Composites, a podcast series by deepwhitesound, presents long-form compositions achieved through collaborative processes between artists working within concepts of expanded audio. In this inaugural presentation, seven artists are given the opportunity to create individual sonic explanations of an invented built environment situated over Buena Vista Park in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California USA. Each composition serves as a conceptual audio tour of a floor of the building, allowing listeners to physically navigate the park as well as the augmented space created by listening to each piece, conflating visual, aural and metaphysical information into a new sensory experience.
Composites: Buena Vista features work from Annie Moisan (Portland, Oregon USA), Ben Glas (Portland, Oregon USA), Tomás Tello (Tavira, Portugal / Lima, Peru), Sean Seaton (Baltimore, Maryland USA), Black Quantum Futurism (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA), Nat Evans (Seattle, Washington USA), and Selim X (San Francisco, California USA).
“…the disappearance of pedestrian space has transformed perception of the relationship between bodies and spaces. Something very odd has happened to the very state of embodiment, of being corporeal, in recent decades.”
—Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust
“As I continue to focus on creating opportunities for deepwhitesound artists to participate in collaborative works together, the core mission of the platform returns to me again and again, guiding my curatorial vision towards exhibitions that promote digital audio culture, boundless experimentation, and the open exchange of ideas in new ways. In the earliest days of DWS, the platform served merely as a vehicle for visibility, predicated on the tenet that all experimental audio should be freely accessed and shared. Pre-Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and YouTube, the development of deepwhitesound made possible the wide reach of experimental sound by musicians and artists often working at the fringes of their local communities, work that otherwise had no viable outlet. With the ever-increasing proliferation of digital and streaming media, DWS has shifted the way in which it works to achieve these goals by prompting artists to push their own practices and develop work within a concept of expanded audio, taking a cue from visual auteurs and experimental filmmakers who worked to redefine the ways in which we engage cinema. Since 2015, the exhibiting artists of DWS have challenged themselves and listeners to explore the edges of what constitutes sound art, question the authenticity of downloadable media as art object and to rethink the boundaries of transmission-based works.
Composites advances this line of inquiry by creating a space for focused collaboration between artists. I’ve considered a DWS podcast for quite some time and, when prompted by various radio programs to curate a segment of broadcast, have at various points created playlists that favor sonically diverse combinations of work rather than thematic, or genre-based presentations. I knew a podcast series, however, would have to primarily address the nature of broadcast itself, its function as a unique mode of exhibition and its relation to the physical dimension that the artist and listener both occupy, however incongruous. The goal of this podcast series is to present collaborative works that are in some way specific to the moment they are created: documents of or blueprints to experiential sonic manifestations.
With the inaugural episode, “Buena Vista,” I sought to explore the idea of augmented space as a work of contemporary art rather than a limited albeit content-rich reflection of our natural world, and the podcast itself as an experiential work that is jointly authored by the artist and the listener. These seven pieces are meant to be experienced in three-dimensions, each serving as a sonic atmosphere rather than a map or guide. In creating the work presented, each artist has considered many types of relevant movement: from the exertions required to traverse the steep, winding pathways of Buena Vista Park, to the socioeconomic shifts that have changed the way the city itself functions, from the currents of human migration, to the ascension of the human spirit, and the great leaps required to reroute traumatic histories into an infinite array of possible futures. It was important that the subjective viewpoint of the artist not create absolute pathways for the listener but rather an arena where the listener is given agency and is, as Salomé Voegelin states, “placed in the midst of its materiality, complicit with its production.” The act of walking itself is as generative a process as those employed by each artist. Here, the act of walking is an action that links the physical to the virtual, and in doing so transforms passive sensation into active collaboration. The invariable result is an immediately fleeting landscape that unfolds with each step, one that materializes from moment to moment, as a sequence of individual frames wholly unique, never to be repeated.” DB Amorin, founder of deepwhitesound
Composites: Buena Vista is presented in conjunction with Soundwave ((7)) Biennial and funded in part by Regional Arts & Culture Council. Special thanks to Tiare Ribeaux & B4BEL4B for facilitating this event and many, many others that have succeeded in keeping experimental media alive in the Bay Area, Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, Ihi Lani, Julie Perini, Matthew McVickar, Dana Paresa, Byron Foster and Kate Burlingame for your prescient guidance, limitless talents personal anecdotes, research assistance and unwavering support.
