Peter Rose

The Indeserian Tablets (2009)

The Indeserian Tablets (2009)

VOX 13 Series (1982 - 2000)

Digitial Speech (1984)
Foit Yet Cleem Triavith (1988)
Genesis (1991)
Sleeping Woman (1992)
The Gift (1993)

Taken in the aggregate, Vox 13 offers a grand circumnavigation of the subject of language. By turns it is a reflexive riff on reading, a hyperdimensional performance piece about gesture, a horror story told by a computer, an opera about the voice, a documentary on the transience of language, a metanarrative about the elements of story, an Edenic parable, a kinetic koan, an arch ideological satire, a joke about semiotics, a materialist metaphor, and a performance piece about communication. The opus considers what it means to read, what it means to listen, when it is that we speak, how words acquire meaning, what it means to write, who we listen to, how we listen, what speaks, other ways we can speak, what the voice is, where language can be found, what words do to time, what holds stories together, and how light shapes language. There are reflections on time and language and there are explorations of the places where speech and power seem to intersect. I offer a nod to Tom Phillips' "A Humument,", the Firesign Theatre, the Four Horseman, Sid Caesar, early Woody Allen, Julian Jaynes, the Sackners, W. H. Hudson, sehtraB dnaloR, and Ludwig Wittgenstein who, in one of his more jovial moments, announced that "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Much of this work is a voluble illustration of that dictum.

Complementing these labial sentinas is another suite of films and videos that concern themselves with dimensional explorations of time and space, with occulting the usual visual modalities and constructing other kinds of vision using the tools of cinema. These other works explore multi-temporalities of movement, the raptures of vision, the American landscape, the machineries of the sky, the corridors of the underground, and the powers of darkness. In no particular order. In contrast to "VOX", they lack almost all traces of language and appeal to the formal, the specular, and the kinetic.

Glimpses of all of these may be seen at:

- Peter Rose

Since 1968 Peter Rose has made over thirty films, tapes, performances and installations. Many of the early works raise intriguing questions about the nature of time, space, light, and perception and draw upon Rose's background in mathematics and on the influence of structuralist filmmakers. He subsequently became interested in language as a subject and in video as a medium and generated a substantial body of work that played with the feel and form of sense, concrete texts, political satire, oddball performance, and a kind of intellectual comedy. Recent video installations have involved a return to an examination of landscape, time, and vision. Rose has been widely exhibited, both nationally and internationally, having been included in shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, the Centre Pompidou, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Film Society at Lincoln Center, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. He has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Pew Foundation, the Independence Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and is fond of writing descriptions in the third person.

As he has written: Some of us work in a proximate relation with our intended audiences, speaking familiar languages so that the archetypes of our culture may be recognized; and some work out a self-creating interiority from which, if we are lucky, we bring back the shape of a newly imagined alphabet of feeling. I find myself oscillating between these two agendas and find the dialectic a productive one, a reflection of the complex, contradictory nature of our times.