Event Details

Exhibition: “whether there was a bell or whether I knocked”


Institute of Contemporary Art at VCU
601 W Broad St Richmond, VA 23220

Date & Time:

April 21, 2018
10:00 am



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Stephen Vitiello's "whether there was a bell or whether I knocked", 2018, is informed in part by The Institute of Contemporary Art at VCU's building design, which is set to open April 21, 2018.  Architect Steven Holl’s vision for the ICA drew on themes of chance and choice in Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges’ short story, "The Garden of Forking Paths," both of which in turn inspired Vitiello. In his new piece, Vitiello builds a spatial and auditory experience through intertwining loops of sound. He recorded 18 voices ranging from international colleagues to Richmond youth, each reading from different translations of Borges’ story (in English and German, along with one in the original Spanish). The voices move through 18 speakers placed within one gallery, tuned to the building’s unique space and acoustics. A chance-based algorithm moves the voices through the speakers, so the placement, volume, relative legibility, and layering of voices during each “reading” of the story will be unique.

Galleries open 10 am to 6 pm

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Event Artists

Stephen Vitiello

Visual and Sound Artist

Stephen Vitiello is an American visual and sound artist. Originally a punk guitarist he is influenced by video artist Nam June Paik who he worked with after meeting in 1991.

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