Robb Kunz Receives the 2015 Conductive Garboil Grant

Artist Robb Kunz
Artist Robb Kunz

4Culture, Artist Trust and the Estate of Su Job have just announced local artist, Robb Kunz as the 2015 recipient of the Conductive Garboil Grant, a yearly, non‐restricted award of $3,000.

The grant was developed by Job just before her passing in December 2008 and acknowledges King County artists with a connection to Pioneer Square who “challenge the limits of conductive creative discourse and its effects on our society, pushing the creative act beyond the accepted limits, definitions, or purposes of art while engaging audiences outside the aesthetic industrial complex.” Su also wanted her grant to recognize artists who, “incorporate the creative process into a life practice that diffuses the boundaries between professional activities, social responsibilities, and respect for the people that compose the community we all share.”

Robb Kunz is a prolific sound artist and engineer. He creates immersive, often renegade, sonic installations in public places as a way to inspire people to unplug, embrace a deeper sense of listening and connection, and confront social and political concerns.

Robb Kunz, Andromeda Strained, 2012/13, photo: Spike Mafford.
Robb Kunz, Andromeda Strained, 2012, photo: Spike Mafford.

Kunz’s exploration of artifice, acoustics, architecture and place creates a shared experience for unsuspecting audiences. His “sculptures,” handmade electronics and kinetic elements built from repurposed materials, broadcast elaborate and shifting compositions.

Originally from Oklahoma, Kunz was deeply affected by the powerful tornado and air raid sirens that punctuated his life on a weekly basis. They continue to be his primary influence. Upon moving to Seattle, following the 1999 WTO protests, he became a central member of the Infernal Noise Brigade. He is also a member of Degenerate Art Ensemble and founded the Berlin-based group, Alcalica. He teaches, engineers and produces recordings, creates affordable stereo systems and museum exhibits out of reclaimed and surplus parts, and keeps a studio at INSCAPE.

The public is invited to celebrate Robb Kunz on First Thursday, October 1, 2015, 6-9pm in the TK Lofts’ Vandenbrink Community Room: 115 Prefontaine Place South – Seattle, WA 98104. Award presentation begins at 7pm.

About the Conductive Garboil Selection Process
Prior to her death, Su Job chose the inaugural recipient of the Conductive Garboil Grant, Johnathan Heath Lambe. She also established a group of panelists to select the 2009 recipient, Sheri Brown. Panelists have since nominated their successors, according to Su’s guidelines. Kelly Lyles received the award in 2010, Rio Pacific Studio (Jeff Jacobson & Jen Vertz) in 2011, Paul Rucker in 2012, Christian French in 2013, and Jeppa K. Hall in 2014. The grant is administered on an annual basis by 4Culture and Artist Trust with the assistance of Su Job’s personal representative, Lynn Schirmer. More details may be found at www.garboil.org.