New Artist Talk Series: Dispatches from the Square

Posted on November 22nd, 2011

Bayeté Ross Smith in Conversation with Tahir Hemphill (Moderated by Ben Herson)

Wed, December 7, 2011 | 7pm – 9pm
NYFA, 20 Jay Street, 7th Floor, DUMBO, Brooklyn

The socio-political concept of the "town square" has been reinvigorated by the recent protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square and by our country’s own Occupy Wall Street movement. The Laundromat Project's new artist talk series Dispatches from the Square features artists who use their creative practice to make pop-up and permanent “town squares” that stimulate public dialogue and action on a range of issues. The series also highlights artists who collaboratively make artwork with non-artists as a strategy for creating more livable societies.

Join Create Change Public Artist in Residence alum Bayeté Ross Smith and multi-media artist Tahir Hemphill for a conversation about how they have used hip-hop as a platform to create new work that engages, mobilizes, and documents local and global communities. Moderated by Ben Herson, Founder and Director of Nomadic Wax.

Image: Bayeté Ross Smith, Got the Power: Minnesota, 2011

Bayeté Ross Smith is a New York-based artist, photographer, and educator. As a participant in The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Public Artist Residency program in 2010, Ross Smith launched his project Got the Power, which collects samples of ambient sound, music, and oral histories in order to create portraits of American communities. He is represented by beta pictoris gallery/Maus Contemporary.

New York-based artist Tahir Hemphill founded the Hip-Hop Word Count™, a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day. Hemphill uses the database to create visualizations and infographics that help analyze and interpret musical trends and cultural data. His work is currently included in the Talk to Me exhibition at MoMA.

Ben Herson is the founder and director of Nomadic Wax – a global hip-hop record label and production company dedicated to recording, documenting and presenting hip-hop and underground music from around the world.

Posted in Announcement    Tagged with Dispatches from the Square; Artist Talk; Create Change


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