Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rocket Run, Abstraction from Chicago, Elder Gallery, Lincoln NE, Oct 22- Nov 23

Editor's Pick / Recommended by Visual Art Source

Visual Art Source

Cole Pierce, "Triangle is the Strongest Shape #37," 2013, oil and acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20"

It’s not that easy to put together a compelling group show of geometric abstraction, not for lack of contemporary engagement with the genre (it certainly has no shortage of practitioners), but because innovative, novel approaches to the dialogue are hard to come by. In “Measurable Inconsistencies,” however, Richard Blackwell, Cole Pierce, and Zin Helena Song, brought together by curator Tyler Blackwell, provide abstractions that deviate from the well-worn course with smart, playful uses of space, perception and texture.

Continuing through August 31, 2014

In works like Chicago-based Pierce’s "Triangle is the Strongest Shape #23," what initially appears to be flat, uniform patterning is upon closer viewing a shallow but dimensional relief of deep brush strokes and rigid taped off edges. In four sculptures by New York artist Song, the use of painted corners and actual ones confuse the eye. As the viewer moves around the pieces, you are never able to see all the planes from any one angle. Blackwell contributes an installation. A framed print of a geometric form is covered in a geometric pattern and hung on a geometrically patterned, screen printed wall. This produces commingling notions of fore- and background that exudes an exuberance of form and repetition.

- See more at:





JULY 25 — AUGUST 31, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, July 25 from 7-10pm
By Appointment Only

Johalla Projects is very pleased to announce MEASURABLE INCONSISTENCIES, a summer group exhibition bringing together the artwork of three artists who work directly with shape, form, and structure. The exhibition will run from JULY 25 to AUGUST 31, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Friday, July 25 from 7-10pm.

At a primary level, Richard BlackwellCole Pierce, and Zin Helena Song each employ the geometric shape, using its formal qualities to inform and populate their works. More interesting, however, is the true nature of these artists’ practices, which function further to create breaks in the rigid structure, to create new interactions, or to disassemble the form entirely. Color also plays a vital role in this assemblage of works and operates chiefly as a catalyst for vivid optical rhythms and compositional choices.

Here, MEASURABLE INCONSISTENCIES explores these departures from pure form and instead inspects more subversive takes on geometric abstraction. By strategically incorporating unpredictable variations in the compositional framework of their respective works, Blackwell, Pierce, and Song arrive at a more engaging formula that encourages rigorous interactivity.

MEASURABLE INCONSISTENCIES is curated by Tyler Blackwell.

