Inverted Obsolescence, new works by John Pugh

16 Aug 2017 – 17 Sep 2017

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Black Ball Projects

New York
New York, United States


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Inverted Obsolescence, by sound/visual artist John Pugh is a series of works utilizing late 20th century musical formats, now considered extinct or anachronistic, re-purposed and re-contextualized.


Inverted Obsolescence

New Works By  John Pugh

August 16 - September 17, 2017

Black Ball Projects is pleased to present the first solo show of sound and visual artist John Pugh.

Inverted Obsolescence consists of a series of sculptural and visual works utilizing late 20th century musical formats and hardware that are now considered extinct or anachronistic. Materials have been re-purposed and re-contextualized as an expression of defiance against “designed obsolescence,” which could be argued, is an ever increasing aspect of modern life. The objects, formats, and media of both music and sound have been especially prone to this constant change and sometimes questionable “innovation” defined by corporate structures writ large. The works in the show confront this ingrained consumer cycle alongside the cultural/technical history of the materials used in the exhibition.

The works are built around a specific piece of predominantly obsolete media formats. Each function as a “portrait” in honor of a format: records and record players, cassette tapes, compact discs, 8-track tapes, speakers and tube amplifiers, drum and percussion parts etc.

The work’s parameters are set by the built-in limitations of the technology itself and incorporate the acoustical properties of the gallery, as well as the absence or presence of people. 

Operating as experimentation upon the human body, each piece invites interaction by the viewer to experience the full manifestation of the work. A handmade xeroxed zine describing how to interact with each piece will be available at the gallery.

John Pugh (b. 1974) is a musician and sound artist who lives and works in New York City. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas playing in punk and experimental groups such as Jet Jangua,The Rat Finks, Uptown Prophets, Rebel Android and No City No State. In the early 2000’s John was the lead percussionist and then main song-writer for the band !!! “chk-chk-chk” who headlined international festivals and tours for years . He then started his own band Free Blood which performed as part DFA/Rong’s curation of warm-up at PS-1 as well multiple venues in NY and throughout the country. His work as a sound artist has been performed at the DIA Foundation, Trans-Pecos, the DOT AIR Festival and the 24 hour DRONE Festival. John currently curates sound events at the Knockdown Center and H0L0 in NYC. His latest music project is Vision Control, with solo and collaborative works.


Brian Wondergem

Jason Tomme

Ana Wolovick

Exhibiting artists

John Pugh


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