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Raymond Salvatore Harmon
Birth name Raymond Salvatore Harmon
Born April 7, 1974(1974-04-07)
Jackson, Michigan
Nationality American
Field experimental film, record production, painter, composer
Influenced by Harry Everett Smith, Stan Brakhage, Thomas Vaughan, William Gibson, Nam June Paik, Joseph Cornell,

Raymond Salvatore Harmon (April 7, 1974) is an American cross-genre media artist, painter, filmmaker, sound artist, and record producer. His work in new media and experimental film touches aspects of anthropological study, philosophic discourse, and contemporary art. His preferred media extend from performance-based 16 mm and 8 mm film to video circuit-bending and analog feedback installations, as well as sound and visual conceptual installations and guerrilla media actions.[1]

Contents

Biography

Born in Jackson, Michigan in 1974 Raymond Salvatore Harmon has lived widely throughout the US (New York - NY, Savannah - GA, Ann Arbor, Louisville - KY, Eugene - OR, among many other locations). Harmon currently resides in London, UK.[2]

Over the course of the past ten years Harmon has been developing and evolving the theoretical and practical applications of non object oriented art. Utilizing new media, web based content and interactive architecture in coordination with public performance, graffiti style ad bombing, and web based social engineering Harmon's work has carved out an over arching form of contemporary media insurgency.[1]

His work has been reviewed in numerous magazines/publications, most recently in the LA Times, TimeOut London, Chicago Tribune, Flux Magazine, Signal to Noise, The Wire, New York Times, Pop Matters, All About Jazz, Downbeat, Jazztimes, Point of Departure, Foxy Digitalis, among others.

His work has been presented and screened at hundreds of festivals and galleries throughout the world including - The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Unsound Festival - Krakow, Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, Copenhagen International Documentary Festival, Artist Television Access, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Cement Media Festival, Athens International Film Festival, RAW Tempel - Berlin, Axiom Theater, Northwest Film Forum, Ann Arbor Film Festival, The Horse Hospital, among others.[3][4]

Harmon has produced highly acclaimed records from artists such as Chicago Underground Trio, Andrew Bird, Jim Baker, Josh Abrams, Rob Mazurek, Kalaparush Maurice McIntyre, as well as collaborated on projects with Alan Licht, Jeb Bishop, Frank Rosaly, Keefe Jackson, David Grubbs, John Olson (Wolfeyes), the Magik Markers, Spires that in the Sunset Rise, among others.[5]

As an experimental filmmaker his work is abstract, often accompanied by his own electronic compositions as well as those of his various collaborators. His recent works include spray paint based painting, full scale immersive video and sound environments, large format digital prints that are then hand manipulated and painted on, and live video performances.[6]

Harmon has performed improvised video with numerous musical groups from a diverse background including Exploding Star Orchestra[7], Rob Mazurek, Blood on the Wall, Diplo, Wolf Parade, Chicago Underground Trio, Birth Refusal, Mandarin Movie, Dave Phillips, HATI, Mikrokolektyw, Jason Forrest among others.

Many of Harmon's films contain layered subliminal content, the source of this content is often derived from occult and mystical texts. Utilizing texts such as the Gates of Light (an early work of Hebraic mysticism, kabbalah) and Aleister Crowley's Book of Lies, Harmon's occult based films work as advanced meditative tools for use in occult rituals and the expansion of the conscious mind.[8]

Compared to experimental film maker Stan Brakhage and the painter Mark Rothko, Harmon's use of abstract imagery is more directly influenced by the works of Harry Smith (both as a filmmaker and archivist) and Nam June Paik. Much of the philosophical discourse concerning the alchemical/mystical influences in Harmon's occult filmworks (YHVH, Tree of Knowledge/Tree of Life, Elementals) mentions the works of 17th century English author Thomas Vaughan and the anonymous 13th century English mystical text The Cloud of Unknowing[9][10]

Timeline

On September 21 2009 Harmon's video for Thom Yorke's "The Hollow Earth" was released. The film utilizes images of the street artist Banksy.[11] The video garnered heavy press attention (NME, SPIN, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, etc) due to a press release stating erroneously that it was an 'official' video. Youtube pulled the video from distribution after 3 days (and 52,400 views) due to copyright claims by Yorke.

