Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky): "The Republic of Nauru is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean. It was, by consensus of several 'Great Powers,' used as a raw resource until there was literally nothing left. Nauru has been mined throughout the last two centuries for its phosphate deposits, which occupied 90% of the island. As a small territory with no [other] exploitable resources, in the 1990s Nauru turned to off-shore financing, and the creation of 'virtual banks' as a way of earning sorely needed foreign currency. The Nauru Elegies posits that Nauru is a reflection site of many of the issues facing our contemporary information economy.
"The music component of The Nauru Elegies reflects colonial and postcolonial issues facing the digital economy of the twenty-first century translated into a string quartet, while the literary and multimedia component of the project spatializes and formalizes otherwise invisible economic flows and irreversible ecological devastation. The Nauru Elegies is a technical synthesis of a live string ensemble, projected high-definition video footage, digital animation and live internet feed of GPS coordinates of specific aspects of the island and its physical and financial infrastructure. It is an orchestration of content retrieved and processed in multiple localities including research in New York City and documentation in Nauru. The Nauru Elegies is a statement of technology and media processes in the twenty-first century that is exponentially progressing to a more dematerialized and delocalized state."
This event is one of several comprising The Met Reframed, an unprecedented, multilayered, artistic partnership with Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid), a composer, multimedia artist, writer, and DJ. His recorded output includes remixes of music ranging from Wu-Tang Clan, Metallica, and Bob Marley to classical/new music legends Steve Reich and the Kronos Quartet, and he has performed as a DJ at major festivals, including Bonnaroo and Power to the Peaceful. His work as a media artist has been featured at the Whitney Biennial, Venice Biennial, and Miami/Art Basel; and his first collection of essays, Rhythm Science, was released by MIT Press in 2004, followed by Sound Unbound, an anthology of writings on electronic music and digital media (MIT Press, 2008).
"For me, it's such an honor to work with the Met from the viewpoint of sampling," says Paul D. Miller. "I want to make a vibrant reflection of this incredible collection of materials from all over the world. My residency will be a fun festival of ideas: from the South Pacific to Asia, from the Civil War to 3-D photography, from Antarctica to environmental activism. I want to show that music and art are always in dialogue."
Tune in at 7:00 p.m. on January 18 to watch the live stream of this performance on the Museum's website.
Listen to a sample of DJ Spooky.
The Met Reframed is made possible by Marianna Sackler.
Image above: Nauru Coat of Arms
See more in Concerts and Performances,
In/Visible: The Economic and Environmental Plights of an Island Nation,