Conversations From The Center

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Episode #2 - Radical Listening

Season 1, Ep. 2

KMRU, a sound artist and field recordist from Nairobi (Kenya), introduces their relation to audio, sonic and vibration. KMRU speaks on ways of relating to space through sound, as sound both creates a memory of the physical presence, at the same time as it creates a map of a new land. Afterwards, we discuss Radical Listening with our guests, exploring the importance of sound in relation to architecture, writing, location, education and activism. What do we hear when we stop talking? What do we hear from others, not only people but the populous world around us? What sounds emerge, what silences, what understandings? The conversation group is composed of sound artist KMRU (Kenya), researcher Pelin Tan (Turkey), writer Michelle Angwenyi (Nairobi/Kenya), and artist/researcher and Projects Director at CAD+SR Mary Ellen Strom (US). Portions of this program were recorded at the AfroQueer podcast studios in Nairobi, Kenya.


Kamaru

Joseph Kamaru (KMRU), is notable for making intelligent atmospheric and emotionally evocative electronic music. KMRU works to inject a dose of experimentation and space in his music. Giving a personal touch using everything from gritty indigenous sounds to field recordings or intricate sonic landscapes. 


Pelin Tan 

Pelin Tan, is a researcher on methodology and field of critical spatial practices, alternative pedagogies, and conflict territories from Turkey and the 6th recipient of the Keith Haring Art&Activism. Tan, co-directed films about the future of art&society with artist Anton Vidokle.


Michelle K. Angwenyi 

Michelle K. Angwenyi is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She was shortlisted for the 2018 Brunel Africa International Poetry Prize, and for the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize. Michelle has a chapbook, Gray Latitudes, forthcoming later this year from the African Poetry Book Fund and Akashic Books.


Mary Ellen Strom

Mary Ellen Strom is an artist, curator and educator. Her place-based, interdisciplinary artworks are produced with communities including ranchers, scientists, Indigenous Scholars, urban planners and politicians. Projects focus on environmental and social justice are exhibited in internationally. Awards include ArtPlace America, International Fulbright Scholar, National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, Artadia Fund, VIA Fund, Art Matters, Creative Capital. Strom is the Project Director for CAD+SR.  

More Episodes

9/7/2020

Episode #6 – Resistance

Season 1, Ep. 6
We start with our Case Study, a conversation with the Field Recording show, a programme exploring the soundscape, recording, listening, and composing hosted by Kate Carr and Luca Nasciuti. This will be followed by an audio performance piece by Intan Rafiza, entitled ROOT BECOME RITUAL. Our conversation on Resistance is with the esteemed guests Dr. Lisa Brock and Otis Cunningham, long-time activists and historians who have focused on Black resistance in the Americas (and in the world in general). The episode closes with a sound artwork by ogniki, whose focus on the cathartic elements of club culture has us hooked! This podcast series is produced by Sylvain Souklaye, with Dalida María Benfield and Chris Bratton.Lisa Brock (aka Doc Brock) is the Academic Director of the Arcus Center of Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, where she has worked to infuse social justice into Liberal Arts Education. Her writings on Africa and the African Diaspora have appeared in dozens of academic journals, political outlets, book chapters and the groundbreaking book, Between Race and Empire: African- Americans and Cubans Before the Cuban Revolution. Lisa is a member of the Board Trustees of the Davis Putter Scholarship Fund and senior editor of Praxis Center, an online blog and resource center for scholars, activists and artists. A rebel all her life, Lisa fought for girls’ rights and Black rights while growing up in her native Cincinnati, Ohio area and against police violence and judicial misconduct in Washington D.C. while an undergraduate. She became a leader in the anti-apartheid movement while in graduate school in Chicago and lived in Mozambique as a Fulbright Scholar where she critically merged her academic interest with southern African liberation struggles. She worked to found the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection at Columbia College Chicago (CCC) and to endow an international travel scholarship for students involved in African-American Studies. She has also led study abroad programs for faculty, students and activist to South Africa and Cuba. As a historian and justice leader, Lisa is an internationalist who views history as a way to enter contemporary discussions about race, class, gender, and global inequalities. Lisa attended Oberlin College and earned her B.A. from Howard University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in African History from Northwestern University.Otis Cunningham is a life-long Chicagoan, health worker, and activist. During the 1960s and 70s, he led national movements in solidarity with liberation movements in Africa, Cuba, Nicaragua, and other areas of the world. He was a member of the African American Solidarity Committee and co-editor of the magazine African Agenda from 1971–1980. He is currently leading educational groups to Cuba and working on a book with his partner on Charleston and Havana during the era of enslavement.Both Lisa and Otis are also Faculty Fellows of CAD+SR, and Lisa is a founding member of our Board of Directors.Ogniki, two intergalactic musical nomads who found each other in Uganda, gravitated towards their polar opposite sounds to interact with the energy of the collective and share with everyone on the dancefloor the moment of togetherness. Morgiana Hz and Slikback combine unique elements from different genres to conjure immersive experiences with ingredients as follows: knowledge of Slavic ancestors, elements of African heritage, tribal rhythms, consciousness of body, free-form noisey and bassy structures, vibrational alchemy, (extended) vocal techniques and deconstructed nature-based aesthetic. Ogniki focus on the catharsis element of club culture, leading listeners in a purge of emotions. Their aim is to bring a feeling of ancestral spells and atmosphere of rituals, drawing upon purifying power of wildness.The Field Recording Show is a programme exploring the soundscape, recording, listening and composing hosted by Kate Carr and Luca Nasciuti.This first episode features interviews with composer Simon Scott and artist and academic Cathy Lane. The pair survey the field recording scene today and discuss their practices. Resonance Extra - 24/7 sound art, radio art and global music. Listen on DAB+ in Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, London and Norwich or via http://extra.resonance.fmIntan Rafiza is a curator and artist. Practicing performance art for the past 15 years , her art pieces reflect and respond to the social criticism within contemporary society. Taking the bold step of creating performance art as expression and medium for having a dialogue with the public.Her performance pieces were exhibited most notably at Gluck50 Milan , Italy 2018, Asiatopia Conference SE Asia, Bangkok, Thailand 2016 & 5th Beyond Pressure Festival, Myanmar 2012 . Currently she is working on her performance series SEMUKA -Face to face.
8/1/2020