On June 13, 2009 Harmon premiered a new cinematic occult ritual "Liber Israfel" based on the work of the same name by Aleister Crowley. He was accompanied by Rob Mazurek in the role of Israfel performing on coronet.

In May 2009 Harmon premiered a new exhibition of his paintings at Secret Project Robot Gallery in Williamsburg Brooklyn NYC title "Dweller on the Threshold"

In 2009 Harmon created the Equinox Festival, a 3 day media arts fest dedicated to contemporary spiritual discovery and mystical tradition. The festival took place June 12-14 in London UK.

In January, 2009 PAJ published an article by Harmon titled "On the Nature of Light: The Cinematic Experience as Occult Ritual"

On November 11, 2008 Harmon premiered Hypnotic Brutality, a new music performance film with the American noise band Wolf Eyes, at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival.[3]

In September, 2008 Harmon presented the first public performance of his transcendental film Sigils of the Heptameron.

On March 7, 2008 Harmon presented a 3 channel video performance of Aleister Crowleys Rites of Eleusis.[12][13]

In November–December 2007 Harmon toured and lectured in Europe, performing improvised video with Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra, and conceptualizing several new works to be unveiled in 2008.

In December 2007 Harmon was invited by Prof. Ryszard W. Kluszczynski to lecture at the University of Lodz.

In April 2007 he celebrated the release of Chronicle, a feature length music performance of the Chicago Underground Trio. Which had its theatrical premiere at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival in November.[14]

From October 2005 to October 2006 Harmon was the visiting Director of the DANK German Cultural Center in Chicago. His programs were featured in Timeout Chicago, Chicago Tribune, MetroMix, Chicago Reader, WGN TV, among others.

In October 2003 Harmon was invited to lecture at the University of Oregon and to present a new film piece commissioned for the occasion "The Three Stigmata of Marshal McLuhan"

In April 2002 Harmon launched the [Betasound online record label. Whose free online catalog contains works by artists such as Luc Ferrari, Derek Bailey, Noël Akchoté, Mats Gustafsson, David Grubbs, Frank Rosaly, Joe Daley Trio among many others.

In February 2001 Harmon was invited to be a guest of the Cement Media Festival in Eindhoven, Netherlands. He presented his large scale video installation Dreamlife of Sleeping Buildings at the Technical University of Eindhoven. This curated installation piece included video works by Brian Frye, Kenneth Eisenstein, Eve Heller, Sean Capone (Positron), Alexander Horn, Andrew Personnette, Suji, and Randy Lee Sutherland.[15]

Lectures

Title Location Date
On the Nature of Light: The Cinematic Experience as Occult Ritual Secret Project Robot Gallery, Brooklyn NY May 17, 2009
Painted in Light: Experimental Film and the Advent of Improvised Cinema University of Lodz, Poland December 2007
Painted in Light: Experimental Film and the Advent of Improvised Cinema Goldsmiths University, London, UK February 2008 [16]
Transcendental Cinema: Abstract Light and the Nature of Visual Meditation New Nothing Cinema, San Francisco CA July 2007
An Empire of Signs Without Meaning: Marshall McLuhan and the Media Revolution University of Oregon, Cultural Forum - Eugene, OR October 2003
Evolution vs. Revolution: Socio-communicative Developments Inside the Art Paradigm Expressions School of New Media - Oakland, CA June 2002
Sublimate the Pretext: Delineation of Familiar Architectural Roles in our Environment Cement Media Festival - Eindhoven, Holland February 2001
Implementing a Dialog: Proposal for Corporate Curatorial Program of Media Art Royal Philips Laboratories, Eindhoven, Holland August 2000
Unpremeditated Appearance : Context and Content in Film Presentation Around the Coyote Arts Festival - Chicago, IL May 2000
Deviational Iconography and the Blank Screen: A Search for the Pure Image Carnagie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA May 1999
Cumulative Response: The Manifestation of Technology in Public Art New School of Art, Marin, CA October 1998
Environmental Sound Design and the Virtual Installation Jackson Community College, Jackson, MI November 1997
The Dynamics of Social Change: The De-evolution of Art in America Olivet College, Olivet, MI July 1993

