I’m very pleased to have contributed The Borderlands to Sibyl’s Mouths, a Pure Fiction publication edited by Rosa Aiello, Ellen Yeon Kim, Erika Landström, Luzie Meyer and Mark von Schlegell, published by Sternberg Press and distributed by MIT Press.
The Borderlands was originally conceived as a guided meditation and prelude to a lecture given at NSCAD in 2020. This re-edited meditation on humming draws on the work of Hannah Arendt and the Music Historian Suzanne G. Cusick:
“In our common sense, we believe the voice is the body, its very breath and interior shapes projected outward into the world as a way others might know us, even know us intimately” (Cusick, 29). To hum is to catch oneself in a liminal state between thought and expression, until you inhale again. Perhaps a hum is an unexpressed secret. Perhaps a thought, living amidst your cogs, needs no words to soothe itself; because perhaps a thought is invulnerable, even if this labial buzz, this frequency conjuring the first wordless attachment to a body, will be its only relational trace.
I’m delighted to share a project long in the making, an excerpt of the live recording and libretto for Chimera’s Still Warm Body, as well as an accompanying essay, Some Notes on Chimera, part of the e-flux project You Can’t Trust Music, curated by Xenia Benivolski. This is the second “interlude” in a multi-chapter exploring hidden facets of sound and art production.
Take a look here: https://yctm.e-flux.com/chimera
On October 1st, I’ll be performing in the atrium of Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin on the occasion of Intimate Connections: Musical Explorations of Rest and Inner Self, part of the current exhibition YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal. I’ll be performing alongside two wonderful artists: Ross Alexander and Vera Dvale.
October 1st, 2022
Episode #46 of Something Like, The Intervening Mind, will be part of the programming of the Resonance Room at Gropius Bau, Berlin, running from 16 September 2022 to 15 January 2023.
Something Like #46: The Intervening Mind was commissioned by Intimate Connections, a project spearheaded by Margareta Von Oswald and Carl Lange in cooperation with Mindscapes, Wellcome Trust’s international cultural programme about mental health.
The piece will screen as part of the exhibition YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal, which “addresses issues such as the politics of health, the resilience of Indigenous knowledge systems, forms of kinship, fair land use and its distribution, decoloniality and the rights of the non-human, all entangled with various concepts of care, repair and healing.”
On July 30th, 2022, I’ll be performing a new work at Kunstverein Bielefeld. When it Moves, Strengthening its Skin is an exhibition across two institutions. Performing with me in Bielefeld will be Nils Amadeus Lange and Mira Mann. The series is curated by Paolo Baggi and Florentine Muhry.
On July 8th, I’ll be reading new poetry as part of an event called “Death by Landscape”, curated by Elvia Wilk and Mathias Zeiske, and part of a Haus der Kulturen der Welt series called Alphabet Readings. More information about the event (including tickets) can be found here.
“Death by Landscape is an event that moves through the city at night. A boat on the Spree will be the vessel for readings by Timo Feldhaus, Elvia Wilk, Calla Henkel, K Allado-McDowell, Bitsy Knox and a performance by Nazanin Noori.
The title is borrowed from Elvia Wilk’s recent book of essays, which proposes new ways for living and working in an age of extinction. “Death” here is not about invoking catastrophe, but about the end of certain destructive perspectives – perspectives that see the human as supreme over the rest of the world. The landscape, formerly thought of as a passive resource for extraction, becomes an overwhelming life force. What if the landscape flipped from the background into the foreground? What if the river became the protagonist of the story? It might be spooky. Ghosts might come to life. The trip represents a transition, a crossing over.”
(photo credit: Rachel Rose, Enclosure, 2019).
I did a live guest set on Refuge Worldwide’s Oona Bar, in support of the label Hot Concept and the artist Teplice, who followed with a stellar live show.
Thanks to Teplice, Hot Concept, and Jon Loveless for the invitation!
I had the pleasure of reading at the beautiful listening space Kwia, Berlin on March 12th, 2022 alongside Olympia Bukkakis and NM, as part of TABLOID’s residency there.
You can listen to a recording of the reading here:
and also on NM’s radio hour on Refuge Worldwide:
I’m delighted to announce that the e-flux Project You Can’t Trust Music, curated by Xenia Benivolski, is launching today.
A live excerpt of Chimera’s Still Warm Body with an annotated libretto will follow in Spring 2022.
In their influential essay, “Experiments in Civility,” Bill Dietz and Gavin Steingo start by saying: “It would seem that in many circles, music has a bad reputation. You can’t trust music. One minute a piece of music is proclaiming the heights of Western civilization, the next minute the same piece is the sound track to genocide. Music is unfaithful, a slippery character. Or is it the other way around? Is it we who are slippery? Is it who or what we are in music—who or what music lets us become?” 