Episode #5 – Utopia (No Place)

Season 1, Ep. 5
We're back, starting with a short conversation with Tel Aviv based programmer and designer Ariel Malka, who develops experimental interactive projects. Next we hear TJB's audio performance, expressing the artist’s non-binary self as 40 droplets of water impacting a heated sheet of steel. Following that, we have our monthly conversation, which is about “Utopia,” the elusive and idyllic no-place of a happier and more just society. The idea of utopia has had many consequences throughout history, and much has been built and unbuilt around it. Participants in this conversation include a diverse group of researchers, artists and designers composed by Susana Delahante Matienzo (Cuban, based in Amsterdam), Giuliana Visco (based in Rome), and Ou Ning (based in China). Finally, our host Sylvain Souklaye chats with KMRU to introduce the work of Sarah Badr (FRKTL), whose new, untitled sound art piece closes the episode. This podcast series is produced by Sylvain Souklaye, with Dalida María Benfield and Chris Bratton.Ariel Malkahttp://ariel.chronotext.org/TJBTJB, is a non-binary artist-philosopher whose work focuses upon the conception of the body, Being and the idea of a multiplicity of Self/s in performance. This work can be located within the framework of performance art and philosophical/phenomenological investigations that look to de/construct and challenge perception, alongside the assumed liminal barriers of body-based art. Xe is known for creating artworks that capture an altered space, environment, or period of time that regardless of scale, will often make intense, sometimes visceral, beautiful pieces that place the body in extremis. Living and working in the UK, TJB has been exhibiting work since 2001 and internationally since 2009 particularly through Europe and East coast USA. TJB is also the artistic director of Tempting Failure, which produces the London Biennial of International Performance Art, and curates a wide range of transgressive performance art practices. You can find out more about TJB at tjb.org.uk and they’d like to extend an invitation to all listeners to engage with their unique ongoing project In/Visible Exchange where TJB expands conversations away from social media via unique electronic zines based entirely on the questions sent to them.https://www.temptingfailure.com/FRKTL is the solo experimental project of British-Egyptian audiovisual artist Sarah Badr. A classically trained multi-instrumentalist utilizing live sampling and improvisation, vocal manipulation, field recordings, and generative rhythms, she composes immersive, hypnotic, and haunting explorations of sound. For the past decade, Badr’sinterdisciplinary art practice has expounded on world creation in four dimensions, augmenting photography and footage with computer-generated imagery and sound design. Her mixes and DJ sets seamlessly blend disparate genres, challenging preconceptions of spaces real and virtual. Badr studied Creative Computing (BSc) at Goldsmiths, University of London; and International Relations (BSc)and Law (LLB)at the London School of Economics. Raised between London, Cairo, New York, and Manama, Badr now lives and works between Riga, Cairo, Berlin, and London.FRKTL releases include Prose Edda (EP,2017); Qualia (LP, 2016); Descent / Fjäder(double single, 2013); Atom (LP, 2011);and B-Sides (mini-album, 2011). Her sixth release and third full-length solo album, Excision After Love Collapses, is due out later in 2020FRKTL.COMOu NingOu Ning is a multi-disciplinary practitioner from China. He is an artist and filmmaker, who produced the documentary projects San Yuan Li (2003) and Meishi Street (2006). As a curator, Ou Ning initiated the biennial art and design exhibition “Get It Louder” (2005, 2007, 2010), and was the chief curator of the 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture in 2009. From 2011–2014, Ou Ning wrote and edited a literary bimonthly journal Chutzpah! His activism has involved living in a small village in Anhui Province and founding the Bishan Commune (2011–2016) and the School of Tillers (2015–2016). As a visiting professor, he has taught at the GSAPP, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation of Columbia University (2016–2017). He is a frequent contributor to various magazines and books and has lectured around the world.Giuliana ViscoGiuliana Visco received a degree in art history in 2002, obtained a DEA in HyperMedia, and a PhD in sociology at Università della Calabria. Visco’s heterogeneous academic career reflects the belief that multidisciplinary tools are pivotal for the understanding of today’s society, trends, and dynamics. Her professional life has had a continuous red thread: social and political activism focused in defense of young people’s, migrants’ and women’s rights. Visco has worked as a tutor on an AMIF project for unaccompanied young migrants. She now works with the not-for-profit, search and rescue ship “Mediterranea” located on the Mediterranean Central Sea. “Mediterranea” is an effort that assists people trying to enter Europe from Libya.Susana Pilar Delahante MatienzoSusana Pilar Delahante Matienzo was born in Cuba in 1984. From 1999–2008, she studied at the Fine Arts Academy “San Alejandro” and the Instituto Superior of Arts (ISA) in Havana, Cuba. She did postgraduate studies in New Media at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG), Germany (2011-2013). Matienzo has participated in residency programs in Canada, Holland, Reunion Island, United States, Italy, Sweden, Austria, etc. She has had solo shows in Havana, Cuba, Venice, Italy, Skövde, Sweden, Fort de France, Martinique and Enschede, Netherlands. Susana took part in the 13th Havana Biennale; 56th Venice Biennale; 1st Biennale of Contemporary Art, Martinique; III Biennale at Reunion Island; and the 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea.