Moogfest's Opening Night Protest Stage will feature Talib Kweli, Omar Souleyman, Mykki Blanco, BEARCAT, Pie Face Girls, MIT Open Doc Lab, NEW INC, Found Sound Nation, and Goldsmiths.
Moogfest will dedicate its main stage on opening night to exploring how creative technology tools and protest music can be used as instruments for change. This Protest stage will be led by local and international artists Talib Kweli, Omar Souleyman, Mykki Blanco, BEARCAT and Pie Face Girls, MIT Open Doc Lab, NEW INC, and app developers at Goldsmiths University.
The diverse Protest stage program will include performances, talks, and participatory technology experiments. Moogfest invites all presenters and attendees to explore sonic resistance and emerging technology tools for counteraction while celebrating radical inclusivity and intersectionality. New technologies for educating, organizing, and art-making echo Moogfest’s rallying cry: Synthesize Love.
Protest comes in many forms, and no single genre can contain the musicians participating in Thursday’s program. Talib Kweli is a renowned recording artist, entrepreneur, and social activist who uses hip hop to educate, inspire and agitate. He is well known for his work combating racial stereotypes, the prison-industrial complex, and police brutality. Syrian artist-activist Omar Souleyman represents culturally diverse musical traditions that include Kurdish, Ashuris, Arabic, Turkish and Iraqi communities. Fearless noise rap poet and performance artist Mykki Blanco was raised in Raleigh, N.C., but has traveled the globe from art-world stomping grounds in New York to his current home in Los Angeles, spitting subversive rhymes on race and LGBT issues. British DJ/Producer BEARCAT makes politically-charged bass-heavy mixes and represents Discwoman, an esteemed collective showcasing cis women, trans women and genderqueer talent in electronic music. Raleigh-based band Pie Face Girls uses defiant punk music to promote a DIY ethos and attack issues like North Carolina’s HB2. Music is one of the oldest forms of protest, but each of these artists makes their causes urgent anew with the music and community they build.
Intermixed with the musical performances, technologists participating in the Moogfest Protest stage program will present recent and developing projects that empower and facilitate social action. Gan Golan and Ron Morrison of NEW INC present their countersurveillance armor for citizens, The Argus Project, a head-to-toe mobile suit embedded with cameras that will allow the wearer and its audience of remote viewers to monitor and record environmental behavior. Taeyoon Choi, also of NEW INC, presents a protest sign-making workshop, exploring signs as a poetic medium for social engagement in an inclusive space that promotes learning from people with differing views and priorities.
Halsey Burgund of MIT Open Doc Lab and Joe Zobkiw present the Land Marking app, which captures the sounds of social movements around the world. During the festival, attendees are invited to contribute their voices or listen to the location-based mix of music and voices contributed by previous participants. Vivan Thi Tang, a postgraduate in the Graduate Entrepreneur program at Goldsmiths University in London, created a customized beta of her irlbb app for Moogfest 2017, that presents a unique opportunity for participants to connect with potential collaborators.
Found Sound Nation and Moogfest co-present Democracy's Exquisite Corpse: a sonic collage of reflections on democracy and resistance created in real-time across the festival weekend and in collaboration with Moogfest artists, activists, innovators, festival attendees and the public--a 21st century take on the Surrealist parlor game.
These presentations and workshops are rooted in the principle that technology can foster innovative perspectives on protest and creativity as a whole. Moogfest attendees are invited to collaborate with these technologists in launching their projects at the festival.
The 11th Annual four-day-festival will take place in Durham, North Carolina on May 18-21 honoring Moog's inventor, Bob Moog.