Spring 2021 Studio Arts Visiting Artist series with Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson

Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson 
In Conversation with JoAnna Commandaros
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 | 6:30pm
Zoom event is free and open to the public

Art As Personal Propaganda
Workshop led by Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson
Thursday, April 1, 2021 | 1–3pm
(Workshop full)

The University of Pittsburgh’s Studio Arts department is pleased to announce their Spring 2021 Visiting Artist Series with Pittsburgh–based conceptual sound artist Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson. Iamuuri will be joined in conversation with Studio Arts lecturer JoAnna Commandaros to discuss Iamurri’s creative practice on Wednesday, March 31, at 6:30pm. 

Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson’s works attend to patterns and forms in sound and space, using deep listening techniques and reproduction technologies for engaging sonic influences and reforming social self awareness. He calls this artistic practice “Sonarcheology”—a creative art practice merging improvisational listening with environmental archeology.  By way of this method, the art attempts to relisten to the interrelationships between sound and shape, sonic information and sonic place…or what he calls “the ancestry of sound.” 

Ricardo Iamuuri’s works have been featured in documentary films including Sustainability Pioneers by Kirsi Jansa and East of Liberty by Chris Ivey; the feature film The Rehabilitation Of The Hill by Demetrius Wren; and the reality tv series Reel Teens Pittsburgh.  Live performances include Mars is Underwater at the Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl, Afronaut(a) 2.0 at Wagman Observatory (2015), A Brand New World: Kill The Artist at The New Hazlett Theater (2016). Sound installations include THE STEEL-FONICS at The Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark (2015), GEM Way, The Garfield Looking Glass Project (2016), The People Are The Light at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hillman Photography Initiative (2017), Civil Rights & Civil Wrongs at The Mattress Factory (2018), Streaming Space at Market Square Art Public Art (2019), and What We Don’t Talk About curated by Becky Slemmons at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s 937 Gallery (2019). He is currently the artist in residence with the RethinkVets coalition, a two-year initiative collaborating with members of the post-9/11 veteran community.

JoAnna Commandaros’ drawings, sculptures, and installations are inspired by alchemy, cultural aesthetics, and ecological systems. Her work involves exploration of diverse cultural relationships with the environment, reflective of her Greek and Syrian roots. She has participated in residencies abroad, in the United Kingdom, Jamaica, and Greece, and values interactions with diverse cultures and practices. Educated in both craft and sculpture media, she embraces the visual field through a sensitivity to touch. Her exhibitions nationally and internationally have traversed these two traditions. 

In addition to the public conversation, Ricardo iamuuri Robinson will lead a workshop where students are invited to assist Ricardo iamuuri Robinson with his current project: “The Sunscreen Conspiracy: What’s Going On”. Robinson’s spectacular virtual persona, La’Vender Freddy posts and curates a specific piece of found media inspired by and in response to American soul singer, songwriter, and producer Marvin Gaye’s eleventh studio album “What’s Going On.” This archival art exhibit has become a movement of media sound bites—connecting past and present-day narratives to present a clearer picture of “What’s Going On” in our world. 

Students will search online media (pictures, advertisements, videos, newspaper articles, text, etc.) from 1950 to 1980 to use as raw material and will be asked to create a personal propaganda piece that responds to the question: “What’s Going On?”. Students will share and explain why they chose their specific media.

Please direct questions to studio@pitt.edu

The Spring 2021 Studio Arts Visiting Artist series has been generously supported by Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Pitt Day of Giving and the Africana Studies, Music, and History of Art and Architecture departments at University of Pittsburgh.

Image: Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson by Sonarcheology Studios