Lou Mallozzi

Lou Mallozzi's interest in, engagement with, and exploration of sound as art has resulted in a diverse body of work: experimental audio narratives for radio and CD, sound performances that thrive in the tension between live and mediated experience, and sound installations that often highlight the loudspeaker itself as a polyvalent object (something that is at once a thing-in-itself, a conduit, a technological icon, and a prosthetic). The intersection of language, disembodiment, ephemerality, and hermeneutics crystallizes for him in phonography—an interrogative art practice involving mediations of sound: He does things with sounds, many of which are recognizable replications or reiterations of previous sounds. He also pursues other non-sonic art practices as well; currently these include process-based drawings, the use of video, and occasional visual installation works. Mallozzi feels that the visual is not absent from his sound work—his installations and performances have strong architectonic and visual elements, and most of his "purely" sonic work embraces a sort of veiled visuality through the use of acousmatics, language, and references to the body. One of the things that keeps his audio art work from being music or musical is that it is very much about the visual, or visuality, or our being visual beings. Mallozzi is often using sound to explore/play at the visual. Rigor and limits are of great importance to him, where rigor is consonant with attentiveness and limits are conceived as catalytic frames.


Lou Mallozzi (b. 1957) is an audio artist in Chicago who dismembers and reconstitutes sound, language, gesture, and image in various media. He works in live performance, radio art, sound installation, CD recording, soundtrack design, and visual art. He has presented works at numerous festivals, concerts, galleries, and broadcasts since 1986, including the Bludenz Festival for Contemporary Music (Austria), the TUBE Audio Art Series (Munich), Fylkingen (Stockholm), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), The Fort Wayne Museum of Art (Indiana), Podewil (Berlin), The PAC/edge Performance Festival (Chicago), Aetherfest Radio Art Festival (Albuquerque), The Resonance FM Radio Festival (London), Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich), The Chicago Cultural Center, The Donald Young Gallery, Corbett vs Dempsey, and many others.

He has collaborated with numerous artists in these endeavors, including Sandra Binion, Michael Vorfeld, Mats Gustafsson, Jaap Blonk, Michael Zerang, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Carlos Zingaro, Hal Rammel, Terri Kapsalis, ensemble Intégrales, Guillermo Gregorio, and many others.

Mallozzi has released several CDs, including Radiophagy (radio art works, Penumbra Music), Whole or By the Slice (electroacoustic duos with Hal Rammel, Penumbra Music), and Grammar (improvised music with Carlos Zingaro and Fred Lonberg-Holm, Rossbin Records). He has appeared on several compilations and as a participant in several released recordings, including Faktura by Guillermo Gregorio (Hat Art), Material by Cornelius Cardew (Hat Art), and I'm Sick About My Hat by John Corbett (Atavistic). He has also designed and edited the soundtracks for a number of independent films, including Fever by Paula Froehle, Israel in Exile by Juan Ramirez, The Quiet by Thomas Silva, The King of the Tango by Karen Freidberg, and the Academy Award nominated short animation Stubble Trouble by Joe Meredith. His sound works, texts, and visual works have been included in several publishing and exhibition projects, including Experimental Sound and Radio, edited by Allen Weiss (MIT Press) and Infrathin, curated by Dan Devening (Northwestern University).

Mallozzi has received a number of grants and awards for his work, including a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center in Italy, four Illinois Arts Council Fellowships, and grants from the Driehaus Foundation and the Governor's International Arts Exchange Program. He is the Executive Director of Experimental Sound Studio and teaches in the Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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