At start of the pandemic a band of musicians and artists came together along with our collective AI’s that we called the S.E.A.L.- Synthetic Erudition Assist Lattice. Each of us contributed to the content of what eventually a set of songs and visuals. We performed under the name The Seals for several online concerts and embraced artifacts and chance elements produced by the inevitable latency as we improvised over the set from our four corners of the world.
As a mentor for kids from 12-18 years old through Guitars over Guns (Gogo), a non-for-profit organization where professional musicians and artists mentor students in our community in their respective areas, I quite literally have a heavy responsibility of working directly with and affecting the future. It is a serious responsibility where I must be aware of my own privileges and be more vigilant than every with my continued education in anti-racism & social justice. Gogo also provide resources such as social emotional learning, food, instruments and academic support through community partnerships. Since March of 2020, mentoring has moved from an in-person model to online interaction. It has truly challenged the ways in which we communicate ideas, hear/see music/art and what choices we make when it comes to what is important in preserving from an old western-classical based model of handing down knowledge vs sharing wisdom in a way that speaks to the kids through a 2D lens, iffy sound & shoddy internet connections. The goal of supporting the kids to explore and express what they are thinking and feeling through sound/art through the use of classical methods of teaching music and art does not translate. The methods and measuring sticks no longer apply and all attempts to name and own frequencies and wavelengths is a system that we have been dismantling without even trying. How can we reformulate what we are teaching and how we share it through virtual medium to individuals who may or may not have the best equipment? How does tech shape us and the way we share information, see one another and ourselves? How are we shaping tech? Who is involved in this process and are all parties being considered?
I am an artist/musician, maker, and curious practice-based researcher in technologically mediated audio/visual practices and communication with a focus on equity of emerging technologies & understanding systems (human, nature and machine). Currently, my position is best stated at the end of a book chapter I co-authored called Cynosuric Bodies to be published in The Body in Sound, Music & Performance on Routledge in December 2021:
Earlier in this chapter we discussed inclusion for differently abled artists in the process of creating experiences and devices tailored for their personalized embodied expression. Centering access to technology as an equity we challenge disparities that have been leveraged to block technology and education regarding the workings and processes behind the making of technology such as: economic, gender, race, age, physical and mental abilities and the intersectionality of any or all of these. The right to enchantment, expression and erudition is available to all beings and should be honored. We manifest a call to place humanity back into human-computer/human-human interaction as an intimate and personalized relationship. We call on curiosity and the access to the knowledge of systems along with the reimagining of these as an act of resistance to the patriarchal/hierarchical proclivities of owning, selling and limiting knowledge, tech, space, place, expressivity, methods and practices. Our Cynosuric Bodies are surrounded by a constellation of collaborators sharing time, opportunities and knowledge which serve to center individual needs for a healthy and whole collective.
I value the creation of audio/visual works and experiences that make room for a more wholistic understanding the information associated with the movement of the various processes & systems. I often find myself at the intersection of music, art & science again and again on my perennial journey in this body, in this time. This intersection is less of a static spot on a map that is circled back to but rather more of a portal to the next rung on a future focused spiral of understanding and expression.