Tuesday March 12 — "Art in Research / the Place of Research in Art"

Please join us Tuesday afternoon, 4:30 pm, in the Reading Room of Amherst College's Frost Library, with Copeland Fellows Idan Cohen, Eric Leonardson, Matana Roberts, & Artist in Residence Rebekah Tolley.

The panelists will discuss varying modes of “research” in their multidisciplinary work, exploring how their creative process shapes the works they produce.

Idan Cohen, Eric Leonardson, Matana Roberts & Rebekah Tolley


About the panelists:

Idan Cohen was born and raised in Israel in Kibbutz Mizra, a socialist community. The kibbutz lifestyle has had a wide effect on his artistic life and work. He danced with the world-renowned Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Since 2005, Idan has been performing, creating and teaching as an international award- winning choreographer.

A psychological sensibility, a keen sense of musicality, and a profound understanding of cultural context, lend Idan Cohen’s work a rare combination of analysis and compassion. Idan has toured with his work internationally and been invited as a guest artist and teacher worldwide. 

Eric Leonardson is a Chicago-based composer/improvisor, sound designer, visual artist and teacher. Eric’s work relies on a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and microtones, and includes the invention of the Springboard — an electroacoustic percussion instrument made from readily available materials. Its sounds belie its humble origins, thanks to the rich enharmonic timbres of bowed coil springs and the curious sound of the crude wooden daxophones-all amplified by a single, inexpensive piezoelectric contact mic. 

Leonardson is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Media Arts Fellowship (2002 and 2006), and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Matana Roberts is a Chicago-born, New York-based saxophonist, improviser and composer who works as a soloist and a multimedia collaborator. Matana’s current sound project, COIN COIN, brings a genealogical history of Africans in America together with research into her own ancestry.

She says of her work, "COIN COIN is a compositional sound language that I have been developing since 2006. My initial interest in creating this work came from my childhood fascination with ghosts, spirits, spooks, and the faint traces of what they leave behind. I have a deep interest in old, antique objects of human existence, mostly because of the variety of story that can be created, factual or not, from the possibility of their being. This project is a combination of those interests as well as my delight in musical communication , ritual adornment, and the genealogical 20th century history of Africans in America. In some instances I am using information that I have gleaned from research into my own ancestral history, as inspiration and area of creative consideration. The musical root of much of this work also stems from my continued attraction/repulsion to certain aspects of the American Jazz tradition(s) which I am deeply involved with as an alto saxophonist."

Various movements of the piece have already been composed, workshopped and performed. The first movement, Chapter 1 "Gens De Couleur Libres (or free people of color)," was recently released as an audio album.

Rebekah Tolley is a printmaker and digital media artist. Her work uses traditional printmaking and digitally-generated imagery in animated sequences that are projected onto sculptural forms. She is represented in collections such as the Hood Museum, Library and Archives Canada, The National Library of Quebec, The Boston Public Library, the Amity Art Foundation and the Kohler Library as well as numerous other public and private collections. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Canada, France, China, Japan and across the United States. She received her BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, and her MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, Colby-Sawyer College, Two Rivers Printmaking Studio in Vermont, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Davidson College, and is currently Visiting Artist in Residence at Amherst College.

Co-sponsored by the Copeland Colloquium & Frost Library. Part of a Frost Library series exploring the intersections of research, the arts, and cultural production. The Copeland Colloquium 2012/13 is sponsored in part by the Amherst Art Series Fund.