Exhibitions/Installations (selected)

Title Venue Location Date Notes
Dweller on the Threshold Secret Project Robot Gallery Brooklyn NY May 2009 [17]
Transcendental Territories Inspire Fine Art Chicago Apr 2007
Isolated Instances Heaven Gallery Chicago, IL Jul 2004
Isolated Instances Open End Gallery Chicago, IL Feb 2004
Oneirographers Closet Feitico Gallery Chicago, IL Aug 2001 micro-installation exhibition
Dreamlife of Sleeping Buildings Technical University Eindhoven Eindhoven, Holland Feb 2001 video installation[15]
Subliminal Scores for Improvisational Spaces Around the Coyote Festival Chicago, IL Sep 2000
Les Fantomes de Lumiere Chicago Underground Film Festival Chicago, IL Aug 2000 film improvisation
Sprayed On In Light Outerpretation Media Chicago, IL Sep 1997 interactive video performance
24fps Gallery 114 New York, NY Nov 1996 exhibition

Filmography

Curation

Converging Histories: New Media works by Miroslaw Rogala and Rob Mazurek
(05/10 - 06/04 2006 DANK Museum - Rough Space Gallery, Chicago)

Conquer the Sky: The Life of Ferdinand von Zeppelin
(07/07 - 08/04 2006 DANK Museum - Sharpenberg Gallery, Chicago)

Something's Out There - Harold Arts Residency (group show)
(09/25 - 10/10 2006 DANK Museum - Rough Space Gallery, Chicago)

Alternate Currents: Images By, For, and About Music
(Empty Bottle, Chicago : August - December 2005

Rob Mazurek (August)
John Olson (September)
Guillermo Gregorio (October)
Carly Ptak (December)

Subliminal Subversion: Highlights from the 2003 Chicago Underground Film Festival
(Select Media Festival - Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago Nov 2003)

Album Production

Harmon has worked as a record producer for over ten years, primarily for the Delmark Records label. Additionally Harmon is the director of the Betasound internet label.

Rob Mazurek Quintet - Sound Is (Delmark 586) - 2009

Bog - The Philosopher's Stone (Bewhiched 289) - 2008

Chicago Underground Trio - Chronicle (Delmark 578) - 2007

Jim Baker - More Questions than Answers (Delmark 562) - 2005

Kalaparusha and the Light - Morning Song (Delmark 553) - 2004

Josh Abrams Quartet - Cipher (Delmark 547) - 2003

Subliminal 3 - Decidedly Against Going (Bewhiched 258) - 2002

Kevin O'Donnells Quality Six - Control Freak (Delmark 511) - 2000

Kevin O'Donnells Quality Six - Heretic Blues (Delmark 521) - 1999

Ein Sof - When We Tried We Failed (Bewhiched 201) - 1999

References

  1. ^ a b [1] PAJ Issue 91 pp 91-96
  2. ^ [2] PE3L Magazine Interview
  3. ^ a b [3] cphdox.dk Wolfeyes Hypnotic Brutality
  4. ^ [4] cphdox.dk Chicago Underground Trio - Chronicle
  5. ^ [5] Pendu Magazine interview
  6. ^ [6] Celluloid Bough interview 04/04
  7. ^ [7] ESO Poland
  8. ^ [8] Jack Sargeant Fortean Times
  9. ^ [9] Brakhage
  10. ^ [10] BadLit interview
  11. ^ [11] NME The Hollow Earth
  12. ^ Jack Sargeant, The Cinema of Illumination Fortean Times
  13. ^ The Horse Hospital: Raymond Salvatore Harmon
  14. ^ [12] cphdox.dk Chicago Underground Trio - Chronicle
  15. ^ a b [13] Dreamlife of Sleeping Buildings - Cursor
  16. ^ [14] Goldsmiths - Thursday Club Lecture series
  17. ^ [15] Dweller in Free Williamsburg

External links

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