Michael E. Stephen’s objects and arrangements, composed from appropriated and casted materials, conjure the complex visual experience of subcultures from the 1970s-1990s. Stephen’s selectively scavenged objects (an auctioned piece of the moon; VHS tapes from estate sales) are sourced for their ritualistic or cult potential, and at times transformed alchemically, to create new autonomous relics. Muted by nostalgia, these emblematic artifacts provoke a meditation on the objects’ latent symbolism and associative content. Stephen’s works seek an embodied connection with the past and construct an intimate archive of the VHS era. Stephen’s minimally aesthetic forms display his mystic reverence for psychotronic groupings, object oriented ontologies, and obsolescent territories.

Michael Stephen currently lives and works in Austin, Texas.