Joshua Erkman lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Cinema-Television Production from the University of Southern California in 2001.
He plays drums in the Los Angeles rock and roll outfit LAMPS. Over the past 9 years LAMPS have released 2 full length LPs on In the Red Records, numerous singles on various labels internationally, and have toured both North America and Europe. LAMPS 3rd full length LP will be recorded this fall.
Recently he has started the Capes and Fog imprint which is a means of releasing limited run cassettes of his sound new work as well as that of other collaborators. These releases incorporate found recordings, contact microphones, electronic manipulations and analog synthesizers.
“Working in the medium of sound manipulation each piece, be it a sound and sculptural installation or a recorded piece on a cassette tape, is focused on reinterpreting an actual event. Each event ranges from levels of personal to cultural significance or insignificance. When possible actual recordings of that event are utilized and manipulated. These field recordings, edited pre-recorded sounds or contact microphone recordings are the foundation upon which the expressionistic manipulations of various electronic devices create an audible hyper-real scene of that particular event.
My approach is much like that of an alchemist, experimenting and manipulating attempting to create the ideal.”
Joshua’s SoundWalk 2011 piece is a wall-mounted, sculptural object consisting of 4 wood framed panels of various materials. Each panel is of various dimensions but together the panels are in the shape of a square. The framed panels contain the following: a mirror, a found image of a desert landscape, a speaker, and a piece of digital green screen fabric. Guests will hear a sounds derived from electronically manipulating field recordings of the Mojave Desert by means of a modular analog synthesizer.
Green screen is used in the chroma-key process and is typically utilized for special effects insertions of digitally created background landscapes. This process is also used in news broadcasting and is typically used to key in background images of maps of landscapes for weathermen to interact with. Mirrors have been used in special effects practice not only in film, but also in performances by magicians as early as the 1860s. Often mirrors are utilized in both film production and magic performance to create illusions of space that does not necessarily exist as it actually does. As the viewer interacts with the piece, they are reflected in the mirror and they become part of the “absent” landscape. Ideally the sound produced from the visible speaker allows the viewer to create a sense of an idealized landscape in their own mind specific to their experience.