Tuesday, March 21, 2017
MOOGFEST ANNOUNCES PROTEST STAGE PARTICIPANTS FOR FESTIVAL’S OPENING NIGHT
"Featuring Talib Kweli, Omar Souleyman, Mykki Blanco, BEARCAT, Pie Face Girls, MIT Open Doc Lab, NEW INC, Found Sound Nation, and Goldsmiths
The independent, annual, four-day festival will take place in
Durham, North Carolina from May 18-21, 2017.
This year marks its 11th iteration honoring the spirit of inventor Bob Moog.
$249 for 3-Day General Admission and $499 for 3-Day VIP
All prices exclusive of applicable fees.
March 21, 2017 - Moogfest will dedicate its main stage on opening night to exploring how creative technology tools and protest music can be used as instruments for change. This Protest stage will be led by local and international artists Talib Kweli, Omar Souleyman, Mykki Blanco, BEARCAT and Pie Face Girls, MIT Open Doc Lab, NEW INC, and app developers at Goldsmiths University. The diverse Protest stage program will include performances, talks, and participatory technology experiments. Moogfest invites all presenters and attendees to explore sonic resistance and emerging technology tools for counteraction while celebrating radical inclusivity and intersectionality. New technologies for educating, organizing, and art-making echo Moogfest’s rallying cry: Synthesize Love.
Protest comes in many forms, and no single genre can contain the musicians participating in Thursday’s program. Talib Kweli is a renowned recording artist, entrepreneur, and social activist who uses hip hop to educate, inspire and agitate. He is well known for his work combating racial stereotypes, the prison-industrial complex, and police brutality. Syrian artist-activist Omar Souleyman represents culturally diverse musical traditions that include Kurdish, Ashuris, Arabic, Turkish and Iraqi communities. Fearless noise rap poet and performance artist Mykki Blanco was raised in Raleigh, N.C., but has traveled the globe from art-world stomping grounds in New York to his current home in Los Angeles, spitting subversive rhymes on race and LGBT issues. British DJ/Producer BEARCAT makes politically-charged bass-heavy mixes and represents Discwoman, an esteemed collective showcasing cis women, trans women and genderqueer talent in electronic music. Raleigh-based band Pie Face Girls uses defiant punk music to promote a DIY ethos and attack issues like North Carolina’s HB2. Music is one of the oldest forms of protest, but each of these artists makes their causes urgent anew with the music and community they build.
Intermixed with the musical performances, technologists participating in the Moogfest Protest stage program will present recent and developing projects that empower and facilitate social action. Gan Golan and Ron Morrison of NEW INC present their countersurveillance armor for citizens, The Argus Project, a head-to-toe mobile suit embedded with cameras that allows the wearer and its audience of remote viewers to monitor and record environmental behaviour. Taeyoon Choi, also of NEW INC, presents a protest sign-making workshop, exploring signs as a poetic medium for social engagement in an inclusive space that promotes learning from people with differing views and priorities. Halsey Burgund of MIT Open Doc Lab and Joe Zobkiw present the Land Marking app, which captures the sounds of social movements around the world. During the festival, attendees are invited to contribute their voices or listen to the location-based mix of music and voices contributed by previous participants. Vivan Thi Tang, a postgraduate in the Graduate Entrepreneur program at Goldsmiths University in London, created a customized beta of her irlbb app for Moogfest 2017, that presents a unique opportunity for participants to connect with potential collaborators.
Found Sound Nation and Moogfest co-present Democracy's Exquisite Corpse: a sonic collage of reflections on democracy and resistance created in real-time across the festival weekend and in collaboration with Moogfest artists, activists, innovators, festival attendees and the public--a 21st century take on the Surrealist parlor game.
These presentations and workshops are rooted in the principle that technology can foster innovative perspectives on protest and creativity as a whole. Moogfest attendees are invited to collaborate with these technologists in launching their projects at the festival.
MORE ABOUT THE PROTEST STAGE TALENT
The Argus Project from Gan Golan and Ron Morrison
The Argus Project is a wearable sculpture, video installation and counter-surveillance training which directly intersects the public debate over police accountability. According to ancient Greek myth, Argus Panoptes was a giant with 100 eyes who served as an eternal watchman, both for - and against - the gods. By embedding an array of camera "eyes" into a full body suit of tactical armor, the Argus exo-suit creates a "force field of accountability" around the bodies of those targeted. While some see filming the police as a confrontational or subversive act, it is in fact, a deeply democratic one. The act of bearing witness to the actions of the state - and showing them to the world - strengthens our society and institutions. The Argus Project is not so much about an individual hero, but the Citizen Body as a whole.
