New York, NY —
VERNON REID'S "ARTIFICIAL AFRIKA"
As part of the New Sounds Live concert series at the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, WNYC has commissioned renowned rock guitarist (with Living Colour) and visual artist Vernon Reid to complete a work he has had in progress for a few years - "Artificial Afrika." This world premiere multimedia work is based on the various ways that the West has mythologized and invented an image of "African culture" through appropriation of mythology, religious traditions, visual and musical forms. The work includes a multi-screen video exhibit that is itself a kind of appropriation - using digitally manipulated images as genuinely African - and music that is a hi-tech, up-tempo blend of live electric guitar, electronic sounds and digital processing.
Co-director & Composer Vernon Reid is a Grammy award winning guitarist, composer and boundary-bending artist who began with the downtown New York jazz/funk/punk scene, lead the pioneering multi-platinum rock band Living Colour, and has collaborated with creative spirits ranging from Carlos Santana, Public Enemy, Defunkt, and African singer Salif Keita to choreographers Bill T. Jones and Donald Byrd. He composed and performed Bring Your Beats, a children’s program for BAM. He produces artists like James “Blood” Ulmer. He composed the scores for GHOSTS OF ATTICA and ALMOST HOME, and was the music supervisor for the Charles Stone film MR. 3000, starring Bernie Mac. He founded the Black Rock Coalition in1984 to help combat the pigeonholing of African-American musicians. A talented multimedia artist and curator, Vernon created Artificial Afrika, using animation, computer graphics and public domain media to explore historic, often racist myths and inventions that continue to define the idea of Africa and its culture.
» Vernon Reid’s website
» Vernon Reid’s Twitter Feed
» Artificial Afrika’s 2006 exhibition site
» Current TV piece on the art exhibition
» Vernon’s own model made by Parker Guitars
» New Sounds Live 2009-2010 Concert Season
» World Financial Center