LVL3 Artist of the Week


Cole Pierce lives and works in Chicago. He earned an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University, a Post-Baccalaureate in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BA in Art and a BA Sociology from Cornell College. He recently had a solo show at Butler University, was in a group show at CAM Raleigh, has been in numerous exhibitions in and around Chicago and also as far as Cairo, Egypt and Sarajevo, Bosnia.  Modern Painters Magazine reviewed his work in 2012 and he has been featured in many online publications including Papercut Magazine, Disquiet, Art Social, and Sixty Inches from the Center.  He is a co-author of Field Mic, a sound art and music blog and is a contributor to NUMBERS.FM, an experimental music radio station.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I grew up in Iowa and moved to Chicago shortly after college, where I lived in a house full of art students and transients before going to graduate school.  Back then my practice included anything and everything, and in grad school I narrowed it down to painting, found object installation, and video.  I was interested in finding and making a quiet flickering moment that I equated to everyday epiphanies.  I graduated in 2007 from NU and for a couple years I was in brainstorming mode, inventing systems to make abstract paintings and making analog glitch videos. My current project, the Triangle is the Strongest Shape, came out of that brainstorming period. This series started in 2008 but I was also working on 2 or 3 other projects at the same time. In 2011 I decided to dedicate my studio to the Triangle series because I realized that all of the issues I was interested in could be found in these paintings of skewed triangle grids. I was, and still am fascinated with the visceral effect of Op Art and it being an example of a limit of cognition. By the time I was technically able to achieve a mind-blowing optical effect, I became more interested in the imperfections and started to add elements that detracted from the strong optics. I wanted to focus on the phase transition into the optical effect, which I am still working on today.  
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on?
I am currently working on a set of three paintings, a kind of subset of the series, each sized 48”x 60” in mostly black to white gradients.  They will be #44, #45 and #46 of the series, and they are the first paintings I’ve made where there are multiple layers of gradients over the masked off triangle grid.  
I also have an ongoing side project where I make an edition of audio multiples about once a year.  It is essentially an intricate mix CD of ambient, electronic and found sounds that I distribute to a mailing list and share on the internet.  I sent out the last edition in March of 2014, and this summer I will start collecting songs that will determine the theme for the next edition.
What are you currently watching on Netflix/what’s on your Netflix queue?
I don’t know about Netflix but the new Fargo series on FX is fun to watch. Some of the intros are long, one-take scenes like Gus Van Zant or Bela Tarr, minimal and sinister.  
What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other artists are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing?
The biggest challenge is making a decent living.  There are plenty of opportunities to exhibit in Chicago and the arts community here is strong but the market is not so supportive.  There are a handful of success stories, but most artists I know have day jobs and are now starting families. My kids were both born when I was in grad school so I’ve had time to find a balance between work/art making/parenting.  It is still a struggle, especially on beautiful days when I’d rather be at the beach with my kids than working in the studio.  
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like?
My process is formulaic and I make gradual changes over time. I keep a notebook with rough sketches and ideas to try.  I’ll make 3 or 4 paintings with similar color and compositions before moving on to the next idea. I start with a layer of acrylic, which I cover in a pattern of triangles that I have cut out of painters tape. This is the time consuming part where I slowly build the structure and decide how many glitches will disrupt the pattern.  After the tape is sealed I’ll use oils to paint a gradient or a fluid abstraction.  The final product is revealed when I peel off the tape.   
What artists are you interested in right now?
Tauba Auerbach and her instagram feed, Jessica Eaton, Anoka Faruqee, Russell Tyler, and Jeremy DePrez to name a few.  I’ve unintentionally become a heavy tumblr user, and will frequently post artwork I find on the internet.  So you could say I’m interested in a gazillion artists right now but I don’t know if they really count because I’ve only seen their work on a bright digital screen. I try to reserve judgement until I’ve seen it for real.
How has your work developed within the past year?
Last winter I decided to complicate the paintings further by adding a layer of smaller triangles, which is the beginning of the Sierpinski fractal pattern. This made the pattern more detailed and it also gave me an extra layer to play with, so I could combine various gradient compositions.   Last fall I was experimenting with vibrant color combinations, which I was happy with, but when I changed up the composition I decided to return to black and white in order to  focus on what the new structure was doing.  I have one more painting to make in this black and white mode and then I’ll decide how to bring more vibrant colors into the mix.
What are you really excited about right now?
Biking 20 miles a day on my commute to work now that the weather is nice and Chicago is beautiful once again.
Listening to audiobooks in the studio. I just finished the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons, an epic sci fi space drama. Another of my recent favorites is 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.  The process of taping off the canvas is quite time consuming so I just settle in and put on an audio book.
Any current or upcoming shows we should know about (that we can include in our LVL3 Media calendar)?
I’m in a group show at Johalla Projects that opens July 28th. Josue Pellot and I are working on a collaborative piece for a show at Roman Susan on October 10th. I also have work in a massive group show in October at Elder Gallery in LIncoln, NE.
What are you listening to right now?
Future Islands, Deru, Ray Charles, Colin Vallon Trio, Man Forever & So Percussion, anything that comes out on 12k, and the Lee Scratch Perry Pandora station.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Indiana University Northwest

Triangle is the Strongest Shape #30, 2013
40"x40" Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

Installation View at Indiana University Northwest

Installation at Indiana University Northwest

Untitled, originally uploaded by colepierce.

