Artist of the Week- Joseph Delappe

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Since 1983 Joseph Delappe has been working with electronic and new media to create art.  He has a Master of Fine Arts in Pictorial Arts (CADRE Institutes San Jose State University), Master of Art in Computers in Art and Design (CADRE Institute San Jose State University), Bachelor of Science Graphic Design (San Jose University), and an Associates in Art (City College of San Francisco)  He is a professor in the Department of art at University of Nevada, Reno directing the digital media program.  His works of online gaming performance, sculpture and electromechanical installations have been shown throughout the united states as well as other countries.

Delappe is an activist artist.  His work reflects current events, ideas, concepts and political principles that he is passionate about.  He questions the social and political realities in virtual world as well as the real world.  Much of his work is online in  shooter games and virtual communities.  Through this, he investigates war, protest and human interaction with machines.

His most recent exhibition is The Drone Project: A Participatory Memorial.  It is an adaptation to the Japanese 1,000 Cranes, which maintains that the folder of 1,000 origami cranes will be granted their wish. Joseph DeLappe’s collaborative piece took over two weeks and 100 volunteers to complete.   With this piece, Delappe had art students create 1,000 small-scale drones.  The names of civilian drone casualties were written on the wings of the paper drones.

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What I really enjoy about Joseph Delappe is that he is a very passionate activist for what he believes in.  He draws attention to issues in new and creative ways that get people talking.  Delappe likes to explore the question of, “How does artistic intervention affect Change?” and “How does one creatively navigate the conflicts beween art and activism?”.  For example, a recent study showed that if the United States built a concentrated solar power farm on one hundred square miles of land, it would provide enough energy to power the entire country.  To bring attention to this cause, Delappe rode with  chalk on his customized bicycle outlining an area deep in the Nevada desert.

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He made a 460 mile long line in the Desert using 246 pieces of homemade chalk.  Each day he spent 7-8 hours riding in the hot Nevada sun. By doing this, Delappe isn’t trying to suggest a solar installation in that location but instead to get people talking about the idea that we as a nation can accomplish the goal of energy sustainability.

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