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Before Our Eyes :
Believe Half of What You See And None of What You Hear
Before Our Eyes : Believe Half of What You See And None of What You Hear will provide a daily newscast ; dialogues ; present-time Griot historicizations as well as occasional heuristic sound pieces. This radio program is an invitation to consider our auditory perception of the art world and our proximal or distal milieu.
The newscast is borrowed from the format of traditional radio programs. It can be for as little as a minute to as much as five minutes of local, national and international news. The invited contributors will primarily be artists.
Conversations where all parties involved contribute to the discussion.
The griot is a West African historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet and a satirical or political commentator who orally preserves tradition and history. Between the babel of voices in the media, in our field and written accounts of a version of history – some people among us are privately or publicly locking in words the pulse of our times. Such voices will be featured on this section.
This open-ended section will feature works and sound excerpts that are heuristic in their nature.
Believe Half of What You See and None of What You Hear Jingle, by artist Dimitris Ioannou - dj Βουνό, voices by George Salem and Kika Kiriakakou, cover by Litsa Diamanti, Τέρμα Τα Παράπονα (B. Zazem-T. Easy-Ντ. Μαρκοπούλου, Τι άλλο θα ’θελες, 1979 ), Greece, 2013
UNCOLLECTABLE Playlist by +Aziz, 2013
Over the past few months, +Aziz worked alongside ArteEast to develop their ArteZine for Spring 2013, titled UNCOLLECTABLE. The edition, which is complemented by a performance in NYC, looks at the question of ’collecting’ sound and performance art. Having listened to the work of numerous sound artists, musicians, and Soundcloud users, +Aziz developed a quick hit list of audiophiles that have inspired me to think differently about sound and the nature of music.
Every system has its glitches. Every business model, a flaw. Uncollectability, whether it’s intentional or a consequence, enables artists to maintain their autonomy. It can be seen as an aesthetic form of resistance where, for example, your work can’t be hung in someone’s living room. Embracing sound art and broader sound archiving practices in the Middle East, UNCOLLECTABLE investigate the noticeable shift in the Middle East art world towards more performative and conceptual work.
Bahrain | A New River by Hasan Hujairi
Currently based in Seoul, Hujairi is one of the contiributors’ to the ArteZine. His personal narrative conveys his struggles performing in his homeland and the dynamics of his performance experimentations with diverse range of instruments. His essay provides insight into the awkwardness of being a non-commercial sound artist in the Middle East. Through Hujairi’s experience, we find how the scrutiny of organizers and collectors keeps experimental music from reaching its regional audience. His music is marked by an analog calmness and he’s masterful at having his research interests carry over into his craft.
Lebanon | Mao Brass Band by Tarek Atoui
While his work is entirely unique, Atoui is a great representative of how audiophiles in Beirut are employing an improvisation-centric method to sound art. Events such as the Irtijal Festival or The Johnny Kafta Summer Extravaganza are signs that audiences embrace experimental music. Moreover, labels such as Al-Maslakh demonstrates the seamless connection between Lebanon’s indie music scene and art world.
Kuwait | Desert EP by Fatima Al-Qadiri
Another well established artist that’s been embraced by FADER Magazine, Al-Qadiri’s work is divorced from analog instruments and improvisation. She focuses instead on deeper psychological themes (e.g. war, gender/theory, Kuwaiti folklore) augmenting her musical work through music videos, installations, and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Kuwait | On Truth by @_Prelude_
This young woman uses Soundcloud in an eccentric way, capturing audio from the world she inhibits and recording monologues in Arabic. She is not an artist, but a heavy Twitter user. By far, one of the most interesting and buzzworthy creative minds on the web in my opinion.
Egypt | Glitch Like an Egyptian by Hassan Khan and Mahmoud Refat
Hassan Khan is a prolific artist that has informed my work with ArteEast (it’s amazing how much one can learn within the boundaries of a Skype conversation). His works are regularly released through 100copies, a record label focusing on limited edition releases and an organizational body run by Mahmoud Rafat.
“Being a trend spotter, I focus on evolutions in culture in my day-to-day work. As a musician I draw on alternative rock ; I want to borrow from my field to expand what is commercially viable for indie artists to do. I’m currently looking towards sound art for ideation and inspiration”
Working as a trend spotter for the past 4 years, +Aziz is a Kuwaiti songwriter that integrates trends outside the entertainment industry to support his music. Having released a debut EP SoHo Spirit, he hopes to leverage his musical achievements to develop a 45-minute animation through his start-up The Music Parade.
Based in NYC, he writes for publications such as PSFK, Khaleejesque, Kalimat, and Oasis Magazine. He has developed his vision of cultural trends impacting the Arabian Gulf through a workshop hosted by NUQAT, a design conference held across GCC countries.
Believe Half of What You See And None of What You Hear is conceived by Georgia Kotretsos, as part of the project Sous nos yeux (part 1) curated by Abdellah Karroum at La Kunsthalle of Mulhouse, in collaboration with the University Haute-Alsace.
Thanks to : Isabelle Lefèvre, Sandrine Wymann, Charles Zimmermann and Manos Tsatiris and Dimitris Ioannou - Vouno Dj.