Phillip David Stearns was born in 1982 and currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Stearns’s work is centered on the use of electronic technologies and electronic media to explore dynamic relationships between ideas and material as mobilized within complex and interconnected societies. Deconstruction, reconfiguration, and extension are key methodologies and techniques employed in the production of works that range from audio visual performances, electronic sculptures, light and sound installation, digital textiles, and other oddities both digital and material. He received his MFA in music composition and integrated media from the California Institute of Arts in 2007 and his BS in music technology from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2005.
His work has been exhibited internationally at electronics arts festivals, museums, and galleries including: Turku Biennial 2013, WRO Biennale 2013, Transmediale 2013, Denver Art Museum (2013), The Photographer’s Gallery London (2012), The Camera Club of New York (2012), Eyebeam (2012, 2007), Harvestworks (2010, 2012); Gli.tc/H 2112; Festival De Arte Digital 2010; FILE 2009; NIME 2009; Filmer La Musique 2009; FONLAD 2009; Torrance Art Museum (2008, 2007); Optica Film Festival & (2011 2008). He has participated in residencies at the Making Lab of the 4th APAP ( Korea 2013), Textielmuseum in Tilburg, NL (2013), Institute for Electronic Arts (2012, 2013), Museums Quartier (Vienna 2010), STEIM (Amsterdam 2007, 2013), Experimental Television Center (2009), Harvestworks (NY 2010), Free103Point9 (2012). He has presented and led workshops at several international institutions including the Universidad De Chile (Santiago 2013), Santiago Maker Space (2013), Pomona College (2013), Recyclism Hacklab (Dublin 2013), and the Science Gallery (Dublin 2013).
He created his series “High Voltage Images” by zapping Polaroid instant film with 15,000 volts. The sentiment that the camera is an extension of the eye is taken to an extreme. When looking through the Fujifilm FP-100c instant color film datasheets, the similarities between the layering of materials in the film and the layering of cells in the retinal is striking. Perhaps it is because the development of such film technologies parallels an evolving understanding of how the eye sees.