As I'm editing this interview, I'm actually listening to Naples, Italy-based Roberto Pugliese's unusual and innovative work www.robertopugliese.com. He's not a musician, nor is he a disk jockey. He's a highly-talented, sound artist who creates innovative, visual and aural exhibitions around the world. For some reason, he kept emailing me about himself and his work and I'm glad that he did. He's definitely worth listening to and chatting with as you'll see in our chat below.
MICHAEL: Hi Roberto! First of all, let me say Italian artists rock! You are a conceptual artist who works with sound. What do you call what you do? How do you describe it?
ROBERTO: Thanks for the rock! I do not like the definitions because they often end up making something that is not catalogued. My work starts from a concept and uses technology to be represented. I especially use my knowledge of sound to express myself more fully. Certainly the visual part of my work has as much importance. I am convinced that the technology has its own charm and should not be seen only as a means to achieve an outcome. In this way, in a completely automatic and natural sense, my work merges concept, audible and visual appearance.
MICHAEL: So, you're a conceptual artist! What is it about sound that you like so much? Is sound really that important?
ROBERTO: Surely the sound is important, as are all of our senses. The characteristics of the sound manage to be extremely evocative and manage to immerse the person into a parallel reality, in few seconds. That's why my installations are usually big, so the sound coming from different sources is able to incorporate all of the viewer's perceptive ability.
MICHAEL: How do you approach your sound installations? Is sound like a painting or a sculpture or is it like water that flows around a room?
ROBERTO: In my case, the approach is based on four inseparable parameters. The sound that I'm going to develop, the shape from which I want the sound to come from, the technology I need to develop the work and the interaction with the space that will host the work. A sound is never absolute, but is always contextualized in a space. I try to get the best sound possible in the space available to me by being tied to the concept of acoustic ecology.
MICHAEL: So you're basically talking about reverb, echo and how sounds fill a space and bounce off walls, right? I would imagine that in a way you're like a DJ. Am I right?
ROBERTO: I am not a DJ. I am an author of both the sounds that are projected into the space and of the software that I use for my installations. It is not reverbs, echoes and or similar, but complex sounds that are often made based on real-time data coming from different sources and are wrapped weather data, data from the internet and other sources.
MICHAEL: Your work combines art with technology. Is that difficult? How do you make it work with sound? Is it a passion-filled process?
ROBERTO: Man always uses technology to create art. The term "technology," is a compound word that literally translates to "discourse (or argument) about art." The very common brush of a painter or chisel sculptures are technological tools that help the artist in his work, as are cameras or video cameras. Technology becomes an extension of the hands and the mystical power of the artist and help me find a meeting point between the sound and my artistic purpose. I think of sounds and complementary visual solutions that then materialize through technological devices.
MICHAEL: Very cool Roberto. You are indeed a very innovative and unique artist. Rock on Bro!
If you would like to actually hear and see Roberto's work, check out his website at www.robertopugliese.com.