Skip to Content

On View

Steve Rowland

(Chief) Seattle Meditation

Rowland blends his own video, stills, and music with work by fellow artists and archival materials to contemplate the impact of rapid change and displacement in Seattle.

Steve Rowland. (Chief) Seattle Meditation, 2020. Video still.

Documentarian Steve Rowland has long been eager to work in a four-screen environment. Rowland moved to Seattle from Philadelphia in 2011, has been astonished to witness the rapid gentrification, profound changes to Seattle’s neighborhoods and the resulting homogenization and degradation of its beautiful multi-culturalism in only a few years. A long-time student of modern music and visual art, he is interested in the blending of documentary style storytelling with more expressionistic forms that address the feelings brought up as we move through life.

(Chief) Seattle Meditation includes archival photographs from area archives with images by Edward Curtis, Al Smith and contemporary CD artist Inye Wokoma. It also includes original stills, videos and music created by Rowland. Rowland is inspired by British filmmaker John Akomfrah.

Archival images used by permission from: The Seattle Public Library, The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), The Seattle Municipal Archive, the Bainbridge Island History Museum, and Inye Wokoma. Excerpt of the song “Load Up” granted by Laura Love. Poem “My Proud Red Door” used by permission of author Fall Hyde.


About the Artist

Steve Rowland is a two-time Peabody Award-winning radio documentarian (The Miles Davis Radio Project and Leonard Bernstein: An American Life). He is also a proud social activist, photographer, filmmaker, radio host, Shakespeare teacher, and an eternal student. He has recently joined the faculty at Evergreen State College where he teaches business, ethics and media.