hardware and software used) in creating the SoaPOPera series, please email webmaster or phone Biddington's (Mon-Fri 9-5 EST) at 212 838 3572.
GH Hovagimyan selected recent exhibitions, projects and publications:
2000 Galerie Aldebaran, Baillarge, FRANCE
2000 Avignon Electronique, Avignon, FRANCE
1999 Postmasters, New York, NY
1999 Sound Artists of North America, Musee d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, FRANCE
1998 Les Musiques, Musee d'Art Contemporain, Marseille, FRANCE
1997 Exhibit and panelist for Port-MIT, List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Boston, MA
1997 NY Times, Sunday 4/13 "Listen Up, This is the Internet Talking"
1997 Machined Music on Thing Net Radio
1997 Professor Computer Arts, School of Visual Arts, NYC
1996 Design News 95/96 "Cutting Edge New York"
1996 "Sit-In" ICA Clocktower, NYC
1996 "The Space of Information" Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
1996 Art in America, December '96 "Art Online"
1995 ArtDirect/Sex, Violence & Politics, ThingNet, NYC
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