The outside of Studium looks inconspicuous. The industrial suite turned co-disciplinary space bears only a small, pale pink sign above its curious entry, revealing little to passersby.
Inside, however, is a different story.
Studium is teeming with a collection of vinyl records and unconventional books published by Punctum Records and Books, and handmade clothing and goods by Byron & Blue. The space is also home to Stowe Provisions, a small leather workshop; and Attendance Records, a nonprofit providing music education programs to local schools.
Studium founder Dan Rudmann was working as an editor at the academic, critical theory press Punctum Books when it decided to apply its risk-taking approach to publishing books to music. One year, 17 records and countless performances later, Punctum Records needed a place to call home.
“We knew a lot of people who also had similar ideas but couldn’t necessarily open their own shop,” says Rudmann. “So, we all came in together and thought we could all equally share space.” After that conversation, Studium was born.
The name comes from Roland Barthes’ book, Camera Lucida, where the punctum is the subject of a photograph.
“Studium is the surrounding space, the context….Studium [is] the house for everything that we’re doing.”
“Studium is the surrounding space, the context, so it just kind of made sense to have Studium as the house, the roof for everything that we we’re doing,” Rudmann says.
Throughout the day, neighboring Brew & Brew customers can wander through the always open, industrial slider and shop or put on a record. In addition to the easy-going nature of the space, there are custom made tables and benches from Only Sun Woodworks offering overflow seating for customers from next door.
“Before this I was running the record label out of my bedroom, and this is just so much more enjoyable.”
The ability to meet people
face-to-face is one of the things Rudmann really enjoys about having Studium. “Before this I was running the record label out of my bedroom, and this is just so much more enjoyable.” Now, Punctum Records customers can test out a record on the Audio Lab Turntable before they buy it or just listen while they shop.
Rudmann enjoys talking to people and telling them specific stories behind the records, especially the ones they release. And with a brick and mortar location, Studium also showcases the work of Punctum artists and those who have contributed to the space.
“We are a collective organization. All the decisions we make, everything that we have done, (ensures) that the musicians we work with really have a say,” Rudmann says.
Studium is focused on using the space to foster the community around it. Apart from live music and pop-up shops, it accommodates a reading group for the philosophy and critical theory books Studium carries. In the future, it will host gallery shows and provide alternative education, similar to that of a graduate seminar.
“It really is encouraging that people just want to come here and hang out with their friends and just kind of chill,” says Rudmann.
Written by Katelyn Orlowski
Photography by Chris Perez
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