Holland Hopson is a sound and media artist, composer, and improviser. He is a multi-instrumentalist, and prefers to perform on clawhammer banjo and electronics. Hopson often incorporates various digital elements into his performances, including custom-designed sensor interfaces and interactive computer programs of his own creation. Hopson’s musical performance work has taken him around the globe, to Australia, Europe, and North America; accompanying him on these performances are other notable experimental and outsider musicians, including Macarthur Genius Award winners Anthony Braxton and George Lewis, live electronics pioneer David Behrman, sonic meditator Pauline Oliveros, mutant-trumpeter Ben Neill, network music trailblazer Tim Perkis, and free-improv innovators LaDonna Smith and Davey Williams. In addition to his multimedia artistic accomplishments, he is an Assistant Professor of Arts Entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama’s New College and a Fellow of the Collaborative Arts Research Initiative (CARI).
Through his art, Hopson often aims to use computer technologies to better engage with very human, and very epistemological, questions about knowledge systems, perception, and consciousness. Furthermore, for Hopson, computer codes may act as placeholders for human cognition. These basic components of Hopson’s artistic philosophy appear quite transparently in his 2019 work, and the inspiration for our exhibit, A Work of Art for Every Entry in Index—Subjects—Library of Congress. Using a continuously-running computer algorithm, Hopson opens up a space for us to entertain the whimsical, even absurd, possibilities of artistic creation.
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