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LAMPO Artist Talk: Kepla & DeForrest Brown Jr.

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Lampo Annex

Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd. #1656

Chicago, IL

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Jon Davies (Kepla) and DeForrest Brown Jr. discuss the theory and contextual inspiration for Substantia Nigra, chronicling their previous recording efforts and the transition to live performance. In this talk, they describe their ideas behind the archetypal dichotomy of the Black Body and the Whites as central nodes of American industrialized identities. They also consider what is “coolness” and the potential of the liminal moment as a means of mapping a non-linear reality outside of the historical rhythms of modernity and the desiring White gaze.

Arranged in conjunction with their performance on Saturday, May 11 at the Green Line Performing Arts Center, presented by Lampo in partnership with the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago; organized in coordination with Arts + Public Life, an initiative of UChicago Arts.

Kepla is the alias of Liverpool-based electronic composer and sound artist Jon Davies (b.1988, Hong Kong). Harvesting salvaged audio from a vast range of secondary sources, he crafts elaborate, seemingly dystopian sound worlds that are at once rooted in an earthly ecology and reflective of a distinctly alien life force. Over the past three years, he has produced a self-released EP, co-created the acclaimed Absent Personae with media theorist DeForrest Brown Jr. and video artist Chris Boyd, and composed the soundtrack for “The Happy Jug” with author Nathan Jones.

DeForrest Brown Jr. (b.1990, Tampa, Fla.) is a New York-based rhythmanalyst, media theorist and curator. His work is concerned with speculative futures in performative contexts and programmatic intersections of technology and thought. He produces digital audio and extended media as Speaker Music. In 2017 he was the inaugural Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow at Issue Project Room. He co-produced Ebbing Sounds Symposium with Swiss publication zweikommasieben and curator Marcella Faustini in May 2018 at Gray Area Art + Technology, with support from Swissnex San Francisco. He has presented work at Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, New Museum, MoMAPS1, Artists Space, 92nd Street Y, Abrons Art Center, Signal Gallery, Cafe Oto, E-Flux’s Bar Laika, Raven Row Gallery, H0l0 and Cleopatra’s. He is also one half of Elevator to Mezzanine with artist and musician Steven Warwick, and most recently released the black comedy mixtape The Wages of Being Black is Death (PTP) with sound artist Kepla, ahead of their research and performance praxis Substantia Nigra.

In December 2017 DeForrest Brown Jr. contributed new texts for Steven Warwick’s Lampo project, Figuring Space (on the Mezzanine), at the Stony Island Arts Bank.

The Lampo series of performances is a project of Lampo, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. Current programs are supported in part by the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the John W. and Clara C. Higgins Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts. Essential contributions also come from individuals, members and volunteers.

website: http:www.lampo.org/

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Lampo Annex

Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd. #1656

Chicago, IL

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