Kode9 and Shannen SP discuss Ø.
Ø is one of the most forward-thinking nights in London. Fusing Hyperdub’s unique sound palate with installations, screenings and performances, the night offers interested fans more than just music. Having hosted artists like El-B, DJ Lag, Tirzah, Fatima Al Qadiri, Dilinja, Arca and Angel-Ho to name a few, the next instalment of Ø presents Hyperdub mainstay Laurel Halo, Scraaatch and Hyph11e b2b Scintii, as well as a screening of Flying Lotus’ 2017 film ‘Kuso’. Ahead of the event we caught up with Kode9 and Shannen SP to talk about Ø.
Can you tell us a bit about the background of Ø? What’s the concept behind the night?
It’s a monthly experimental club night spread across two rooms. One room hosts DJs and live acts, as well as launch parties for Hyperdub artists new releases. The other room hosts installations, soundpieces, screenings, performance art and everything in between. Ø is an platform for bringing these strands together in a way that wasn’t happening in London when we started.
Why have you chosen Corsica as the venue for Ø?
Since the closure of Plastic People, Corsica has been our favourite venue in London. The Corsica staff are a core part of making Ø what it is, helping us put everything together and entertaining our craziest ideas. Also, the sound system in room 2 makes it our favourite space in London for a party. We like to transform room 1 every month from a party space into an installation or cinema or performance space – art spaces tend to have terrible acoustics so its a pleasure to experiment with different work in there.
Last month’s performance piece “Strange Fruit” was really powerful. Can you tell us about the background of the piece?
The Strange Fruit performance piece was a personal remembrance of the young black lives impacted by racial profiling in July 2018 by the artist, Venus Ex Machina. Using GPS coordinates where young black people between the ages of 15 – 24 were ‘thoroughly searched’ with no further action taken. Using information gathered from the London Metropolitan Police online data base, the artist read out the map co-ordinates for more then 4 hours.
How do you think the piece, and the data is conveys, reflects wider racism in the UK?
The piece reflected the ways in which police brutality and racial profiling affects the black community beyond the young men who are disproportionately searched. It affects and traumatises the wider community, family members, black women, queer, trans and non binary black folks. This was discussed in the Q and A with Venus Ex Machina that took place at the beginning of the evening.
The cases that were focused upon in this piece were where ‘more than thorough’ searches were conducted – i.e searches where intimate body parts are exposed, yet no further action was taken. For a community to be so relentlessly subjected to these incidents can be deeply harmful.
The next Ø is the 21st edition of the night tonight, what makes it work, and how, if at all has it changed?
Ø is an open platform that evolves / takes on a new shape each month. We work with different artists and musicians on each event, the energy and ideas brought forward are always different.
What installation can we expect at the next Ø?
We will be screening Flying Lotus ‘Kuso’ 2017 – its a film that many may have seen, but it the kind of film that benefits from repeat viewing, and is best watched in a group. DJ sets will be from Laurel Halo, SCRAAATCH (aka Mhysa and lawd knows based in Philadelphia) and Hyph11e and Scintii who are 2 artists based in Shanghai.
Any exciting plans for Hyperdub / Ø in the coming months you can share?
Well its Hyperdub’s 15th anniversary next year and there is a load of things in the pipeline.
You can find tickets for Ø here.