What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
Bruce Nauman's neon spiral, 'The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths.' This was one of those 'slow release' art experiences that just keeps getting better and better, unfolding over years. Every time I've seen it (in pictures or in my mind) it's meant something profoundly different, even though on its surface it's just kind of a joke. I'm really drawn to things that contain their opposite in some way. This weird neon sculpture is fraught with contradiction, but somehow the transcendent message has trumped all of the traps and pitfalls and half-truths that it hints towards. My optimistic side says this might as well be the artist's goal: anything less seems like aiming low.
Nick Zammuto co-founded The Books, a wildly innovative duo that made four excellent albums by manipulating snippets and loops of field recordings, samples, and audio oddities into electronic collages. After that group disbanded, Zammuto ditched the high concept, put together a band, and began writing regular songs, sort of. The 10 tunes on Zammuto bring the Vocoder-heavy funk, with a dose of smarty-pants arrangements that echo Zammuto's previous band. Zammuto and his new crew play D.C.'s U Street Music Hall Wednesday night.