December 18th: Aldo Tambellini Features

Photo by Anna Salamone

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On December 18, Aldo Tambelllini returns to Out of The Blue and Stone Soup.

Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, New York in 1930, his father from Sao Paolo, Brazil, his mother from Italy. He was taken to Italy at the age of eighteen months where he lived in Lucca (Tuscany). At the age of ten, he was enrolled in the Scuola D'Arte, A. Passaglia. His neighborhood was bombed during WWII; twenty-one of his friends and neighbors died and he miraculously survived. In 1946, Aldo returned to the United States. With a full scholarship at Syracuse University he received a BFA in Painting, '54 and a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, '59, studying with world-renowned sculptor, Ivan Mastrovic.

Aldo moved to New York City, Lower East Side, in the summer of '59. He was the founder of the artistic underground, counter-culture group called 'Group Center" which connected painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, musicians and dancers active outside of the art establishment, organizing alternative ways and non-traditional presentation of the artists work to the public. They engaged in social-political activities. In 1965, he began painting directly on film beginning his "Black Film Series" of which, "Black TV," (made using both film and video) was the winner of the International Grand Prix, Oberhausen Film Festival, 1969 and is in the Museum of Modern Art Collection.

Simultaneously, Aldo began a series of "Electromedia Performances" which organically brought together, projected paintings, film, video, poetry, light, dance, sound and live musicians which The New York Herald Tribune called Tambellini's Rebellion in Art Form. The last performance, "Black Zero,"part of Intermedia 68, was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY. In '66, Aldo and Elsa Tambellini founded the Gate Theatre, in New York's East Village, the only daily public theatre showing avant-garde independent filmmakers. In 1967, he co-founded with Otto Piene, the Black Gate, a second theatre which presented live multi-media (Electromedia) performances and installations.

He pioneered in the video art movement in the late 60's and his first video was broadcast on ABC TV News NY in '67. With Otto Piene, Aldo created "Black Gate Cologne," the first national TV broadcast by artists in Cologne Germany, in '68. Aldo was part of the first broadcast by artists, "Medium is the Medium," on WBGH, Boston, MA. In '69. For his media work, he received several grants from the NY State Council for the Arts and exhibited extensively in the United States, Europe, Brazil and Japan. He participated in the Sao Paolo Biennale in Brazil in '83.

From 1976 to 1984, Aldo was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a Fellow at CAVS he conducted workshops and organized with "communicationsphere" as series of international interactive Media Communication Projects. Although Aldo was involved in writing poetry most of his life, since '84, he has concentrated on writing and performing his poetry with music, video projection, and has participated in many radio shows and countless poetry venues. He ran his own venue called "The People's Poetry" in Cambridge, MA. He has been published in journals, magazines and several anthologies. His poems have been translated into Italian, Sicilian and Russian. Most recently, his visual poems have been exhibited in Berlin, Germany at the No! ART Show and at the Altered Esthetics Gallery, in the Guerilla Art Exhibit, in Minnisota. He is a founding member of "Poets Against the Killing Fields<" an anti-war group of political and social poets in Massachusetts. He has produced his first digital film, "Listen" which incorporates his anti-war and political poetry, animation/video and film clips. This film premiered at the HOWL Festival in 2004 in New York City. And won First Place in the Short Experimental Film by an Independent Filmmaker category at the at the New England Film Festival in October 2005 and the Syracuse International Film Festival in 2006. The film has been chosen to be screened in several film festivals throughout the United States and Europe. The digital triptych,-1 (Minus One) was presented at the 2005 HOWL Festival in New York City and includes pieces of Aldo's early video work, poetry and digital images.

Click here for a sampling of the author's work.