Olivia Valentine & Paula Matthusen

About Olivia and Paula


Olivia Valentine is an interdisciplinary visual artist working in textile construction, drawing, and photography, creating architectural scale textile installations and collaborative projects that span a variety of media and disciplines. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for Installation Art in Turkey and the Brandford/Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber Arts. Recent exhibitions include Museum of Arts and Design (New York), the Danish Royal Academy (Copenhagen), and The American Academy in Rome (Italy). Olivia received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Culture at Iowa State University.

Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space—real, imagined, and remembered.

You can learn more about their collaboration here: betweensystemsandgrounds.com

Artist Statement

between systems and grounds is an ongoing collaboration between composer Paula Matthusen and visual artist Olivia Valentine, drawing on a mutually developed practice combining textile construction and electronics in real-time.

The project began in 2016, with a live performance in Budapest. The system has since evolved through residencies at The Hambidge Center and ACRE, where the durational aspects of the system were developed, as well as its embrace of site-specificity. The project grows with each iteration and performance, integrating field recordings, radio signals, feedback, and a system of cues that all contribute to the slowly-growing textile. 

The textile lives and grows in handmade foamcore furniture, that acts as a work surface, sculpture, and music box that slowly plays back accumulated recordings triggered by the textile. As the project continues, all of the systems will continue to grow and change in response.