Electronic Transmission Process
A short video using found footage
A short video using found footage
A combination of found and original footage centered on ideas about microcosms and macrocosms through simple investigations. The found footage being acquired from my local public access TV station, by whom I was employed at the time.
A three song set of covers, in which each song relates to both my musical and personal origins.
Shot in 2006 at a public zoo with borrowed audio.
‘Decision Making (A Triptych)’ uses performance in combination with (repurposed and manipulated) original and found footage across three sections. Each section expresses a desire to reach for something greater, both personally and geographically. While the activity of jumping connects mobility and the arc of a jump to the arc of a decision, the expectations of a fantasy contrast with the outcome of reality.
DELAYING THE INEVITABLE
A re-edited version of an earlier project, shot with my then girlfriend, Dara Benno, where we begin in a Chicago alley and end on a sunny beach.
DENYING THE INEVITABLE
On an extremely cold day in November of 2010, I jumped into Lake Michigan in Chicago as a performance for this project. This was to be one of the harshest winters in memory, and the year “snowpocalypse” hit the city.
ACHIEVING THE IMPOSSIBLE
This section utilizes Woody Harrelson as a surrogate for myself, in the triumphant finally from the film “White Men Can’t Jump”. With the sound of the ocean waves in the distance as your only clue if you’re not familiar with the film, I can tell you that this scene also takes place at the beach, this time at Venice Beach in Los Angeles.
Garden Bed is a performance and installation created for the group show “Graveyard” at the outdoor Terraformer space on May 6, 2012. Each artists was asked to kill something, bury it, and mark the grave in some way. Terraformer is an abandoned plot of land situated between two apartment buildings in the Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport, next to the residence of Terraformer curator, Chris Smith. Smith does not have the rights to this land, nor was he given permission to hold an event on it. The land itself has suffered many tragedies over the years, including several deaths, drive-by’s, the apartment that once stood there burning to the ground, and eventually complete abandonment of the property.
On May 2nd I visited the Terraformer at 11:00 PM for the performance. I prepared the land by clearing sticks, rocks, and refuse from what would be the area of my performance, and constructed a 3′ x 6′ frame out of the sticks and stones. After digging a hole in my newly created space, I laid out my sleeping bag and performed an act of love with myself, the earth and the neighborhood, releasing my seed into the ground. Shortly after, I took a male fertility test.
The following Sunday I returned to Terraformer to till the earth where my seed lay and make it proper for growth, removing any weeds, rocks, and sticks in the area and forming the earth into a mound above my seed. At the top of the mound I inserted the fertility test, with the sensor stuck into the dirt, and the results displayed on the test. A metal construction pole was hammered into the corner of my space, with the instructions for how to read the test results attached. The area which began as abandoned, has now served as home, bed, garden, grave, and gallery. The fertility test indicated how many dead sperm lay in the mass grave below, and equally implied the potential ability for the soil itself to give new life. In an unexpected turn of events, the fertility test determined my sperm count to be less than 20 million (far below the average for most men), and was an indication of infertility, for myself and perhaps the land as well.
In 2009, I pressed 500 LP records titled “With Teeth Sharp As Old Friends” for my band Maribelle—which was almost entirely recorded and performed by myself. This was immediately following completion of my B.F.A. at UIC, and during a time when I wanted to focus more on music and touring before attempting to pursue an M.F.A. Almost three years later, I had 368 records of the original 500 records left.
On December 8th at 6PM, I stood in a plexiglas enclosure with a pedestal for the remaining records inside, stacked vertically on my record player, and cut them with a chainsaw. Contact microphones were connected to the records to amplify the sound through my stereo. With the teeth of the chainsaw spinning (instead of the records), I will released the sonic capabilities stored physically in each LP.
Much to my surprise, the process of cutting the records lasted nearly 25 minutes (23 minutes longer than expected, but approximately the length of the record itself). The room filled with noxious fumes almost immediately, and became increasingly warm. Half-way through the stack I was offered a mask for the fumes.
With less than 10 records left, the chainsaw ran out of gas. I invited the audience to help me break the remaining records with our hands, in the process ripping the needle off the record player, which then began spinning. By the end, I was dripping with sweat and very dizzy. Few spectators remained in the room for the duration. The aftermath stood as an installation but was ultimately disposed of, aside from a few shards of vinyl that audience members took with them.
Don’t Quit (formerly The Workout Tape) is a 30 minute collaborative effort organized by Jake Meyers and made by a variety of artists, each working within the format of a 1 minute workout video.
For my contributions, I wanted to make a family portrait. My family members chose their own music, and created an original workout routine. We then shot the routine in their living room or bedroom. The videos are arranged here and in The Workout Tape from youngest to oldest.
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 23rd, Noon-3pm
LOCATED AT THE VACANT LOT ADJACENT TO 3216 s. MORGAN ST.
In May of 2012, as part of a previous performance at Terraformer, Ross took a male fertility test. This test indicated his sperm count to be in the “extremely low” category. Shortly thereafter, E. Aaron Ross began saving his semen while practicing celibacy. Over the course of the last 48 hours (since the start of the blizzard on the 21st), this 9 month collection has been frozen and transformed into the form of an infant, and is currently being installed at the outdoor gallery space, Terraformer.
Official opening / visitation hours will be from Noon to 3PM on Saturday, February 23rd, but the installation will remain on view to the public for as long as the weather holds. Based on the weather report, we estimate this piece could conclude possibly as early as Sunday.
TERRAFORMER is a lot of land on Morgan St. in Chicago’s Southwest side. This lot was once the site for a home. After a drive by shooting a couple of people were killed in this home. Later, the home caught fire and burned down. After that, a demolition worker dealing with the wreckage died from a collapse of the burnt remainders from the house’s frame. The soil is too rocky from the leftover foundation for good gardening and the lot receives limited sunlight. There is a very large and old cottonwood tree that sits at the furthest end of the lot. This tree releases an incredible amount of it’s cotton seed in the spring.
“Untitled (House Show)” was a performance and installation at Comfort Station in Chicago, featuring members of Harm’s Way, Weekend Nachos, and Like Rats. The evening began with pizza and hanging out on the lawn, in typical house show fashion, and quickly moved into the living room, where a fictional sludge band performed an improvised set in concert with the improvised performance of Ross. The duration of the performance was to be determined by however long it took to dismantle and separate the two halves of the loveseat, using household tools such as a hedge trimmer, hand saw, razor blades, hammer, ax, etc., OR until the band felt like stopping.
This show also included additional work by Nicole Brunel in the form of a fictional merch table called “All Ages Font Space”, to complete the setting. This piece is comprised of hand screened patches that read as band names, but are actually free typefaces designed to mimic the look of punk bands, and named accordingly. They were sold by Brunel on a sliding donation based scale. The projected video seen here is a special edit of the documentary “Animal Passions“, made by Ross for the performance. Click here to learn more about this video.
Untitled (House Show) was the closing event for “Whatever You Residue Don’t Leave Me”—a solo show of new work by E. Aaron Ross at Comfort Station, March 5 – March 26. The remnants of the performance stayed on display as an installation for the final 24 hours of the exhibition.