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|Origin||Minneapolis, St. Paul|
|Genres||Sound Art, Electronic Music, Electronica, Circuit Bending|
|Years active||2003 – present|
|Labels||Hypercreatives (Run by Beatrix*JAR)|
|Members||Jacob Aaron Roske (JAR): Modified Toys, Beats, Vocals
Bianca Pettis (Beatrix), Electronic Turntable (DNS-1000), Beats, Vocals
Beatrix*JAR is an American sound art & electronic music duo formed in Minneapolis in 2003. The duo is composed of Bianca Pettis - "Beatrix" and Jacob Aaron Roske - "JAR". Noted for their unique performances and non-traditional approach to music, the band draws its inspiration from AM Radios paired with Flash Cameras, Modified Children's Toys, Samples and electronic beats. Beatrix*JAR self-released three albums: I Love You Talk Bird (2005), Golden Fuzz (2007) and Art*Star (2010).
"What sets Beatrix*JAR apart from these various media manipulators is its particular method of music generation -- Roske and girlfriend Bianca Pettis rely for their sound sources on rearranging the innards of electronic devices. Onstage, their setup fits entirely on a small table: an AM radio, a flash camera, four Speak and Spells (or Reads or Maths), a Casio keyboard, a Yamaha drumbox, and a Denon CDJ, scratched by Pettis (a.k.a Beatrix)." - Manny Thiener, Pittsburgh Daily
Bianca Pettis and Jacob Roske met each other in a video editing suite at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College in 2003. Pettis, a professional theatre actress and performance artist at the time, was taking a video class at the school. Roske, who made music as solo artist JAR at the time, was a student of both the sound art and video departments at the college. The two were introduced by a mutual friend and felt an instant connection. Roske gave Pettis a CD with his music on it and days later Pettis returned with a video using a song he created.
Initially the two collaborated on video projects in which Pettis would make films of Roske's solo performances as JAR. In 2005, JAR opened for Les Georges Leningrad at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis. Pettis filmed the show and afterwards the two decided to start a band together.
Beginning in 2004 Beatrix*JAR traveled extensively demonstrating do-it-yourself electronics and experimentation with over 250 conceptual sound art performances and hands-on circuit bending workshops. Their work was featured in art museums, night clubs, universities, libraries, hacker spaces, and art galleries all over the United States including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
In 2010 Beatrix*JAR received a Bush Foundation fellowship for media arts. They have been profiled on television by Nightline and Create. Roske and Pettis took a two-year creative sabbatical in San Diego. They began creating fabric birds and cats that they call Art Pets. After about two years, the duo returned to Minnesota. In 2012 they briefly ran a pop-up gallery called the Beatrix*JAR Open Experimental Studio, where they hosted live performances, circuit bending workshops, and sewing lessons.
Inspired by the audio works of John Cage and the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat, in 2013 Beatrix*JAR started adding Audio Playgrounds to their repertoire. Audio Playgrounds breakdown the wall between performer and observer by allowing audiences to make the sounds.