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Josh Azzarella

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A clear plasic box containing electronics and a solar cell.

Josh Azzarella

A clear plasic box containing electronics and a solar cell.

Untitled #315

Electronics, solar cell, weatherproof housing

Over the last year Josh Azzarella has been exploring AI and one of the results is this work. It’s a response to the endemic gun violence both here in Louisville and across the United States for the last 40+ years.

The work listens for the acoustic fingerprint of a gunshot and when it is identified the device makes a photo of the sky directly above it. It is unlikely to capture the actual gunshot(s) but instead creates an index for the moment.

The AI was trained on the Goggle AudioSet of 2+ million sounds and 500+ classes. The AI runs on a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a custom audio processor on top, and a single microphone. The work is powered by a rechargeable battery pack that is maintained by a second battery pack with a solar cell. The electronics are housed in a weatherproof case with laser cut elevations and connections for power, HDMI, and USB. The four additional images are ones made by the work since March of 2021. 

Josh Azzarella, Untitled #315, 2020-2021. Photo courtesy of the artist.



Josh Azzarella (b. 1978, Ohio) creates videos, objects, and photographs that explore the power of context in the authorship of memory, oftentimes utilizing seminal moments in pop culture and news media to create accessible confrontations with historiography. By illuminating the individual encounter with communal experiences, Azzarella evaluates the perception of realness, which can ultimately be rooted in both the fantastic as much as the pragmatic.

Azzarella was the recipient of the 2006 Emerging Artist Award and related solo exhibition from The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (CT). He has previously shown at the California Museum of Photography (CA), University Art Museum, Long Beach (CA), Vancouver Art Gallery (Canada), Kavi Gupta Gallery (IL), Academie der Kunste (Berlin), Sean Kelly Gallery (NY), Catharine Clark Gallery (CA), Mississippi State University (MS), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (CA) and DCKT Gallery (NY). His work is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PA), the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (TX), the San Diego Museum of Modern Art (CA), the Margulies Collection (FL), Western Bridge (WA) and JP Morgan Chase (NY), and 21c. In 2019 Azzarella collaborated on projects with both the Louisville Symphony Orchestra and the Louisville Ballet. He lives and works in Louisville, KY.

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