Jonathan Nelson studied Fine Art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and Production for Radio at Chicago's Columbia College. He received his BA from the University of Minnesota, where he majored in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and minored in Studio Art, while working closely with the production department at KUOM, where he served as Production Director for five years. His work as artist, curator and producer has focused almost exclusively on collage, with forays into radio, visual art, writing and installation. His choice of source materials, found in both natural and media environments, point to issues of identity, originality and the concept of individual thought, exploring the processes of memory and free-association, dreaming and the stream of conscious.
His debut sound collage release was reviewed in over a dozen publications and profiled in WIRE Magazine, and City Pages, which chose Escape Mechanism as one of its "Picked to Click" artists (1999). The release also charted on CMJ's Top 200 that year. Following this release, Nelson formed a performance group, playing at venues such as The Walker Art Center, The Weisman Art Museum and The First Avenue Mainroom, and released a CD of recordings from these public performances (2004). His sound works have been installed at venues such as The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN), The Blue Theater (Austin, TX), The Rochester Art Center (Rochester, MN) and The Abercrombie Gallery (Lake Charles, LA). His collaboration with Steev Hise, the Tape-beatles and Wobbly, was released as a mini CD on the Dutch label, Staalplaat, in 2002.
In 2004, Nelson started a record label (Recombinations), with the goal of promoting collage work by audio artists, and joined Rosalux Gallery, where he served as an artist member for over two years. In 2005, his collaboration with Adam Sultan and Jerome fellowship recipient Abi Basch, on her play, Fear of a Fuhrer, resulted in an Austin Critic's Table Award for Outstanding Original Score. Nelson's first all sound art exhibition (Fragment Nation) was mounted in 2007 at Rosalux. He participated in The Headphone Festival that same year at The Rochester Art Center, where he also conducted a summer workshop teaching young artists about the processes and theories of sound collage. His second studio release, 2008's (Emphasis Added), spent over a month on CMJ's RPM charts and enjoyed positive reviews, including profiles in The Onion's Decider (Minneapolis) and Wired Magazine (US), and on Klassikaraadio's NYYD-muusika program (Estonia) and National Public Radio's On Point with Tom Hashbrook (US).
Nelson is also a curator specializing in collage, assemblage and mixed media. His nationally syndicated radio program (Some Assembly Required) is a weekly radio art show, featuring the talents of audio artists who appropriate sounds from their media environments. Since its inception in 1999, Nelson has produced over thirty artist features, interviewing everyone from John Oswald and The Evolution Control Committee, to artists such as Christian Marclay, DJ Qbert and Go Home Productions. While Some Assembly Required is focused exclusively on audio art, Nelson's Festival of Appropriation focuses on the visual. This recurring exhibition has featured local, national and international artists working with a variety of approaches to creative appropriation, since 1999. In addition to these ongoing roles, Nelson has assisted in producing large-scale projects in collaboration with The Sound Unseen underground film and music festival, in concert with The Walker Art Center and has personally presented performances by sound collage artists at venues such as The Soap Factory, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, The Triple Rock Social Club, and The Rogue Buddha Gallery.
For more information about Jonathan Nelson, visit his artist's page at mnartists.org, and the Post Consumer Productions website, at: www.PostConsumerProductions.com