Steve Rosenthal

San Fran-Man
Recorded spoken performance


Artist Statement

Today much of our communication occurs virtually and globally; where once we conversed face-to-face. Can an examination of our cyber interaction offer up any insight into how we see/represent ourselves, provide ethnographic specifics dependent on where we are geographically located, and/or define what a virtual community in reality is?

Since 2006 my practice has been an evolving exploration of digital-visual data excavated from online gay community platforms (Gaydar/GayRomeo/Grindr) then manipulated and re-presented in a miscellany of forms. For Audible Observatories I extend this ongoing investigation by extracting ‘head-line’ texts from San Francisco’s Gaydar profiles and reconfigure these silent declarations into poetic form. Forensically examining the linguistic terminologies employed – seeking out commonality, repetition, the strange unique and the ordinary, dissecting the miniature to give rise to an impression of a whole – with the aim to assemble an ‘everyman-portrait’, sourced directly from within, and uniquely particular to San Francisco’s gay community dynamic.

Throughout the summer I have created three such portraits in Berlin, London and Zurich for ‘Sound Development Cities’. Each assembled poem was recited through a mega-phone by a gay man, local to each area, and recorded for re-presentation. I continue this methodology in the present work to construct the portrait of ‘San Fran-Man’.


Following a 16-year career as an actor, Steve Rosenthal returned to education in 2004, graduating in Fine Art with First Class Honors from Camberwell College of Arts and Chelsea College of Art & Design. His work, which manifests in miscellaneous forms–from sculpture to video, as installation, video, performance, sound and intervention–has been exhibited in commercial galleries, project spaces and public museums throughout the East Coast as well as the UK and continental Europe. Often working to commission, Steve has pieces residing in numerous public, corporate and international private collections.