DJ, Beatles, Patsy Cline discussed on On Being with Krista Tippett
Powerful love that helps us live in sacred relationship with ourselves, others, and the natural world learn more by visiting Fetzer Dot. Org. Doria Rope blotto has been called a sculptural artist, a philosopher and a materialist poet at the heart of his work is a fascination with human survival and the creative response to loss. I just want to actually read some very beautiful words that you wrote about. Time and memory. Time is, of course, doing it steady work on every object ever made this complex relationship between the maker and emotionally invested object and the growing distance between them is not new only rediscovered each generation. I love this weather by an artist, a mourner, a mother, or a soldier. These objects ask very human moral questions. What right do we have to forget what do we owe to each other's memories? So memory now takes on a moral dimension because. When I go I, hope someone grabs hold of me and I have to promise I'm grabbing hold of WHO's gone before. The vast majority of human lives. They're just gone. Nobody remembers even to three generations down the road it's easy to start forgetting. And memory has a spiritual dimension in that way to me like there was a title of a piece called. Heaven is being a memory to others and. I just like knowing I'm going to hold on I'm. GonNa Grasp poll. In the last moment, I like that art can do that I. Think it should shoot. I'm Krista Tippett and this is on being. Over the last twenty years Dario. Roberta's art has been displayed at galleries and museums across the US. He's also been a creative partner to an ECLECTIC range of projects including the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and university faculties in engineering and euro aesthetics. He was born in San Antonio Texas and currently lives in Houston I spoke with him in two thousand fourteen as part of a series of live events with the Minneapolis. Institute of Art. Great to be back at Minneapolis Institute of Arts feel like I'm an old timer now. So I welcome you. So I've really been looking forward to this for several months as way I planned it. Thank you very much. So if I ask you about the spiritual and religious background of your childhood, where would you start to think about what that means? My grandfather was. A Baptist minister. Didn't grow up around him so much but his his influence definitely was there the Beckham ahead. and. It was definitely a passionate man. My mother religion in the home was not ever really an issue but as. I searched it out on my own. I'd asked. My friends, I come to church. Catholic methodist. Probably. Sampled every church or. A friend I had. So in my childhood. I would say it was very self directed. Maybe we'll always within the background knowing that thing about my grandfather there was still this kind of mysterious thing that I didn't really understand. So maybe it was apparently fueled by. Searching. It's like you know you. You were interested in science your football player. You weren't that kid who everybody thought would grow up to be an artist or that you didn't identity zone yeah. No, it was quite a shock. No. There are two stories that you've told across the years that I I wondered if you would. Tell us, and one of them has to do with your mother. One of them has to do with your father about how you became an artist. You, talk about your mother working in a Honky Tonk in Texas for a while when you were pretty young. And going with her and it really is the whole experience being there with her taking in the people taking a life in that place taking in the music of Patsy cline and others and listening to the Jukebox, and it almost feels like the jukebox was your first art object although you wouldn't have called at that originally. Yes. Credibly. Influential on my life definitely leaves a mark. Three then you're pretty young, right? Yeah. Six, six, seven. and. Their full range of emotional experiences you would imagine in a Honky Tonk, as a six year old. camp. Next to the jukebox watching at plough it really deliver mark and what I mean. You're having patsy Kline Soundtrack. What I'm actually witnessing in the room as she singing about, it made this one to one connection. Between the pop song or the country song or the object and life, and I think that has left a lasting impression on me which ties into science and maybe an unexpected way in that. I want what I do to be metaphor and have a practical I wanted to do something to in life. And then the other stories later on your father was biologist cracked and. It was from Nicaragua and you didn't really spend that much time with him going up. But then. You've told this story about sounds like when you're in your early twenties. You were depressed. Anyone to stay with him in Miami and we have the Beatles to thank you father and the Beatles to thank for you truly having this epiphany. It really I didn't know wouldn't epiphany was until I had one is. Really. It really was that mean within twenty four hours I. Still Don't know how to explain. It was related to this experience of what was clearly deep depression Dow when I look back. Visiting him. Sort of you know every young man has to come to terms of that at some point and I I guess I needed to spend time with them. And really the only thing we could communicate on wor was music and he was a huge Beatles Fan. You pretty much learned English mini and his brothers from Beatles records. Story. That he told me. From the lyrics but I don't know one day he he left and accidentally left Sergeant Pepper, playing on repeat. On the CD. And I was locked in my room and some terrible state and so for twenty four hours, I heard pepper through the muffled wall in the other room and something just changed I don't know how to explain it. But when I came out of the room, I was an artist. And I haven't looked back since and you've said that I mean you did bring out some pastels and paddock paper. And you start first thing I told him was please take me to an art store you did. I wondered have pastels on hand and that shows you to that I. didn't know what it meant to be an artist. So I thought we'll pastels or. Paper I didn't I didn't even know what I. so that was where I started and I I'll never forget that. Every artist has it that blank page and the fear this guttural fear in my stomach like Oh my God anything's possible. I don't know what to do and I was scared and and drawn to it in the same way and I still have that feeling it never goes away. I realized that. No. Toes interesting that both of these stories have music in them music is absolutely central to them. And There's a kinship in you, a kinship with the DJ and the idea of the DJ runs all the way through a lot of art projects you've done over the years. Yes, it's for me to begin to talk about the sacred. Start with music and oddly I never I never learned how to play an instrument and I always one of my great things I'm so envious of to this day. Being in a band and I've never been in a band and I wish so much I had been could have been. Even to this day I. Since I was a little boy to this day. I've kept a journal of potential bad names and song titles. Just in case ever gotten a band that that it because I couldn't instrument I could contribute a great band name right away of. And that's turned into its own art object over the years I found ways to finally get those things out without the music but. Yeah. This is part of I know the science part of my brain wonders what how my wire to lean this way. And actually though some of your earliest sculptures were made from. Grinding Vinyl records is. Like how do you take actual skills of the DJ song selection sampling scratching beat matching just all these things that DJ would do so very simply for example, Daichi of mixing records together I thought well, what if I really melted them in pot and mix them together and what would happen why? Why why did I choose those two songs and? Dj already handled the vinyl as an object as much as an audio experience. So I just kind of took that to an extreme like what if you kept scratching a record until it turned to dust? Kept giving myself these kinds of challenges. So you know there's a phrase there's some phrasing that I really appreciate now of the citizen scientist and this is also language your us because you work with science. The citizen artists. and. So as I was preparing to talk to you I felt like you know you're kind of a DJ slash artist I really also think you are an artist philosopher. And I think that's how I want to draw you out tonight. You know you deal in all your work either directly or indirectly with the big subjects. Life Love. Death. Somebody wrote about you Dario Rope Tow is a resurrection of dead, things. Compliment yeah. Yeah. And you but you don't do and I could imagine that people might. Think. This when they hear about your work, it's not about found objects. It's about as you say alchemy. That's a great distinction.