The ICA presents Channel B by Nine Nights, an audiovisual exploration of Black futurism
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The ICA presents Channel B by Nine Nights, an audiovisual exploration of Black futurism
Seguridad Cash Fractals 01, 2020, Strange Edition, New York, Photo: Guarionex Rodriguez Jr.

LONDON.- The ICA this autumn presents Channel B, an exhibition by the black-owned art, music and creative education initiative Nine Nights. Channel B is an audio-visual exploration of Black futurism, featuring five interactive sound and video installations that each act as a stage for live performance and broadcast. Traversing music, performance and art, the installations are created by multidisciplinary artists Gaika, GLOR1A and Shannen SP, whose work is rooted in the electronically mutated rhythms of the diaspora that pulse through every city on every night.

Nine Nights says: ‘We are building an ecosystem that educates, platforms and promotes alternative Black art and supports black-focused charities at home and overseas. The global music industry is worth over $50 billion, with 50% of that made from live music. The global pandemic has caused a crisis for all live artists and teams, wiping out a majority of income overnight. For 2019, total revenues for the global recorded-music business grew by 8.2% to $20.2 billion. As Black artists, we provide much of the foundation for modern music with our labour. Currently, we are not seeing our share of this money.

‘Nine Nights is a new music concept featuring thoughtfully curated black artists across the world, spanning music, performance, poetry and spoken word. The name “Nine Nights” is rooted in Jamaican tradition that celebrates the life and safe passing for those deceased over nine nights. This “dead yard” series is for those who have lost their lives at the hands of racism, police brutality and COVID, to celebrate their existence and push for change. We want a new system, one that helps develop Black lives in music, art and community.’

Drawing on a lineage of pirate broadcasters, subterranean dancefloors and the ‘happenings’ of the 1960s, Channel B is nostalgic for an unknown past but committed to the imaginaries of the future. Ca$h Fractals (Gaika), War Island (Gaika), Dark Matter Inc (GLOR1A) and Swarm (GLOR1A) each address sci-fi, speculative fiction, horror, political satire and experimental sound, and consider the contemporary role of surveillance, digital autonomy, non-human intelligence and digitised human ritual. Committed to experimental methods of exhibition-making, Nine Nights invites artists and audiences to interact with and use the ICA’s galleries as a participatory space.

Nine Nights

The inherent contradictions and systematic inequality at the heart of the global music industry frequently results in Black artists sustaining its ecosystem yet consistently being undermined by it. Combined with the persistent undervaluing of Black people, the growing protest movement and the global pandemic’s impact on nightlife and live work, Nine Nights emerged in May 2020 as an attempt at exploring new modes of artistic empowerment that supports life and community directly with labour. Founded by the Channel B exhibiting artists and Zara Truss-Giles, Nine Nights has one purpose – to support Black culture.

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