Staging Eastman – The Third Part of the Third Measure

We are excited to stage a symposium on the work of the extraordinary African American composer and performer Julius Eastman (1940-90).

This is by no means the first event of this nature, but it provides a new context and an opportunity to progress, to penetrate further and assess the direction of travel. As in astronautics this journey necessitates stages of separation, of jettison, to sustain momentum and exploration. The institutional scaffolding of the University may not be the most appropriate platform for such an inquiry, but this itself is a fundamental question that the work imposes as a point of departure.

By ‘Staging Eastman’ at the University of Leeds, we hope to engage his legacies by pressing the question of what a university in the north of the UK – with all of its diverse communities and legacies of colonialism – might offer.

How can we respond in kind to the latest outbursts echoed in the work of contemporary artists and performers?

And what work does the canonisation of Eastman perform on his work and legacy?

This symposium is a highlight of our programme exploring Eastman’s legacy, also featuring performances of his work and of Ben Patterson by Elaine Mitchener, Anton Lukoszevieze, and the Eastman Ensemble (19 February, Howard Assembly Room), and multiple screenings of the film The Third Part of the Third Measure by The Otolith Group – all part of the Tunings of the World Sadler Seminar Series.

How to book

This event is free but booking is essential.

Register here on Eventbrite.

More information about Staging Eastman and Tunings of the World

The project this seminar contributes to and develops is one whose constitutive inter-disciplinarity is designed to open this conversation to many. At the same time, it reminds us all that attuning to a discipline often involves listening to what it only struggles to give voice to.


Programme and speakers

Panel 1, 14:00-16:00

Led by Sam Belinfante

Elaine Mitchener – image provided by the artist. Credit Dmitri Djric and LCMF 2017

Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocalist, movement artist and composer working between the worlds of contemporary new music, experimental jazz / free improvisation and visual arts. She is founder of collective electroacoustic trio The Rolling Calf (with Jason Yarde and Neil Charles). Mitchener is one of 50 selected exhibiting artists featured in the British Art Show 9 touring exhibition 21/22, a Wigmore Hall Associate Artist and in 2022 a DAAD Artist Fellow. Forthcoming performances include ‘Triptychus’ a new work commissioned by Sons d’Hiver festival with Pat Thomas and Reece Ewing (12 Feb 2022) and 8 March 2022, Womens Work, a concert to mark International Women’s Day and inspired by Annea Lockwood/Alison Knowles’ magazine of the same name.

Isaac Jean-François is a doctoral student in the joint degree program with African-American Studies and American Studies at Yale University. Jean-François’s research interests include black studies, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, queer theory, and sound studies. His research on composer and performer Julius Eastman is featured in an issue of Current Musicology in an essay titled, “Julius Eastman: The Sonority of Blackness Otherwise” (July 2020).

Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar – The Otolith Group (founded 2002) sets out to rethink the dynamics of cultural production under conditions of accelerated, unstable and precarious global environments. This endeavour finds eclectic forms including films, artworks, exhibitions, curated programmes, and publications that are conceived as ongoing research into the structures of global regimes, speculative futures, tricontinentalism, and cybernetics. Their essayistic approach reflects on the perception and nature of documentary practice through films, texts and activities related to media archives. From Cold War ideology to global capitalism processes, recent history appears as fragments of a personal diary which, in turn, could be fiction.


Panel 2, 16:30-18:30pm

Led by Professor John Mowitt

Dhanveer Singh Brar (University of Leeds) approaches the histories of black diasporic culture through modes of artistic experimentation with sound and the politics of intellectual production, paying attention to the relationships between popular and experimental music, art practice, cinema, publishing and political organisation.

 

 

 

Nicola Singh (Manchester Metropolitan University) makes solo and collaborative performance that spills out into visual art practices and film. She extends ideas of liveness to her engagement with materials, and to her pedagogic, curatorial and research practices. Singh’s work is made in response to contexts of location and place and to encounter and dialogue – and via a critical engagement with contemporary art’s relationships to race and feminism. She is currently focused on improvisation in spoken word, for sound and song, and in movement and writing – exploring and experimenting with expressions and states of self-representation and identity.

Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar – The Otolith Group (founded 2002) sets out to rethink the dynamics of cultural production under conditions of accelerated, unstable and precarious global environments. This endeavour finds eclectic forms including films, artworks, exhibitions, curated programmes, and publications that are conceived as ongoing research into the structures of global regimes, speculative futures, tricontinentalism, and cybernetics. Their essayistic approach reflects on the perception and nature of documentary practice through films, texts and activities related to media archives. From Cold War ideology to global capitalism processes, recent history appears as fragments of a personal diary which, in turn, could be fiction.

The project this seminar contributes to and develops is one whose constitutive inter-disciplinarity is designed to open this conversation to many. At the same time, it reminds us all that attuning to a discipline often involves listening to what it only struggles to give voice to.

Feature image: Still from the Otolith Group’s The Third Part of the Third Measure