Harmony of the Spheres
Beginning March 1st, 2014 Zeitgeist Gallery will present HARMONY OF THE SPHERES, a multidisciplinary project by Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis which uses the process of creating and subsequently destroying vinyl records as metaphor for the creation and destruction of the cosmos. The title of the exhibition refers to an ancient Greek belief in a connection between the movements of celestial bodies, namely the sun, moon, and planets which creates a form of music, manifesting in numbers, visual angles, shapes and sounds. Vinyl was chosen by the artists as an ideal material to work with for it’s physical characteristics and conceptual significance. Vinyl is essentially a form of compressed carbon - the building block of the universe itself.
Working closely with United Record Pressing (which is just down the street from Zeitgeist) to produce a limited edition LP record*, the artists carefully examine each step of the process from raw pvc pellets to the finished product. Beginning with the creation of 500 black and 500 white records without sound grooves, these blank disks will be thrown against the gallery wall in a violent, performative action. A portion of these broken pieces will be reprocessed into swirled black and white records containing the sounds of their own destruction. The show also contains works related to various stages of the vinyl making process including photographs, photograms, videos, and sculptures which approximate celestial entities such as planets, galaxies, and meteorites.
HARMONY OF THE SPHERES is a meditation on an evolving process, which yields results through every rotation, mixing ancient philosophy along with modern scientific theories such as the point of singularity and big bang theory. This type of interplay is part of Cooley and Lewis’ creative practice, which drives their work into unexpected territory. They set out to understand the boundaries and limitations of materiality while often pushing their experiments to the point where the media begins to fall apart and breakdown. At the point of ruin, they engage in the process of putting it back together both in physical and in conceptual terms, much like the universe itself.
This is the first solo exhibition of collaborative works by Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis in Tennessee. Both artists were in residence at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, (Omaha, NE) where they met and began working together. Cooley and Lewis' first collaborative commission Through the Skies for You won the 3-D Award at ArtPrize 2013 (Grand Rapids, MI). Their exhibition Unexplored Territories was on view at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles from January through February 2014.
Phillip Andrew Lewis is an artist based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is a recipient of a 2012 Creative Capital Grant for his ongoing project SYNONYM. He received a Tennessee Individual Artist Fellowship in 2008. Lewis is the co-founder of Medicine Factory in Memphis and currently teaches Photography and Media Art at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Kevin Cooley is a Los Angeles-based artist. He recently opened his first solo museum exhibition Kevin Cooley: Elements at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. Cooley's photographs were recently acquired by the 21c Museum (Louisville, KY), and he is a 2013 recipient of a Center for Cultural Innovation ARC Grant (Los Angeles, CA).
*HARMONY OF THE SPHERES limited edition record will be available for purchase early April 2014