The Aesthetics of Funkadelic
Musicians such as Sun Ra, The Funkees, Alice Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Funkadelic, Miles Davis, and Earth Wind & Fire have been a key influence on the imagery for The [Dis]Honourable Harvest. Magical realism in the form of afro-futurism provides the sonic and visual language to explore alternate realities that liberate African-descendant people from the consequences of colonialism, slavery, resource degradation and racism. In the 1970s, this genre was adopted and developed by many black artists, both continental and diasporan, who experimented with astral infused jazz, funk rock (Maggot Brain, Funkadelic). Some creating sonic compositions that tethered the psychedelic with the celestial. Years later, the torch of afrofuturism was carried by only a few notable artist such as Outkast and Missy Elliot within the hip-hop genre. However, there has been a recent resurgence of the original ethereal funk sound with the release of Childish Gambino's 'Awaken, My Love!', Flying Lotus 'Flamagra', Thundercat's 'It Is What It Is' and 'The Epic' by Kamasi Washington.
Using technology and the possibilities of the future to mend the damage of the past. This can be applied to the climate question also. Concern for the environment and the treatment of 'Mother Earth', as well as the criticism of nationhood, imperialism and class inequality.
"Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time, for y'all have knocked her up" - Maggot Brain, Funkadelic
"May there be peace and love and perfection amoung all creation, oh God.
May there be peace and love and perfection amoung all creation, oh God.
May there be peace and love and perfection amoung all creation, oh God" -The Sun, Alice Coltrane
The album cover art for these sub genres often features cut-up collages of fantasy landscapes— often with space shuttles like Mothership Connection by Parliament or ancient Egyptian imagery, or unusual portraits in striking, ethereal colours and textures. This aesthetic has been used for The [Dis]Honourable Harvest to continue this tradition of world-building, story-telling and [re]imagining of the future.
The significance of music in my creative practice has led me to commission jazz musician and composer Noisebody to create a composition to accompany my motion images. This collaboration creates depth to the creative process and follows in a long tradition of cross-discipline collaboration. For example, Japanese film director Satoshi Kon often worked alongside musician Susumu Hirasawa for his most successful films; most notably his 2006 sci-fi thriller Paprika. Hirasawa's experimental electronic sound amplifies the surreal and psychedelic visuals of the animated feature-length film.