Part II: John Lewis “Testament B” (“2GTHR U CN RDM TH SL OF TH NATN”), (2021), Music: Huey Lewis Dub by Deadbeat (Blikartz)
"I imagined that another, more socially focused, collaborative approach to activism might be marked by the history and words of the recently deceased American, Rep. John Lewis. I was drawn to a fragment of the posthumous essay that he wrote for The New York Times examining linkages between his political history and the recent Black Lives Matter movement, and the deaths of too many Black people by police violence. While developing the text animation my friend Deadbeat released a engaging, churning slab of dub techno featuring a vocal recording of Lewis examining his activist trajectory from a different time and perspective. The doubling and echoes between Lewis’ voice and text reverberated very deeply for me." - Tony Cokes
Tony Cokes, Of Lies & Liars pt. 3 of 3 (playlist), 2020
"This version of the soundtrack, provisionally called Of Lies & Liars pt. 3 of 3 contains excerpts from 47 tracks culled from an earlier version containing over 120 tracks. I've been thinking about this theme (obviously continuing my ongoing Evil series) for the entire Trump administration (or further back to the 2016 campaign) because of the plethora of lies we've been forced to endure. However, some of the tracks I began collecting during the Bush era. (Lots of lies then, too, but probably fewer than now.) The list includes a few songs that I've used in past projects and possibly more songs I have hoped to deploy. I begin with Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" because I associate it with being used in 2015 during Trump's candidacy for President. (Perhaps I'm mistaken.)
I think I've decided to share the edited playlist because from time to time folks ask about connections between my practice and DJ culture (like in my recent discussion). The video will take a while longer to complete, and I thought starting to edit the sound into some form would help me develop the video. Besides, I thought finally editing the sounds in this viral interstitial home time would help pass that difficult time.
I also connect American politics with modes of affect, like pop songs, and thought (as is usual for me) these selected tunes might complicate the texts I plan to use. I think I'm right, but we'll see."
—Tony Cokes, April 2020
FULL INTERVIEW: Adrienne Edwards x Tony Cokes discuss Part II: John Lewis “Testament B” (“2GTHR U CN RDM TH SL OF TH NATN”), (2021), Music: Huey Lewis Dub by Deadbeat (Blikartz)
Adrienne Edwards is a New York-based curator, scholar, and writer. Edwards is currently the Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Edwards curated performance commissions at Performa from 2010 to 2018. Prior to moving to the Whitney in 2018, Edwards worked as curator at large at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She held that position since 2016. As of 2018 Edwards, was a Performance Studies Ph.D. student at N.Y.U. In 2016, Edwards curated a show “Blackness in Abstraction,” at Pace Gallery. In 2019, Edwards with Danielle A. Jackson curated an exhibition at the Whitney: “Jason Moran” the first museum survey devoted to the MacArthur-winning pianist and conceptualist.