Jesse Gilbert is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of visual art, sound and software design, creating flexible frameworks that are activated in live performance, via network interaction, or in installation settings. Since 2010 he has primarily developed and performed with his software SpectralGL, an interactive listening instrument that generates real-time visual landscapes in response to sound. Building on his work as a composer, sound designer and lifelong technologist, Gilbert’s creative output probes the phenomenological nature of listening itself through a practice centering on improvisation and collaborative dialogue. Gilbert co-founded Dark Matter Media LLC in 2007, through which he consults on a variety of projects in the art and entertainment industries. He is currently the Chair of the Media Technology department at Woodbury University, and has taught interactive software design at both CalArts and UC San Diego.
Gilbert’s collaborative and solo work has been shown widely in the US and abroad; venues include Ars Electronica (Austria), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), BAM Next Wave Festival (New York), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Färgfabriken (Stockholm), Laboral Centro de Arte (Gijón), RedCat (Los Angeles), Operadagen Festival (Rotterdam), Millenium Park (Chicago), Theatre at the Ace Hotel (Los Angeles), Mostra SESC de Artes (São Paulo), Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall (Istanbul), Festival International de Musique Actuelle (Quebec), Molde Jazz Festival (Norway), Angel City Jazz Festival (Los Angeles), Roulette (New York), Sons d’Hiver (Paris), Saalfelden International Jazz Festival (Austria), Suoni per il Popolo Festival (Montreal), Café OTO (London), Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz (Barcelona), Guelph Jazz Festival (Ontario), Heineken Jazzaldia Festival (San Sebastián), Axs Festival (Pasadena), Miami Light Project (Miami), Engine27 (New York), New Museum (New York), USC Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Automata (Los Angeles), The Blue Whale (Los Angeles), New School (New York), net.congestion (Amsterdam), Whitney Museum (New York), Grand Performances (Los Angeles), Prototype Festival (New York), CEAIT Festival (Los Angeles), Kunstradio’s Recycling the Future (Austria), and PORT (MIT, Boston).
His work has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Eyebeam Atelier, the National Performance Network, turbulence.org, the Studio for Creative Inquiry (Carnegie Mellon), the Jerome Foundation, Creative Capital, the Greenwall Foundation, the Markle Foundation, the Beall Center for Art & Technology (UC Irvine), the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Montalvo Arts Center, the Watson Foundation, ASK Theater Projects, and the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology (CEAIT).
Gilbert has collaborated with a wide range of artists and researchers across many disciplines, including: Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Mark Trayle, Carole Kim, Maile Colbert, Maija Garcia, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Motoko Honda, Timur Bekbosunov, Daniel Corral, Moses Hacmon, Oguri, Roxanne Steinberg, Pablo Molina, Leroy Jenkins, Pauline Oliveros, Helen Thorington, Marek Walczak, Kathy Tagg, David Krakauer, Murray Hidary, Scott Rosenberg, Aram Sinnreich, Arul Chib, Marie Sester, Amy Alexander, Grisha Coleman, Michael Bryant, Georgia Archer, Maureen Selwood, JR Hughto, Anne LeBaron, Nels Cline, GE Stinson, Nick Didkovsky, Dafna Naphtali, Tim Boykett, Atau Tanaka, Han Earl Park and many others. He studied composition with Mark Trayle, Wadada Leo Smith, Mort Subotnick, David Rosenboom, Sara Roberts, Tom Erbe, Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, and Ron Kuivila.
Gilbert’s collaborative work with video artist Carole Kim was featured in Aspect Magazine Vol. 2: Artists of the West Coast. His online work was featured in Peter Traub’s article Sounding the Net: Recent Sonic Works for the Internet and Computer Networks in Contemporary Music Review, December 2005. In December 2010 he was voted a Finalist for the World Technology Award in the Arts and inducted as a new Fellow by the World Technology Network.
In 1994 Gilbert received a Watson Fellowship and spent a year studying music in Ghana, West Africa. His independent research, focused primarily on oral transmission of culture, has been a primary influence on his later work in electronic media.