Cole Pierce, Triangle is the Strongest Shape, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013


August 26 - September 20, 2013
Pinpoint: An Exhibition of Emerging Artists 

CLOSING RECEPTION: September 17 from 4 - 6 pm

Jennifer Hines 
Brent Houston 
Morgan Sims 
Cole Pierce 
Raul Mendez

Curated by Holly Sabin Houston 

Gallery for Contemporary Art 
Indiana University Northwest
Savannah Center
3400 Broadway
Gary, Indiana 46408

Gallery Hours: Monday & Thursday 9 am - 5 pm, Tuesday & Wednesday 9 am - 7 pm, Friday 9 am - 3 pm

facebook event page

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Magnet Pond/Fishing Composite

Magnet Pond:Fishing Composite
Cole Pierce

Candy (Remix)
Riding Horses in New Mexico
Bandcamp - http://allmyheroesdiedinprison.bandca...

I made this for ASCII 4, combining the 2 underwater videos I've been working on

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


A single-evening exposition of artifacts, recordings & mixes, fine apparel and elegant conduct.

Friday, May 10
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Elastic Arts Foundation
2830 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Andrea Jablonski. Bruce Neal. Chris Hefner. Cole Pierce. Cinchel (Jason Shanley). EC Brown. George John Larson. Jake Myers. Jon Bollo. Michelle Harris. Pleasant Group (Erik Wenzel). Stephanie Burke+Jeriah Hildwine+Ryan Peter Miller.

ASCII (Archeospiritist Study and Consortion Initiative, Illinois) is an event where participants are entrusted to uphold the following principal specifications: 

  1. An edition of artifacts shall be created, to be distributed freely.
  2. Artifacts shall commit an arrangement of recordings.
  3. Participants shall proclaim their own specifications, to enrich the ASCII specification body.
  4. Attire shall always be elegant. 
Moreover, there are candidate specifications, including the following:

    ...Participants shall consummate their edition with a 10-minute reverie during the ASCII event...

Consequently, a/v escapades, both live and pre-recorded, begin at 7:30 p.m.

More information:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Prints for Sale!

Silk-screen print on 90 lb Stonehenge paper, pictured here cropped to 7.5"x9". The size of each print slightly varies in between 9.5"x9.5" and 10"x10".
Edition of 4.

Printed in conjunction with LAKE ODESSA, a sound installation / mix CD exhibition at CAM Raleigh, January 2012.

Originally designed with by Cole Pierce, based on a collage by Able Parris and typography by Paul Soulellis.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lake Odessa

LAKE ODESSA (2012) audio multiple, silk-screen print on 90lb cotton paper,
handmade cases, found paper inserts, edition of 100. Print originally designed with Mixel by Cole Pierce, based on collages by Able Parris and Paul Soulellis.

Listen to the mix on Headphone Commute.
I will gladly send you CD if paypal me the price of postage. 

appreciation meter

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm featured in an article in Art Social

"Remember those optical illusions you used to look at as a kid? Yup. Op Art is kinda like that, only grown-up, high quality, and much more awesome." Art Social 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hour 2 of my August NUMBERS.FM set

Hour 2 of my August set on NUMBERS.FM, 
Rhino Named Lazy  (IDM slow jamz) 
Blame it (GROUNDISLAVA COOL MIX) - Jamie Fox
Don’t Owe Me - Pavla & Noura
Moonshine - Retina.It
Holder breaks it down - The Killing
Laroche - Lukid
Lineage (Sun Glitters Mix) - Shigeto
Bela Bartok - Fresh Air Interview
Shaker Mind - Cole Pierce
Closed - Com Truise
Cloud 10 - Kendrick Lamar
January Love (yus Remix) - Newtimers
GHOST - Nikita Quasim
End - Frank Ocean
Born to Die (Remix) Lana del Rey - Clams Casino
False Eyes - Jeremiah Jae
Rebirth is Necessary - J Dilla
待機 - Macintosh Plus
Se Pixelo el Vinito - Super Guachin Goooo - DFRNT
Gov’nor - JJ Doom
Terrorist - Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Trumpet Sketch - Cole Pierce
Irène Jacob in Othello 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012


