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Exhibition - Stores at the Mall: The Strange Sonic World of Peter Blasser


November 13 - December 31, 2019 Free

Rhizome is excited to host the first comprehensive survey and exhibition of the works of sound artist and synthesizer-maker Peter Blasser. The show will include a brand new paper circuit-assemblage that Peter will be making on site at Rhizome beginning on November 10 (stop by and say hi!) . There will be an opening reception on November 13 at 9pm, immediately following the Sound Art: Revisited book discussion with Alan Licht. The exhibition will remain on view until the end of December.

“Spend a decade making analog synthesizers, and never ask why; a computer can easily generate triangle, square and rounded sine waves, but you know they are not the same. Perhaps, seek out the difference in what makes circuits sound alive, or graph the patterns of flow to generate visuals  - circuit diagrams, schematics, or allegorical depictions. The art is always drawn by hand. The gray analog logic creeps into all aspects of the synth business, questioning binary thinking or dogmatism. 

The outcome of these years- strange namings and strange sounds- bears fruit in the hands of experimental musicians. Some instruments remain stubbornly idiosyncratic pieces in themselves; others allow core concepts- modulation, timbre, tuning- to produce both sound and structure with wide-range controls. 

Full to bursting, the corpus may undergo a process of differentiation, spawning new growth that uses the materials in different ways. Are there any unexplored technologies, or what organs deserve treatment as a separate body? When a virus, having replicated itself inside a cell, ruptures it, this process is called lysis; think of the cultural capital contained in one site as capable of this process through a process of reproductive fiction.”

Peter Blasser is a designer and designer and builder of synthesizers. The instruments manifest electronic modulations through pins, case flexure and radio fields. He also teaches circuit design and instrument building in classes and workshops, culminating in performance or installation. Some paper circuits can be downloaded from his website, printed out and assembled to yield sound objects. The cybernetic interface uses the subtleties of touch, through discrete components, often “woven” together geometrically, to simulate intuitive patterns and chaotic sophistication. Philosophical concepts spur his designs, which acquire a narrative as they refine into essential analogue synthesizers. Peter completed his undergraduate studies in 2002 at Oberlin College with Tom Lopez, Gary Lee Nelson and Pauline Oliveros. In 2015, he completed a Masters in Composition at Wesleyan University, where he studied with David Behrman, Anthony Braxton and Ron Kuivila.