About the Artist
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Thomas Brodhead, born 1968 in St. Louis, Missouri, studied classical music composition, theory, and history during his college years in Oberlin, Ohio, all the while (on paper, at least) pursuing a B.A. in standard political history and philosophy. He then worked for over twenty years in classical music publishing as a music engraver, setting orchestral sheet music for print publication using original computer programs of his own creation. Concurrently, he worked as a musicologist of the American composer Charles Ives, and he produced a new and definitive performing edition of Ives’s massive Fourth Symphony (a works so rhythmically complex that it requires 2 or 3 conductors working in tandem) that was premiered at the Lucerne Festival in 2012.
His work on visual art began as a pastime in 2009, first as a humorous commentary on modern art and some of its theory-before-practice conventions (the correlatives of which he had confronted in the classical music world since his student days). Over time, his visual artwork transformed into a serious commentary on transhumanism and his own perception of the digital infantilization of humankind in the 21st century.
Balancing the constraints of established rules against the need for free-form editing is the bedrock of music engraving, an unsung craft: it requires concentration, attention to detail, and sensitivity to the harmonious arrangement of visual patterns. Brodhead’s diligence in that industry was a prelude to the things at the fore of his visual artwork, in which the pixelations of RGB computer displays are mirrored in an otherwise childlike pantomime of paint-by-numbers serialism.