Dario Robleto’s work makes him a clear inclusion in The Record. Beyond his innovative work with the record as a physical material, Robleto practice reflects a deep interest in the practices of the musician. Moreover, he considers himself not an artist in totality but some sort of hybrid figure: something like a DJ/researcher/creator/scientist/artist. His work involves a careful precision in preparation and selection of materials (hence the old country music, e.g. Patsy Cline). I find There’s An Old Flame Burning In Your Heart, Or, Why Honky Tonk Love Is The Saddest Kind Of Love especially noteworthy in the way he allows the research to become a social pursuit. Growing up the son of a Texas honkytonk owner, Robleto has noted that a particular kind of melancholy persists in these establishments. His creation of these matches intervenes in the interactions of melancholy in these Texas honkytonks by rearticulating the musical score to these scenes, watching in strike up and blow out, injecting this melancholic music into the air. As much as the creation of these matches is manufactured, their true research function comes in the (un)artistic social use of the objects. Through actual use, they not only reflect the atmosphere Robleto was inspired by but they become part of that atmosphere, assuming markings (quite literally on the side of the box) and new meaning through actual use. The artist opens his work to a social element, allowing his work to assume not just the meaning he has put into it but the meaning it takes on its new setting, in some ways outside of his control. In this sense, we see art assuming a social character and the artist opening his work up to becoming (re)marked by the viewer.
18 10 2010