Unlike literature or art, music appears to be nonrepresentational, at least at first. “But music also is a place of sorts,” says musicologist Holly Watkins, “replete with its own metaphorical locations, types of motion, departures, arrivals, and returns.” Songs articulate distance, texture, and intent. They respond to the acoustics of landscapes and social structures; they are amplified in some spaces and dampened in others. The quality, cadence, and rhythm of sounds can document changes in topology through their evolution. By listening to sounds—and the way they have been transcribed, adapted, and memorialized—we can trace otherwise invisible political interventions into landscapes and soundscapes and, in return, understand these interventions as documents, instructions, or scores.
Music is a powerful mnemonic device. When it comes to language as well as place, the human brain uses phonology—how languages organize sound in the brain—to aid in memorization. It is the song’s structure that helps us remember other information about it. In other words, the melody helps us recall the lyrics. But every collective experience is made up of structurally subjective impressions. Working from an assumption that internal and external soundscapes resonate in collective execution, You Can’t Trust Music (YCTM) is a research project connecting sound-based artists, musicians, writers, and thinkers who explore the way that landscape, acoustics and musical thought contribute to the formation of social and political structures. This project was developed by Xenia Benivolski, with significant support from Julieta Aranda, throughout 2020 and 2021, a time when people were confined to their homes and one of the only ways to be transported was through the body’s association of the sonic with the spatial. YCTM is a digital exhibition whose primary medium is sound and music, accompanied by texts that complement, rather than explain.
With works and texts by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Victor Wang, Sachiko Namba,Matt Smith (Prince Nifty), Kurt Newman, Douglas G. Barrett, Stefana Fratila, Abhijan Toto, Pujita Guha, Sung Tieu, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Ayesha Hameed, Felicia Atkinson, Michael Nardone,Ryan Clarke, Bitsy Knox, Jessika Khazrik, Julian Yi-Zhong Hou, Tessa Laird, Elin Már Øyen Vister, Rachael Rakes, Reem Shadid, Bill Dietz, Gavin Steingo, Xenia Benivolski, Julieta Aranda, and Shock Forest Group (Katya Abazajian, Sheryn Akiki, Daria Kiseleva, Jelger Kroese, Susanna Gonzo, Nicolás Jaar, Paula Dooren, Pantxo Bertin, Pamela Jordan, Erica Moukarzel, Simon Skatka, Sjoerd Smit, Bert Spaan, and Axel Coumans)
As part of the Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum Re.Turn programme, I’ll be performing a piece by artist and architect Lydia Karagiannakis entitled de.construction.fantasies. My reading will be accompanied by a video and live improvisation by the musician Marco Schröder at Seydelstraße 19, 15h on November 14th, 2021.
I had the great pleasure to be invited by Montez Press Radio to produce a 1-hour special episode as part of their participation in the Kunstverein in Hamburg exhibition, Magazine, curated by Nicholas Tammens. The episode was created in collaboration with the writer and editor, Olamiju Fajemisin.
The episode will be re-broadcast on Something Like’s usual slot on Thursday, November 11th, 2021 at 10am CET.
I’ll be performing a new work entitled “Chimera’s Still Warm Body” with the composer, vibraphonist and percussionist Els Vandeweyer at Klosterruine in Berlin on September 1 & 2, 2021.
This project is generously supported by Musikfonds e.V. and the Canadian Embassy, Berlin.
I’m very very excited to share my guest spot on WFMU’s Radio Row, which aired on Sunday, April 25th at 5pm EST.
Check it out here on WFMU’s website.
WFMU-FM is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station broadcasting at 91.1 Mhz FM in Jersey City, NJ, right across the Hudson from lower Manhattan. It is currently the longest running freeform radio station in the United States.
The station also broadcasts to New York City and to Rockland County, NY at 91.9 FM, and to the Hudson Valley, NYC and Lower Catskills in New York, Western New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania via its 90.1 signal at WMFU in Mount Hope, NY. The station maintains an extensive online presence at WFMU.ORG which includes live audio streaming in several formats, over 17 years of audio archives, podcasts and a popular blog.
Himali Singh Soin asked me to contribute to her beautiful online project *Spring is dangerous, like love. And love survives the lovers.* for Serpentine Galleries online.
Read it here.
I participated in a special episode of Reece Cox’s Info Unltd. along with a fantastic list of artists and poets.
Bitsy Knox Meaningless Secrets 5 min, 30 sec
Bitsy Knox reads from her 2020 chapbook Meaningless Secrets, which was composed in late 2019 on an island in the Pacific Northwest of Canada, during an extended period of almost total isolation. While there, an inanimate metadrama unfolded between the ocean and the pockmarked shore.