SSSSHHHH #6 /SoundMind #14

SSSSHHHHH/SoundMind is an ongoing investigation of sound and listening, responding to Kamau Amu Patton’s long-term installation in the Tang mezzanine, Tel_. Tinkle’s SoundMind series, ongoing since 2016, orients listening through participatory, embodied workshop exercises, while Patton’s SSSSHHHH is a series of curated listenings, which asks: if reading becomes audible as the private and public sounding of text, then what happens when we orient our listening to the un/intelligibility or il/legibility of hard-to-read texts?

Thus far, the collaborative series has found such texts in instruction-based performance scores, concrete poetry, archives, language instruction LPs, and through the intercultural telematic transfers made possible by the internet.

In this installment, we invite YOU to contribute a beloved (or illegible) book, text, saying, or other readable matter, for a workshop investigating reading as sound, struggle, and divination.

Then, Patton will unveil his Neototal, a project for which he and his collaborator Matt Scullin used the gig-hiring service Fiverr to assign strangers across the globe to the task of turning an array of hard-to-read texts and images into music tracks and music videos that speak in a kind of nongenre cybermusic. Patton also incorporated his own photos, video sourced from his DVD collection, and footage found on the internet to create additional videos. Event attendees will be invited to participate in this same process, offering their own textual contributions to the maw of the cybermusicmaking machine.

In the first half of the program, we will also receive the help of Skidmore Storytellers’ Institute Director Sarah Friedland, whose new film/ritual A Saying (made in collaboration with Corine Spencer and Sean Hanely) enacts the transfer of words of conventional wisdom across thresholds of linguistic translation. 

About Neototal

Matthew L. Scullin, Producer
Kamau Amu Patton, Writer and Visual Artist
Various users, Vocals and Instrumentals
Featuring: Original crowdsourced content from the internet
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*Neototal has no affiliation with ANTshares NEO cryptocurrency

Neototal was created by Kamau Amu Patton and Matthew L. Scullin in 2010 as a video and sound offshoot of a music and video art group they were members of, Official Tourist. On December 22nd, 2018, Matt began producing an album using content sourced only from users. On December 26th, 2018, Kamau and Matt decided to incorporate Kamau’s original poetry into the project and resuscitate the Neototal. Three weeks later, within a single market cycle, a full EP had been completed.

Example from Neototal:

Schedule for event:
5:00 - SoundMind Workshop with BYO Readings 
5:30 - Screening of A Saying 
5:45 - Neototal Listening/Viewing Session
6:45 - Kamau Amu Patton and Matt Scullen on the NeoTotal Project 
7:15 - Content Creation Workshop / Process BYO Readings / Submit for Reprocessing by NeoTotal 

This event is free and open to the public.

Kamau Amu Patton is an interdisciplinary artist and art educator. His work is an examination of history and culture through engagement with archives, documents, stories, and sites. Patton received his MFA from Stanford University in 2007. His recent works utilize a variety of media and art forms, such as transformation of speech, radio transmission, video feedback, and painting. His work has been shown at the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival and as part of the Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture. His work Elevator Music 27: Kamau Amu Patton was on display at the Tang in 2014-15, and he performed in the Tang’s Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow: Sound, Black Study, and the Multidisciplinary Artist in 2017.

Adam Tinkle, Director of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Media and Film Studies at Skidmore, is a multidisciplinary artist and scholar trained in music, currently working at the interface of audio documentary, sonic conceptualism, and participatory/collaborative modalities. His book manuscript, on experimental music and the aesthetics of social participation, explores surprising links between the reputedly recondite sonics of John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Pauline Oliveros, and their co-conspirators, with contemporary conversations around inclusive, public practice in the arts. His recent artistic projects include a pair of 2017 gallery exhibitions as a member of the collaborative Seven Count that included pirate radio, immersive sampledelia, and participatory soundmaking; an artist’s book and multimedia environment (exhibited at the Bennington Museum) remixed from material from his award-winning documentary solo performance A Mess of Things; and concert performances of interactive visual music with the duo Timbree. He has published in Leonardo Music Journal, Organised Sound, and American Music Review, and teaches sound and intermedia praxis at Skidmore College, where he has guided the development of its summer Documentary Storytellers’ Institute since its inception in 2015.

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