Stephen Vitello '86 (literature) is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. Stephen has become an internationally recognized sound and media artist whose work transforms incidental atmospheric noises into mesmerizing soundscapes that alter the perception of the surrounding environment. He has composed music for independent films, experimental video projects and art installations, collaborating with such artists as Nam June Paik, Tony Oursler, Julie Mehretu, Steve Roden and Scanner. As an installation artist he is particularly interested in the physical aspect of sound and its potential to define the form and atmosphere of a spatial environment.
In 1999 he was awarded a studio for six months in the 91st floor of the World Trade Center's Tower One, where he recorded the crackling noises of the building swaying under the stress of the winds after Hurricane Floyd. His work has been released on CD by such labels as New Albion Records, Sub Rosa and 12k. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. In September 2011, Stephen's latest commissioned work, All Those Vanished Engines, will be on display at MASS MoCA. For this piece, Stephen collaborated with fantasy/science fiction writer Paul Park.