3-4 Weeks
Listening to Donald Judd

SR 245CD SR 245CD

Stephen Vitiello is a sound/media artist based in Richmond, Virginia, and this is his seventh full-length release -- his first for Sub Rosa. Vitiello is an established name in electroacoustic sound experimentation, having collaborated with artists, musicians and choreographers including Pauline Oliveros, Tony Oursler, Constance De Jong, Nam June Paik, Eder Santos, Scanner, Andrew Deutsch, Yasunao Tone, Frances-Marie Uitti, Dara Birnbaum and Jem Cohen, etc. This piece is a work in progress evolving from the numerous recordings Vitiello made of the sculptures of American artist Donald Judd (1928-1994) in Marfa, Texas. Judd challenged the artistic convention of originality by using industrial processes and materials such as steel, concrete and plywood to create large, hollow minimalist sculptures, mostly in the form of boxes, which he arranged in repeated simple geometric forms. High-precision microphones are placed directly on the surface of Judd's "specific objects," which capture a subtle combination of sounds resonating through the artwork, as well as ambient sounds. Vitiello sees this work as a tribute to one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century. These recordings were created during an impromptu residency sponsored by the Marfa Theater and the Chinati Foundation. The results were a performance (with and without Tetsu Inoue) and two fairly large sound installations. As Vitiello himself explains: "Sounds were captured in and around the Donald Judd installations at Chinati, in a glider, in fields of grasshoppers and along some unknown street. Marfa is a very quiet town. The most significant sound event is when the train comes through each day, which can happen at any time of day or night. Three years after my visit, most of what I experienced in Marfa has probably been modified by memory. The sound of the train is the only recognizable source sound that has been left fairly unhurt by time-stretching and other forms of electronic and mental processing."