NUMBERS.FM set 6.13.12

Captcha audio
Antigravity Certificatioin
2012 Preakness Stakes
Margaruita - Gerald Clark & His Caribbean Serenaders
I’ll have another at Belmont Park
On the Beach - Phil Cohran
Hichki - Dhodhe Khan
Usher Interview Sample
Ex the Extrax - Gerren Grand
An Old Escape (Kill Them Kill) Dabrye remix - Illum Sphere
2012 Kentucky Derby
Blow My High (Members Only) C.P.edit - Kendrick Lamar
Its a good thing - Beale Street Shriekers
First Falls - James Murray
Bicycles, Football, Volley And Other Sports in a Public Park, With Birds All Around - Andrea
Ferraris & Matteo Uggeri
Usher Interview Sample
I Will - Elephant & Castle
Diamond Ring (Deele Flip) - Mathewdavid
Sacrilegious - Schoolboy Q
Fifth Ave - Gold Panda
Rained the Whole Time (Nicholas Jaar Mix) - Shlohmo
3 year old recites Litany by Billy Collins
1.6 Una Inexplicable Exitació- Raül Fuentes
Je Voudrais Tant Que Tu Comprennes - Marie Laforet
Speechless (Kelpe Remix) - Soosh
Monkrato - Global Goon
Pocahontas - Jonwayne
Stand Up Lazarus (Peanut Butter Wolf Remix) - Bruce Haack
4. Ohm Sweet Om - Clearlight
Raphael Hythloday - Gabo Gulbenkian
Glitch - Disasterpeace
Shadow from Tartarus - Actress
Kafkatrax 2.2 Wolfgang - Voigt
Captcha Audio
Octagon - Liars
Chwal Sen Jak Mare Nan Poto Michilene Forestal, Bois Laborde
'Closer Came The Light' - Konntinent

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NUMBERS.FM playlist 5.16.12

NUMBERS.FM 4.16.12 8:07-10:09pm Central Time
field recordings and crafty ambient

faa tapes sound approach 0:49
Shoals 11:28 Taylor Deupree
Venice Beach Boardwalk 4.28.12 20:44 Cole Pierce
I Will 4:20 Elephant & Castle
Caroline bor⁄ale 5:11 Jerome Joy
Ice Bow 7:11 Steve Roden & Machinefabriek
04.l2rd 7:24 Asmus Tietchens
MURIEL (bouncé) 20:20
Meroo Lake Pt. 1 5:18 Seaworthy & Matt Rosner
Cosmos: A Personal Journey (The Edge Forever) (Moroccan beatnik treatment) 2:54 Carl Sagan
Urban Sax Part II 9:11 Urban Sax
Sunflower Tk2 1:20 Cole Pierce
Clay cameras 8:57 Keith de Mendonca
animate structures #4 (marin headlands) 15:10 John Grzinich
Radiator Peace 5:46 billy gomberg + offthesky
guy rapping 0:43

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NUMBERS.FM Playlist 04.18.12

Broadcasting an extended version of ‘Resurface’ on NUMBERS.FM until 10:09pm Central Time.
Slow moving electronics and underwater vocals, interspersed with field recordings
and snippets of experimental radio documentaries. Headcase IDM and electro lady crooners. Underwater electronics, noodling synths and a sampled documentary about divers finding a sunken pirate ship.

