Recent Work

Mention in the New York Times

nyt-article-on-close-with-shoutout copy

I’m honored to have my work mentioned in the New York Times Magazine in an article about Chuck Close written by Wil Hylton. We were both residents at Yaddo a few years ago. During a studio visit with Wil and other residents I presented to the group the first edits of Dinner Music my collaborative project with Melissa Haviland and other works I had been working on during the residency.

Summer 2015


July 12-19th Haviland & Colagiovanni present work at the Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) as part of the MIFFONEDGE Program. We will be showing our new work Banaras (pictured above) along with Dinner Music.
From the MIFF website: The program explores the intersection of film and art and pushes the boundaries of commonly accepted notions of cinema. Many of the filmmakers in this year’s MIFFONEDGE make use of found objects: a grandfather’s diary, an enigmatic audiotape, assorted dishware and textiles, images clipped from old magazines. The overlooked, ignored, and discarded are made new and meaningful by cinema. Cinema – where objects dance, where collage has movement, where time and space are momentarily flexible – can often help us to see the world in strikingly new ways.

The Shredder Sessions


The Shredder Sessions is a project I presented at LUMP with generous support from SiteWorkNC and Hopscotch Music Festival. During the annual Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC I had musicians from the Hopscotch Festival line-up participate in improvisational recordings session on an orchestral kinetic sound sculpture. Audio recording was done on site by Thread Audio and the photo above was taken by Soleil Konkel. A review by Kellie Bornhoft is available at:

Below are a few of the audio recordings produced during the sessions:

Lee Noble, David Colagiovanni

Ben Asbury, Brian Kinkade, David Colagiovanni:

Mac Mcaughan, Charles Chace, David Mcconnell, David Colagiovanni:

Check back in the coming weeks for more audio recordings and video documentation.

Video Music at the Sculpture Center

“Guitar Drop” video from the show available for viewing here:

In 1964 Pete Townshend smashed his guitar on stage kick-starting a revolution and the ultimate display of masculinity in rock music. In 1967, Jimi Hendrix took it one step further and burned his guitar before slamming it into the stage over and over. It is usually the opinion that guitars were smashed, burned, snapped, thrust into amps, etc as an aggressive act of performance. The audience sharing in the fact that the performer’s instrument would never again make music and hoping to catch a piece of his shattered axe.

1962 marked the first public performance of the composition Piano Activities by Phillip Corner at the International Festival of the Newest Music in Weisbaden, Germany. During the performance a group of Fluxus artists methodically released sounds from the piano with various implements including hammers, saws, and spatulas until it was destroyed. After it was performed, the German press referred to the piano in the work as a martyr.

The works in Video Music use a destructive process to extract sounds and images. Performer-less guitars fall from the sky and bounce and shatter against the concrete as they sound out their shifted and bent open tunings, stainless cups and cymbals tumble through the air in rhythmic ballet and paper shredders shred rolls of paper in aching tones leaving their kudzu like strands covering moaning chord organs. Video Music takes the act of destruction and reconfigures it into the act of making resulting in works that contain sounds and images that would not have been possible without their previous destruction. It is an investigation into our historic obsession with smashing and burning instruments and a re-centering of this aggressive act to its melodic potential.

Composition for Paper Shredders, Prepared Chord Organs, Fire-Bell, Hand Mixer and Cymbal, 2014


Live performance of the work Composition for Paper Shredders, Prepared Chord Organs, Fire-Bell, Hand Mixer and Cymbal at the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Ohio on March 20, 2014 as part of my solo exhibition Video Music. On view from March 20 – May 29, 2014.

Found Reel: history of operating the recording apparatus in Southeast Ohio, 2013


I found an old reel to reel player in my local antique shop here in Athens, Ohio. It came with a box of reels and this one speaks for itself.

Haviland & Colagiovanni: Dinner Music


Dinner Music is a smashing orchestration of visuals and sound that explores class and etiquette through the act of dropping seven full sets of fine porcelain china.

Rhythm for blenders, phone bells, and clamped fire bell. 2013


A rhythmic test with Blenders and Bells for a new installation in progress, Spring 2013. Blenders, Phone Bells and Clamped Fire Bell controlled with a variety of dmx lighting equipment and other analogue control sources.

Composition for clamped fire-bell, shredders, and prepared chord organs, 2013


A test of work for a new installation in progress, Early Spring 2013. Clamped Fire Bell, Shredders and Prepared Chord Organs controlled with a variety of dmx lighting equipment and other analogue control sources.

Music for shredders and prepared chord organs


A small test of a new work in progress, Winter 2013. Shredders and prepared chord organs controlled with dmx lighting equipment.

Sonny’s Car


I started this work while in residence at Yaddo, March and April of 2012.

Sonny was a maintenance and grounds keeper at Yaddo for years and when he left he left this car.
I came across it while walking through the woods tracking the light and searching for locations. In the passenger seat among so many other things was a box of porcelain and corelle plates and cups. Sonny’s old ford might be considered an eye sore as this late 70’s working class boat reared it’s thick steel body into the pastoral and immaculate grounds of Yaddo.

Every sound you hear was captured during the event- there are no added instruments and no layering of sounds- just the sounds of Sonny’s china breaking against his old car. The only manipulation is through the speed or the sound/video.

Haviland & Colagiovanni: Music for Teacups [samples]


2012 by David Colagiovanni and Melissa Haviland
Shot on RED, Stereo Audio



2011, 2k video, stereo sound. Recorded on a Spring evening in 2011 with David McConnell.

Haviland & Colagiovanni: Corelle


2010 by David Colagiovanni and Melissa Haviland.
2k video, Stereo sound, Shot on RED.

Haviland & Colagiovanni: Music for New Mexico


2010, 2K video, stereo sound. Shot on Red.
by David Colagiovanni & Melissa Haviland 
shot in Carson, New Mexico in the late summer of 2010.

Oakland, October 25th


2011, Hand-drawn animation
A short hand drawn rotoscoped animation depicting Veterans for Peace member Scott Olsen after he was wounded by a non/less-lethal round by riot police on October 25, 2011 at 14th Street and Broadway in Downtown Oakland.
The original video comes from Ali Winston a reporter for KALW 91.7 FM.