Roger Mayer will be exhibiting work selected from a collection of images from the past several decades of his career. On display, the evolution of Mayer’s work will be described through various media and photographic formats with which he has explored and experimented. Mayer states, that “…in addition to work with sound over the last several decades there has been a parallel, somewhat marginal and more chimeral activity which has grown from dead, discarded and ‘functional’ non-art media.” These range from the Polaroid, the Diana—a cult-status vintage plastic camera from the 50’s - 70’s that produced fuzzy brightly-colored photos, monochromatic stills from a Pixilvision camera, found images and dead-ended tools. Of these images, some are photographed, re-photographed then copied and further distorted with a copy machine. These strategies have lead to an accumulation of shoeboxes where the images were stored. This show, says Mayer, “provides an occasion to re-open some of these boxes.”
Roger Mayer was born in Germany. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design before earning an MFA in painting at Syracuse University in 1963. While at Syracuse he performed in a noise ensemble for non-musicians directed by the late organist and composer Calvin Hampton. After serving in the US Army during the Viet-Nam era, Mayer resumed his work as a painter in New York and Providence. He then moved to Michigan to teach at Eastern Michigan University where he also participated in the anti-war movement.
From 1977 to 2006, Mayer was a professor at Brown University where in 1979 he first co-taught a course in sound for visual artists with the composer, Gerald Shapiro. His interests in radiophonic works: time-based media led him further to film and video. Since 2006, he is Professor Emeritus in Brown University’s Departments of Visual Art and Modern Culture and Media. Mayer was a leading coordinator in the group that brought the technology and new media conference ‘Pixilerations’ to Providence RI. In addition, his involvement in seeing Brown/RISD’s dual degree program to fruition has been pivotal in joining the two formerly collaborating universities into a historic educational partnership.
Mayer has screened his films in galleries, theatres, museums and universities around the world. He is scheduled to exhibit this year at the Shanghai Zandai Museum of Modern Art in a show entitled ‘Interlude Art & Life 366.’
To read the review written in the Providence Phoenix click here.