Recorded Matter: Ceramics in Motion • October 8, 2016–February 26, 2017

Cheyenne Rudolph  copy

Cheyenne Chapman Rudolph, Center-Peas, still from video. Image courtesy of the artist.

Exhibition Dates:October 8, 2016–February 26, 2017
Opening Reception:Saturday, October 8, 5-8 PM
Curator’s Talk:Saturday, October 8, with Garth Johnson, Curator

Opening Reception and Lecture are free and open to the public.

Recorded Matter: Ceramics in Motion features twelve internationally-based ceramic artists who integrate video into their studio practice. Organized and curated by Garth Johnson, Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center.

With the dawn of social media comes a new generation of artists who grasp the power of video, not just as a tool to document process, but as an inextricable element of their work. Recorded Matter is an exploration of the range of expression that video offers, from viral videos showing artworks being used–or more often, abused–to mysterious inquiries into material and philosophical properties of clay.

Asked to reflect on the genesis of the exhibition, Johnson remarked, “I honestly don’t think that this exhibition would have happened if it weren’t for social media. A new generation of artists has emerged that innately know how to use video to tell their story.”

Physical objects accompany several of the videos showcased in the exhibition. One of the most powerful examples is Recycled China by Thomas Schmidt and Jeffrey Miller, Americans who taught and made work in China. During their time together in China, Schmidt and Miller started crushing cast-off plates–from the virtually limitless supply in the porcelain capitol of Jingdezhen–with a steamroller. The crushed porcelain shards were then taken to an industrial foundry and smothered in molten aluminum. The resulting tiles are both mysterious and ethereal; in these pieces, delicate porcelain shards are suspended like sedimentary rocks in a primal, metallic ooze. Click here to read a recent article about Recycled China in Ceramics Monthly.

Other videos are self-contained. This Amorphous Moment, by Philadelphia-based artist Jason Lee Starin, is an extreme close-up of a pair of hands squeezing and kneading clay, illuminated only by flickering firelight. Without any narrative structure, Starin’s video highlights the primal qualities that have attracted humans to clay over the millennia.

On the other end of the spectrum is Cheyenne Chapman Rudolph’s Center-Peas. Rudolph, a Florida-based artist, has connected the rich history of single-function ceramic objects such as pickle stands and salt cellars with their modern-day equivalent, the As Seen on TV gadget. For her graduate thesis at University of Florida, Miller created a device to help people keep from staining their clothes while eating green peas. The resulting contraption, the Personal Pea Eater, is showcased in an infomercial featuring the artist as pitchwoman, out to convince late-night viewers that thanks to Center-Peas, their “pea mess” problems are a thing of the past.

Featured artists include: Jonah Amadeus, Sam Brennan, Forrest Sincoff Gard, Ben Harle, Jo Kamm, Roberto Lugo, Jeffrey Miller and Thomas Schmidt, Cheyenne Chapman Rudolph, Jason Lee Starin, Eva Vogelsang, and Man Yau.

This exhibition is supported by the Urban Foundation #4, in memory of Danny Greenlaw and Brooks Collins.