Michael Ned Holte
I am a writer, independent curator, and educator. I am interested in how these positions inform one another—how, for example, an essay might become a seminar, or a seminar might become an exhibition. All of my work as an arts professional exists in the social spaces of artists (exhibition and performance spaces, the classroom, studios) and is most often predicated on the work they do. While most of my work has been in the field of visual art, my interests are transdisciplinary, and in recent years I have been increasingly involved in experimental music and sound. Every day over the course of 2022, I performed a written response to Pauline Oliveros’s Sonic Meditation XXI, a text score that consists of the brief but expansive question, “What constitutes your musical universe?” My ongoing and accumulative attempt to answer this question became a daily improvisation of listening, reflecting, reading, and writing.
While at Headlands
While at Headlands, I will continue my current research and writing on composer, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, with a particular focus on Deep Listening Band, which was formed by Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, and Panaiotis in 1988. Their initial recording, in a massive underground cistern in Fort Worden, Washington, provided the album’s name—Deep Listening—which also became the name for Oliveros’s larger art-life practice. As a project comprising 14 albums and many live performances with an evolving lineup of collaborators, Deep Listening Band was always predicated on responding to a given site through collective improvisation. In a sense, the site itself (whether a cistern or a cave or a church—and virtual space, too) became an instrument to be discovered and played, collectively. The extraordinary landscape of the Marin Headlands is an ideal place in which to continue this research and writing.
Michael Ned Holte, how we are in time and space: Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hafif, Barbara T. Smith, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; January 28 – June 12, 2022. Exhibition guide. PDF.
Michael Ned Holte, “Her Own Risk: On Barbara T. Smith’s ‘The Way to Be’,” Getty Center; feature, Artforum, May 2023. PDF.
Michael Ned Holte, “Family Resemblance: On Kaari Upson’s “Portrait (Vain German), 2020-21”; feature, Artforum, April 2022. PDF.
Michael Ned Holte, “A kind of sonority felt through the eyes: on the video symphonies of Marsia Alexander-Clarke”; essay, Marsia Alexander-Clarke, A Journey Through Time: Video Works 1989 to 2022, Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, 2023. PDF.
how we are in time and space at the Armory Center for the Arts, SCI-Arc Channel, December 2022. Video.