Marina Rosenfeld by Eileen Quinlan
Photo by Eileen Quinlan


Marina Rosenfeld has been a leading voice in the hybridization of music composition with contemporary and experimental art practices. Her works have addressed the conditions under which music is staged, reproduced, apprehended and distributed, through performance, installation, experimental forms of notation and a two-decades-long body of work challenging conventions of compositional practice and form. At Cornell, Rosenfeld will discuss two multi-part recent works, Free Exercise (2014-16) and Deathstar (2017), both works that have traveled from exhibition space to concert space and back again. Free Exercise developed in relation to a commission from a military ensemble and proposes a hybrid military-civilian body engaged in exercises promoting unisons and what the artist has called “dis-unisons”; Deathstar is the title of a recent solo exhibition, as well as a work for piano and orchestra (Deathstar Orchestration, premiered in October 2017 at Donaueschinger Musiktage), and refers to an historical multimicrophone array associated, during the late nineties, with “perceptual soundfield reconstruction,” that is, a recording technique that aimed to reproduce a vivid, dimensional and experiential account of one acoustic space within another. For the artist, the “deathstar,” the abandoned device’s informal nickname, pointed to an intriguing alternative technological future, where a potentially non-linear, de-centered subjectivity, tied to difference and the particularities of bodies, might have supplanted the coming emphasis on portability and standardization that fed into the rise of the cell phone…

Marina Rosenfeld was born in New York and has been based there since 1999. A composer and artist working across disciplines, she has had solo presentations in recent years by institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and the Park Avenue Armory in New York; the Whitney, Montreal, Liverpool and PERFORMA biennials; and the Holland, Wien Modern, Borealis and Ultima festivals, among many others. Projects in 2017 included commissioned works for documenta 14 and Donaueschinger Musiktage, and solo exhibitions at Portikus (Frankfurt, Germany) and the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies. She is co-chair of Music/Sound at Bard College’s MFA program.

Marina Rosenfeld, Free Exercise (2016), performance/installation view, Le Régiment de Maisonneuve, 2016.
Marina Rosenfeld, Deathstar (2017), installation view, Portikus, Germany, 2017.