Ash Arder: Disco Gardens

Assembly Gallery Activation:

Summer 2019

In January 2017, Recess launched Assembly to serve as an artist-led alternative to incarceration while empowering young people to take charge of their own life story and imagine a positive future through art. Through the 40-week Peer Leader program, our young people are exposed to various mediums of art making, careers in the arts, and internships at arts and culture spaces around the city as a pathway to a career in the arts. A guest artist joins each new cohort of the program and collaborates with youth on a project in our public storefront gallery.

Public Programs

Listening Sessions at Disco Gardens

Thursdays, July 11, 18, and 25, 6:00-7:00pm
Join artist Ash Arder for listening sessions on Thursdays in July. Participants will join in Disco Gardens to reflect on the ways that relationships between people and plants are portrayed in music.

Orchids | Music and Plant Work with Johann Diedrick 
Saturday, July 20, 6-8pm
Orchids will be a musical set combining sounds from Disco Gardens with stories of plant work. The experience is led by artist Johann Diedrick, who will reflect on his grandmother’s orchid garden in his home state, Florida.

Culminating Reception
Saturday, July 27, 2019 4-6pm

Ash Arder

From May 30 to August 3, 2019, Ash Arder will develop Disco Gardens, a roving micro library and record shop devoted to the study of environmental concepts in Black music. Arder will create an interactive sonic and tactile installation using analog music and related ephemera as a framework for exploring the relationship between vegetal and human life. The performative and textual qualities of vinyl records and other library holdings will be examined through an eco-criticism lens, teasing out themes relating to ecology and the natural world. Through interactive workshops, listening sessions, and open study hours, the public will be invited to join Arder in deconstructing and remixing plant-based narratives in Black music and popular culture.

Open to the public

Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6pm

About the Artist

Ash Arder is a Detroit-based transdisciplinary artist whose research oriented approach works to expose, deconstruct or reconfigure physical and conceptual systems – especially those relating to ecology. Examining these systems primarily through the lens of history and popular culture, Arder creates work in the form of installation, sculpture, sound, video, electronics, drawing and performance. Recent residencies and fellowships include Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, A Studio In The Woods, and University of Rochester. Recent exhibitions include group shows at The Kitchen in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Arder received a BA in Communications Studies and Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Michigan and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Currently, Arder is researching the role of music and computer technologies in perpetuating interspecies relations at the Eastman School of Music.

Major funding for Assembly is provided by The Horace Goldsmith Foundation, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, The Salomon Foundation, and The Stavros Niarchos Foundation.