Stephen Dorocke: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Stephen Dorocke

Crew Profile: Stephen Dorocke

Year you began at The Block:  2019

Can you tell us a bit about your background? What should we know about you?

My artistic focus has mostly been music and sound art, having toured and performed with various ensembles internationally. I also have been involved in lutherie, building concertinas/accordions, oud variants of my own design, and the repair and maintenance of orchestral string instruments. In addition to these fine crafts, I also have been an all-around carpenter, which was my route into the art world via galleries, and then museums. Whether the preparator work is de-installation, or installation, the handling of the artwork can often be exhilarating. Our vantage point for viewing art is 360 degrees, which creates a very tactile experience. Being able to see all angles of a piece, and actually being in contact with the piece, one sees more of the complete structure, instead of just the presentation aspect.

Memorable experience preparing an exhibition at the Block?

My first show at the Block Museum, the amazing "Caravans of Gold" was truly memorable and educational, being able to spend time with wonderful art pieces that have passed down through the ages. Amazing to wonder at the fabrications and techniques of past artisans.

How does work as a museum preparator inform or influence your artistic practice? Or not?

Working as a preparator aligns with my own creative vision, as I approach life as a creative process. Putting up a show is indeed a process that often requires creative problem solving, and invention. Hanging a show can be a very dynamic process that can lead to creative innovation that's often transferable to other creative avenues, activities, and all aspects of life.

Where have you been finding inspiration at this time?

My inspiration for music/sound and art comes from within and without.... The incredible, infinite cosmos, and the incredible, infinite potentiality that is human consciousness.

What can you share with us about the work you created for this project?

Within the past two years, I have ventured into Zen-inspired ink, graphite, and occasionally acrylic abstract drawings and paintings. The ink and charcoal pieces are created with a similar process and approach to the music/sound creation that I pursue. Mostly improvised, the music/sound is unique to the moment of its creation. Within group settings, the music is like a sonic conversation, listening often being more critical than actually sounding. For the drawings, I call on intuition to guide the brush or pen without consciously attempting to "draw" something, therefore expressing a more instantaneous and dynamic "moment in time" esthetic.

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Stephen Dorocke