His work is inspired by all kinds of music and sounds. He is also interested in the possibilities a musician has to multiply himself. In order to achieve this multiplicity he uses a varied setting of instruments that include D.I.Y. electronics, cassette walkmans , AM radios, remote controls, cameras, guitars, samplers, voice, flutes , bells , etc. It is his intention to generate concern for contemplation, patience and to establish a close, warm and joyful relation with the sounds that are around us. During recent years he has been composing music for dance pieces with the dancer Yuko Kominami, doing solo shows and running the tape label Andesground.
Miles Jenkins (New Fast, Selim X) is an experimental musician from Mesa, AZ USA currently based in San Francisco, CA USA working in loop-based composition.
Black Quantum Futurism (BQF) is a new approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to see into possible futures, and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about that future’s reality. This vision and practice derives its facets, tenets, and qualities from quantum physics, futurist traditions, and Black/African cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space. Where these three traditions intersect exists a creative plane that allows for the ability of African-descended people to see “into,” choose, or create the impending future. BQF, through the work of BQF Collective and its collaborators, is in the process of developing and enacting a new spatiotemporal consciousness. BQF theory, vision, and practice explores the intersections of quantum physics, futurism, and Black/African cultural space-time traditions. Under a BQF intersectional time orientation, the past and future are not cut off from the present - both dimensions have influence over the whole of our lives, who we are and who we become at any particular point in space-time. Through various writing, music, film, visual art, and creative research projects, BQF Collective also explores personal, cultural, familial, and communal cycles of experience, and solutions for transforming negative cycles into positive ones using artistic and holistic methods of healing. Our work focuses on recovery, collection, and preservation of communal memories, histories, and stories.
Annie Moisan is a sound and performance artist from Portland, OR. She is an MFA candidate at Mills College in Oakland, CA and studied social practice and surveillance culture at the Bruce High Quality Foundation University in New York, NY. Her work accesses social, financial, and ecological networks to grow human ecologies from inorganic materials such as online branding statements and economic noise.
Ben Glas in an interdisciplinary artist and composer based in Portland, Oregon. Glas’s work focuses intently on egalitarian proprioception, stasis/rush within digital systems and notions of spacetime. Working extensively with sinewaves and unconventional softwares, Glas engages physical spaces and their ephemeral inhabitants to remind participants of a momentary sonic awareness within space and time.
Sean Seaton has been creating and touring under his name for the past two years. His current work exists to dismantle and rebuild a personal relationship to sound, music, and the exchange between composer and listener. Awareness of the difference between creating for purpose and accepting none.
Seattle sound artist and composer Nat Evans creates site-specific events that fuse nature, community and subjectivity of experience, electro-acoustic works for interdisciplinary projects, as well as concert works for chamber ensembles. His work is regularly presented across the United States and has also been performed in Europe, South America, Australia and China. Evans has received numerous commissions including the Seattle Percussion Collective, the Harrison Center for the Arts, The Henry, Odeon Quartet, The City of Tomorrow, Portland Cello Project, ALL RISE, The Box Is Empty, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others. His music has been featured on a number of radio stations in the United States, WNYC’s New Sounds with John Schaefer, as well as BBC3, and in the 2011 Music Issue of The Believer. He studied music at Butler University with Michael Schelle and Frank Felice.
deepwhitesound (DWS) is an international online exhibition platform of experimental audio. Since 2005, DWS has been offering experimental work free of charge as digital downloads distributed under the Creative Commons license. The mission of deepwhitesound is bi-fold: to make challenging, experimental work available via digital download for free and to support and foster a community for artists working at the fringe of art, technology and society. In 2013, deepwhitesound was the recipient of a grant from the Precipice Fund administered by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and Calligram Foundation as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ re-granting program. DWS has also been featured on a variety of broadcast formats, including Free Lab Radio (London, England), Hollow Earth Radio (Seattle, WA USA) and Sin Audio (Mexicali, Mexico), among others.
DB Amorin is an artist, arts organizer and founder of deepwhitesound. He is on the founding board of Public Annex, a non-profit organization providing accessible arts & urban farm programming to people along the disability spectrum. From 2012 – 2016 he worked as the gallery coordinator at ProjectGrow, an art studio representing and serving adults with developmental disabilities. From 2013 to 2015 he served as Communications Director on the board of The Creative Music Guild, an organization facilitating experimental and improvisational performance in Portland OR. DB Amorin is an exhibiting visual artist working in video, sound and web-based art.
Matthew McVickar is a freelance web developer and musician living in Portland, Oregon. In addition to client work, he has developed a number of Twitter bots and open-source tools. He curates and writes a daily newsletter called A Great Song Every Weekday that features an obscure and diverse selection of music. He was one third of Clones of the Queen, a Honolulu electronic pop band. He has also released music as Welwing and currently performs solo under his own name. He loves bicycling and is an avid reader.