Every Time a Bell Rings… 1998

Bob Karstadt
Bob Karstadt: December 5, 1998

Described by Karstadt as a 8220 battle between agrarian and technological materials 8221 this highly audience-interactive performance focuses on the artist 8217 s manipulation...


Described by Karstadt as a “battle between agrarian and technological materials,” this highly audience-interactive performance focuses on the artist’s manipulation and transformation of domestic objects and materials as a form of “symbolic communication.”

The piece progresses through a series of actions using materials such as lead, corn, vinegar, and salt. Karstadt becomes a hummingbird, a turtle, and a fish as he speaks and moves through a narrative sequence wearing body and head apparati. He hands out objects to encompass the audience’s physical senses in preparation for a material symphony, drawing, and dance.

The resulting experience is a “carnival of earth magic and alchemical activities” in which the artist uses base materials to change people’s perceptions, to create altered states of consciousness.

About the Artist

Bob Karstadt received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He taught for a number of years in Pittsburgh and Kingston, PA and served as adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University and Youngstown State University. He currently teaches art at Squaw Valley Academy.