The Record

Contemporary Art and Vinyl

The Record

Book Pages: 216 Illustrations: 225 illustrations, incl. 200 i Published: 0

Art and Visual Culture > Art History, Cultural Studies, Music

The Record is the full-color catalog accompanying the groundbreaking exhibition The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University from September 2, 2010 through February 6, 2011. The first exhibition to explore the culture of vinyl records in the history of contemporary art, The Record features rarely exhibited work and recent and newly commissioned pieces by thirty-three artists from around the world. These artists have taken vinyl records as their subject or medium, producing sound work, sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, video, and performance. Works by well-known artists such as Laurie Anderson, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, and Carrie Mae Weems appear alongside those of other North American artists, and of artists from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, some of whom have never before exhibited in a U.S. museum. Among the works shown are David Byrne’s original Polaroid photomontage used for the cover of the 1978 Talking Heads album More Songs about Buildings and Food, the fictive soul “album covers” created by the outsider artist Mingering Mike in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and Wheel of Steel (2006), an arresting narrative of record-playing told through digital photos by the South African-born and Berlin-based artist Robin Rhode. In addition to the 225 images, 200 of which appear in color, the catalog includes personal reflections and critical analyses. All of the artists in the exhibition contribute personal statements about their work in relation to the vinyl record, and critics and scholars explore the historical impact of the record on art and music and the ways the medium has helped shape individual and collective identities.

Contributors. Jeff Chang, Vivien Goldman, Jennifer Kabat, Mark Katz, Josh Kun, Barbara London, Mac McCaughan, Carlo McCormick, Charlie McGovern, Mark Anthony Neal, Piotr Orlov, Luc Sante, Trevor Schoonmaker, Dave Tompkins


The Record traces the indelible mark vinyl made on the music industry and the people who listen, from white youths crossing into black neighbourhoods in the passt to the obsessed retro collectors of today. Long live vinyl.” — Globe and Mail

“A fun book to go through and, if your collection extends to vinyl pop, jazz or classical LPs you’ll love this even more.” — Steve Ramm, In the Groove

“For those unable to get to the exhibition, the catalogue provides plenty of visual food for thought. . . . There’s no denying the vital inspiration provided by those in the art world, however, and this exhibition and book provide much to dwell upon. . . . These works signify not because they are made of vinyl but because they are made from records. In this way, they still speak to us: the magic lives on.” — Richard Elliott, Popmatters

“Luxuriously illustrated with over four hundred color images, and stuffed with over a dozen essays, the book doubles as an exhibition supplement and an illustrated history of the record and the culture(s) it has engendered. And this is to say nothing of its exhaustive timeline, artist statements and biographies, bibliography, and what Schoonmaker calls his ‘Extended Playlist,’ which lists works that were not available for or included in the exhibition. It is wonderful to be allowed this insight into curatorial research and desire, and Schoonmaker’s sharing of what could have been hoarded away for future projects is an example we would be wise to follow. The breadth and depth of this catalogue are staggering, and the contributors—curators, photographers, historians, academics, musicologists, musicians, critics—represent the broad panorama of scholars and artists who keep records dear to their heart and at the center of their lives. As a catalogue, it is exceptional. As a testament to the ways in which the vinyl record is a universal medium that crosses all boundaries, it is paradigmatic.” — Adrian R. Duran, CAA Reviews

“Schoonmaker's volume is more than a souvenir of what you saw (or will see) at the museum. It is also a collection of brilliant essays about why vinyl was important not just to musical culture, but to the very idea of a shared public culture.” — Cliff Bellamy, Durham Herald-Sun

“With essays by Luc Sante among others, and artwork by Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Ed Ruscha and gay artist Jasper Johns, The Record is a long-player indeed.” — Gregg Shapiro, Bay Area Reporter


Availability: In stock
Price: $45.00

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Trevor Schoonmaker is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. He is the editor of Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool; Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova, and Robin Rhode; Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; and Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Kimerly Rorschach 9
Curator's Acknowledgments / Trevor Schoonmaker 11
The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl / Trevor Schoonmaker 14
Record Timeline / Trevor Schoonmaker 48
Guided by Grooves: How Records Changed Music / Piotr Orlov 62
Beware of Gramomania: The Pleasures and Pathologies of Record Collecting / Mark Katz 68
Home of the Blues, House of Sounds: The Record Store / Charles McGovern 78
Just for the Record: Vinyl Rules / Carlo McCormick 86
Digging in the Crates / Mark Anthony Neal 96
El Disco Es Cultura / Josh Kun 106
The Record in Jamaica / Vivien Goldman 116
Needle to the Groove: Snippets from an Omnidirectional History / Jeff Chang 124
Do-It-Yourself / Barbara London 138
New Feeling / Jennifer Kabat 142
N. C. Noise / Mac McCaughan 154
Blazing Hip-Hop and R&B / Dave Tompkins 158
Yesterday and Today / Luc Sante 158
Cover to Cover 168
Exhibition Checklist and Artists' Statements 184
Artists' Biographies 202
Extended Playlist / Trevor Schoonmaker 212
Selected Bibliography 215
Timeline Reproduction Credits 216
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-938989-33-2
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