The following is a post to David Thornburg, an artist with a philosophical bent I met early in 1980s through YLEM gatherings in the San Francisco Bay Area. The UILIST is devoted to issues connected with U&I Software products, easily the best of breed in the generative art domain. Generative art systems (even those with incredible depth) can produce (many wagon hoppers like to think of it as "create") output relatively easily just by skimming along the surface of the system. Since I've been designing, exploring, and teaching generative electronic art systems as creative vehicles for my own work and that of others since the 1960s (long before they became popular in art circles) I have a special interest in studying the natures of those who now find themselves attracted to generative art systems. A simple straightforward technique for breaking through the conventional shells of wagon hoppers to probe their natures is to challenge their philosophical positions even though they may not realize they're expressing one. Frequently today the wake-up calls of challenges elicit yelps and whines. And that's because culturally we find ourselves in the midst of several generations of people who've emerged from an academic system that taught them that philosophical challenges of any sort were best avoided and to be considered politically incorrect to the extreme. The context for what follows is that I'd been rattling a cage on the UILIST.
From: Ron Pellegrino
Subject: Re: UILIST: Artmatic about-face...
Thanks for the kind words. I'm of the mind that those who know should tell. I believe that notion is an evolutionary imperative. I also realize my "wake up" style of communication doesn't necessarily appeal to everyone but I also believe that if your heart's in the right place you need to be true to yourself. Again, I think the evolution of human consciousness is tied to that principle of being true to yourself. And it's not that I'm unwilling to mince words from time to time - there's plenty of forethought in my statements - but I find that the older I get the more direct I get, more than likely a function of age as your time flies. That's also my approach to pruning trees and I always end up giving loads of fruit to family and friends.
David's post to the UILIST:
"H'mmm, Must have missed something -- Ron's comments didn't seem the least bit condescending to me. I think he was right on the mark. This group is wonderful because of the tremendous diversity in opinions and experience. As for Ron's "doing" (as opposed to teaching) it was one of his concerts in the 1970's that brought him to my attention. I brought my son to see/hear his pioneering work with laser images controlled by synthesizers, and -- as a direct result -- my son Harvey started what has become a lifelong interest in electronic music (in which he is currently getting his Ph.D. from Stanford).
The fact is that Ron has touched many lives over the years -- more than he probably knows -- and we who have the joy of working in this field owe him a tremendous debt. I am honored to have known Ron, and have never found him to be condescending.
Warm regards to all,
"I thought the residency and performance event came off beautifully,
thanks to your finely tuned sense of organization and your ever
forthcoming creativity. Many students took away the idea that
it´s ok to take artistic risks and to be willing to experiment.
I hope your next show goes so well!"
-Professor John Russell, composer and Music Department Chair at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
"Your concert last night blew me away...Thank you so much for inviting
me to participate the night before. It was a thrill to be part
of your program."
-Rolliana Scheckler, http://www.harpsinger.com/
"We´ve all been enjoying lots of discussion generated by your
visit, the resultant student/faculty collaborations, etc. Clearly,
there was, and will continue to be, a great deal of learning associated
with your visit, and I can´t imagine a better way to define the
success of such a residency."
-Dr. Ed Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Music, Wabash College
"Ron Pellegrino, an electronic arts pioneer, joined forces with
other artists Friday night to present an intriguing evening of
music and visual images."
-09/18/99 Wisconsin State Journal.
"On behalf of YLEM, let me thank you for a terrific YLEM Forum - one of our most
-Trudy Myrrh Reagan, Founder of YLEM
"Pellegrino had us all enthralled."
-Palo Alto Weekly
"Pellegrino is an organizer of unique and memorable events...His
work with lasers is fascinating...His live performances have a
strong visual-dramatic sense...First-rate!"
-Dr. Edwin London, Composer and Conductor of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.
"A virtuoso display of images"
-New York Times
"You set a standard for future artists-in-residence that will
indeed be difficult to maintain. Students and faculty alike were
enthusiastic in their praise of your talent and energy. I know
the students who were part of your Saturday night concert had
an experience they´ll long remember with pride."
-Dr. Mona J. Gardner, 1996 May Term Director and Associate Dean of Faculty, Illinois Wesleyan University
"A master at demystifying technology and the arts"
"Dr. Pellegrino treated us to a marvelous lecture...an amusing,
-Suzanne Saunders, Cyberguide and Virtual Reporter reviewing the presentation, "Excellence in Multimedia Audio: Principles, Tools and Techniques" given to the North Bay Multimedia Association
"It was a pleasure working with you. I found your presentations
very thought-provoking; they have and will continue to lead me
into new areas of awareness in both my teaching and performance."
-Dr. Robert Kehrberg, Chair, Department of Music, Western Carolina University.
