“Artists were the original self-promoters.” Chad Sorg uses this line to inspire. A marketing focus has allowed him to work with many artists in promotions and curation.
Here’s my TED talk on the Car Forest:
To give you an idea of what Fishbowling is all about, these first two videos show the same event from 2 different perspectives:
.. And here’s the official video put out by Ignite Reno:
Sorg has practiced art in the areas of painting, drawing, photography, video and performance, however community involvement through authoring, curation, design and publicity has played a very big part in his rise to notoriety.
Sorg’s art on Facebook: Art of Sorg
One of Sorg’s major projects was assuming the role of owner/director of Blue Lion Gallery, an exhibition space that shaped the current face of Reno’s art scene. While there, he helped introduce hundreds of artists to the practice of gallery involvement and exposure. XXXPosed was the gallery’s longest running show (5 years) and it featured adult entertainers who modeled for artists. Blue Lion Gallery was laid to rest in 2005.
NadaDada Motel was brought to life in 2007 when Sorg and 5 other artists co-founded the art-in-motel-rooms-event. The DIY (do it yourself) event, with it’s motto “Get a Room, Make a Show” has attracted involvement from over 400 artists and performers of all disciplines. Artists from five states have exhibited. Thousands of visitors have attended these multi-exhibition events in motel rooms. The New York Times came to Reno to write a feature story about the event in June of 2009. NadaDada has a page on Wikipedia.
Another of Sorg’s artistic projects commencing that same year was Fishbowler. Since 2007, the artist has been living in display windows or public spaces across the country from one to four weeks. During his stay, he blogs and creates art. Live streaming and videos are the focus of his audience involved activities. Interviewing other artists and promoting them through social media was carried out in return for lunch, beer and conversation. The artist says it was a “return to the basics of barter and capitalism” and calls the first 4 years Chapter 1. Social Media became his artform and the blog itself is becoming more focused on artists of all kinds.
Sorg has been painting mixed media abstractions and portraiture since 1989 and doesn’t plan to abandon his first love. With national notoriety under his belt and with his work in many private and public collections, Chad Sorg is poised for a lasting and multi-faceted career in the artworld. Community and audience are one to Sorg. His message is “Promoting others is the best way to promote yourself.”
Thanks for the interview Mobile Micro Shows!
Also find me on YouTube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion.
selected group shows and representation
2013″Open Spaces and Special Places”, Wilber May Museum, Reno, NV
2009 “Greetings From Nada Motel”, curator/exhibitor Barrick Museum, Las Vegas, NV
2008 “Selections From Dada Motel”, curator/exhibitor Barrick Museum, Las Vegas, NV
2005 “Reno Royale”,curator/exhibitor Lyon Co. Courthouse Gallery, Yerington, NV
2005 “Left Behind”, Western Nevada Community College, Carson City, NV
2005 “MASK”, McNamara Gallery, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV
2004 “Faculty Show”, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
2003 “NW NV Survey of Contemporary Photographic Art”
Sheppard Gallery, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV
2002–2004 Beloré Gallery International, Sun Valley, ID
2002 “20/20 Vision”, Campbell Art Gallery, Reno, NV
2002 State of the Arts Consulting, Bay Area, CA
2001–2002 New Medium Gallery, Reno, NV
2000–2005 Bleulion Art & Space, (owner/exhibitor) Reno, NV
2000–2004 Gallery Cui-Ui / River Gallery, Reno, NV
2000 “Art Slaves Exhibition”, Reno, NV
1998 Such Is Life Gallery, (owner/exhibitor) Phoenix, AZ
1997 Art One Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
2013 “”All Your Bus Are Belong 2 Us”, TMCC, Lauritzen Gallery, Reno, NV
2009 “Explosives”, McNamara Gallery, UNR, Reno, NV
2007–Present ongoing solo, BofA Building 50 W. Liberty, Reno, NV
2004 “LeeRoy Brown”, Red Mountain Gallery
Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, NV
2003 “GreyDavis-GreenDavis”, Metro Gallery in City Hall, Reno, NV
2003 “MeanJoeGreen”, Gallery Cui-Ui / River Gallery, Reno, NV
2003 “Legislative Exhibition Series”, Carson City, NV
2003 “AnnMargaret”, Western Nevada Community College, Carson City, NV
2002 “The Photos of 900 Seconds”, Tahoe Gallery, Sierra Nevada College,
Incline Village, NV
2001 “LeeMarvin”, Gallery Cui-Ui / River Gallery, Reno, NV
2007 70 Ft. long mural, Victorian Square, Commissioned by City of Sparks, NV
2007 6 pieces for Renown Hospital, Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV
2006 7 pieces, Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, Carson City, NV
2005 10 piece (30 ft. overall) mural, Carson Tahoe Hospital, Carson City, NV
2004 Sixteen foot long mural, First Independent Bank, Reno, NV
2004 5 piece mural, Red Hawk Golf Course, Spanish Springs, NV
2003 Eighteen foot long mural, Great Basin Federal Credit Union, Reno, NV
2002 Eight 6 ft. tall pieces, Reno Hilton, Reno, NV
*as well as many private collections including those of Wally Cuchine, Hanna Porter, Frank Hill, Jim House, Ann Fullerton, Dianna Sion Callender and Sara Gray.
