Steve Roden is a visual and sound artist from los angeles. His work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, film/video, sound installation, and performance.
Roden’s working process uses various forms of specific notation (words, musical scores, maps, etc.) and translates them through self invented systems into scores; which then influence the process of painting, drawing, sculpture, and sound composition. These scores, rigid in terms of their parameters and rules, are also full of holes for intuitive decisions and left turns. The inspirational source material becomes a kind of formal skeleton that the abstract finished works are built upon.
In the visual works, translations of information such as text and maps, become rules and systems for generating visual actions such as color choices, number of elements, and image building. in the sound works, singular source materials such as objects, architectural spaces, and field recordings, are abstracted through humble electronic processes to create new audio spaces, or ‘possible landscapes’. The sound works present themselves with an aesthetic roden describes as “lower case’’ – sound concerned with subtlety and the quiet activity of listening.
Roden has been exhibiting his visual and sound works since the mid 1980’s, and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, including: Susanne Vielmetter LA and Berlin projects, Studio La Citta Gallery, Verona, Italy, the Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, The UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art EMST, Athens, and the Singuhr-Horgalerie in Parochial, Berlin, Center for Book Arts New York, Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, IMO projects Copenhagen Denmark, and others..
Roden has performed his soundworks at various arts spaces and experimental music festivals worldwide including the Serpentine Gallery London, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the DCA Dundee Scotland, Redcat Theater Los Angeles, as well as performance tours of Brazil and Japan.
Recent site specific sound works have included MOCA at the Pacific Design Center for a series of paintings by Mark Rothko, the Henry Art Gallery’s James Turrell Skyspace, a live collaboration with Stephen Vitiello in a room of 50 aluminum sculptures by Donald Judd at Chinati, and a sound/sculpture/drawing installation for Thomas U. Walter’s 1848 building at Girard College, Philadelphia, and a permanent public art work at Hayvenhurst Park, in West Hollywood, California.
Roden has released over 20 cds of audio works on labels worldwide.
Roden received an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1989, and a BFA from Otis Parsons in Los Angeles in 1986. He has taught at numerous institutions including: Art Center College of Design, Pasadena; Otis College of Ar,t Los Angeles, Claremont Graduate school pomona; US Santa Barbara; UCLA Los Angeles. He has lectured on his work and done studio visits at numerous universities including: Harvard University, Boston; Columbia College, NY, YUIC, Chicago; USC, Los Angeles; CalArts, Los Angeles; San Francisco Art Institute; and others.
Grants and awards include: Chinati Foundation Artist In Residence, California Community Foundation & Getty Foundation Mid-Career Artist Fellowship Grant; Nimoy Artist In Residence Grant; City of Los Angeles Cola Award; City of Pasadena Individual Artist Grant, Durfee Foundation Grant; California Arts Council Visual Artist Grant.
Recent & upcoming projects include: Steve Roden: In Between, a 20 year survey at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California, curated by Howard Fox. When Words Become Forms, a large scale sculpture/sound/film installation and a new series of paintings and a collaboration with writer Michael Ned Holte, at the Pomona College Museum of Art. An artist poster for Doug Aitken’s MOCA happening. A newly commissioned silent double screen film projection and sculpture for GLOW, a one night event on the Santa Monica beach. a sound piece for the Palais de Tokyo in Paris website. A performance of John Cage’s Cartridge Music with Mark Trayle at the Norton Simon Museum. A solo exhibition of paintings, sculpture, drawings, sound and video work at Susanne Vielmetter, LA projects.