[10/23 UPDATE: The CDS event for Oct. 23 has been canceled.]
In October 2014, the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library will welcome internationally known sound and visual artist Steve Roden as the inaugural Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Visiting Artist. Named in honor of Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel, a prolific author, interviewer, curator, and champion of the arts, this new artist-in-residence program will provide an extended opportunity for an artist to study and engage with archival, manuscript and other special collections in support of developing a new body of creative work. The Library’s diverse and unique collections have the potential to inspire a variety of works, from new documentary films and textile designs to installations and theatrical plays, and the fellowship will be open to artists working in all media.
Roden is a visual and sound artist based in Pasadena, California, whose work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, film, video, sound installation, text and performance pieces. Roden has shown and performed art around the world, and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, among others.
In 2011, Roden completed a month-long residency in Berlin where he studied the Walter Benjamin archives at the Akademie der Künste. Since he neither speaks nor reads German, Roden turned his discerning eye toward the visual elements of Benjamin’s archives. Through this paleographic lens, Roden created a series of works in multiple formats inspired by the color-coded symbols Benjamin used to organize and annotate his work. Several of these were featured in two 2013 solo exhibitions entitled “Ragpicker” at CRG gallery in New York City, and Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects in Los Angeles. Roden is perhaps best known for his pioneering work in lowercase music, a form of experimental music that involves quiet sounds, analog technology, small found objects, and cheap electronics, among other elements.
Roden will be in residency at the Rubenstein Library October 13-30, 2014. During this time, Roden will be available to meet with scholars, students and staff from across the academic disciplines at Duke and will offer two public talks.
On Saturday, October 18 at 6:30 pm, Roden will present “Ragpicker” at the Full Frame Theater of the American Tobacco Warehouse. Through an interactive discussion format, Roden will consider both g both his work and his creative processes, Roden will show images of some recent work and the found objects, junk, and other detritus of everyday life that inspired them. The event will be followed by a reception, and both are free and open to the public.
Roden’s residency will culminate with a public discussion about how the archival collections, people, and experiences he engaged at Duke may inspire future works. This event will be held at the Center for Documentary Studies on Thursday, October 23 at 5:00 pm, and will be followed by a reception on the Center’s front porch. [UPDATE: This event has been canceled.]
Roden’s visit is jointly organized and sponsored by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Center for Documentary Studies, and the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts Program at Duke University.