51 DEGREES LAUNCH DISKS.
22ND APRIL 2009. WILD BUILDING. DIGBETH. BIRMINGHAM UK. 8.00 PM.
DJ FLY AGARIC 23.
GRAFFITI BLUES – BLUE MITCHELL
IF ITS GOOD TO YOU – EDDIE BO.
TAKE IT ALL OFF – BO DIDDLEY
SILLY SAVAGE – GOLDEN TOADSTOOLS
SOUL POWER – JAMES BROWN
BUMPIN’ BUS STOP – THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.
LOOK-KA PY PY – THE INVADERS
HEY BO – EDDIE BO
BO DIDDLEY-ITIS – BO DIDDLEY
THERE IT IS – JAMES BROWN
STREET PARADE – EARL KING
BO DIDDLEY – ART NEVILLE
JUST KISSED MY BABY – THE METERS.
LIGHT MY FIRE – SHIRLEY BASSEY
LIGHT MY FIRE – MASSIVE ATTACK.
BACK HOME – YUSEF LATEEF
PEOPLE SAY – THE METERS.
LONDON – DAVID AXELROD
SHOO FLY MARCHES ON – DR. JOHN
FEAKS FOR THE FESTIVAL – RASHEED ROLAND KIRK
THERE WAS A TIME – JAMES BROWN
DIRTY HARRY – LALO SCHIFRIN
FATTENING FROGS FOR SNAKES – SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON.
SOME MOTHERS SON – SANDRA PHILIPS.
LOVER AND A FRIEND – EDDIE BO & INEZ CHEATHAM
DOIN’ THE POPCORN – KIM MELVIN
I’M A GREEDY MAN – JAMES BROWN
MIRROR – CHARLIE MARIANO.
AFRICA – THE METERS.
BRING DOWN THE BIRDS – HERBIE HANCOCK
LICKING STICK – JAMES BROWN
LOOK AT GRANDMA – BO DIDDLEY
CRISS-CROSS – THEOLONIOUS SPHERE MONK
TAKE THE ‘A’ TRAIN – DUKE ELLINGTON
COSMIC SEA – MYSTIC MOODS
NIGHT TRAIN – JAMES BROWN
BULLIT – LALO SCHIFRIN
HEY JOYCE – LOU COUTNEY
AT THE SOUL IN – COUNT YATES AND THE RHYTHM CRUSADERS.
MAKE IT FUNKY – JAMES BROWN
QUALIFIED – DR. JOHN
GROOVY BABY – KIM TAMANGA
CHICKEN STRUT – THE METERS
HOWLING FOR JUDY – JEREMY STEIG
ARE YOU TOGETHER FOR THE NEW DAY – THE LOVE EXPERIENCE.
I’VE HAD IT HARD – BO DIDDLEY
I NEED HELP – JAMES BROWN
WHO STOLE MY COOKIE – THE PHILIPS BROTHERS.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN BUSINESS – DAVE HAMILTON.
SWEET POTATO GRAVY – MAURICE SIMON AND THE PIE MEN.
WALK TALL – CANNONBALL ADDERLEY
PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 1 – JAMES BROWN
SISSY WALK – BILLY BALL AND THE UPSETTERS
CISSY POPCORN – PRESTON LOVE.
CISSY STRUT – TRINADAD TRIPOLI STREET BAND
ZA ZU – WALLY COX AND THE NATE BRANCH
FOUR CORNERS – LEE DORSEY
THE RUBBER BAND – EDDIE BO AND THE SOULFINDERS
SPONTANEOUS SIMPLICITY – SUN RA
JAZZ CATS – MADLIB
RHYTHM-A-NING – THEOLONIOUS SPHERE MONK
DISTANT STARS – THE HELIOCENTRICS
LIFE – DR. JOHN
Thanks to CHU, and to Laura, Pete and Olie and the Jibbering krewe. Each of the songs were played beginning to ending by myself in an improvised order.
CHU. 51 DEGREES. RETROSPECTIVE AND AUDIO RESPONSIVE.
A congress of audio components. Captured on canvas, aluminium, wood, steel. Projected by aerosol, ink, and light. A techni-coloured array within mediums, within mediums. And the price is just right. Reverse engineered computer graphics, brought back to the canvas again, audio components running through the work like a postman/sound engineer with sore feet.
Symbols and symbol systems reflect off of canvas in a semantical pin-ball gallery. The meaning from each view point in the room changes as the symbol systems encroach upon the viewers perceptions. Smoking fine, yeah your right. Hanging portals and pictures you can fly through in a spaceship, a world of audio components, electronic, mechanical and manual. Communicating vessels from another world, where solid state entities inhabit audio components and where rogue tribes of interplanetary beings hunt down the beats and grooves to make the Universe dance.
