steve roden | Notes on Looking

Rothko Chapel performances: Jacob Kirkegaard “A CAPELLA” and Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello “The Spaces Contained in Each”

…to my right a purple rectangular painting is flanked by two black and slightly narrower canvases, the color in these paintings is “full bleed.” In the two other groupings, as well as a single narrow painting on the entry wall, the paintings have a narrow border in a dark color. The mute regularity of Rothko’s paintings in this famous chapel surprises me again on this, my second visit. I think I expected drama, and blatant anguish. But unless you bring it, little of either is present here. A kind of clarity is manifested by natural light that feels grey and wintry, and despite the heat of Texas July, I shiver. The chapel’s high plaster walls frame Rothko’s paintings while also allowing them to recede from my attention. The walls provide the grey I noted earlier, and the tone of this color matches in intensity the darker tones of the canvases. The audience is dressed mostly in earth tones and blues, with occasional fearless brights: a yellow folding hat pushed low over sunglasses on one woman, and a surprising orange collared T-shirt on a young man. The three largest of Rothko’s panels are set back in a niche. This arrangement nods to the idea of an altar but resists this interpretation. Jacob Kirkegaard records the sound of the space in real time – in our time – and then plays it back into the space; he captures the resulting resonances in a second recording which he also plays back and records. Through this repetition I become aware of the half-life of sound. For example, when once a person coughs this...

the hand of the artist: steve roden at lace (is closing on September 16)

In 2011 Steve Roden traveled to Germany to study curious marks that Walter Benjamin made in his (many and voluminous) notebooks. In another part of that year the artist bought at auction, perhaps on Ebay, a sealed box from the estate of Martha Graham. Concurrently, in the calendar year that just closed, Roden performed on his own each day the score of John Cage’s seminal work 4’33”. Currently at LACE the artist presents works that respond to these experiences. The installation functions as one work of art and it includes several sculptural elements that carry films on them as well as three sound works and a three channel projection on two walls. Immersive and subtle, the various parts – sound, light, volume, mass and darkness – work together on the viewer to effect a meditative state. Within this calm, images of objects that have been held and loved by humans and sounds that might be murmurs inspire wonder. I watch as the artist’s hand detects and with two fingers unrolls from inside a small seashell a note: “pure noguchi-graham”/a hand, the artist’s hand is a bit foreshortened – filmed from near the wrist on a changing monochrome background/a small carved wooden angel blows (softly, I think) on a pipe; turning to my left I see a typewritten page on a screen, “Bacchus on a billy goat, music from the casket.” My mind recalls childhood tunes, like “Ashes to ashes, we all fall down” or “A tisket, A tasket,” which my mother used to sing in a low, whisky voice. An olden days music box also appears on the screen...

Monster Drawing Rally 2012

LA’s fifth annual Monster Drawing Rally, which inaugurated the relationship between Outpost for Contemporary Art and Armory Center for the Arts took place last Sunday, June 17th at Armory Center for the Arts.  100 amazing artists participated. Artists included: Danielle Adair, Steven Bankhead, Joe Biel, Elonda Billera, Holly Boruck, Richard Bott, Brian Bress, Heather Brown, David Burns, Andrew Cameron, Juan Carlos Muñoz-Hernandez, Matthew Carter, Xavier Cázares Cortez, Lorraine Cleary Dale, Luke Davis, Jeseca Dawson, Michael Dopp, Veronica Duarte, David P. Earle, Ariel Erestingcol, Allison Fisher, Diego J. Garza, Paul Gillis, Aimee Goguen, Justin Greene, Margarete Hahner, Lia Halloran, Robert Herbst, Gregory Michael Hernandez, Sergio Hernandez, Onya Hogan-Finlay, David Hughes, Kim Kelly, Olga Koumoundouros, Aitor Lajarin, Daniel Lara, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Jeff Levitz, Kristi Lippire, Patricia Liverman, Karen Lofgren, Nick Lowe, Justin Lowman, Lisa Madonna, Oscar Magallanes, Dana Maiden, Melissa Manfull, Melise Mestayer, Rebekah Miles, Dylan Mira, Melanie Moore, Nikko Mueller, Tracy Nakayama, Hazel Mandujano & Nancy Cahill, with Tucker Neel, Christine Nguyen, Chris Oatey, Gina Osterloh, Michael Parker, Zack Paul, Julia Paull, Alia Penner, Jennifer Phelps, Nancy Popp, Gala Porras-Kim, Max Presneill, Vincent Ramos, Christy Roberts, Jean Robison, Steve Roden, Brett Cody Rogers, Kimberly Rowe, Simone Rubi, Yoshie Sakai, Kristofferson San Pablo, Shalini Sanjay Patel, Finishing School, Jeannie Simms, Jennifer Smith, Niko Solorio, Meriel Stern, Amelia Symes, Brendan Threadgill, Elizabeth Tremante, Chris Trueman, Hataya Tubtim, Carrie Ungerman, Mark Verabioff, Keith Walsh, Matt Wardell, Carrie Whitney, Rosten Woo, Jacob Yanes, Amanda Yates, Carrie Yury, Bari Ziperstein, Weronika Zaluska & Jeff...

Steve Roden at LACE Thursday Nights

in a darkened room, sitting on the floor, roden in chair at a table faced with small tinkery equipment. the pop sounds almost make a beat – waving sounds, airplane??? louder than usual. static like ocean (sounds) arms crossed at wrists, jaw in hand – the tunes now show rhythm or is it melody? death metal reverb???? einsturzend neuebauten…….  funny constant in waves–why do i hear it that way? like blood pounding–or at least elemental and of-in the body weird laconic hawaiian music on a record :: two notes are half radio tuning sounds—overriding clarion–horn, accordion keys?? now it (underneath noise) begins again like a return of the motif in western classical music____ deeper maybe beethoven 5-ey, maybe a coda? serious now sweet—dance music, melancholic + reflective: a song!!! singing–like a siren or mystic or angel___a chorus, a woman’s reverie is it steve??? sounds like moon piece with low moan chorus the reveries go back and forth–ambiguous contemplations holding in mouth/lips clattering—wires and microphone manipulated by left hand under table in plain view geoff tuck, notes from performance on steve roden performance at LACE, July 14, 2011...