Technologies of the Archive: A conversation on the work of Stan VanDerBeek

On the occasion of the exhibition Stan VanDerBeek: See Saw Seems Magenta Plains is pleased to present a conversation with interdisciplinary artist and educator Kamau Patton and scholar Cash Ragona, moderated by Chelsea Spengemann, director of the Stan VanDerBeek archive.

Stan VanDerBeek: See Saw Seems
Saturday, June 10, 4pm EST
Live at 149 Canal Street, NYC


Kamau Amu Patton is an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Visual & Critical Studies. Patton also teaches coursework at SAIC in the newly merged department, Art and Technology / Sound Practices. Patton’s practice engages archives, documents, networks and sites. In 2020 Patton was Archive Artist in Residence at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. Utilizing recordings from the Sun Ra / El Saturn Collection Patton created The Past And Other Dreams, a double cassette produced by the artist in collaboration with the Creative Audio Archive at ESS. A box set LP of Patton’s arrangements of Terry Adkins Lone Wolf Recital Corps Recitals, Second Mind and Alto Age was released in partnership with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in 2021. In 2022, Patton performed new sound compositions at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn and Basilica Arts in Hudson New York. Patton has collaborated with the Stan VanDerBeek Archive on Future Variations produced by Soft Network in 2022 and in June 2023 he will perform Dromeostasis: Input/Output in the Movie-Drome at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Cash (Melissa) Ragona is an Associate Professor of Critical Theory and Art History in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as an independent curator and critic. Ragona's critical and creative work focuses on sound design, film theory and new media practice and reception. Their forthcoming book project, Warhol’s White Noise examines Andy Warhol's tape-recording projects from the mid-sixties until the late 70s in light of audio experiments in modern & contemporary art as well as interrogating the constructions of whiteness that permeated Warhol’s Factory aesthetics. Their essays and reviews have appeared in October, Frieze, Art Papers, Camera Obscura and numerous edited collections. They have also published in monographs on the work of artists, Christian Jankowski, Carolee Schneemann, Jonas Mekas, Paul Sharits, Antoine Catala, and Angela Dufresne. Ragona has curated exhibitions and served as a curatorial consultant at various venues throughout the US, including the Mattress Factory Contemporary Art Museum (Pittsburgh), the Miller Gallery (Pittsburgh), PPOW Gallery (New York), The Hole Gallery (New York), Hesse Flatow Gallery (New York) as well as the Museum of Modern Art (New York). They are a Board Member for the Carolee Schneemann Foundation in New York, serving as the Chair of its Media/Film Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the Advisory Council for Union Docs Center for Documentary Art. Most recently they were both a selection committee member and advisor for Humanities-based Documentaries for the Sundance Institute.

Installation view, Stan VanDerBeek: See Saw Seems, Magenta Plains, New York, NY 2023.