Forgotten - Disasterpeace
Home - Disasterpeace
Rained teh Whole Time (Nicolas Jaar Remix) - Shlomo
Derni/Paralysis - Elephant & Castle
The World Needs Change [Soulja Boy] - Clams Casino
Caroline bor⁄ale - Jerome Joy
The Other Side of Backwater - Ryan York
Take My Hand - Soosh
MURIEL (bouncé) unknown
The Mountaineer - Alog
Francis Mwakitime (Tanzania) - Mwalala
Foggy Dew - Two Banks of Four
Lion In Winter - Bee Gees
100Birthdays - Chris Whitehead
Goddess Eyes - Julia Holter
unknown class - Cole Pierce
Scissors - Kuedo
Skin - Grimes
Woke Up Missing You - Sean Byrd
Clay cameras - Keith de Mendonca
lampshow - Roth Mobot
wen uuu (Teebs Remix) - Shlohmo
sample FAA radio techniques
B1 - Night Landing - Ssaliva
Leaving San Miguel - Antony Milton
Fragile Hope - Balam Acab
Blue Marlin - Steve Hauschildt
Morning Criminal - Ricardo Donoso
Jenseits Des Stromes [Beyond The Tide] - Jürgen Müller
sample Recovering the Whydah
Columns - Father
MURIEL (bouncé) unknown
blue john cave - Mari Saastamoinen
boardwalk empire sample
santa fe (excerpt) - Lightnin Hopkins
Number 33 - Jan & Lorraine
Paris 1971 - Suzanne Ciani
Deathless - Outer Space
Unforetold - The Sight Below
Standing in the Rain - Gel Set
Glawio - Com Truise
Quantum Leap - Bruce Mao

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


A one-night-only exhibition at Floor Length and Tux

332 W. Augusta #3 front

Opening Saturday, April 14th, from 7PM - 10PM

FLAT 12 will feature new work from Cole Pierce, Angela Lopez, and Stephen Nyktas, alongside resident FLAT artists Catie Olson and EC Brown.

COLE PIERCE will create a floor of enamel-encoated floppy disks.

Cole Pierce is a Chicago-based artist who makes paintings, video installations, and audio multiples. He received an MFA in Art Theory & Practice from Northwestern University, his recent exhibition at Hinge Gallery was favorably reviewed in Modern Painters magazine, and currently has work in Born Digital at CAM Raleigh.

ANGELA LOPEZ will present a stop-animation video alongside watercolor/collages depicting the fluid relationships between humans and other species.

Angela Lopez studied painting at the Kansas City art institute. Her paintings use the exploration of alternating power struggles between humans and nature as a way to express gloomy ominous and desperate emotions. Her artwork has been featured in exhibitions at H&R Block ArtSpace, The Dolphin Gallery, in Kansas City MO, as well as Buenos Aires Argentina at Proyecto’ ace Studios and the Beasley gallery in Arizona. She premiered her first solo show, “On the Upside,” at the Urban Culture Project Space in 2009. In 2010 she curated her second exhibition “Community+Loneliness” at the Paragraph Gallery with Urban Culture Project in Kansas City Mo. Angela lives and works in her hometown of Chicago.

STEPHEN NYKTAS will create an installation consisting of found radios from different eras.

Steve Nyktas (MFA, Northwestern University, 2007) is a Chicago-based artist whose work is preoccupied by opportunities to better understand the normal world by seeing places that were never meant to be seen and to look at things as they are not meant to be; to observe a version of the everyday which exists just beneath consciousness. His work has been exhibited at Dorsky Gallery (New York, NY), Gallery Four (Baltimore, MD), Rowland Contemporary Gallery (Chicago, IL), The 22nd International Festival Sarajevo (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina), and he is a member of the Danny Think Tank artist collective.

CATIE OLSON will present a hand-cranked automaton of a Band-Aid punching a pillow.

Catie Olson is an artist and filmmaker who organizes the Spiderbug short-film series ( She is ½ of Floor Length and Tux.

EC BROWN will present paintings of wooden capsules containing imaginary film stills with choice male actors of the 60s-70′s as terse mallard-carvers.