Every wire, plug, jack, socket, stylus, speaker and tape entity is grounded in earth – the foundation, the beat and the groove. Music. Music, in some sense is what connects all the pieces on show by CHU. Another way of seeing the work all-together in the gallery is as sound amplification and manipulation – a reaching out by a visual artist over to the sound world of music. A lead, jack, socket, wire, record..to plug into, turn on and power up. In the back of your mind you can now plug in the correct pattern to gladen’ the heart. A stereo guide to word sound image power. Turn on your mind and take the tour.
THE THREE CHU PIECES THAT WERE MISSING!
1. HOLE IN THE WALL
2. BORN IN WALSALL
3. CASTLE GIFT SHOP
These three pieces of gigantic size are great testament to painting OUTDOORS, and are a reminder of the 100’s of OUTDOOR works, 1000’s by CHU that are way to large to bring into a gallery, and they are on a wall anyhow, for christs sakes. For anyone who has stumbled upon this writing about CHU’s exhibition: 51 DEGREES – keep kicking yourself as a reminder that he has also painted the world’s largest single-handed aerosol mural! But he would be quick to tell you that world records don’t mean half as much as soul records to im’, the audio components and the will to dance, groove and make beats prevails. I will extend my sentiment here to all the Graffiti writers worldwide who are bringing language up to speed using new tools and keeping the four elements interlocking between the streets and the cosmos. Yes boss.
THE RISE OF THE AUDIO COMPONENTS.
After the turmoil of the world banking palava, and the downword spiral of language into Ponzi schemes and overspending the planetary forces have reorganzized and deployed themselves to help humanity rise out of the slump and into the long boom, the perpetual crash of music. BACHWORDS. When audio equipment can grow wires and jacks like a living plant, or when electrical power can be hijacked, along with the infosphere – by biological entities – they have a high probability of taking on the form of communication devices, and symbol systems (hardware and software.) Hardwired and crosswired language bubbling beneath and without the Blackcountry’s equivalent of Japanese Manga. NO, not the rise of the machines, the congress of the audio processes. The interplay between audio components pulled down and out onto canvas by CHU, with the space surrounding them. The forced MUSIC in the head, brought about by the visual cunning of the audio engineered world. AUDIO RESPONSIVE. Remember. The pieces lead into each other.
Maybe the tessellated patterning exhibited on the 3 Pieces – titled MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, MANUAL – are indicative of the hologramic style of CHU. Most things i have put down here are nothing new to CHU, he has been sketching this world for more than 12 years. But now we have a manifest environment that pitches the work together, projecting chronological, geographical and aesthetic relationships between the artist and his different mediums of expression. In the gallery space you can feel the holographic forces at work, and can slip on some 3D shades to view his tricky third attempt at a self portrait for the literal graphic 3D experience. Yet on another level i see the broad theory of CHU and his worlds morphing and blending with whatever comes his way, to mean that at the gallery space you can see the development of the pieces and how they fit together. The fitting together of the works seems to be yet another level of tessellation on behalf of CHU, and this method is directly exhibited in the two M.C Escher tribute canvases. And then we come to the cube. And tessellated perception. Immersive environments.
The cube remains beyond description. And the most difficult thing to capture with words. I might start by saying it is a room, built with 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor, but after decorating and chuscaping these numbers flux-chuate depending upon where you are looking from. The form of the cube seems to be related to the average height of human sight, so that distortions and impossible objects can formulate in the spaces, using that data as a starting point. The content of the cube or CHUBE is further scenarios from the rise of the audio components, this time hooking into and out of the giant alphabetical words: ITS NOT BIG AND ITS NOT CLEVER. Icons of electronic music culture, remix culture and audio engineering anarchy, turntables, tape-loops and speakers on the loose, chased by cables through cityscapes, chased by phantom power leads and microphone jacks. The electric word, electrified, like the mechanical bride – the words rise and the machines too, in a great torrent of seeing. In the cube i see no nouns, i only see verbs.
Meanwhile projectors spit light shows and pixel reproductions of moving images, more invaders of the real, chu’s animations and graphics are a book in themselves, from the Walsall Illuminations installations to the VJ shows and animated gifs and computer games themselves, yes. Just take everything i wrote and put more verbs in, the moving images re-circulate the meanings quicker like a semantical windmill, spitting out graphical beings, solid state entities and more. And more…
The exhibition also has the largest ever collection of YOUR MUM RANG memorabilia, a stunning sight in itself, although not immediately making the global extent of the sticker campaign visible in the great OUTDOORS. CHU has been dropping YOUR MUM RANG for 8 years as far as i know, the first sight of which i saw in San Francisco 2002. Visit CHU’s flickr site for the ongoing words to your MUM. Or think about creating your own campaign, transform your environment. Just on it.
CHU seems to me to be of a new breed of aerosol artists, a pioneer of the field and a master of his class he continues to push the edges off and out, keeping the raw experimental edge with the precise tried and tested methods of his craft sharp. The cube was a great effort to arrange, construct, and prepare for CHU, but he laboured on with the project and deployed his CHUMOMETERS to startling effect. TOTAL IMMERSION!
Steve ‘Fly Agaric 23’ Pratt: Acrillic