Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Work

Rest Note Sleep Jump 1

Rest Note Sleep Jump 2

Rest Note Sleep Jump 3 (Balance Check)

These are really new, not sure how I feel about them yet but that could be a good sign. I needed a process that was quick and fluid after working on those triangle paintings. I definitely want to try this on a larger scale. The text - Rest Note, Sleep Jump, and Balance Check have been stuck in my head for a while. I did a series of paintings using images of rest notes in 2007. Balance Check is a name of a mixed cd, which came to me as I was watching an olympic gymnast doing a balance beam routine a few years ago. And I've been fascinated with the sleep jump when I heard it mentioned in a Radiolab episode. Not having a real plan in place, I decided to make templates and started looking around for the right font. After consulting Able Parris (who loves typography) I decided to run with blaktur, because I thought it might be funny to make some dry conceptual paintings in the style of a rock poster. Then that idea seemed silly and I ended up mashing everything together, using thin coats of spray paint and the text templates in several layers. These layers were on top old painting experiments, so there is a lot of subtle texture not to mention the remnants of a floppy disc.

Triangle is the Strongest Shape (sunset series)

Triangle is the Strongest Shape 1 (sunset series)

Cole Pierce, 2010
Acrylic, Oil and Spray paint on Canvas

"This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency."

Triangle is the Strongest Shape #4

I may have posted this before but I just cleaned up some details that were bothering me and took a better photo.

Triangle is the Strongest Shape #4

Cole Pierce, 2010
Acrylic on Canvas

"This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sutro Tower Triangle Waves

Sutro Tower Triangle Waves (2010)
Oil, Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas

Recently I was commissioned to make a painting according to these parameters: sized 4"x 6", the image of Sutro Tower in San Fransisco, and in the style of my triangle grid paintings. The new owner of this piece now has a collection of four renditions of Sutro Tower by different artists, each of similar size. I hope this cool project continues to grow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

GLI.TC/H at Transistor, Oct 1st

I have a video screening during GLI.TC/H, please come to Transistor (5045 N. Clark St) on Friday Oct 1st.
The program is from 8 - 9PM, followed by performances from 9 - 11:30PM. Here is the schedule.

Video Program
8 PM, Friday Oct 1
5045 N. Clark St.
Chicago IL

GLI.TC/H is an international gathering of noise & new media practitioners in Chicago from September 29 thru October 03, 2010!

GLI.TC/H features: realtime audio & video performances with artists who misuse and abuse hardware and software; run-time video screenings of corrupt data, decayed media, and destroyed files; workshops and skill-share-sessions highlighting the wrong way to use and build tools; a gallery show examining glitches as processes, systems, and objects; all in the context of ongoing dialogues that have been fostered by experimentation, research, and play. GLI.TC/H is a physical and virtual assembly which stands testament to the energy surrounding these conversations.

Projects take the form of: artware, videos, games, films, tapes, code, interventions, prints, plugins, screen-captures, systems, websites, installations, texts, tools, lectures, essays, code, articles, & hypermedia.

GLI.TC/H-BUMPER from theodore darst on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GLI.TC/H Bumper - 2010.09.29 - 2010.10.03

This is a 30 second bumper I made for GLI.TC/H, where a video of mine will be screening.
GLI.TC/H is an international gathering of noise & new media practitioners in Chicago from September 29 thru October 03, 2010.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Triangle is the Strongest Shape

Cole Pierce
The Triangle is the Strongest Shape, 4, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 40”
This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Danny Think Tank at Milwaukee Ave Art Festival

Cole Pierce
The Triangle is the Strongest Shape, series
This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Installation View, Danny Think Tank at Milwaukee Ave Art Festival

In the studio

In process - Gradients over triangle grid series

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Post perspectivam

Finally, what of Alberti's window in this "postperspectival age"? Let me briefly allude to the recent technology of "digital image processing" that has almost entirely replaced conventional photography in astronomical observatories, expecially for the recording the most distant galaxies and quasars. This ability is the result of a remarkable postage-stamp-sized silicon chip known as teh CCD, or "charged-coupled device," which can be attached to a telescope to make it into a camera, and which acts like a photographic plate. Rather than being coated with light-sensitive emulsion, its surface is composed of millions of tin electronic "pixels" arranged in a rectangular grid.
Have we here the ultimate heir to Alberti's window? Just as the Renaissance artist transferred his earthly subject, square by square as seen through the gridded veil, onto his smaller-scaled picture surface, so the CCD collects cosmic light through the telescope, pixel by pixel, and then converts each photon impulse into a digitized electronic signal and sends it to a television monitor. Celestial bodies are perceived and revealed against the deep-sky background by the luminosity fluctuations and changes in brightness recorded by the individual pixel across the CCD grid. These digitized encodings can then be translated into computerized colors. Since the actual hues of the celestial subject remain invisible, however the image processor (as the CCD artist is now professionally called), even though equipped with spectrum sensors and chromatic filters, must still make decisions based on aesthetic preference just as do modern artists - or one might even say like medieval artists trying to comprehend the ineffable colors of the heavenly empryean.