EC Brown is a painter and exhibition organizer who co-directed the COMA exhibition space from 2006-2008 (, and organizes the ASCII exhibition series ( He is ½ of Floor Length and Tux.

About the FLAT series:
Catie Olson and EC Brown have conducted Floor Length and Tux exhibitions from their home since February 2009. These single-evening events are the result of an extended relationship with small selections of artists.

Official Website

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NUMBERS.FM Playlist 03.28.12

Nix the playlist! NUMBERS.FM broadcaster got buggy and put a 3 minute loop/delay on every 20 seconds of audio I played. So I made and impromptu live set of my own material.

Quite night of experimental radio docs, field recordings, and ambient music.

Shoals 11:28 Taylor Deupree
MURIEL (bouncé) 20:20
Meroo Lake Pt. 1 5:18 Seaworthy & Matt Rosner
blue john cave 3:27 Mari Saastamoinen
Cliffs 9:42 Mirroring
Caroline bor⁄ale 5:11 Jerome Joy
Radiator Peace 5:46 billy gomberg + offthesky
04.l2rd 7:24 Asmus Tietchens
Clay cameras 8:57 Keith de Mendonca
Sunflower Tk2 1:20 Cole Pierce
frog chorus, Australia 3:00 Hannu Jannes
Tacana 2:53 Antony Milton
Minuet - Original Mix 10:00 Stephan Mathieu
animate structures #4 (marin headlands) 15:10 John Grzinich
hot cocoa maker 2:56 Cole Pierce
Large Wolf Pack #2 1:50 Timberwolf in the Tall Pines
Chalk 9:16 Kane Ikin +David Wenngren

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


A single-evening exposition and offering of audio multiples
Thursday, April 5
8:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Back room of The California Clipper
1002 N. California Ave.

Jon Bollo, Stephanie Burke, EC Brown, Chris Hefner, Andrea Jablonski, George Larson, Bruce Neal, Catie Olson, Cole Pierce, Christopher Smith, Ralph Syverson, Brian Wadford.

ASCII (Archeospiritist Study and Consortion Initiative, Illinois) is an event where participants are entrusted to uphold the following 3 core specifications:

1. An edition of artifacts shall be created, to be distributed freely.
2. Editions must involve recorded audio.
3. Attire shall always be elegant.

In addition, participants are entreated to observe a prompt (in lieu of an articulated curatorial theme) from Caroline Picard, which is a writing inspired by Marion Laval-Jeantet’s “May the Horse Live in Me” ( as well as her video selection (

Furthermore, recommended specifications are made available to the participants, as well as participant-sourced specification extensions. Information at

Event guests are not subject to specifications nor sanctions, but elegant apparel is always enjoyed by all.

About ASCII:
ASCII is a specification platform designed to elevate our personal, mundane rituals of audio data trafficking to a dedicated craft and an etiquette.

Photos from ASCII 1:
Photos from ASCII 2:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NUMBERS.FM Playlist 02.29.12

Tune into NUMBERS.FM, I’m on the air until 10:09 PM central time.
Reflection 20:03 Ethan Rose
Tape Bell Liftoff 5:03 Cole Pierce
Piano Clockworks 18:17 Cole Pierce
Rise 12:00 *AR
Halfslaap 16:58 Machinefabriek
peeling tape 2:00 Cole Pierce
High & Low 3:51 Ezekiel Honig
The Other Side of Backwater 5:12 Ryan York
Goddess Eyes 3:25 Julia Holter
Part One 16:58 B. Fleischmann
Foggy Dew 6:10 Two Banks of Four
Reblazhenstva 7:40 Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer
Bicycles, Football, Volley And Other Sports In A Public Park, With Birds All Around 6:56Andrea Ferraris & Matteo Uggeri
Ice and Halo 7:44 Cinchel
FAA Boner :09
recorder glitch 0:52