SE01 | Reverberations

Special Edition 01 | Reverberations: Ancient Rock Art Today

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Follow this link for a transcript of this episode.

Hosted by Lutz Koepnick

This special edition of Art of Interference explores echoes between ancient rock and cave art and our contemporary moment. We feature an exhibition at Vanderbilt University’s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy (“Reverberations: Roots of the Cedar Tree”) and discuss the role of organizations such as the Ancient Art Archive in preserving and educating the public about the oldest art on our planet. Photographer Steven Alvarez and Chickasaw visual artist Dustin Mater will join host Lutz Koepnick for this conversation, as will Steph Welsh, the Executive Director to the Ancient Art Archive, and Leah Lowe, Professor of Theater at Vanderbilt University, and the Director of the Curb Director.

An internationally awarded photojournalist and National Geographic photographer, Stephen Alvarez founded the Ancient Art Archive to share the world’s oldest rock images with a global audience, creating a living archive that allows viewers from around the world to experience awe, wonder, and connection through history and across cultures. The Ancient Art Archive collaborates with Indigenous scholars, artists, and community members to contextualize and bring these sacred images and places to life through beautiful photography and sophisticated technology.

  A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Dustin Mater draws inspiration from his family and heritage to create fine art spanning painting, printmaking, shell carving, metallurgy, and various other artistic media. Mater serves on the leadership team of the Ancient Art Archive’s Mural of America project, providing guidance and artistic direction for educational programs and resources. He also works as the Graphic Arts Coordinator for the Arts and Humanities Division of the Chickasaw nation, and his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, the National Park Service, and the Smithsonian Museum.  

“Reverberations: Roots of the Cedar Tree” is open for public viewing Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and by appointment, until December 1, 2023: The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy, 1801 Edgehill Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212.

For more information, please visit:

Ancient Art Archive

Dustin Mater’s Website

Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Engagement

Also mentioned in this episode:

Werner Herzog, Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

David Lewis-Williams, Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art (2004)

Devilstep Hollow Cave, TN