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Transformations: New Directions in Black Art Conference « MAD Blog
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Transformations: New Directions in Black Art Conference

One of the highlights of the conference was a conversation submitted by Christopher Cozier, artist/ writer in Trinidad, in which he and publisher Richard Rawlins discussed the “creative possibilities” in the Caribbean as well as the “collaborative networks, off- and online, that are evolving around Alice Yard and its partners.” Cozier is co-curator and “instigator” of the Alice Yard space and blogspot with architect Sean Leonard, writer /editor Nicholas Laughlin, and musician Sheldon Holder.

Cozier has alerted me to work the Trinidadian designer Marlon Darbeau and his design e-mag Draconian Switch, and Douglas Ewart’ and his “Sonic Tops.” Originally from Jamaica and now living in Chicago, Ewart makes his tops from materials as varied as “bamboo, cups, saucers, vases, candle holders, LPs CDs, DVDS, clarinet barrels, toilet plungers, plastic jars, bowls, globes, etc.” Such artistic strategies such as this—with it recycling and repurposing of familiar objects to new forms and uses—have been described as an essential component of an African-ist aesthetic. They reflect the curatorial focus of Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, MAD’s inaugural exhibition in our new building (September 27, 2008-April, 9-2009) which included objects made from multiples of existing manufactured objects.

Certainly the interface between design and conceptual art that Cozier and his cohorts are involved in demonstrate the dynamic nature of art production among younger artists for whom such genre distinctions are beside the point.

Photos: http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/opera-classical/78532/sonic-playgrounds and http://storage.smallaxe.net/wordpress/2009/01/20/melanie-archer-on-marlon-darbeau/

 
 

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