Big Medium Gallery, October 19 – November 18
by Neal Baker
Focusing on multifaceted projects, installations, and performances, Steve Parker’s work ranges from zany to mysterious to quietly thoughtful. He works in a diverse array of crafts, having spliced together brass instruments, written a quartet for choreographed speaker drones, and engineered an interactive digital auditory landscape mapped to the city of Austin. While his compositions and auditory creations are sometimes performed by hired talent, it’s just as likely that the viewer or passerby will become part of the ensemble.
His diversity of creation is rooted in a diversity of inspiration, as can be seen in one of his hand-drawn programs or collected on his Instagram feed. He has displayed an affinity for World War II-era listening devices with his interactive “Tubascopes”; he has speculated about the result of a collaboration between Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, and Frank Zappa with his “Lo-Fi Cycle”; and he has done his best to learn from Austin wildlife in “Grackle Call” and “Bat//Man.”
Now, after having put together one unique project after another, Parker is being recognized by Big Medium in its second annual granting of the Tito’s Prize, which comes along with a $15,000 award and solo exhibition at Big Medium. Parker will be adapting his eclectic style of creation for a more traditional exhibition space, and his show will open in Big Medium’s gallery on October 19, where it will stay through the East Austin Studio Tour.