2005–2013 International Car Forest of the Last Church,
Chief Artist & Publicist, Goldfield, NV
2009 Curation and installation of “Greetings From Nada Motel”, Jan. 2009
Barrick Museum, UNLV, Las Vegas, NV
2008 Curation and installation of “Selections From Dada Motel”, Jan. 2008 Barrick Museum, UNLV, Las Vegas, NV
2006–Present Writing art and cultural reviews for Reno News & Review
2005 “Reno Royale” Curated, Lyon Co. Courthouse Gallery, Yerington, NV
2005 “Left Behind” Curated, Western Nevada Community College,
Carson City, NV
2004–2009 Preparator, Nevada Touring Initiative, Nevada Arts Council
2003–2007 Preparator, Sierra Arts Foundation
2004 Instructor of Flash Animation, Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, NV
2003–2004 Instructor of Digital Photography, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
2003 Invited to lecture for NW NV Survey of Contemporary Photographic Art University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV
2003 Invited to jury student art show, Western Nevada Community College,
Carson City, NV
2002 Invited as guest painting instructor working with kids of various ages,
Paint Club, Reno, NV
2002–Present Resident artist instructing kids, Sierra Arts Foundation, Reno, NV
2000–2005 Organizing independent exhibitions for local and area artists,
became co-director in 2002, Bleulion Gallery, Reno, NV
featured in publications and media
- USA Today
- Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
- Wall Street Journal
- Huffington Post
- The New York Times
- Harper’s Bazaar
- American Craft Magazine
- High Country News Magazine
- Ventura County Reporter
- Curbed LA
- Las Vegas Review Journal
- Las Vegas Sun
- Las Vegas Weekly
- Fort Wayne News Sentinel
- Artweek Magazine
- Nevada Magazine
- Vurb Magazine
- Reno Magazine
- Reno Gazette Journal
- Reno News & Review
- Sparks Tribune
- N Magazine
- Sagebrush Newspaper, UNR
- Reno & It’s Discontents
- Reno Passport
- “Artist-In-Residence Show” on KUNR with Terry Joy
- “Nevada Matters” with Eddie Floyd (syndicated)
- “Exploring Nevada” with Gwen Clancy on KNPB ch. 5
- “Art Connection” with Richard Hobbs on KBDB
- “Insight” on Sacramento State NPR, KJZZ
- “The Bob Garrison Show” on KBZZ
- “Art Beat” with Betsy Dickinson on KNPB ch. 5
- “The BleuBenefit” on SNCAT Public Access TV
- KTVN,Reno, NV
- KOLO 8, Reno, NV
- WANE TV 15, Fort Wayne, IN
Chad Sorg Fort Wayne, Indiana
Chad Sorg is an artist/photographer, writer, curator/promoter, art preparator and graphic designer with a degree in Visual Communications from Collins College in Tempe, AZ. His experiences have included graphic design work for ad agencies, a newspaper, a movie production company, photography and digital animation instructor as well as many independent creative projects.
He was co-owner/director of a gallery in Phoenix,AZ and one in Reno,NV. BleuLion Gallery in Reno was open for 7 years and promoted the work of over 200 mostly Northern Nevada artists. Funding was out-of-pocket.
Sorg taught a computer animation class for a semester at Truckee Meadows Community College and photography classes for adults and children at the Nevada Museum of Art as well as art classes with youth at McGee Center.
Sorg has worked as an art preparator for over 10 years, installing and delivering fine art for a gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, Sierra Arts Foundation and Nevada Arts Council, as well as independent curation and installation in Reno & Las Vegas museums & art centers.
He has written art and culture reviews for Reno News & Review, Reno Passport, Reno Tahoe Tonite, NV Today.com, Washoe Family Magazine and N Magazine.
Before that, Sorg earned a living as an airbrush artist and as a high-rise window cleaner. He’s left-handed and was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1973.
The following is an article I wrote for Reno News & Review while Fishbowling:
In the think tank
Local artist Chad Sorg spent five days in the “fishbowl” of a vacant downtown building, blogging with a webcam as a way to examine social relations, spirituality and notions of watching and being watched.
PHOTO BY LAUREN RANDOLPH
A fter 120 hours—five straight days—of live streaming, my Fishbowl went offline. By this time, I had some way-stinky feet and probably had a sticky butt, too. It wasn’t exactly a harsh environment, but I brought no change of clothes, and I took no food in with me other than some apples, a pear and a bag of pine nuts. I was prepared to rely on others’ generosity for subsistence, and I kept dropping hints (begging) online for beer.
I’d done performance art similar to this before—producing paintings and drawings while sitting in storefront display windows. This time, however, I was to be producing no artwork other than the performance itself.