"Wonderful residence...everyone has been positive and highly enthusiastic...people
will be talking about your work for a long time...I must say what
a great time we all had."
-Dr. William Stacy, Composer, University of Wyoming.
"Pellegrino´s works reflect his interest in psycho-acoustics and
psycho-optics. His main concerns are the composition of sound
and light structures derived from common electronic sources...and
the creation of works whose sonic and visual aspects are fully
integrated...He has developed a theory of music based on the structure
and behavior of wave and vibrations, which he calls ´cymatic music´.
-The New GROVE Dictionary of Music in the United States, 1986.
"Cutting edge of the new music"
-KCBS, San Francisco
"A wonderful three days...I have heard nothing but positive comments
on your work and the intermedia event...It was truly inspirational...You
communicate so well with the tools of our age...sensitive and
artistic...It surely has opened my eyes to the future."
-Professor Robert Ensor, William Woods College
"A true artist"
-Bonn Kultur Forum
"The San Francisco State University community was quite taken
with your event...It moved many onlookers to consider new ways
to think about the linkages between image, sound, and movement."
-Professor Stephen Wilson, Multimedia Artist, San Francisco State University.
"The environment (Metabiosis V) was fantastic, memorable and,
in a unique way, religious."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Great presentation! You opened people´s minds as well as their
ears and eyes."
-Fred Stitt, Architect and Conference Producer
"Wonderful presentation...A unique experience for our community."
-Dr. William Bunch, Chair, Department of Fine Arts, Del Mar College
"Pellegrino is a gifted and inspired teacher."
-Dr. Harold Luce, Chair, Department of Music, Texas Tech University
"An excellent workshop!...Stimulating!...The presentations provided
food for a lot of thought...The extent and depth of Ron Pellegrino´s
experience and knowledge in this relatively new area are remarkable!"
-Music Department Chairs of the California State University after attending a week-long workshop organized and taught by Pellegrino on "A Computer/Electronic Approach to the Theory of Music for the 1990s [and beyond]"
"Ron Pellegrino has been working with electronic music and visuals since 1967, including work with synthesizers, oscillographics, interactive sound and light environments, film, video, laser projections and computer animation. Pellegrino's web site is filled with interesting articles on installations and performances he has done." - ARTdacious ARCHIVE of sites featured in "WOW! HAVE YOU SEEN THIS!?"
"mr. pellegrino, i must congratulate you on an excellent web site. i stayed long and learned much. thank you, thank you!" - nathan, firstname.lastname@example.org (nathan.artist)
"A wonderful website indeed!...So I just thought I´d say hello, and thanks for the pleasing and inspiring website." - Laurie Spiegel, composer and visual music pioneer
"What an extraordinary service to have all of this information collected in one place! A recent escapee from grad school, I´m now teaching music composition and technology at CU Boulder. We're building a $ 26,000,000 arts/technology center (over the next four years). In helping to sort out ideas for new courses/programs of study, it has struck me over and over how visual music is such a wonderful synthesis of so many fields." - Michael Theodore <email@example.com>
"Ron Pellegrino´s excellent Visual Music Site." - Synesthesia, Multimedia & the Caves of Altamira*, http://www.cel.sfsu.edu/msp/Instructors/rey/synesth.html
"Great stuff on music visualization" - Stephen Wilson, Professor of Art <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Blown away by your site...I sort of found my way laterally into the issue of visual music through my interest/research in avant-garde film. I am now trying to both expand my knowledge of what´s been done, what´s being done, and to try and pursue my own creative experimentation...My thoughts are still at a nascent level, but your site looks like an incredibly helpful resource in my own process of orientation." - kevin fisher <email@example.com>
"Ron Pellegrino and The Electronic Arts of Sound and Light, Some really interesting ideas and information here." - http://www.floating-world.com/links.html
"Hot Web Links to check out. Visual Music --multimedia artist Ron Pellegrino´s pages and links in this intriguing area of combining sight and sound." - http://www.mixonline.com/
"hello...just looking over your website...excellent work. I am currently writing my dissertation and producing a series of animated visuals..." - Zara Bullock, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"I checked out your very interesting page about visual music." - Evgenij Barsoukov, Korean researcher, <email@example.com>
"Outra visita interessante é à sala de discussÕes eletrônicas sobre a poluição sonora e a capacidade do ouvido de agüentar o excesso de ruìdos, criada por um especialista em mùsica eletrônica, Ron Pellegrino." - http://www.agestado.com.br/virtual/liana/liana155.htm
"What a superb amount of information you´ve made available." - James & Cait, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a web site called THE CREATIVE PROCESS that is mostly based on links to various pieces on this site. In this context appropriation functions as a compliment.
Booking information and comments.
©1996-2004 Ron Pellegrino and Electronic Arts Productions. All rights reserved.