Tag Archives: Paisley Babylon

StudioLab in 2018

Sound Art Paisley Babylon vinyl turntablism mashupStudioLab has done many kinds of events in its’ run, but the time has come to open the doors to a new kind of artistic experience in the form of sound art, mixed-media performance art, found sound manipulation, and field recording.

That’s why StudioLab is taking 2018 to focus on founder/owner Joe Wallace’s audio project Paisley Babylon in a series of performances featuring five turntables, a variety of effects boxes, video projections and installations, and explorations of themes including America consumerism, religion, politics, and much more as found on vinyl records.

“I am interested in these 12-inch time capsules we call vinyl records as frozen moments in time,” says Joe Wallace, “They’re a lot like paintings in that way, you can experience a specific moment in history even if it’s just one artist’s personal history. I’m fascinated by both the original recordings and their potential to be turned into new works of art through manipulation, appropriation, decontextualization, and reformatting.”

Paisley Babylon has been experimenting with sound since 1997, but the early works relied heavily on cassette tapes rather than vinyl records. Today, Joe Wallace has made vinyl a major part of his focus, but lest people misunderstand his intention, music is not really the main event for Paisley Babylon. “No, music isn’t what I am creating with Paisley Babylon. There are musical elements, to be sure, but the real purpose of the artwork is to go on a sonic journey-take a trip instead of listen to a song.”

Wallace adds, “To be fair, I’ve gone back and forth quite a bit with music in my work, but going forward there is more of a Nurse With Wound style approach to soundscapes rather than what you could call an ideological commitment to musical forms. When I realized that a lot of my favorite music involved some kind of feeling of travel or being in the middle of an experience rather than ‘just a song’ I started trying to feel out how far I could take that notion.”

The first of a series of sound art installations/performance art pieces is scheduled for the first Friday in 2018 at StudioLab, which is on the second floor of the Flatiron Arts Building at 1579 N. Milwaukee in Chicago’s historic Wicker Park neighborhood. Details about the new work are pending including start times, etc.

Joe Wallace Paisley Babylon Art and Music

Mixing Music and Visual Art

 

Joe Wallace Paisley Babylon Art and Music–by Joe Wallace

I’ve been working on a lot of action paintings at StudioLab lately, and after performing last night at CIMMFest as Paisley Babylon, I’ve been thinking about doing a show featuring paintings that each have a soundtrack accompanying them. It wouldn’t always be music–sound design, soundscapes, atmospheres, etc…

I’ve toyed with working on visual art as Paisley Babylon and making the pieces more transmedia…it’s an interesting (to me) concept but I wonder if there’s a harder sell hiding behind a “band name” or stage name as opposed to selling your work as yourself.

Which makes me think that bringing “branding” to art is probably a bad idea. It’s goofy enough that you have to deal with branding as a musician or even as a writer, the idea of having a “brand” as a visual artist (at least in the context of doing shows and trying to go that traditional route more or less) makes me gag a bit. However, I understand that things are just moving in that direction anyway.

It’s a dilemma–do you buck the trend, or do you introduce it and embrace it and make it part of the work? I can’t decide which is worse–seeming like a luddite or joining the fray.

Or maybe I should just not worry about it and do what I do.

I am Joe Wallace. I am a visual artist, multi-media creator, musician, writer and vinyl seller. I have a lot of projects going on at any one time and I am always interested in new collaborations, paying work, and group shows. Get in touch with me at jwallace242@gmail.com