Kris Schmolze

Monday, July 1 to Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Artist statement: I want to make a non-destructive and positive impact in the world through sustainable art and sustainable living. I pull items out of the waste stream giving them a different purpose than initially intended to use them in a new ways, collaging images, sounds and materials into artworks, environments and experiences.

Visual collages layer images combining old ideas into curiosities of today. By layering recorded sounds an audible collage unfolds combining recognizable notes and undistinguished noises. Constructing sustainable buildings from natural and manufactured materials integrates naturally into the environment. All of these are forms of collage are combining pre-existing materials into something new.

My previous work with interactive noise machines ties into the layering of my current soundscapes. This work is an extension of William Burroughs’s cutups both in sound and vision. John Cage, Bernie Kraus and Christian Marclay have influenced my approach to art and sound. Michael Reynolds has influenced my way of making sustainable homes. I draw inspiration from science and technology and how they both reform human understanding of all things while disintegrating world views.


Introduce yourself and describe your work and the media/genre you work in.

Hello! My name is Kris Schmolze. I am an artist and a musician exploring the bounds of both, simultaneously and independently,  riding the line between each on their own, while intersecting them together and trying to find what defines or denies them.

Talk about the works currently on display at the Oak Park Library. What would you like people to know about them?

The thirty or so collage works on display at the Oak Park Library embody concepts involving science and spirituality. As knowledge expands our understanding of the world we inhabit, the comprehension of this universe grows. By playing with themes of belief, fantasy, myth, prophecy and technology, a furthered narrative of science fiction develops.

Describe your creative process.

There’s a lot that goes into designing collages around concepts. Researching current events, stories and theories becomes the building blocks to hunt for images to work with. Pulling from previous events gives concrete references to facts or fibs from the past, granting validation to an addition of established ideas. Collecting pictures that have a history allows expansion upon its possibilities, much like fake news and conspiracy theories.

What do you feel is your role as an artist?

My role as an artist is to think about ideas and then to explore them—research, develop a concept, search for materials, construct these ideas, reflect and repeat. It is important to share these skills with everyone. I will be leading a collage workshop where we will be using old books from the Library to make artwork in late August. Please attend and bring your friends!

What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?

The catalog from the 1939 World's Fair with all its promise of a better future rings true today. The Kronos Quartet’s Music of the Spheres features a live track that plays throughout the performance, which is a recording of outer space from Voyager that was sped up to be audible and sounds like the deepest densest jungle. Visits to the Greater World Earthship Community in New Mexico and Biosphere 2 in Arizona both explore adapting to an Earthly and Martian environment.