Hip Hop and the Machine, Dereck Stafford Mangus, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [7/3/2023]
BALTIMORE — The Sugar Hill Gang’s 1979 hit “Rapper’s Delight” is often considered the first hip-hop track. That steady, percussion-like delivery of lyrics layered over that familiar, bouncing bass line combined to create the perfect remedy to the excesses of pop music in the late ’70s. Yet “Rapper’s Delight” heralded a cultural moment several years in the making. In 1973, DJ Kool Herc, a Jamaican immigrant now considered one of the founding fathers of hip hop, hosted with his sister the “Back to School Jam” in the recreation room of their Bronx apartment building, an event now regarded as the advent of hip hop.
Five decades later, hip hop has indelibly influenced contemporary culture — from dance and fashion to advertising and cinema. With Rap Research Lab, on view at the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture (CADVC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), technologist and multimedia artist Tahir Hemphill takes hip hop as his object of study.
Curated by Rebecca Uchill, director of CADVC, Rap Research Lab is divided into discrete sections that can be experienced in any order. The series Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement comprises an installation of black-and-white photographs and a vitrine showcasing small golden sculptures, similar to the images on the walls. Locational cues, as in direct references to places, culled from hip-hop lyrics were translated into commands for a robotic arm gripping an LED light to create curvilinear “light drawings” in the air. Through long exposures, Hemphill photographically documents the formations made by the apparatus and names the finished products after the rappers whose lyrics were processed, including Jay Z, Missy Elliott, and Nas. The golden objects in the display case are 3-D versions of the light drawings. According to the artist, Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement was inspired in part by Picasso’s similar series of long-exposure “light drawings” captured by Albanian photographer Gjon Mili for Life Magazine in 1949.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.