BEARCAT is a London-born, Brooklyn-based artist. Internationally known for her various skillsets as a DJ/producer, audio engineer and pro MUA, BEARCAT began touring with various artists in 2005 providing backing vocals and creative direction for live festivals such as Afropunk, Glastonbury, Reading and Lovebox. Never afraid to delve deep, she uses her emotive musical selections as a form of therapy. Drawing from deeply personal experiences and diasporic roots, her ear guides her in creating uncompromising, powerful, bass-heavy mixes that harness a symbiotic energy between music and crowd.
Democracy's Exquisite Corpse from Found Sound Nation and Moogfest
An immersive installation housed within a completely customized geodesic dome, Democracy's Exquisite Corpse is a multi-person instrument and music-based round-table discussion. Artists, activists, innovators, festival attendees and community engage in a deeply interactive exploration of sound as a living ecosystem and primal form of communication. Within the dome, there are 9 unique stations, each with their own distinct set of analog or digital sound-making devices. Each person’s set of devices is chained to the person sitting next to them, so that everybody’s musical actions and choices affect the person next to them, and thus affect everyone else at the table. This instrument is a unique experiment in how technology and the instinctive language of sound can play a role in the shaping of a truly collective unconscious.
irlbb from Vivan Thi Tang
irlbb connects individuals after IRL interactions and creates community that otherwise would have been missed. With a customized beta of the app for Moogfest 2017, irlbb presents a unique engagement opportunity for the Protest Stage which will be revealed at the festival for those who download and use the app.
Land Marking from MIT Open Doc Lab
Land Marking is a mobile-based music/activist project that augments the physical landscape of protest events with a layer of location-based audio contributed by event participants in real-time. Land Marking will be teaming up with the Protest Stage to allow Moogfest attendees to contribute their thoughts on protests and tune into an evolving mix of commentary and field recordings from others throughout downtown Durham.
Finding fame first as a fearless noise rap poet, he published a book From The Silence Of Duchamp To The Noise Of Boys. Then what started as a video art project about a “teenage drag rapper” transformed into two years of Blanco living as a transgender woman in his personal life. Though eventually not transitioning, Mykki Blanco graduated in real life experience as well as artistically into the non-binary gender-queer post-homo-hop musical artist that we see before us today. Needless to say, it’s impossible to pigeon-hole Blanco, and his unique and beautiful sound is no exception.
Amassing a vast online following with a savvy and savage social media output, Mykki is acclaimed as a digital warrior princess who rules across the underground music scene with mixtapes like Gay Dog Food, cult hits like “Kingpinning” and sensational videos like “Coke White,” “Starlight,” “The Initiation,” “Wavvy,” and “Haze Boogie Life.” Blanco’s output to date has been hailed as razor sharp, ahead of its time and sometimes deliciously far out. His debut album, released just last year, pushed beyond the mayhem in favor of melody and musicianship and further into the depths of feminine empowerment, the discovery of one’s “second soul” and giving a voice to the marginalized. “I used to have a problem with the media trying to define me, either as a drag queen, or a transvestite, as a homosexual rapper, a transsexual or an HIV positive pop star, but most people need labels and my true fans know who I am and what I'm about."
Mykki Blanco’s referential framework is both archival and futuristic: a myriad of culture references, spiritual anecdotes, make-up brands, hippie jargon, Fendi here and Snapchat there–all perfectly reflecting the creative dialogue digital landscape we live in.
Syrian artist-activist Omar Souleyman, also known as Ras Al Alyn, has risen to prominence as an electronic music star in the last few years. From his humble beginnings as a farmer and, later, wedding singer, Souleyman has become a cult hero among club connoisseurs through collaborations with artists like Four Tet, Modeselektor and Gilles Peterson. As war rages in his homeland, Souleyman’s music preaches love and building bridges across time and space.
PIE FACE GIRLS
Reared in the basements and houses of the Raleigh punk scene, Pie Face Girls are a self-taught, self-actualized trio who make a habit of disrupting the conventional norms of the surrounding music scene. Influenced by the grinding distortion of L7 and The Melvins along with the DIY showmanship and sensibility of Bikini Kill and The Germs, Pie Face Girls aim to leave an impression. Says singer and guitarist Dani Hoffpauir, “As long as I can be an activist, I’m happy. As long as I can fight for the shit that matters in this world…because there’s a lot of shit to fight in this world.”
Taeyoon Choi from NEW INC
Taeyoon Choi is an artist and educator based in New York and Seoul. His art practice involves performance, electronics, drawings and storytelling that often leads to interventions in public spaces. He has published books about urbanism and is currently working on a book of drawings about computation. Choi cofounded the School for Poetic Computation in 2013, where he continues to organize and teach. Recently, he's been focusing on unlearning the wall of disability and normalcy, and enhancing accessibility and diversity within art and technology.
Hip-hop veteran Talib Kweli stands as one of the most politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. From his start as one half of rap duo Black Star, to collaborations with artists like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and The Roots, to his solo career, Kweli has consistently positioned social issues at the core of his music."