The Mirror, the Window and the Telescope, How Renaissance Linear Perspective Changed Our Vision of the Universe, by Samuel Y. Edgerton (pp 171-172)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vombies and Vampires on Headphone Commute

Headphone Commute is featuring my latest mix CD on their podcast this week. I love this description they give it.
After his previous appearance on Headphone Commute with an excellent modern classical mix, Later, Cole Pierce returns with a grab-bag of soothing summer tunes that cut through the heat, your ears, and your heart. Just like the last time, this mix is actually in two parts: Zombies and Vampires, presented here in one piece for your enjoyment. Expect the unexpected, smolder and rejoice!

Field Mic Named 'Best Amateur Music Blog' by Chicago Reader

The music blog that I co-author was just named 'Best Amateur Music Blog' by the Chicago Reader. If you haven't spent time with Field Mic, please do.

Chicago-based monolith Pitchfork has a profound influence on the gravitational field of the indie-rock universe, not to mention its own festival. But what about the little guys, who don’t pay attention to release cycles and aren’t driving the zeitgeist—the folks who don’t share the blogosphere’s obsession with being the first to cover the next new thing? Instead of slathering adjectives all over Best Coast seven-inches, Field Mic collects what it calls “sound from the field.” That means several posts a day that range from performances of music by little-known contemporary composers to video of oddball circuit-bent instruments and elaborate mechanical ensembles that play themselves, along with the occasional dude-and-guitar clip or actual music video. The blog is ecumenical in its tastes, though it leans a little toward the electroacoustic and ambient—and there are absolutely no reposts of clubby remixes of popular indie bands. Founded in April and curated by three far-flung editors—Chicago audiovisual artist Cole Pierce, Brooklyn-based New York Times blog specialist Jeremy Zilar (who also runs Silence Matters), and North Carolina collage artist and designer Able Parris—Field Mic doesn’t offer deep analysis, usually just a sentence or two of enthusiastic explanation. It’s heavy on reader submissions, and every page is charged with the thrill of someone with a brilliant new discovery he’s aching to pass along to the wider world.

Jessica Hopper


This weekend Danny Think Tank goes public, in the form of a group art show in a borrowed apartment. DTT is the name that my friends from grad school and I have given to the studio critiques we do 2 or 3 times a year. We were given the opportunity to exhibit work during the Milwaukee Ave Art Fest, a neighborhood festival in Logan Square (Chicago) complete with outdoor concerts and visual art exhibitions in businesses and empty storefronts. Thanks to Felix and Victor, we get to use a huge 3 bedroom apartment that is currently vacant. It came with a pink/purple bedroom and 2 taxidermied lions. We use the purple room brilliantly, but we just could not find a place for the lions. The MAAF website states me as the curator, but really I'm the project manager. The Danny Think Tank curated this show as a group. We'll be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday so if you're in the area please stop by. Its right above Disco City.

Press Release:
Danny Think Tank will feature recent work of 11 Chicago based artists, showcasing a survey of contemporary practices. The ongoing dialogue within Danny Think Tank will guide the curatorial decisions as the group responds to the unique location. The exhibition will take place in a vacant loft/apartment, exhibiting a collection of paintings, photography, collage, sculpture and video.

Milwaukee Ave Art Fest July 23-25

2628 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd floor (apartment above Disco City)
Chicago, IL
Friday - Opening 6-10pm
Sat & Sun noon-11pm

Curt Bozif
Derek Chan
Ryan Fenchel
Dan Gunn
Roxane Hopper
Lisa Majer
Stephen Nyktas
Cole Pierce
Julie Rudder
Kendrick Shackleford
Craig Yu

Friday, June 25, 2010

Danny Think Tank at Milwaukee Ave Art Fest

I'll be exhibiting some new work in a few weeks. Stop by, say hello.

Danny Think Tank
2628 2nd floor N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL

Fri 4pm-11pm | Sat & Sun noon-11pm
Along 1.5 miles of Milwaukee Avenue
(between Kimball and California)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Video - Cole Pierce
Audio - Cinchel

Disorientation is manipulated found footage, which was originally an instructional film produced by the FAA concerning pilot's vertigo. Pierce found this film dubbed to VHS, and decided to use this given content to explore the idea of disorientation by way of experimental abstraction. He distorted the video through a process of applying sticky tape to the VHS tape, which removed random bits of information. After digitizing this distorted video, Pierce isolated one clip that especially blurred the line between recognizable image and abstraction. When this clip was slowed down and paired with Cinchel's ambient guitar, the pace of the distortions creates a gentle hypnotic meditation offered an alternate take on the idea of disorientation.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Disquiet review of "Too Late Distracted"


Cole Pierce refers to his track “Too Late Distracted” as a “textured electronic soundscape exploring a structure in flux,” and he goes a step further by employing the word “skittery” to qualify the effort.

The work in question is reportedly derived from a collaboration withTyler Carter, who like Pierce houses his music at the great community site Pierce is at, Carter at, and the two of them apparently can make beautiful jittery ambience (or skittery soundscapes) together.

Too late distracted by colepierce

Like many solid efforts in abstraction, the piece includes its own decoder ring. While it eventually expands into a spacious if serrated sound field, it opens with the sort of all-rough-edges effect that Pierce’s chosen adjective, “skittery,” suggests. The introduction’s distinction from the majority of the track is plainly evident in the waveform that appears in the SoundCloud player (see above); it’s the short, bottle-brush tail that wags the music’s dog.

That initial segment is all stop’n’start glitch noise, and it sets down the textural equivalent of a downbeat before Pierce ventures into more quasi-ethereal realms. While the work does achieve a certain level of cloudy haze, it’s still marked throughout by the stuttered, broken-glass vibe of its opening salvo.

Original track at More on Pierce He was previously featured on this site in mid-October of last year (

By Marc Weidenbaum

Original Post

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Later featured on Headphone Commute Podcast

Later, the mix cd I sent out earlier this year is featured on Headphone Commute this week. Check out the post here, which gave me a good excuse to write about the mix.

Last summer I found four tracks that embodied everything I love about ambient music. I listened to this short 17 minute set repeatedly; Machinefabriek’s guitar over a field recording of ice skaters on a frozen pond, The Humble Bee’s pleasant tones and Greg Haines’ minimal orchestra that shifts to drones, eventually breaking to pieces before transitioning to the casual, incidental tones layered over the sounds of a coffee shop created by Molly Berg + Stephen Vitiello. This set of glitchy ambient music served as the impetus for the track selection and frame of the overall structure. The basic ingredients for the whole mix can be found in the subtleties mentioned in this short set in the middle of Later; which is a genre study in music emphasizing modern classical harmonies and a balance between experimental production techniques. That said, I believe a good mix is one of thoughtful variety and the rest of the tracks transition through multiple genres that can all be described as ambient. Regardless of the instruments used, the pace is gentle, repetitive, even tempered and anticlimactic. Post-rock, modern classical, sublime electronic, field recordings, and spoken word pieces are patched together to provide interesting comparisons and juxtapositions. Nils Frahm plays piano and Mokira plays electronics, yet both are inspired by a Phillip Glass type of sublime meditation. These two tracks are connected by an equally meditative interlude which is a field recording of someone talking to himself during a night hike, calmly identifying his surroundings and admiring the amount of visible stars.

New Work

The Triangle is the Strongest Shape (2010)
Acrylic on Canvas, 40"x 40"

Work in Progress (2010)
Acrylic on Canvas, 60"x 72"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fishing, 2010

Fishing, 2010
Video - Cole Pierce
Audio - Kendrick Shackleford and Cole Pierce

Fishing was created from footage captured with an underwater video camera attached to fishing line and controlled by a fishing pole in the middle of Lake Hayward, WI. Governed by chance, the video drifts back and forth between chaos and order. The murky green monochrome and shifting pattern of bubbles is a sublime landscape that occasionally gets interrupted by the reality of a school of fish swimming by. The soundtrack is equally alienating, which is an ambient glitch filled soundscape of processed guitar, ethereal textures and a flux of structures created by Cole Pierce with help from Kendrick Shackleford and Tyler Carter.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Too late distracted by colepierce

textured soundscape, structure in flux, based on a collaboration with Tyler Carter. 2010
Guitar by Kendrick Shackleford, electronic manipulation by Cole Pierce. 2010

Manipulated music box samples, NYE field recording. 2010

I am currently editing a video installation, comprised of footage of an underwater video camera tied to the end of a fishing pole. These tracks will be part of the soundtrack.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) pp 180-182

Chapter the Sixteenth.

     The sun was setting when they reached the wickest-gate at which the path began, and, as the rain falls upon the just and unjust alike, it shed its warm tint even upon the resting places of the dead, and bade them be of good hope for its rising on the morrow. The church was old and grey, with ivy clinging to the walls, and round the porch. Shunning the tombs, it crept about the mounds, beneath which slept poor humble men, twining for them the first wreaths they had ever won, but wreaths less liable to wither and far more lasting in their kind, than some which were graven deep in stone and marble, and told in pompous terms of virtues meekly hidden for many a year, and only revealed at last to executors and mourning legatees.
     The clergyman's hourse, stumbling with a dull blunt sound among the graves, was cropping the grass; at once deriving orthodox consolation from the dead parishioners, and enforcing las Sunday's text that this was what all flesh came to; a lean ass who had sought to expound it also, wihtout being qualified and ordained, was pricking his ears in an empty pound hard by, and looking with hungry eyes upon his priestly neighbour.
     The old man and the child quitted the gravel path, and strayed among the tombs; for there the ground was soft, and easy to their tired feet. As they passed behind the church, they heard voices near at hand, and presently came on those who had spoken.
     They were two men who were seated in easy attitudes upon the grass, and so busily engaged as to be at first unconscious of intruders. It was not difficult to divine that they were of a class of itinerant showman - exhibitors of the freaks of Punch - for, perched cross-legged upon a tombstone behind them, was the figure of that hero himself, his nose and chin as hooked and his face as beaming as usual. Perhaps his imperturbable character was never more strikingly developed, for he preserved his usual equable smile notwithstanding that his body was dangling in a most uncomfortable position, all loose and limp and shapeless, while his long peaked cap, unequally balanced against his exceedingly slight legs, threatened every instant to bring him toppling down.
     In part scattereed upon the ground at the feet of the two men, and in part jumbled together in a long flat box, were the other persons of the Drama. The hero's wife and one child, the hobby-horse, the doctor, the foreign gentleman who not being familiar with the language is unable in the representation to express his ideas otherwise than by the utterance of the word 'Shallabalah' three distinct times, the radical neighbour who will by no means admit that a tin bell is an organ, the executioner, and the Devil, were all here. Their owners had evidently come to that spot to make some needful repairs in the stage arrangements, for one of them was engaged in binding together a small gallows with thread, while the other was intent upon fixing a new black wig, with the aid of a small hammer and some tacks, upon the head of the radical neighbour, who had been beaten bald.
They raised their eyes when the old man and his young companion were close upon them, and pausing in their work, returned their looks of curiosity. One of them, the actual exhibitor no doubt, was a little merry-faced man with a twinkling eye and a red nose, who seemed to have unconsciously imbibed something of his hero's character. The other - that was he who took the money - had rather a careful and cautious look, which was perhaps inseparable from his occupation also.
      The merry man was the first to greet the strangers with a nod; and followed the old man's eyes, he observed that perhaps that was the first time he had ever seen a Punch off the stage. (Punch, it may be remarked, seemed to be pointing with the tip of his cap to a most flourishing epitaph, and to be chuckling over it with all his heart.)
     'Why do you come here to do this?' said the old man, sitting down beside them, and looking at the figurines with extreme delight.
     'Why you see,' rejoined the little man, 'we're putting up for tonight at the public-house yonder, and it wouldn't do to let 'em see the present company undergoing repair.'
     'No!' cried the old man, making signs to Nell to listen, 'why not, eh? why not?'
     'Because it would destroy all the delusion, and take away all the interest, wouldn't it?' replied the little man.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Work

Cole Pierce, Triangle is the Strongest Shape, 2009 Acrylic on Canvas 40"x80"

Cole Pierce, Zillions, 2009 Oil on Canvas, 36"x36"

Cole Pierce, 4EVA, 2009, Oil on Canvas, 36"x36" 

Cole Pierce, Untitled, 2009, Oil, Acrylic, Spray Paint on Canvas 24"x24"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weird Email

 Subject: Bobby Brown
 Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 19:16:05 +0000
Like a white dove flying blindly through an arctic blizzard, his body approached mine. Even from across the bar I could tell it was him from the horseshoe shape of his hips. I tried relaxing my clenched fists hoping not to give away my nervous excitement. There was no doubt that he was coming towards me. I looked up from the Mortal Kombat machine to meet his inviting brown eyes. His acne scars had faded substantially, but his tell-tale greased ponytail induced a wave of familiarity like none I had ever felt. I abandoned the joystick to reach out and shake his rugged, arthritic hand. Ignoring my gesture, his hand swooped around my back and pulled me close to his body. I stared cautiously into his eyes as I felt his hands reach down towards my buttocks. I felt relief and validation for my recent switch to cloth diapers. The crinkly, plastic feeling of the old diapers is now reserved for weddings, funerals, and Monday night football. His hands reached up to grip my shoulder blades as his neck extended forward to move his face up to mine. My upper lip began to tremble and snear in anticipation of his bristly, walrus-like moustache. His tongue swabbed his swollen, brown lips before they puckered and twitched just millimeters before me. I first felt the contact of the course whiskers just a half of a heartbeat before the warm rush of......uh............ uhhhhhhhhhh............ ..........uh..................................... .....just kidding dude.....I can bench like 250 lbs Seriously. and this one time, I beat up this male ballerina, seriously.
Anyway Tyler,
everybody's dying to know if you've made
any definitive plans for next year.
Cole? What about you buddy?
Peace in Belgium dude.