(From Stephen Vitiello's "Reed Scores.")
Does art make what you eat taste better? As part of its community outreach, on March 30 the Warehouse Gallery hosted students from Seymour Elementary School and Fowler High School to meet with sound artists Stephen Vitiello and Andrew Deutsch. "Sound Scores: Paper, Wood, Stone and Glass" officially opened later that week. But while sound and video installations still seem inaccessible to some art patrons, Deutsch finds young people a natural, even easier audience.
"We are all born into a synesthetic world," said Deutsch, 41, by phone earlier this week from Hornell in the Southern Tier, where he teaches sound and video art at Alfred University. "All the senses are connected to one point in our brains when we're born, so everything happens at once. They start separating at about six months. Smell is the first to separate, then probably taste and hearing. Seeing is last! Not everybody separates fully. So it's very natural, and we say music has a 'rough shape' or that a high pitch is 'bright.' Now some people are trying to get that capacity to come back."
Vitiello, 45, is an electronic musician and media artist who teaches kinetic imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University. Last Friday, speaking from Richmond by phone, Vitiello recalled the Seymour and Fowler students.
"Andrew introduced themes and I would talk about the technology. I recorded the third graders and I showed the high school students some free programs they can download. You know, they wrote us these beautiful thank-you notes and every single one of them mentioned the juice and cookies they had."
Vitiello and Deutsch first met in 1993 and have collaborated since 1999 by visiting each other's campuses for projects and exchanging sound files for their CDs. For their first joint gallery exhibition, they came a week early to set up. Syracuse University's contemporary art curator, Anja Chavez, based in the Warehouse Gallery, first invited Vitiello to exhibit at her previous position, Wellesley College's Davis Museum.