Stephen Vitiello: Night Chatter

  • Jun 17, 2007 – Sep 23, 2007
Stephen Vitiello, "Night Chatter" (production shot), 2006, courtesy of
Museum 52, London and New York.

Acclaimed sound artist Stephen Vitiello presents Night Chatter (2006), a multi-channel work originally created for an exhibition at Museum 52 in London that the artist has re-mixed for his exhibition at the Weatherspoon. Played back on a 5.1 surround sound system, Night Chatter is composed of an analog synth track that rumbles under natural sounds recorded in the James River State Park and Cypress Bridge Forest, both in Virginia. The artist states, “When I’m out in the field at night recording, there is a feeling of chatter, insect and animal voices that are communicating outside of my translation skills.” The artist was interested in connecting this experience to the concept of "chatter," a term which, since 9-11, often refers to communications picked up by U.S. government surveillance to track potential terrorist threats.

Born in New York in 1964, Vitiello played in punk and noise bands in the 1980s, before collaborating on projects with the multimedia artist Tony Oursler. In the late 90s, he began to operate as a solo artist and composer of site-specific work. Vitiello has had recent solo exhibitions at Tate Modern and Museum 52, London; The Project, New York; and Galerie Almine Rech, Paris. His work was included in the 2006 Sydney Biennale; the 2002 Whitney Biennial; Greater New York at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; and The Spirit of the Forest at the Cartier Foundation, Paris. He was shortlisted for the Nam June Paik Award and is currently working on an installation for Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna) with artist Julie Mehretu. Vitiello is Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Kinetic Imaging. He lives and works in Richmond.

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