For “Artist-In-A-Fishbowl,” I was housed in 10,000 vacant square feet in a former bank space at the corner of Liberty and Sierra streets from Sunday, Dec. 7, through Friday, Dec. 12. The webcam was on me basically the whole time, streaming live footage and recording whatever was going on. I occupied my time by talking on the phone with viewers/friends, making videos or embarrassing myself with bad singing, hopefully never picking my nose, but usually doing not much—other than communicating with others doing the same. Meanwhile, the computer broadcast me out to the world.
I wanted to have as little as possible in the way of unnecessary comforts—beer though, was a necessity, because blogging ain’t easy. Ustream, Facebook and Twitter all thrive on activity like this. I had to have beer for this job, and my friends didn’t let me down. They even brought me food. Some people who I had never met in the flesh came out to hook a brother up with sandwiches, chicken, a pizza, coffee, soup, chips, chocolate … for my every meal.
When people visited the space, the webcam streamed them live, too. When I was alone, I was usually talking online in one way or another. Basically, I talked online the whole time I was there, even when visitors were there to talk to me or see some art. I barely took the time out to brush my teeth—but that was one hygiene thing I did do. I slept on the floor, and I had a good heater.
PHOTO BY LAUREN RANDOLPH
Each night, I snored away in my corner office, the laptop camera watching the sunrise over Liberty Street. The 8 a.m. sidewalk bustle of business suits woke me every morning. It felt like some kind of pseudo-artistic, corporate vision quest. I wore my black pinstriped pants, gray, untucked casual shirt and a brown corduroy blazer. I never shaved.
I’ve always had a fondness for the wandering monk lifestyle of Eastern philosophies. These monks wandered the countryside, sharing the enlightenment of Zen or the wisdom of the Tao or lessons from Krishna. In return, they would be fed.
Is there something liberating in the idea of attaching yourself to nothing and being influenced by none of the trappings of material society? In order to live this nomadic way, a person has to receive from his environment and those around him—this game is all about balance.
A few years ago, I was influenced by two thin books I read on the subject of nomadic devotion. One was The Way of a Pilgrim, an account by an anonymous Russian beggar who wanted to learn how to engage in constant prayer. The other book was Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, loosely based on the early life of the Buddha, who gave up all worldly possessions as he abruptly renounced his royal status to wander, meditate and teach followers.
I clearly don’t have a religious message. I just want to expand my notoriety as an artist. But these classic parables are a guiding influence. It sounds like the life for me, and I want to act as the digital offspring of these rootless mendicants.
If we can define “spiritual” as that which is bigger than our individual selves, then I think it’s an appropriate word to use for the euphoria found in introspective discovery, as well as that found in extroverted human connection. Without a doubt, for me, this online social experience was spiritual—a game of public relation and societal connection.
PHOTO BY LAUREN RANDOLPH
If there is a message to come from this project, it is that none of us are islands unto ourselves. To connect, we must engage others, like with a web or a net—you’ve got to put it out there—and a live-streaming broadcast is a pretty good medium with which to reel people in.
Wednesday night in the fishbowl was social night. I even had two girls flash me their breasts and booties up against the windows. My camera broadcast it all, though making out some of the girl-goodies was difficult due to bad reflections—I reviewed the footage myself. You can see it, too, on www.sorgsorg.org. It’s the episode called “Not A Munk” (fast-forward to the good parts).
Thursday I flirted with a girl all evening, and since the camera was on us, at one point, we typed instead of spoke to each other. Yes, she was one of the flashers—and voila! That’s social networking. People like to watch people, and some of us like to be watched. If we put on a show, we hope others will watch through windows or LCD screens.
Attracting an audience is an interesting game of give and take. “What do I let them see? How much can I give them?” At the very end on Friday afternoon, I chatted online with an anonymous guy who identified himself as “an old man watching his wife die.” He asked me two good questions: “Can you justify your existence?” and “Where’s the art?”
Thinking he wanted me to explain my existence in general, I told him I can’t justify what I didn’t choose. He called my answer “pat.” To the other question, my reply was “Didn’t you read the press release? ‘Not one physical piece of art is being made.’”
His retort: “Sorry, it’s lining my litter box.”
He apparently had stumbled across my stream randomly and came to see some art and to question me about my process and intentions. The performance was called “Artist-In-A-Fishbowl.” Where’s the art indeed!
I hope to argue that this banal act of simulated debased-yuppie-blogger-performance was justified by the social connections that were made through the course of 120 hours of blogging. Or at least it was weird entertainment. Art? I don’t know.
A few different people told me that even though most of the time I was doing nothing, they kept watching while they did laundry or worked on their computers just because they didn’t want to miss anything. And to the guy whose wife is dying, I hope our nonsense got him out of his own head for a bit. I would say I can’t relate, but then again, for a minute, I guess I did.
HERE’S my author page of the art reviews I wrote for RN&R: