FENDI SS19 campaign soundtracked by Lafawndah – Substancia.
Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann “Ground Zero” at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin
11. September – 15. December 2019
Christopher Kulendran Thomas’ family is from a place that no longer exists. 10 years ago, in the summer of 2009, the Tamil homeland of ‘Eelam’ was wiped out by the Sri Lankan army. Born through a neo-Marxist revolution, it had been self-governed as an autonomous state for almost 30 years. However, following attacks on the United States on September 11th 2001, revolutionary movements around the world were re-labelled as terrorists, enabling their eradication. As the international community turned a blind eye, Eelam was annihilated. Curiously, in the months following that violence (and with the economic liberalisation that followed), the first white cube commercial galleries opened in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, projecting democratic values internationally and representing a generation of artists influenced by the Western canon encountered online.
“Around the world, the juridical framework of human rights has been leveraged not only to protect the oppressed and disenfranchised but also to justify the imperial ambitions of the nation states by which human rights are enforced. Perhaps though, the problem is not with the concept of human rights but with the very category of ‘human’ itself.” (Christopher Kulendran Thomas)
the film itself is made through multiple systematic and machinic processes, with characters generated using neural networks running on purpose-built computers and a soundtrack that includes a pop song composed by reverse engineering the prolific Swedish producer Max Martin’s secret songwriting system known as ‘melodic math’. The work of Ananda and Gunatilake are presented as material components of their own ready-made re-presentation by Kulendran Thomas – and titled as such with inventorial objectivity – circulating as memetic arbitrage across the contours by which identity and power are negotiated globally. Exploring the interrelationship between contemporary art and human rights in an era of globally uneven technological acceleration, Ground Zero reflects upon issues of individual authenticity, collective sovereignty and what it means to be ‘human’ when machines are able to simulate human understanding ever more convincingly.
Projected onto a large transparent screen bisecting the Schinkel Pavillon, the film Being Human (2019) forms a three-dimensional hypertext for a collection of paintings and sculptures by Upali Ananda and Kingsley Gunatilake, two of Sri Lanka’s foremost contemporary artists, purchased from one of Colombo’s most influential commercial galleries and presented by Thomas and Kuhlmann as a show-within-a-show. Shot in Sri Lanka, their film traverses documentary and fiction. It features Christopher Kulendran Thomas’ uncle (a family hero who founded the Centre for Human Rights in Tamil Eelam), as well as various guests of the Colombo Art Biennale – a well-known painter, a famous pop star and a young Tamil artist (some of them algorithmically synthesized characters) – who take the viewer on an elliptical journey around the island, from the fallout of the Sri Lankan Civil War to the biennale founded in its aftermath. Examining the idea of creativity as a humanist fiction,
Lafawndah’s journey to her current incarnation as a devotional pop polymath has wound as unpredictably as her compositional style. Her traversing of musical and artistic milieus has been defined by a freedom of tone, surrealist sense of space, and assured manipulation of formal and psychological tension.
Reviews: The Quietus | Pitchfork | Resident Advisor | Loud & Quiet
The SoulMates Archive™ is an ever-expanding collection of songs uncovered through the travels of Adaron and Nico; a gecko and corgi whose friendship and fanaticism guide them across the cosmos. After developing BassGas™, a subwoofer-powered form of renewable fuel, the friends find themselves in frictionless perpetual motion; scouring the most remote corners of the galaxy for rare artifacts in the form of lossless MP3s. The Soulmates Archive™ represents the first time these relics are distributed for public consumption, now offering earth-based lifeforms the choicest editions in the pantheon for their streaming pleasure.
Read about on The Fader | Artwork by Joseph Teeling
SoulMates™ – Driver Dreams mixfile for Rinse.fm
- SoulMates™ – Backwards (Demo Ridge Edit)
- Laurel Halo – Moontalk
- David Morales feat. Lea Lorién – How Would You Feel
- SoulMates™ – First Time
- Song of Storm and Fire (Vocaloid acapella)
- Lido & Canblaster – 6:59 AM
- Masayoshi Iimori – Whirlwind
- Ten Forward – Avenue X
- Art of Noise – Dreaming in Color
- R Racing Evolution – Divas (Namco)
- Jean Michel Jarre – Zoolook (Remix) (SoulMates™ Deep Color Edit)
- Logan Takahashi – Pops
- ADR x Nightfeelings – Saxuality (VapeLife Edit)
- Teengirl Fantasy x Guido – U Touch Me feat. Hoody x Mad Sax
- Michael Stearns – Star Dreams (Peace Eternal)
- Kelela – Jupiter
- R Racing Evolution – Select 1 (Namco)
- Nightfeelings – 7th world
- 19. Stéphane Picq – Amazonia
- 20. Robert Rich – Rainforest Suite
- 21. Wiwek – Run
- 22. Zhi Vago – Celebrate (The Love)
- 23. Monkey Mafia – Lion in the Hall
- 24. Mu-Ziq – Phargmal Synthesis (Part 3)
- 25. Ken Ishi – Future is What We Are
- 26. Kenny Larkin – Loop2
- 27. Plaid – Ralome
- 28. Mark Isham – On The Threshold of 29. Liberty (Soulmates™ UpAllNight Edit)
- 30. SoulMates™ – Instant Fan
Dis.art exhibition at the DeYoung Art Museum in San Fransisco, CA.
Audio & Video samples available upon request
Presented by the New York-based collective DIS, Genre-Nonconforming: The DIS Edutainment Network, (“The DIS Network”) is the first exhibition coinciding with the launch of dis.art, a new streaming platform for entertainment and education. The DIS Network reveals a “DIS-topian” take on the future of education—decentralized and open-access, yet communal and physically connected, inviting visitors to experience a twisted hybrid of entertainment and education. Played on a continuous loop on 36 large LED screens in the de Young’s atrium, the work is the result of collaboration with a group of international theorists, writers, and artists including Korakrit Arunanondchai, Darren Bader, Will Benedict and Steffen Jørgensen, CUSS Group, Aria Dean, Casey Jane Ellison, Ilana Harris-Babou, Ada O’Higgins, Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman and Daniel Keller, Ian Isiah, Chus Martinez, Babak Radboy, Christopher Kulendran Thomas in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann, Ryan Trecartin, Amalia Ulman, McKenzie Wark, and Women’s History Museum with Jack Scanlan.
Many of the videos feature music and sound design created by Dis-affiliated composer Aaron David Ross.
Installation soundtrack by Aaron David Ross & Ryan Trecartin
In collaboration with Telfar & Babak Radboy
Launching his eponymous line in 2005 at the age of 18, Liberian-American unisex prodigy Telfar Clemens has developed a strikingly original and democratic design vocabulary. Laying the blueprint for today’s black avant-garde, TELFAR was genderless a decade before it became a trend, launching projects with a remarkably horizontal cultural impact—from collaborations with Solange Knowles at the Guggenheim Museum to designing the nationwide uniforms for over 10,000 employees of the US fast-food chain White Castle. After winning the 2017 Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund, TELFAR is poised to take its place in the foreground of America’s fashion future.
At Spazio Maiocchi, KALEIDOSCOPE presents TELFAR’s first project in Italy, Nude, a fashion presentation without a single garment, eloquent to the brand’s progressive aesthetics and artistic DNA. The exhibition centers around a 30-feet-tall nude image of the designer by photographer Rob Kulisek surrounded by ten nude and genderless sculptures designed by American artist Frank Benson and manufactured by German state-of-the-art mannequin factory Penther Formes—an updated version of the iconic mannequins presented by TELFAR in the 2016 Berlin Biennale. The show is completed by a short film about Telfar’s apartment building in Queens, New York, by filmmaker Finn MacTaggart; and a musical composition written for clapping by Aaron David Ross in collaboration with artist Ryan Trecartin.
TELFAR’s exhibition will also take over the 3x6m billboard in the courtyard of Spazio Maiocchi, and will be accompanied by a book of images by New York photographer Jason Nocito, a performance by South-African musical duo FAKA, and an exclusive limited-edition T-shirt.
Music and sound design for Prada’s FW18 Mens interactive campaign
For the #PradaFW18 Men’s and Women’s Show, AMO converts the depositories of Viale Ortles, Milan, into an oneiric and surreal archive, where the multifaceted essence of Prada comes to life, turning the warehouse into a venue that both speaks of Prada’s accumulated identities and its place within the contemporary.⠀ Watch the Show live on Instagram January 14, 2018 at 6 PM CET.⠀ #PradaShows #MiucciaPrada #mfw
Additional Audio & Video samples available upon request
By Xavier Cha
Opera, Dance & Theatre work commissioned by BAM
Xavier Cha’s perception-altering new work lays bare the intimate yet alienated relationships we have with the bodies on our screens.
- Music and sound design by Aaron David Ross
- Libretto by Juliana Huxtable
- Stage design by Paul Kopkau, Felix Burrichter, and Michael Bullock
- Screenplay by Xavier Cha and Robert Moulthorp
- Lighting design by Joe Levasseur
- Costume design by Avena Gallagher
Audio and video samples available upon request
The Pike and the Shield: Five Paradoxes
Danced By Nozomi Iijima, inspired by CHANEL Nº5 L’EAU
Japanese ballet dancer Nozomi Iijima performs a self-choreographed video directed by Lola Partel Oliva, inspired by the paradoxes of Chanel’s latest fragrance campaign for Nº5 L’Eau. Equal parts surreal and spectacular, the film features Nozomi dancing the paradoxes of her own life and art through the streets of Tokyo and beyond.
- Danced and choreographed by Nozomi Iijima
- Written and directed by Lola Partel Oliva
- Music by Lafawndah & BRRR with Aaron David Ross
2017, HD video, 23 minutes 32 seconds
Original Score by Aaron David Ross
Winner of the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition at IFFR, 2017
Audio and video samples available upon request
Installed at Clearing Gallery with ‘Garden (2017)’,
Indigo powder, dad’s dirt, seafood waste, blown glass, clay, LED lights, fiber optics, electrical wires,
found wood, roots of dead trees, bamboo, banana leaves, coconuts, carpet, resin, prayer objects for the naga, IV bags, old car parts, dead pine trees, surround sound
Original soundtrack composed for Telfar‘s FW17 presentation
In collaboration with Ryan Trecartin (Narration) and Babak Radboy (Artistic Direction)
…And the award for most time-travel-friendly, culturally adaptable, contextually annoyed, unisex specific, panic-onomical, worn equally by both offense and defense — goes to: TELFAR. Fill in the fucking blank. Meaning is in the eye of the beholder; and it’s a responsibility. Fill in the fucking blank.
— Ryan Trecartin, TELFAR F/W 2017
TELFAR F/W 2017 continues the designer’s starkly original, trend-agnostic, anti-identitarian, deconstruction of garments and their meanings. This season the body’s meridians are fault lines in which not only colors and fabric — but entire genres of garment can give-way to another: creating hybrid forms like puffer-peacoats; track-jacket-dress-shirts, wool-slack-pum-pum-shorts and cargo-knickers. A jewel-tone palette in nylon, knit, wool, cotton, fleece and denim appear at times all in a single garment, creating a total-look that is impossible to place. Somewhere between Patagonia and Shenzhen TELFAR continues to visualize an empty horizon in a fashion industry where more and more people, crowd an ever narrowing aesthetic consensus. 2017 is a good year not to fit in.
Performance for Night on Broadway, 01-26-17, Los Angeles
Costume designed & created by Tatiana Valentin
Lighting & Experiential design by Taran Allen
Soundscape by Gatekeeper, Aaron David Ross & Matthew Arkell
Out on PAN on Black Friday, 11/25/16
SELECTED PRESS: FADER | PAPER | BOOMKAT | TINY MIX TAPES
SELECTED REVIEWS: PITCHFORK | RESIDENT ADVISOR | RAVEN SINGS THE BLUES
‘THROAT’ is the new album by composer/producer Aaron David Ross (ADR). Arriving as the New York artist’s second release on PAN, ‘THROAT’ is made entirely from vocal sounds. It could only be crafted in the ultra-present; an age where the poetry of songwriting is flattened into catchy hooks. As words are sliced into sounds, ideas are reduced to sibilant syllables that still contain a range of emotional power, but deliver it in subversively different ways.
‘THROAT’ exploits these ways, borrowing vocal fragments from everywhere to collage a choral congregation of singing servers; pinging one another to create open-source equal-opportunity electronic pop music. Reichian polyrhythmic EDM drops into Bieber-esque beatboxing. Hypothetical K-pop stars conduct holographic choirs in altruistic ritual. Virtual summer festival DJs transcode into pure phonemes; anthropomorphizing formant-shifted vacuums of communication. When you drop the cargo of making sense, you can go so much faster.
As a classically trained musician inspired equally by pop and contemporary art & technology practices, ADR’s work has distinguished itself through its formal deliriousness and playful tenor. Besides ongoing collaborations with an international community of vocalists, producers, artists and fashion designers, Ross releases solo recordings, composes music for film, TV and advertising, and maintains a practice of live performance and sound installation.
The release is mastered by Jeremy Cox featuring artwork by Alex Gvojic.
“New York-based producer ADR, who also works as one half of the duo Gatekeeper, has shared a collage-based new video for “Every Node,” off his recently released LP Throat. The self-produced clip evokes the experience of scrolling through a Google image search for “mouth,” and builds on conceptual questions explored on the new album about the relationship between mediated communication and the voice. Every sound on Throat is a vocal sample of some kind; “Every Node” finds ADR using the technique to produce something that’s equal parts funny, gorgeous, and uncanny.”
Read full article on THUMP
Runway score for Luar’s SS17 Collection
DIMELO QUE LO QUE
“There is nothing else in today’s art world even remotely like Ryan Trecartin‘s videos,” proclaimed Art in America. “It’s a sci-fi theater of the absurd for our manically paced YouTube era.“ Within these fluidly structured and visually commanding works, Trecartin’s groundbreaking sound design—a densely layered mix of rapid-fire dialogue, electronic music and live instrumentation—extends the depth, intensity, and insane hilarity of his art. He is joined by his principal collaborator Lizzie Fitch, music producer and DJ Ashland Mines (aka Total Freedom), and composer/producer Aaron David Ross (who will be conducting and doing the music direction) to present a new, digitally-inflected sonic composition live for the very first time.” – Armory Press Release
Armory Listing | Art News
Audio & Video samples available upon request