Phillip Stearns
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The Remnants series is a collection of sketches: scans of configurations of cable ties half tossed randomly onto the surface of a scanner and some more deliberately positioned arrangements.

As an artist working in electronics, producing larger scale installations that require lengths of wires to be bound together, zip ties or cables ties are a necessary evil.   Once trimmed, these cable ties leave behind plastic fragments as waste.  I have been saving these clippings for the past two years---the collection growing with each installation---beginning when, at the end of a long night in the studio binding the wires for a particularly cable tie intensive project, I found the floor littered with hundreds of fragments.  I gathered them up, but couldn’t bring myself to simply throw them out.  An uneasy sense came over me at the thought of relegating these bits to the landfill—karmic guilt perhaps.  Each one of these zip tie fragments is so much like a blade of grass, only these will last a thousand lifetimes.

Date: 2011

Phillip Stearns
Phillip Stearns - Photo by Yao Chung-Han

Phillip Stearns uses electronics to create phenomenological works of light and sound. Deconstruction, dissection, and reconfiguration are methods he commonly employs in his hands-on approach to creating works using electronics. Through the application of extended techniques for electronic media, the circuit is explored as a means for sculpting electricity. His creative praxis is aimed at revealing hidden macrocosms of potential, new materials for expression, and new paths for inquiries into understanding the state of things. In his work with technology, the machine is understood as the living manifestation of human intentions where the development and application of our technologies, machines and tools reveals our desires and dreams—both conscious and unconscious.

Phillip Stearns received his MFA in music composition and integrated media from the California Institute of Arts in 2007 and his BS in music technology from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2005. His work has been exhibited internationally at electronics arts festivals, museums, and galleries including: The Photographer’s Gallery London (2012), The Camera Club of New York (2012), Eyebeam (2012, 2007), Harvestworks (2010 NYC); (2010 Chicago, IL); Festival De Arte Digital (2010 Belo Horizonte, Brazil); FILE (2009 Sao Paulo, Brazil); NIME (2009 Pittsburgh, PA); Filmer La Musique (2009 Paris, France); FONLAD (2009 Coimbra, Portugal); Torrance Art Museum (2008, 2007 Los Angeles, CA); Optica Film Festival (2011, 2008 Spain). He has participated in residencies at Museums Quartier (Vienna 2010), STEIM (Amsterdam 2007), Experimental Television Center (NY 2009), Harvestworks (NY 2010), is the current AIRTime Fellow at Free103Point9 for the 2010-2011 cycle, and curator for the 8th annual Bent Festival (2011).