Text by CLOT Magazine
DeForrest Brown Jr is one of the current most radical and inspired voices of Black culture. Theorist, journalist, curator, visual artist, and musician DeForrest was raised in the Deep South, which gave him a profound perspective on racial matters. After moving to New York seven years ago, he has been shaking things up with his pungent voice, asking difficult questions that make us reconsider how we think about race, class, historical events and social/economic structures in America. His work defies narrow definitions.
A few months ago, in a conversation with CLOT Magazine, the artist shared: The basis of all of my work is ultimately musical because of my interest in rhythm and momentum, but my experiences both inside and outside of the operational practices of the music and art industry has afforded me a more macro- view of the ecosystem of distribution and categorization which in turn caused me to think and strategize my career a bit differently.
His music project Speaker Music was inspired by Rhythmanalysis, a book of essays by urbanist philosopher Henri Lefebvre as well as considerations of vibe, momentum and the “chronopolitical” in Black music, as defined by British cultural theorist Kodwo Eshun. Speaker Music mobilizes freely improvised electronic percussion and stereophonic audio recordings. For DeForrest, his curatorial, writing and music practices work as a cohesive unit for producing speculative conjectures made from information gathered from his “rhythmanalytical” media theory and field studies.
Next month DeForrest is releasing his debut album for Planet Mu, of desire, longing which centres around gestural sonic portraitures of sonorous and cybernetic ensemble energy music. of desire, longing is a time-based release meant to fill both sides of the vinyl completely, working against the quick turnover rate of the current track-based standard of the streaming economy. Through his empathetic touching of frequencies, DeForrest unveils a romantic abstraction of sonic narratives that recalls previous innovations by electronic and jazz musicians such as Les McCann, Urban Tribe and James Stinson. of desire, longing encodes the listener with an encrypted heat, made with empathy and without excess.
And on Friday, December 13, the New York art institution Artists Space will host a special event curated by Speaker Music entitled drape over another. A collaboration with photographer/visual designer Ting Ding and painter Luz Angélica Fernández of the sustainable gender-flexible apparel line Hecha / 做 NYC with Edible Altar by REMEDI FOOD.
drape over another is a performative articulation of of desire, longing, exploring the delicate and poignant qualities of light, sound and taste with a focus on the affectual specificity of human tactility and perception, to reconsider the inherent politics of habitual spaces amid seasonal cycles of consumption, outlining and rejecting the operational failures of a neutralized social sphere.
Accompanied by a booklet of multi-textural data and rhythm analyses written by Ting Ding and DeForrest Brown Jr. entitled QTRLY Reports, ‘drape over another’ will exhibit Luz Angélica Fernández’s developing live-action painting practice of impressing material textures and visual semiotics into fabric.