Bring a sound to life. | Jamal Cyrus | The Art Assignment | Summary and Q&A

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January 19, 2017
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The Art Assignment
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Bring a sound to life. | Jamal Cyrus | The Art Assignment

TL;DR

Artist Jamal Cyrus discusses his work, which combines various materials and disciplines to create new narratives, and encourages viewers to create their own art inspired by sounds they have never heard.

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Key Insights

  • 😒 Jamal Cyrus uses a variety of materials and disciplines in his artwork, drawing inspiration from music, politics, and culture.
  • ◾ His album cover series represents a fictional narrative of a small independent label's rise and fall, exploring themes of black militancy and societal changes.
  • 👂 The "Art Assignment" encourages viewers to challenge fixed meanings and create new narratives by representing sounds they have never heard before.

Transcript

NARRATOR: This episode is sponsored by Audible. We're in Houston, Texas, outside of Inman Gallery which is currently hosting an exhibition of the work of Jamal Cyrus, who we're going to be meeting with today. Cyrus synthesizes a wide range of materials and disciplines in his practice, which in recent years has included a marquee that resuscitate a... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Jamal Cyrus come up with the idea of creating fictional album covers to express black militancy?

Cyrus was inspired by the lack of black militancy expression in music during a politically charged time, so he decided to create his own examples through album covers.

Q: What is the back story behind Cyrus' fictional album cover series?

The series is based on a narrative of a small independent label in Detroit that faces changes in direction due to surveillance and the influence of the FBI, resulting in the production of hedonistic disco music.

Q: How does Jamal Cyrus represent sounds in his artwork?

Cyrus does not try to directly represent sounds through visual elements. Instead, he uses imagery and language that are tangentially related to the sound, creating connections and juxtapositions.

Q: What is the main objective of the "Art Assignment" discussed in the video?

The objective of the "Art Assignment" is for viewers to create their own artwork inspired by sounds they have never heard before, using any form they prefer, to explore new juxtapositions and arrangements.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Jamal Cyrus creates fictional album covers that express black militancy in music, drawing inspiration from Detroit's music history and the changing directions of independent labels.

  • The "Art Assignment" encourages viewers to create their own art by representing sounds they have never heard before, using any form they prefer.

  • Postmodernism and the remix culture have paved the way for artists like Cyrus to challenge fixed meanings and create new narratives through the manipulation of images and cultural materials.

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