Multifaceted artist’s residency comes to the Moody Center for the Arts and Rice classrooms this fall

Matthew Ritchie’s installation, “The Demon in the Diagram,” spans two galleries at the Moody Center for the Arts. Photo by Brandon Martin

An artist whose acclaimed works are the product of cross-disciplinary collaborations with scientists, engineers, musicians, architects and programmers is taking over the Moody Center for the Arts this fall.

In addition to a site-specific installation with a virtual reality (VR) component that spans two galleries in the Moody, Matthew Ritchie’s work extends across campus to 10 different Rice classrooms during his 2 1/2-month residency.

“As the Leslie and Brad Bucher Artist-in-Residence, [Ritchie] will be on campus working with students and visitors throughout the fall, bringing the work to life and engaging with a diverse array of classes including literary theory, math and musical composition,” said Alison Weaver, the Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director of the Moody Center.

The installation, “The Demon in the Diagram,” launched the Moody’s fall programming Sept. 21 and will run through Dec. 22. A British-born and New York-based artist, Ritchie created a site-specific installation that includes paintings, lightboxes, an interactive floor and audio work commissioned for the Moody alongside a VR component. As an exploration of the structures created to map the history of time in the same way Ritchie’s earlier projects examined graphic diagrams of space, this exhibition includes elements from Ritchie’s newest body of work, “Time Diagrams,” an ambitious 100-part sequence of diagrammatic works that attempt to chronicle structural features of human thought over the past 5,000 years.

Audiences are invited to engage with two interactive elements commissioned for the Moody. The first is a collaborative 3D sculptural environment that explores music and pedagogy through an interactive soundscape created with Ritchie’s longtime collaborators: musicians Kelley Deal, lead guitarist of the Breeders, and noted composer and clarinetist Evan Ziporyn. The second is an immersive work that inverts the familiar role of VR.

Ritchie gave a tour to students in a First-Year Writing-Intensive Seminar on contemporary art and environment. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

This project, Ritchie’s most complex to date, has been designed specifically for the Moody’s galleries as an open experiment in pedagogy. Both visitors and students will have the opportunity to participate in many aspects of the installation. For example, they can contribute to a durational musical work that will evolve over the fall months. The combination of elements will immerse the viewer in Ritchie’s creative vision of human history as a debatable and reconfigurable space, while encouraging the hands-on exploration of multiple systems of meaning.

Ritchie’s residency is part of a larger program of appearances, performances and guest residencies by acclaimed artists. Check the Moody’s events calendar at for more information.

Moody Center for the Arts
Sept. 21 – Dec. 22, 2018
Free admission
Hours:  10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday
For directions, parking and more, go to

Upcoming Events

George Lewis:
“Remains of the Sky”
Through Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.
James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace
“Remains of the Sky” is both a sound and light installation. A computer program designed by Lewis and realized by musician and software developer Damon Holzborn collects local weather data from the area around the Skyspace, then translates and compresses that information into a synesthetic performance of color, multichannel sound and rhythm.

Artist-in-Dialogue Discussion With Matthew Ritchie
Oct. 25, 6 p.m.
Brown Foundation and Central galleries
Moody Center for the Arts

“Dimensions Variable”
Oct. 27, 6 p.m.
Brown Foundation and Central galleries
Moody Center for the Arts
In response to “The Demon in the Diagram,” San Francisco-based choreographer Hope Mohr and members of her company, in residence for a week, will perform an original work. Kelley Deal and Evan Ziporyn, who collaborated with Ritchie to design an interactive soundscape for “The Demon in the Diagram,” will also perform and discuss the project.