Uchronia: The Unequivocal Interpretation of Reality
w/ Maciek Pozoga
Exhibition, photo book, and sound recording (vinyl record), 2015
Surreal ethnographic documentation of travel to a fictional Bamako. Over 10 days, photographer Maciek Pozoga and I meticulously documented the real and the unreal through photo and sound. The imagined capital evolved out of discussions with Bamakois: visual artists, science fiction scenarists, traditional griots, DIY filmmakers, and hip hop studio producers.
The resulting exhibition, Uchronia: The Unequivocal Interpretation of Reality featured photo from Maciek Pozoga, a photo book, edited by Pierre Hourquet, and vinyl record of field recordings (“Field Recordings from Alternate Realities”). The record draws on the experience of a number of musicians, including Mamelon, Luka Productions, and Super Onze.
Exhibition Link – 12Mail/Red Bull Studio Space
Field Recordings from Alternate Realities – Soundcloud
Global and Mobile Pop
w/ Brainstorm, Jason Urick, Iftin Band
Multimedia presentation and performance, 2012
PICA, Time Based Art Festival
Thanks to the spread of mobile phones and the Internet, the remote caravan towns of the Sahara now feel as close as Bushwick. BRAINSTORM and Sahel Sounds have curated a multimedia presentation consisting of musical performances, Skype video concerts from western Africa, YouTube remixes, and live cellphone feeds. With performances by local musicians (including Jason Urick and Iftin Band) reinterpreting global music, international acts playing to American audiences through populist technologies, and a dizzying slew of Internet-derived content presented through video projections, the night is rich with cross-cultural content and the vast weirdness of the Internet era.
Music For Saharan Cellphones
w/ Jesse Johnson
In West Africa, like most of the world, cellphones are are used as all-purpose multimedia devices. But here, in lieu of personal computers and high speed internet, cellphones house portable music collections, playback songs on tiny built-in speakers, and swap files through peer-to-peer Bluetooth wireless transfer. In 2010, I collected songs from cellphones, in the Tuareg town of Kidal, in the North of Mali. The songs collected in Kidal range from DIY Tuareg guitar, auto-tuned Moroccan chaabi, Malian coupé décalé, and fruityloop hip hop. The songs were released in 2010 as an album “Music from Saharan Cellphones.”
In 2011, Jesse Johnson and myself curated “Music from Saharan Cellphones.” Drawing on gifted producers and musicians from a variety of stylistic backgrounds and nationalities, each artist selected and re-interpreted a musical moment from the source material. From bass laden sound/clash ventures, abstract re-creations, and even an amazing autotune cover, the end result holds a rich assortment of well informed musical statements. Reflecting the energy and fidelity of its origins, these versions take on their own rare and exciting form. Using the mp3 as the medium, the Music and the Musicians become the diplomacy.
The resulting compilation was released on 30 numbered microSD memory cards. Each card was loaded with the songs, images of the artists, and attached to a note explaining the project. The cards were returned to their point of origin, in Kidal, Mali in 2011, distributed and loaded back onto the networks of music exchange.