Saturday 1 October 2016, 8pm
No other artist casts so large a shadow over the genre of noise than Merzbow. With a vast discography and uncompromising approach that has spanned over three decades, Masami Akita is an undisputed master in his field and we're hugely excited to welcome him to OTO for the first time.
“For over thirty years, Merzbow (aka Masami Akita) has been the biggest and most recognisable figure on the international noise scene. Indeed, he has defined the contours and aesthetic of the genre, from his pioneering use of tape loops to create hulking industrial vistas in the late 70s, to his switch to laptop-generated static noise at the turn of the century... Rightly hailed by Paul Hegarty, in his seminal book Noise/Music, as an artist who reached the apex of noise's potential as an artistic genre, Merzbow has been a clear influence on a wealth of subsequent noise artists and groups.” – Joseph Burnett, The Quietus
Ewa Justka is a Polish electronic noise artist, self taught instruments builder and electronics teacher based in London. She currently studies MA Computational Arts at Goldsmiths College.
Justka’s main field of research is based on exploration of materiality of objects, vibrant, ontological systems (human bodies, plants’ bodies, electronic circuits: varied range of micro and macro environments and relations between them) and an investigation of modes of quasi-direct perception through noise performance actions, interactive installation, DIY electronics, hardware hacking, plant-molesting, breaking, deconstructing and collaborating. In her artistic work Ewa attempts to explore the concept of materiality of the hidden.
Poulomi Desai's unique, modified sitar embraces elements of chance, challenge and subversion - industrial, noise influenced improvised, art performances. Her prepared / bowed sitar is extended with modified cassette decks playing her field recordings, circuit bent toys, optikinetic instruments, kitchen knives, axes and massage tools. It is a conscious response and reaction to the idea of 'authenticity' seeking to break the rules and expectations of how a 'sacred' instrument should be played, the strictures upon the player, the guru-shishya approach, and the assumptions made upon the identity of the player herself. Her sitar is the primary basis for sonic improvisation and exploration; an allegorical antidote to the objectification of the 'South Asian woman's body' in 'Bollywood' cinema / 'popular culture' and, in a broader sense, affirming her idea of 'Noise' as protest. She runs the Usurp Art space in the suburbs and is currently the Curator of the Grunwick strike exhibition.