"Alternative Histories" 2023-????

A semi-permanent retrospective of works by Clarke Bedford, from Vanadu Art House curated by Andrea "River" Peterson in the MidMountain Gallery space. 

“Inner Ear, unfinished”

A MidMountain community piece curated by Andrea "River" Peterson, with generous contributions from: Don Zientara, who graciously shared stories and let us scavenge from what remained in the final hours of Inner Ear’s existence in the physical place it inhabited since 1990; friends who were willing to rearrange their schedules around a last minute moving truck rental and increasingly desperate series of emails during the pandemic; plus, the kindness of then-strangers and now neighbors at the Natural Bridge Country Store & Cafe who helped unload the piano at MidMountain. 

(It was a three-person job, minimum. And you found them!)

“Inner Ear, unfinished” is a semi-permanent, interactive exhibit in MidMountain’s Gallery Space featuring artifacts from legendary Washington, DC-area recording studio Inner Ear, a including the piano from the studio, the rug from the engineering room, the VCR with a selection of rescued VHS tapes (Harold and Maude, Muppets in Space, and Home Alone), as well as an alleged master from the recording of Coriky’s debut album in a format (magnetic audio reel) which MidMountain currently cannot play to verify. 

(Thus, it is a physical NFT.)

Zientara was incredibly kind with his time and things—and in fact, was clearly less attached than we were to what remained of the physical arts history being displaced as part of an imminent domain development for a new arts district. 

“This building will be leveled and will be asphalt. And there will be a temporary stage here for performances,” Zientara told WUSA9 in November of 2021, shortly before the acquisition of the artifacts. 

“Blocks, Unchained–Alice, Bob, Carol, and Dan.”

A semi-permanent exhibit By Andrea "River" Peterson

This series of small physical metaverses that exist in the MidMountain Gallery explores the subversion of reality, ownership, and linguistics by cryptocurrency. 

The blocks are built into drawers repurposed from a local human habitat. Each features live moss and other flora (plus, assuredly, a bit of fauna) as well as human representations of entropy, secrets the artist is tired of keeping (sealed inside tiny glass bottles), and other transparent vessels awaiting fulfillment. 

An artificial cloud made primarily of the byproduct of former lifeforms condensed by the crush of time provides sound-reactive illumination above the blocks.

Patrons may “own” the metaverses for a set period of time with that ownership maintained via a network of trust with the Artist. During ownership, patrons may have their name associated with the work on the MidMountain website and make monthly requests for alterations to a block’s contents by the Artist—subject to Artist approval. 

Patrons purchase the right to visit their block once, subject to Artist approval and schedule. 

During that visit, the patron may touch the moss in their block. Once.

Patronage requests considered upon direct application to the artist. 

Project subject to cancellation at Artist’s will. 

Mystery acquisition! (Volume 1, Beacon)

This piece was acquired by MidMountain via a Lynchburg-area Goodwill. Striking style and form, with offset mirrored femme presenting figures, in apparent stencil or print in antique frame, sprayed gray. 

Signature, similarly stylized.

Do you know more about this piece or who made it? Let us know!