Conversations From The Center
Episode #5 – Utopia (No Place)
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.
TJB, 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.
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 2020
Ou 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 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 Matienzo
Susana 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.